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At your service - Era of the house-call doctor makes a comeback

Never forget that it is not pneumonia, but a pneumonic man who is your patient.  ~William Withey Gull

When doctor’s house calls phased out in the 1970s (fewer than 1 percent of physicians made them), so did people’s belief that doctors genuinely care about their patients. Tyler Woods, who writes “Retroflections” on, says doctors now are “robots for the insurance and pharmaceutical companies.” In his column “When Doctors Made House Calls,” he says, “Once upon a time ago doctors were really doctors. These caring souls believed in medicine and their patients.”
Tyler: I am going to restore your faith in doctors. House-call doctors are back; I’ve talked to this type of doctor—not the ones that ring resident’s door bells, in a literal sense. But the type that back in the day, would’ve mounted a horse to ride miles in the cold-night air to the suffering patient. Sounds like I’m romanticizing, I know.
These doctors work with a belief system that makes their jobs less about whether the patient comes to them, or they go to the patient, and more about healing people—medicine at its core. And you’ll get to know them in my blog posts.
One of the problems with healthcare right now is the media hyper-focus on what’s dysfunctional. Yet behind that are phenomenal physicians in win-win situations; they are making a difference for others and their careers. Hearing their stories are rare. But we always feel a sense of security when we hear about a doctor that gave not only his skills, but himself, to his work.
Tyler: you said that your hat goes off to house call doctors and “those doctors who still offer that personal care and see us as people not a paycheck.” Hold onto your hat Tyler; there are doctors out there that serve with amazing grace. ​

Categories: 14;#Healthcare Trends;#8;#Locum Tenens;#12;#Physician

Mary Biljanic

Contributing Writer

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Bassam Rimawi MD  says:
February 07, 2012
This is an amazing story and is well written by Mrs Kennedy. Great job!!!