Every Friday morning, Brenda Minor, M.D., a primary care physician with North Shore Physicians Group (NSPG), laces up her sneakers and joins a group of patients at the Northshore Mall or a nearby park for their weekly “Walk with a Doc” walking club.
Sometimes they chat about health and wellness topics or someone might ask about their medication, but many times they just talk about what’s going on in their lives. “The walking group has been a great way for me to get to know my patients on a different level, while helping them to incorporate more exercise into their lives,” explains Dr. Minor. “Things will come up in conversation that they might not mention in an office visit, which gives me a better insight into their overall health. It enables us to be more proactive and prevent health issues before they become a bigger problem.”
“Walk with a Doc” is just one of the new services that Dr. Minor has been able to offer since fundamentally changing the way she manages her practice. In early 2012 she and two other NSPG physicians—John Szymanski, M.D., and Maurice Greenbaum, M.D., became affiliated with MDVIP, a new practice model that enables them to reduce the size of their practices but adopt a more personalized approach to medicine.
“By practicing medicine this way, we as physicians get to know our patients much more intimately,” says Dr. Greenbaum. “We gain a deeper understanding of their health history and can look at things in a more holistic and preventative fashion.” Patients, who pay a $1,500 annual membership fee, enjoy an enhanced level of service that includes same- or next-day appointments, comprehensive coordination of acute or chronic illnesses and 24/7 access to their physician by email or cell phone. Patient appointments run no less than 30 minutes and often last an hour so that patients can discuss their medical concerns in more complexity. An extensive annual physical and comprehensive wellness plan are also included in the program.
Patients and physicians describe MD VIP in this video:
“I see this as an investment in my health,” says Danvers resident Burnett Crateau, a longtime patient of Dr. Minor and a member of the walking club. “The health assessment I received at my physical made it well worth the expense, and then on top of that, I’ve been happily surprised with the extra group activities. It’s helping me do things I wouldn’t do on my own.”
Judy Tanzer from South Hamilton puts it this way: “This program and the increased access to Dr. Minor has given me more awareness of my health. I’m healthy and I want to stay that way. This connection gives me the peace of mind that my doctor will be there for me.”
This latter point, Dr. Szymanski says, is important to emphasize in today’s increasingly complex healthcare environment. “As part of this program, we will oversee each patient’s care across the entire continuum, whether it’s a consultation with a specialist, a hospital visit, home care or rehab,” he explains. “We will act as the single point of contact for other caregivers and family members, which makes the whole communication process much easier and less stressful.”
The benefits of the concierge-style practice extend to the physicians as well. “I had thought about scaling back a bit, but now I can focus on providing care more thoroughly to a smaller number of patients,” says Dr. Minor. “It’s very invigorating at this point in my career to be able to invest so much time in my patients.” The lighter patient load leaves her more time to organize wellness events and lectures on nutrition, complementary therapies, yoga and other exercise options.
To learn more about the benefits of NSPG’s concierge medicine practices, or to make an appointment, please contact:
Maurice Greenbaum, M.D.