I Can’t Provide Around-The-Clock Care. When Will There Be Time For A Vacation?
By Michael Tetreault, Editor
APRIL 4, 2014 – In the event you would like to take a vacation, it has never been easier to call a physician colleague, pay them a fair rate for their on-call time for your time away and tell them … “I’m going on vacation for a week. I am going to give my patients your number in the event they need a doctor’s care. You will really enjoy them. They are very respectful and appreciate what we do as doctors by providing them with 24/7 service.”
Dr. Thomas LaGrelius of SkyPark Medicine in Torrance, California says “You will never regret being a doctor IF you work ONLY for patients. But if you don’t work only for patients, you will regret your decision in the end.”
According to surveys conducted by The Concierge Medicine Research Collective from 2009 to 2013, the question was asked of concierge doctors ‘How often do your patients call you after hours?’ (i.e. 5pm-8am, Mon-Sun). The findings were surprising to a lot of people.
- DURING NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS | (M-F) 8am-5pm – 76%
- AFTER HOURS | (M-F) 5pm-7am – 3%
- Weekends | 8am-5pm – 14%
- Weekends | 5pm-7am – 7%
Concierge and direct-pay physicians receive the majority of their patient inquiries and phone calls from their current patients during normal business hours (9am-5pm), Monday thru Friday. The vast majority of patients knew their doctor and respected their physician’s private and family life. Only in the event of severe emergencies were after hours calls requested of the physician.
“I made the switch many years ago into concierge medicine, or at least a form of it, and couldn’t be happier. I can provide better care and build a strong relationship with my patients. It definitely can be challenging since I make myself available 24/7. However, if you can develop a good support structure of other like-minded MDs/DOs you can maintain a successful business with less stress than a traditional practice.”
~Las Vegas Strip Urgent Care Clinic, January 2014