How to Choose the Best Concierge Doctor Near Me
Have you ever felt a virus kick in right before a long-awaited vacation? How about before a week full of important meetings?
There’s never a good time to feel bad — and when it happens, you want to see your doctor right away.
But what if you reach out to schedule an appointment only to hear that your physician is fully booked for the next two weeks? In conventional primary care, this is often the case.
Concierge medicine sets the bar higher, giving you quicker, more personal, better-quality attention close to home.
Perhaps you’re starting to wonder: “Hmm, is there a concierge doctor near me?” Let’s talk about what to look for.
The Concierge Model of Care: Not Like Conventional Care
As a patient of a concierge practice, if you become ill, a caring physician will diagnose you within a few short hours or less. If needed, your physician will also quickly prescribe medication to deliver relief.
How is this possible?
A concierge practice limits the number of patients it serves. With a smaller patient base, concierge doctors are more available to you, more focused on your needs, and more thorough with treatment and follow-up.
A concierge physician has the time to develop a deeper, more long-term relationship with you than you’d experience at a conventional practice. When I partner with a new patient, I do so believing we’ll be a team for at least the next 20 years.
Here at Signature Healthcare, we know speedy access to a doctor is vital. Our concierge doctors immediately and thoroughly respond to patient questions. There’s little or no waiting time for an appointment — a decided advantage, whether you have a cough and fever or just a very busy schedule.
We refill prescriptions promptly as well. Simply email or call your concierge doctor, who takes care of your prescription personally as soon as it’s received. Compare this with a conventional practice, where you have to sign into a portal or leave a voicemail with your request, then wait for practice staff to sift through hundreds of other messages, find your prescription, and process it.
Fewer Patients Means Quality Attention
Each Signature Healthcare physician supports a maximum of 350 patient members. In a traditional primary care practice, on the other hand, one doctor may be responsible for as many as 3,000 patients.
In my previous work at a conventional care practice, it wasn’t unusual for ill patients to wait four to six weeks for an appointment and for well patients to wait six to nine months for a physical. However, with Signature’s limited patient base, I typically see sick patients the same day and can schedule a member for a physical within the week.
Perhaps best of all, concierge doctors spend more personalized, high-quality time with each patient. In a traditional practice, physicians typically rush through a sick visit in about 15 minutes. In concierge practice, I see sick patients for as long as an hour, allowing for a thorough examination. And I may spend two hours on a patient physical vs. the conventional 30-minute checkup.
Deeper interaction with patients is a valuable asset. Over time, I get a good picture not just of their health history but also of their goals and lifestyle. With this knowledge, I can be preventive and proactive — rather than reactive — with their care.
What to Look for in a Concierge Practice
If you’ve been asking, how do I find the best concierge doctor near me, here are a few features to consider:
Choose a practice that’s independent of particular hospitals or health networks. For example, Signature Healthcare is intentionally not bound to any network, so we’re unbiased when we consider specialists or facilities for referrals. We act only in our patients’ best interests.
We have connections with superior specialists in our local community of medical professionals. I confidently refer my patients to specialists I know personally.
Look for practices where you’ll see a board-certified physician versus a physician assistant or nurse practitioner.
While PAs and NPs play vital roles in healthcare, physicians undergo more extensive training, particularly in diagnosing and managing complex medical conditions. This depth of knowledge and experience is crucial in primary care, where a comprehensive and nuanced approach is necessary to properly address the wide range of health issues patients face.
Medical qualifications are critical, but doctors are people, too, and they come with a variety of personalities. For a happy, trusting relationship that benefits your long-term healthcare, you want a concierge doctor you enjoy spending time with.
So, consider what sort of demeanor you’re looking for in your doctor. What clicks for you and your family? At Signature, we invite you meet with any of our doctors who have new patient openings, and choose the best fit for you.
In this pandemic age, everyone’s gained some comfort with the telehealth approach. It’s a handy option for patients who are too ill to leave home or perhaps traveling on business or vacationing in the mountains.
But in-person and local is still the ideal way to speak with your concierge doctor. That’s why the practice should be located close to you. Several times a week, we have patients request to be seen same-day, and many of them are just a 15-minute trip from their Signature Healthcare location.
Is There a Concierge Doctor Near Me?
If you live in the Charlotte area and want to know, “Is there a concierge doctor near me?”, we’re proud to report that there is.
Signature Healthcare is the gold standard in concierge medicine, offering high-quality, premium-level service in a caring, personalized way.
Our convenient location serves these Charlotte-area communities:
- Myers Park
- South Park
- South Charlotte
- Lake Norman
We look forward to exceeding your expectations!
Michael Warren Smith, MD
Dr. Michael Smith, MD, a dedicated internal medicine specialist, has been serving Charlotte families with distinction for over 19 years. A Wake Forest University alumnus and a devoted family man, Dr. Smith balances his professional life with a passion for golf, beach travels, Peloton rides, and cheering for ACC teams, alongside his wife, Dr. Erin Smith, their two children, and Bogey, their Golden Retriever.
Disclaimer: The insights and articles provided on this site are for educational purposes only and are created with the utmost care by healthcare professionals. The content is not intended to be a substitute for personalized medical counsel, diagnosis, or treatment from your healthcare provider. We encourage you to consult a medical professional for any health-related questions or concerns.