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About Concierge Or “Boutique” Medicine

A recent piece in The New York Times wondered if the few patients who can afford to pay for additional attention and access to their primary care doctors in a concierge medicine or boutique medicine practice might be ethical since the extra dollars are used to support the traditional primary care practice that the vast majority of patients currently receive. 

Questions you might ask are:

- What is a concierge medicine or boutique medicine practice?
- Is it worth the money?
- Is the care better quality?
- Is it possible to get similar access and care by doctors not in a concierge or boutique medicine practice?

When you think of a concierge, you think about a fancy hotel staff person who answers questions and speaks various languages, books reservations to restaurants, events, and tours (even sold-out attractions) — right? The hotel concierge is your insider, someone who possesses intimate knowledge of the city and recommends must-see sites like a true local. You are personally cared for and pampered. Imagine, then, your physician providing the same attentive service. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Saving Money and Surviving the Healthcare Crisis*

Fixing Up Primary Care: Is Anyone “Home?”

love Don't live here anymore... by Robb North via Flickr

By John Henning Schumann, M.D.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka “Health Care Reform”) signed by President Obama in March will revolutionize primary care in the United States. By 2014 tens of millions of uninsured people will “enter” the system by being granted insurance, either through expansion of the Medicaid program or through mandated purchasing of insurance via state pools or the private market.

This alone will have a profound impact, straining the capacity of our already frayed system. Therefore, embedded in the law are funds to encourage growth and improvement in primary care: Incentives to encourage graduates to enter primary care fields (family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics) and practice in underserved areas (through scholarships and loan forgiveness), and money to re-format the way that primary care is practiced and paid for. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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