You’re a busy mom with a whole lot going on each day. Between caring for your kids and transporting them to and from school, daycare and other activities, some days it’s all you can do to get everyone together at the dinner table.
Now add an illness or injury into the mix.
And let’s not forget about moms who work outside the home. This is sizable group, as according to a 2015 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 70 percent of all women who were employed or looking for work had children under the age of 18.
Whether you’re already employed and busy with the responsibilities of your job, or you’re working full time just looking for a job, it can be very challenging to access medical services when one of your kids get sick.
The challenges get even tougher if you’re a single mom, or if taking time off from work means bringing home a smaller paycheck. Choosing between going to work and hoping that your little one’s persistent cough will get better, or taking time off and losing precious income (maybe even your job) isn’t a coin any parent wants to toss.
For stay-at-home moms, there’s the challenge of finding a sitter for your other kids so you can bring your sick child to the hospital or doctor’s office. Or, even more exhaustingly, you drag them all to sit in a crowded medical center waiting room.
But ask yourself this: What if you had a doctor who made house calls?
You’re probably shaking your head and saying, “Really? Some doctors still do that?” A look at the history of healthcare in the U.S. over the past 200 years shows that doctors – with their trademark black bags in tow – traveled to see patients in the majority of cases.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 40 percent of all doctor visits in the 1930’s were house calls. By the 1960’s, this number had dropped dramatically; and by the 1980’s, only one percent of doctor appointments took place in the patient’s home. Despite the convenience, it looked like the era in which a mobile doctor would provide in-home care was ending.
It’s been only 30-40 years since house calls all but disappeared and office visits became the norm. As it took over, this new medical model, in which receiving medical treatment necessitated a trip to an office, required patients to adjust their schedules. Patients suddenly had to accommodate physicians, often spending a long time sitting idly in the waiting room and risking exposure to more germs.
I have long believed in offering personalized patient care. It is for this reason — and in the interest of improving patients’ quality of care — that I founded Doctors To You.
At Doctors To You, we believe that whether a patient is homebound or quite simply too busy or ill to leave home, he or she should still be able to access quality primary care.
A growing group of busy moms are swapping their existing regular doctors for those who will travel. In addition to the obvious benefits of privacy and convenience, other reasons why more moms are on board with house calls include:
1. More quality time with the doctor
The typical in-office doctor visit lasts about 10 minutes (not including the time spent in the waiting room). If you have a crying, fussy child, it can often be impossible to keep him or her still, let alone remember all the questions and concerns you want to address.
During a home visit, however, the physician usually spends about 45 minutes with you and your child. Instead of being rushed from the office, you get the quality time that you and your little one need.
2. The doctor is, literally, in the house!
Is there a doctor in the house? You bet there is. When physicians make house calls, they get the opportunity to observe the patient’s environment and spot items or issues that may compromise the patient’s health or recovery process. For instance, if your child suffers from asthma or allergies, the doctor can spot items that you should remove from your home.
3. House call physicians offer more flexible hours
Any house call doctor knows that moms and dads have busy schedules and can’t always make appointments between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm. That’s why doctors who offer house call services typically have more flexible schedules with expanded hours of operation.
4. Nap times and homework don’t get lost in the shuffle
Moms with more than one child often suffer the consequences of skipping one child’s nap so they can get the other child to the doctor’s office. For older kids who have homework, it can be pretty hard to concentrate while sitting in a crowded, noisy waiting room. When the doctor comes to you, you don’t have to disrupt the family’s schedule.
5. College kids who call homesick can get prompt care
If your child is attending school in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia or Maryland, you can rest assured that a board-certified physician is on hand to give your young adult proper medical attention. The young college student doesn’t have to spend a long night alone in the local emergency room or the urgent care facility — or deal with the high healthcare costs that will be reflected on the ER bill.
We know that cost is an important consideration. While Doctors To You doesn’t take insurance, we do provide care based on medical needs. We liken it to taking your car in to see a mechanic when it breaks down. You don’t call the mechanic and ask how much; you take the car in for him to “diagnose” the problem, and only then can the cost be determined. We believe that you should never have to forego the value of care for fear of the costs. Consider it a wise investment.
Here’s what some parents had to say about their children’s experience with Doctors To You:
6. Traveling in the DMV has one less worry
You’re in a hotel in the middle of Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia or Maryland with a sick child. You’re not sure where to go. And no one wants to sit and wait in an ER or urgent care in the middle of the night.
As an alternative, a house call doctor will speak with you on the phone first. Together you can determine if your child should go immediately to the emergency room or can be seen and treated right in your hotel room. Usually, a doctor can be there within 30 minutes to give you the medical care you deserve.
7. Chronically ill or physically impaired children can be treated in the comfort of their home
Children with serious chronic medical conditions that require critical apparatus like ventilators or feeding tubes don’t have to go through the ordeal of disconnecting from their equipment in order to get to their appointment. The child’s normal routine remains intact, and he or she will be more relaxed and feel more secure during the doctor’s visit.
Physician house calls are no longer a thing of the past. Busy moms and dads today can reap the benefits of house calls that their ancestors enjoyed.
The next time your little one — or yourself, for that matter — falls ill, contact Doctors To You at (202) 545-3300. One of our doctors will be happy to treat your loved one at your home, office, dorm or hotel room. This is just one simple way to take the pain out of getting better.