Factors in the HealthCare Partnership

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Many patients regard their relationship with the doctor as a key component of medical quality. The relationship requires that the doctor can invest time to get to know you, your overall health data, and your particular health needs. The top factor, chosen by participants in a national survey was "personal attention." Some influences on whether to stay with a doctor include:

Personal attention of physician 60%

Time doctor spends with patients 38%

Truly understands and responds to needs 37%

Focused on health and wellness 34%

Easy to get in quickly 29%

Short/no wait times 9%

If these factors are also important to you, you'll be looking for a practice that allows the doctor-patient relationship to flourish. Inevitably, that means the doctor has to have more time and fewer patients. A smaller "patient load" is the foundation of concierge medical care.

At WellcomeMD, for example, each doctor sees a fraction of the number of patients he or she would have at a typical practice: less than 20 percent. Some concierge offices carry higher numbers of patients-per-doctor, however. You will want to ask.