By Daniel R. Jasper, MD, Specialdocs Client
When I made the change from a large, busy hospital-based primary care practice to a personalized care concierge model in 2013, the health care landscape was already starting to crumble under the weight of escalating demands. I experienced it every day, recognizing that patients who needed to see me couldn’t or saw a nurse practitioner instead. No matter how smart or efficient I was, it wasn’t possible to provide patients with any more than a cursory evaluation in the fleeting amount of time allocated.
One case I still remember well: an elderly patient dealing with three different cancers slowly walked into my office 10 minutes late for a 15-minute appointment. Toward the end of this already too brief visit, his wife mentioned that he was also experiencing short-term memory loss. This, coupled with the complexity of his other conditions, made it impossible to conduct an appropriately thorough evaluation and I reluctantly asked them to schedule another appointment some weeks out. The reality was that this patient was far from an anomaly but represented the everyday challenge of trying to make a broken system function.