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Time for you. A typical physician has 3,500 patients. A typical concierge physician has 600 patients. WellcomeMD physicians only have 300 patients... which means that we always have time for you.

We Are A Team Our job does not stop with good advice. We create, manage, and help you execute a plan for your optimal health. Because we always have time for you. 

What is concierge medicine?

Concierge medicine re-organizes how your family doctor's office works in order to provide more attentive, more personalized care for patients.

Personalized Health and Changing Health Care

You may have heard of "membership medicine," "retainer medicine," or a "concierge medical practice" in the news or from friends and wondered about it. Unlike many aspects of medical care, this subject is not at all complex. We will explain how this increasingly popular form of primary care — family care — works. And, if it is available in your community, why you might consider it as an option.

Concierge medicine re-organizes how your family doctor's office works in order to provide more attentive, more personalized care. The principal problem for most doctors in recent years is they have increasing numbers of patients to see but less time to take care of each of them — and that problem is growing.

What Kind of Relationship Do I Want With My Doctor?

Both patients and doctors are looking for solutions. "The doctor shortage is real — it's significant," a medical association president said recently.

"Doctors rush through appointments as if on roller skates to see more patients and perform more procedures," one report concluded. Under these conditions, medical care can become more reactive rather than proactive. It may emphasize treatment of symptoms, rather than ways to prevent illness and maintain good health. Higher-quality health care requires a strong, trustful, unhurried doctor-patient relationship — and a new environment for achieving them.

Factors in the Healthcare Partnership

Many patients regard their relationship with their 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: "Personal attention." 

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 300 patients, a fraction of the number of patients he or she would have at a typical practice and half the number of a typical concierge practice.

Preventative Care -- Worth a Pound of Cure

A medical practice that emphasizes preventive care requires consistent, deep knowledge of your unique health profile. The most effective treatment unfolds in this context of wellness, rather than a narrow consideration of momentary symptoms alone.

Some doctor's offices now schedule only 30 minutes for your annual physical examination. But this exam is regarded as an indispensable window into your health by concierge practices. A "gold standard" physical can take up to 2.5 hours, including a detailed discussion with your doctor about diet, exercise, medications, and opportunities for health improvement.

How Does Concierge Medicine Work?

The goal of concierge medicine is to re-establish the kind of personal relationship with your primary care physician that once prevailed in American communities, while taking optimal advantage of the many advances in treatment and technology that have been made since then. You become a member of a concierge practice by enrolling with the doctor of your choice and paying an annual fee, which allows a concierge doctor to see a much smaller number of patients. 

It provides more of that precious ingredient of quality care: the doctor's time with you, and knowledge of your health history. Your concierge practice should make it possible for you to be in much closer touch with the doctor, via email and even by cell phone in case of an emergency.

A Trend in Americans’ Health Decisions

More physicians are establishing concierge practices each year, thanks to the twin promises of fewer patients and the ability to offer higher quality care. A Physicians Foundation survey found that nearly ten percent of owners of standard medical practices planned to convert to the concierge model, joining thousands of other doctors who have already converted.

Patients also seem increasingly concerned about the state of primary care in the U.S., and a surprising number indicate that they are ready for change. A market research company found that 13 percent of those polled said they would pay a fee for a more attentive medical practice — on a national scale, that is about 31 million American adults.

Only for the Affluent? What Concierge Patients Really Pay For

When they first appeared more than a decade ago, concierge practices had the reputation of being only of interest to the wealthy. That may have been because a handful of concierge practices charged extremely high fees. And, too, the concept of paying any kind of fee for physician access was unfamiliar. Most concierge practice fees are far less than that, however, and the unfamiliarity is fading. The "wealthy-only" rumor should fade away, too. In fact, concierge practices enroll truck drivers, school teachers, sales personnel as well as those with higher incomes — a broad range of vocations and income levels.

At WellcomeMD,  we emphasize our thorough annual physical examination, which includes a series of tests to chart changes in a patient's profile. They are the foundation for effective health recommendations. Our fee is comparable to what you pay for a cable TV subscription or cell phone service. Consider the cost of avoiding a preventable disease, the value of early detection of serious health problems, and ready access to a doctor who knows you, as well as medicine. The return on this investment will be apparent for many.

WellcomeMD’s Approach to Concierge Medicine

  • A "waitless" waiting room

  • Same-day appointments

  • Physician access day and night, seven days a week

  • Half-hour appointments (or longer, as needed)

  • "Gold standard" annual physical examinations

  • Fitness and nutrition counseling

  • Coordination of specialist care, and referrals

  • The doctor can go with you to see specialists

  • Hospital visits

  • Assistance with a second opinion for treatment options

A Checklist for Considering Concierge Medicine

If you’re weighing the possibility of membership in a concierge practice, take a moment to answer these brief questions about your current health experiences...

  • Can I easily obtain a same-day appointment with my doctor?

  • Has my doctor worked out a list of health goals for me, and how to accomplish them?

  • Do I spend only a very few minutes in my doctor's waiting room?

  • Is my doctor, or an on-call doctor, available 24/7?

  • Can my doctor greet me by name?

  • Is my annual physical exam thorough, and does the doctor go over the results with me, in detail?

  • Does my medical practice offer fitness and nutrition counseling in coordination with the doctor?

  • Does my doctor seem rushed during our conversations, with "one eye one the clock?"


Free “What is Concierge Medicine?” eBook

Our free eBook will explain WellcomeMD’s approach to concierge medicine and how it can benefit you and your family. Download your copy today.


Write here…

Dr. Ingrid Liu has practiced family medicine for nearly 20 years and has provided care for thousands of patients of all ages. She prides herself on being a caring, passionate physician with excellent communication skills and knowledge.

Dr. Liu is proficient in all aspects of primary care, but holds a special interest in women’s health and travel medicine. She is also capable of providing guidance in obtaining the Illinois medical cannabis registry identification card for qualified conditions.

 

WellcomeMD Chicago
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