There are plenty of things we let go of in our lives, things we can put off until later: finishing that book on the bedside table; meeting a friend we haven’t seen in months; zapping the crabgrass that’s popped up between the flagstones. But keeping an eye on our health shouldn’t be on that list. Still, staying on top of our well-being isn’t always easy. And it’s not always a matter of making the time to see the doctor; sometimes, it’s the doctor not having the time to see us. Faced with a generation of physicians ripe for retirement and a younger cohort juggling more patients than they can manage—and burning out from increasingly onerous administrative responsibilities— even the most proactive patient has to work harder to be their best. For some of us, the antidote could well be concierge medicine.
Concierge medicine—sometimes called boutique medicine—is a membership-based service emphasizing personalized care and immediate accessibility. The first such practice was established in the 1960s and today there are thousands following this concept, among them, Dedication Health, with offices in Winnetka and Wilmette. Offering around-the-clock phone, email, and text access to its physicians, same-day appointments, and thorough assistance in scheduling referrals with specialists and coordinating diagnostic testing, Dedication Health was founded by Dr. John E. Croghan, triple-board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Rheumatology and Geriatric Medicine.
“At Dedication Health, we not only offer our vast clinical experience and expertise but memberships are limited ensuring that our patients receive the full commitment and attention of our staff,” says Dr. Croghan. “We are very proud to have created a stress-free medical environment focused on service and excellence, unlike today’s large health systems that typically see a new patient every 11 minutes.”
At most primary care offices, a physician may be responsible for as many as 2,000 patients. The doctors at Dedication Health see no more than 500 patients each. “The numbers-driven, conventional care model puts the physician-patient relationship at risk,” notes Practice Manager Christine D’Amico. “What brings people to Dedication Health is our quality-of-care-driven model. Prioritizing a meaningful physician-patient relationship, timely access, personal service, and focusing on whole-person healthcare results in better health outcomes.”
Dedication Health’s roster of five doctors provides expertise in internal medicine, critical care medicine, women’s health, pulmonary disease, rheumatology, and geriatric medicine. The practice’s facilities feature a lab, state-of-the-art imaging services, and a Coumadin Clinic offering same-day results. But the heart of the practice is a commitment to personalized attention and clear, immediate communication. “Before being our patient, a young woman was misdiagnosed at her University clinic,” relates D’Amico. “Once involved, we could access and assist virtually, getting her on the right track until she could get home for an in-person visit with us. Another example was a desperate, overwhelmed woman who came to us with scans that indicated she needed two surgeries. At the time, she couldn’t get in touch with her primary doctor to answer questions or help guide her on how to proceed. We were able to provide professional advocacy, develop a specialist team, create a care plan together, and coordinate the surgeries to meet her needs.”
Incisive analysis and effective resolution are key to any successful enterprise, but perhaps nowhere else are these as critical as in healthcare where patients’ needs may be complex and prolonged uncertainty can adversely affect their daily lives. Thorough, timely attention can make all the difference. “At Dedication Health, we are constantly working to develop and implement innovative solutions to ensure the highest quality of patient care,” states D’Amico. “As our lifestyles and health and wellness mindsets continue to shift and change, healthcare needs the flexibility to evolve in unison. Our approach is less about making tweaks to conventional healthcare and more about trailblazing how we view comprehensive acute and preventative medicine in general.” Sounds like a good prescription.
Dedication Health has offices in Winnetka and Wilmette. For more information, visit dedication-health.com.