Juggling one person's medical issues can be challenging. So what happens when you have to juggle your spouse, your kids, and yourself (and maybe parents and in-laws to boot)? You likely feel stressed out and perhaps even a bit frustrated.
But guess what? It doesn't need to be that way, especially if you opt for concierge family medicine.
Here are six ways this medical model can make life easier.
1. Schedule physicals all at once.
If you work, your spouse works, and you have kids, then driving in for separate appointments to cover everyone's annual physical can be a daunting task when you're dealing with a traditional healthcare system. (Have you ever tried making concurrent or back-to-back appointments for a family of five? Good luck.)
With a concierge medical practice, however, the patient load is significantly smaller than a traditional healthcare practice, so being able to schedule back-to-back appointments for everyone in the family is much more doable.
2. Make doctor visits less scary for little ones.
Going to the doctor can be scary for some kids—even more so if they see different doctors at each visit. Concierge family medicine is all about creating consistency. You'll have one doctor who gets to know each person in the family and treat each person's individual needs accordingly. We're talking everyone from your spunky five-year-old all the way to your seventy-year-old mom to everyone in between.
3. Ask questions—and get answers to—random stuff that comes up.
When you have kids, life is always serving up interesting surprises, like weird rashes, sprained ankles, or stomach bugs. Sometimes you might not even be sure if it makes sense to bother the doctor with your question or if you should haul your child into the doctor's office. What's a parent to do?
You'll find concierge doctors practicing family medicine welcome your questions via phone, email, and text—no matter the day or time. You might even find that your doctor is open to doing a Skype call so he or she can check out your child's pesky rash, for example.
Now, we're not suggesting that you won't have access to doctors in traditional practices. You will have access, but you might not get as speedy a response from a PCP. Because your concierge doctor is handling fewer patients, however, he or she has more time to respond to emails, return phone calls, and hold the occasional Skype session for non-urgent questions that inevitably come up when you have a house full of kids.
4. Experience the occasional house call.
Not all concierge doctors make house calls, but those concierge MDs who do make house calls provide an added benefit. Imagine being able to have your little one seen from the comfort of his or her bed instead of having to trek into the doctor's office. Talk about making life easier!
5. Enjoy one point of contact for your whole family's medical needs.
In addition to having a staff and doctor who gets to know you and your family, you'll also come to appreciate having one point of contact for everyone's medical needs. This makes coordinating any other care, such as a hospital stay, so much easier for you and your family.
6. Learn the wonders of preventive medicine.
Again, we're not saying that traditional healthcare models don't care about preventing illness. But traditional healthcare practices are so busy attending to 2500+ patients that it can be challenging to spend quality time on the preventive medicine discussion. Not so with a concierge medical practice.
Again, it all goes back to the reduced caseload. This alone makes it easier for doctors to spend more time with each family member when they're sick and when they're well so that the doctor and patient can continue to create a long-term plan that keeps the patient healthy.