I have so many wonderful patients, and the one question I ask of all of them is, “How is your soul?” This is extremely important to me, because our spirit is just as critical to our healing as the food we eat, the sleep well get, and the medicine & supplements we take. When I started to think about the soul of medicine, I began to develop this concept of concierge medicine.
After working in different healthcare settings, I witnessed the workloads of our hardworking physicians. Patients only had so much time to talk about their issues before their appointment ended. There was just not enough time to cover all of the concerns of the patient. And the patient-doctor relationship suffered because of this.
You see, the patient-doctor relationship is based on connection. A patient choosing to speak about their weaknesses to another human being shows a great amount of trust and vulnerability. That connection becomes important as the doctor works to listen, then communicate their concerns and thoughts. Like a doctor, a concierge has the ability to listen, and can anticipate unmet needs of a client through developing that personal connection.
And a good doctor-patient relationship is also about the doctor’s ability as a connector. Knowing which resources to connect a patient to in order to heal is important. Again, we can use the example of a concierge as a connector to vital resources in medicine, too.
Possibly the most impactful component of concierge medicine is that the doctor travels to meet you, not the other way around. Harkening back to the good old days of the house call, a doctor will travel to where you are and meet your needs.
After all, your home is your place of rest and refuge. When a doctor comes to visit the home of a patient, instead of expecting the patient to travel to an office, the doctor sends a very powerful message. That message is: where the patient is can be a place of healing, and I recognize the healing power of that space.
Getting health back is more than going to a hospital to lie on a bed and rest. Healing requires a healthy soul, and a healthy soul finds very good rest at home, soaked up in the good memories and habits that make up our daily lives. This is why concierge medicine focuses on making the patient’s stay, wherever they are, an area where a doctor works.
In essence, concierge medicine is based on trust and respect. The ability to connect, on a personal and health level, can mean so much more when those tenets strengthen a connection. Remember that the space you are in can be a place of healing, and that your doctor contributes to that healing, too.