How the Patient Relationship Differs
When we talk about the difference between the care you might receive from a concierge doctor or a primary care physician in Philadelphia, it's important that we state something up front: as a whole, doctors—regardless of the medical model they work in—are smart, caring people focused on helping their patients.
In other words, we're not judging the doctors' medical credentials or compassion. That said, the type of relationship you develop with a concierge doctor would likely be quite different from the one you develop with a PCP.
Concierge physicians can devote more time to each patient.
This is a fact based on simple math. Primary care physicians typically carry 2500 patients. Concierge physicians typically carry no more than 600, which means that the concierge physician has more time to spend with each patient.
When you're forming a relationship with someone, trust is an important foundational element, and time helps foster trust. The more time you spend with the person and get to know him or her, the more comfortable you become and the more trust you develop, which is important when dealing with sensitive medical information.
Concierge physicians work directly with the same patients week-to-week, year-to-year.
In traditional medical models, you don't always see your PCP at each office visit. You might see the nurse practitioner or another doctor within the practice. This isn't a negative thing per se.
In concierge medicine, on the other hand, you usually see your doctor for each visit. This makes for a seamless experience, since you don't need to waste time getting your doctor up to speed on who you are or your specific needs—your concierge physician already knows.
Concierge physicians are more accessible after hours.
Within concierge practices, it's common for physicians to share their cell phone numbers and email addresses with patients. This means patients can reach their doctors directly at night, on weekends, or during the day when they have questions.
We're not saying you can't contact your primary care physician after-hours—PCP practices have answering services, after all. But an answering service is not the same thing as reaching your own personal physician when you need him or her.
Concierge physicians have more opportunities to work with you when you're healthy.
When you work with a doctor in a traditional medical model, you often reserve office visits for when you're sick or for yearly physicals. With concierge physicians, you're encouraged to see your doctor when you're well so you can develop a personal wellness plan that keeps you healthy.
Below, Dr. Perkins, one of our concierge physicians at Total Access Medical, discusses how concierge medicine affects the relationships he's been able to develop with his patients.
Is concierge medicine right for you? Download our free guide.