Imagine having more than an hour of time with a medical doctor. Imagine getting the same day or next day appointment and the office visit costs as little as $50.
No - this is not an appointment with a veterinarian.
49 medical doctors are involved in the M.D. residency training program sponsored by the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.
They are working at the JFK Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Residency Continuity of Care Center in the Florida city of Atlantis in Palm Beach County.
Since July, 500 patients have benefitted from the new residency training program. It worked for 36-year-old Stacy Wallach. She had a two-hour appointment last week after being released from the hospital following a stroke.
Altogether the center has 19 exam rooms and a computerized medical record system. The patient first sees the medical resident then follows up with the attending physician who has a consult with the resident and patient in the room.
Medical residents appreciate seeing real patients and problems. Dr. Samer Fahmy, an attending physician, says they usually get the diagnosis right.
Wallace was pleased with her care. "I feel they really took the time to look at my case and make me feel better,” she told the Palm Beach Post.
Within a few years the program aims to impact the shortage of primary care doctors in the country. The program’s goal is to “prepare our residents to become the internists of the 21st century.”
In Palm Beach County, another preventive medicine pilot program, called Project Access, was established in 2005 by the Palm Beach County Medical Society to provide pro bono nonemergency care.
Doctors are involved from MDVIP, a privately-held firm in Boca Raton, which provides “concierge” medical services- personalized service to a limited number of patients who pay a membership fee.
MDVIP has placed 25 Project Access patients in their practices.
Both groups might benefit from the $10 million being offered by the philanthropic organization, X PRIZE Foundation, who along with the WellPoint Foundation, the nation’s largest health insurance company.
The prize is being offered to solicit the best ideas about innovative health care from individuals, employees, healthcare providers, and all consumers. #