Remember when you were a kid and you got hurt or sick, and you just went to your family doctor and that guy seemed to be able to see you whenever you were hurt or sick, and just about knew exactly what to do no matter what happened to you? I do.
I thought all doctors were supposed to help you and to be able to see you whenever you needed them. I thought they had all this magical knowledge about health and could cure just about anything.
Then something changed. I moved to California and found things were very different. Just about every doctor was so booked up that I couldn't even get to see them when I needed them. Many were also all about the money and I felt like they wanted me to keep coming back even after I was cured, just so they could bill the insurance company for yet another visit. Or worse: they made the wrong diagnosis on some problems I had, or just had the worst bedside manners I had ever seen. Also, I had never exerpeinced such arrogance in doctors as I have seen in California...! Doctors in my new place of residence didn't know everything, and I grew to be distrustful of doctors' diagnoses. I had to develop my own method of carefully choosing doctors that I knew were able to help me in certain areas.
Over the last decade, I had to try out, pick, and choose carefully doctors in the area of sports training and recovery. It was not an easy process; in my early days of training, I would get injured a lot and had to try a lot of things until I found the most effective help I could find anywhere. Thankfully, after many years, I've at least tightened down the list of the best sports medicine doctors for me. But one area still remained: internal medicine.
I'm a pretty healthy guy. I don't get sick very often but when I do, I want to see a doctor RIGHT NOW. Many of the internal medicine folks I got referred to were very good, but were also way too busy. When I call for an appointment, I always braced myself for the reply, "Oh he can't see you today, but how about 3 weeks from now?" How is that helpful? Am I supposed to suffer for another 3 weeks just so I can get on a schedule?
Then I found The Total Care Practice. A new look at medical care, I found it to be truly refreshing and back to the way medicine should be. You pay a yearly fee to become a member of the practice, and then you can see them as much as you want (up to a maximum of about 30 visits; a healthy guy like me wouldn't even come close to that!). They always hold time slots open each day in case somebody has an emergency so that there is a time slot they can see you at. Also, you can EMAIL the doctors and....THEY REPLY. WOW. You can ask them any question too!
For a higher yearly fee, THEY WILL EVEN MAKE HOUSE CALLS. WOW. Which doctor do you know will drive over to your house to examine you? And at the same fee level, you get their CELLPHONE NUMBER so you can talk to them virtually whenever you want. AMAZING.
This is the way medicine should be. Doctors be treating you when YOU need them, not when it's convenient for the doctor to see you. Love The Total Care Practice in Palo Alto!
(by the way, the doctor I signed up with is also an avid athlete - an essential requirement for my doctors now, as I have found consistently that doctors who don't train and race have a greatly decreased understanding of the needs of athletes and how to treat them...)