Looking for DocFri, 28th Apr '23, 1:00 pm::
While looking for a local doctor in our new hometown of Woodstock, IL, I came across this story of the "Last Doctor Standing", written by author R. Salvador Reyes, about his father in 2013. While Juliet is getting great care for her chronic conditions at all the local Northwestern Medicine (NM) facilities, she really wanted a personal-touch of a local doc who cares. Alas, that is becoming a rarity and this essay gives a behind-the-scenes look at how we got here as a country.
Growing up in India, we had a family doctor, "Dr. Patel". He treated our entire family at his clinic and sometimes even at our home. When he retired, his son took up the mantle and "Dr. Patel" continued to take care of our family. Knowing that there is someone nearby whom you can trust for any health issues, especially when the time comes to get a referral to a specialist, is so incredibly important. I miss that feeling of comfort.
On the flip side, both Naveen and Leela see the same Pediatrician and Leela absolutely adores her Dr. Pae. Any time she randomly coughs, she instantly gets excited and asks, "Go to Dr. Pae?" If we're lucky, Dr. Pae will stay at the local NM hospital for a long time. I wish she treated adults too!
While Juliet and I can see a general physician at NM anytime, it could be any one of the 4-6 different doctors. So although we get great care, it doesn't feel like seeing "Dr. Patel". Not sure how else I can explain this without sounding like an old man whining about the "good ol' days". I am inadvertently trying to recreate feelings from my childhood in the modern day, across the world. But I'm realizing that, as Sal wrote in his essay, "the small town family practitioner was a vital part of the social fabric," the keyword here might be 'was'. I might look for a Concierge medicine practice but not sure if that will suffice.