When I moved here 18 miles from my home, medical director Dr. C. became my doctor. My hometown doctor of 13 years did not choose to follow me here. Dr. C. seemed capable and was a few years younger than me. When he suggested that I only needed to spend a month in the facility, I told him that I would need to live here or somewhere much like it for the rest of my life. I was pleased that he was positive about me, but I realized that we had to get to know each other.
Some residents have their own doctor care for them here. But many like me have Dr. C. as their physician. That may not be a problem for most residents, but it can be one for those who want to choose their physician. In this small community there are few physicians, so if you are a resident new to the area finding a local physician accepting new patients can be difficult.
Over the years family members have complained that their resident's physician, someone other than Dr. C., had not visited often enough. Usually, physicians see residents once a month.
The advantage of having the medical director as your physician is that he is available to be faxed or called any time so you have a better chance that he will get back to you sooner.
In the past some residents were transported to see their physicians. Though that does not seem to occur very often anymore, residents do have the right to go outside the facility to see a primary care physician.
Dr. C. and other physicians make drop-in visits to the facility. They see residents most of the time in their rooms. Dr. C. usually sees me the second week of the month. But if he is on vacation, that schedule can change. I do not really know what day or time he might drop in. Most of his visits are in the morning, but he can come in the late afternoon.
I think a large clinical room would be the best idea for a place for physician’s visits. It would be helpful to allow for privacy and a better examination. Some planners may feel a clinical room may make the nursing home look more institutional. However, I feel that anything that allows privacy and thorough care by a physician is a welcome change.