Dr. Tommy

Concierge Medicine Tampa Bay


Rediscovering the lost art of the medical consult.
Increasingly I've been seeing patients who are coming to me for a 'second opinion.' The symptoms vary, but a common thread is 'I want to know what's really going on, and what I can do about it.' This can be a challenging task because some of these patients have several doctors who have worked them up with beaucoup tests already, and still the patient is without answers. For these cases we set aside an hour for the visit, and I spend as much or more time prior to the visit reviewing records.

I like second opinion/medical consults because they take me back to the days of training when I was learning new things and broadening my skill-set. Sometimes the answer is hard to find, other times its fairly easy...once I've sorted through the data. What I've also found it that sometimes my answer is 'I don't know, but here's what we're going to do to find out.' Just saying that and assuring the patient that I actually care takes away a lot of stress and anxiety.

In our insurance-driven medical world, where billing codes and government dictates are of paramount importance, the patient often takes a back seat. It's estimated that 25-40% of medical overhead is spent on billing alone. That's the reason you wait for an hour for your appointment and that's why the doctor is in-and-out in 5 minutes. That's the reason for the long waits for an available appointment, and the frosted glass window. Typical family medicine practices see 25-40 patients a day. That's 4-5 patients an hour and its tough when you're doing family medicine: diabetes, hypertension, injuries, depression, back pain, and physicals.

Satisfying bureaucrats so that doctors can get paid is a huge investment of time and energy for insurance-based medical practices and often times the patient is left holding the brown end of the stick. So if you have a doctor in a insurance-based practice where you don't have these problems (long waits, rude staff, lack of communication) you better stick with him or her because they have moved heaven and earth to make your experience a good one. If you don't have one, come see me and we'll take care of it. Life is too short and your health is too valuable.