A Personal Message From Dr. Alcuri
Dr. Steve Alcuri, and I am writing this for you myself, to give you a moment or
two of honest reading.
I could put a menu of office services in this section like other practices do, but that wouldn't really tell you anything about us or what we do, now, would it?
Instead, I am going to begin by painting an all-too-familiar picture, which I will name, in honor of an old Marx Brothers film, "A Day At The Doctor." I do this because, for many of you, a visit to the doctor may bear a striking resemblance to a Marx Brothers Movie:
The waiting room is decently appointed and comfortable - a pleasant enough place to while away a morning or afternoon...and it should be, because six other people have the same appointment time as you, and it's anybody's guess when you will be called.
When you finally are called, you see several office staff, one after another. They are pleasant enough, and competent at their work, but have little knowledge past their specific job. They can explain to you what they are doing, but not what it means.
Then, you get to see the doctor.
He looks like he's really in a hurry...because he is.
He looks like he has something else on his mind besides you...because he does.
His nebulous greeting makes you think he doesn't know your name...because he doesn't.
He keeps looking back to your chart, as if he can't remember anything about your medical problem...because he can't: although this is your fourth visit for this problem, the doctor who saw you the last three times is in another office today. This doctor knows only what's in your chart - which isn't complete, because these doctors are so busy they dictate their chart notes instead of write them, and the office transcriotion service hasn't entered the notes from your last visits yet. Or perhaps those notes were sent to another office. No one seems to know.
You wanted to discuss the results of a lab test that was ordered a month ago, but - you guessed it - the report is at another office, and no one where you are today knows anything about what's in it.
The doctor spends a moment or two with you, then tells you briefly what other staff members will be doing for you after he leaves.
One or two more office staff. Perhaps some printed material the staff can give you, but not explain to you. And you're done.
I don't practice that way.
Sure, it's a very business-efficient way to run a practice, and, like the management journals recommend, "gets patients through." But I think there should be more to this profession than just getting patients through.
It's faster, and less costly, to manufacture a chair on an assembly line, than to craft one by hand. But the final result is a cheaper chair.
In the same vein, it is less expensive, and more cost-effective, to run a medical practice on the "large model" as I have described above. But I believe that, past a point, such a model dues not function well.
Why would any doctor even consider practicing that way? I can answer that question in two words: Managed Care.
A discussion of the damage managed care has done to medicine in this country, is beyond the scope of these pages.
For now, let it be enough to say that we believe medicine should not have to work that way, and we will make our stand against it, so long as we are able.
If you are tired of the treatment I know so many of you have experienced of late...
If you are tired of getting health care from a "provider," and would like to go back to seeing a doctor...
If you find being regarded as an "insured life" just a little bit insulting...
Then give us a call. We would very much like to hear from you.