How Personalized Medicine Works
Personalized medicine, also known as concierge medicine, is a relatively new concept of medical care in which patients sign up for a membership to a physician practice. In exchange for a monthly or annual fee, the patient is guaranteed certain levels of access, and the knowledge they will see physicians within a reasonable time frame.
Though the stereotype of concierge medicine is of a doctor rushing out to make house calls, the avaialble of the doctor is actually only one small part of the equation. The most important service, in many concierge doctors’ eyes, is the ability to develop an ongoing relationship between the doctor and the patient.
Their vision is to provide a comprehensive medical service that allows patients to get to know their doctors, and find consistency with their personal medical treatment.
Compared to other physician services and the inaccessibility of many doctors these days, this level of care commands a strong premium over “traditional” family practices.
Those premiums can run up to several hundred dollars a month, and this membership-style setup typically includes all standard care for the course of the year, but does not include any specialist work needed, for example x-rays, CAT scans, or bloodwork.
Do You Need A Concierge Doctor?
At the end of the day, is this the new hot trend you absolutely must grab on to?
Yes and no. There are certainly major benefits for hiring a private physician group as your personal doctor, but it is by no means necessary.
For many patients, the retainer is a small price to pay to know that they will be able to see a trusted face if and when the need arises, and that’s a level of security that is worth it.
If you can’t afford the premiums however, you shouldn’t feel like you’re getting second class medical care by going to a hospital. Remember, all of the physicians are trained by the same standards, regardless of whether you’re in the ER or the comfort of a private practice.