Body and Soul by
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Prompted By Family Medicine

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Our generation may indeed be the last to remember when family doctors made house calls with their little black bags and really got to know their patients.    Nowadays with HMOs and PPOs,  and pre-authorization,  and all the other health insurance red tape and rigamarole,  it may seem harder to find a doctor who has the time to get to know you and listen to your concerns.

But thankfully there are still dedicated medical practitioners who’ve taken the Hippocratic Oath seriously,  and our wonderful primary care physician Dr Sandy is one.   And so several years ago when he transitioned his office to a concierge practice,  we were delighted and we stayed on.

We always knew he was a treasure,  but since the pandemic he’s been a godsend.   He replies to our texts;  answers our questions;  regularly sends all his patients Covid updates to help us understand the plethora of sometimes confusing information that’s out there about vaccines,  variants and boosters;  and he allays some of our fears.

So we thank you again Dr Sandy,  for your care,  your kindness,  and your wisdom,  and for helping us keep body and soul together!

Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!
www.WorldThruBrownEyes.com

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Tags: Doctors, Physicians

Comments

  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    He does sound wonderful, Dana. Much to be grateful for.

    We joined a concierge practice two years ago, after our doctor of 30 years didn’t bother to call Dan after one of his bike accidents landed him in Mass General. He had sold his practice to one of the big hospitals and wasn’t paid to care enough about his patients any longer. He didn’t see patients on Fridays, he would go to Florida in the winter (so many of his patients did), so if you needed to be seen, it would be by one of his associates who didn’t know you. What was the point? We had five different friends on the Vineyard who were all in this other practice who INSISTED that we join and we did. It was a God-send this summer with Dan’s collapse and serious injury. Our doctor coordinated everything, was constantly in touch, including reassuring me. Worth every penny.

    But it does worry me that our health care system increasingly is so broken that only those who can afford get good quality care. That is troubling.

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    You are o lucky to have Dr. Sandy, Dana. Our version of him is about to retire and we are at a loss to find someone to replace him. Of course, I agree with what Betsy said about our healthcare system and have little hope that things will improve.

  3. Khati Hendry says:

    I think many physicians who opt for concierge care do it to escape insurance company hassles and micromanaging, and for more autonomy. Unfortunately, not everyone has access. It has been a pleasure to work in the Canadian system where these issues are mitigated, even if not perfect.

    • Yes Khati, I realize I’m privileged to be able to afford my concierge doc, and know the glaring inequities in our system.

      Would only the States replicate the Canadian model but of course that’s not likely, I guess it’s greed strong-arming the good.

  4. John Shutkin says:

    Dr. Sandy sounds truly wonderful, Dana, especially in these challenging times. As noted in my comments elsewhere, we are now seriously considering concierge service. And I understand why many doctors would also find it attractive. I just wish it weren’t seemingly necessary and/or that it would benefit the health care system as a whole. Might as well wish for unicorns and rainbows, right?

    • Yes John, the system is inequitable, but altho concierge medicine sounds elitist, so be it.

      Remember Obama’s detractors attacking him as hypocritical for sending his kids to private school. I too sent my child to private school while I gave my heart and soul to the kids at the public inner city high school where I worked for 3 decades. Am I a hypocrite for wanting to give my child the best education I could, and for now getting myself and my husband the best health care we can.

      Khati and other Canadian friends praise the healthcare system up there. Why can’t we replicate it down here?

  5. Marian says:

    Having one concierge-style doctor, I really appreciate everything she has done for me, Dana. I am glad you and a couple of others have found good concierge doctors. Unfortunately I can’t afford a full concierge resource, so I have cherry-picked doctors between different systems such as Stanford whom I can work with. It’s a bit of a hassle and takes coordination, but it’s worth the trouble. But how few people have the time or knowledge it takes to do this.

  6. Suzy says:

    I was surprised to see this story from you, Dana, rather than one about your father, but then you added that other one. Dr. Sandy sounds great. Everyone is talking in the comments about concierge doctors. I have never heard that term before in my life, and have no idea what it means. I guess I need to consult Google on this.

    • Yes Suzy, for concierge medicine you pay a monthly fee – in our case $400+ for the 2 of us – and no waiting for appts, can call/text his cell 24/7, he calls back right away, and really knows you.

      I hope all concierge docs are as wonderful as mine!

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