health and beauty

Concierge Medicine/LA:
Routine Medicine In Brentwood Goes Back To The Good Old Days

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In the 1970’s, Dr. Marcus Welby became a cultural icon as he solved patient depression, helped other clients with relationship problems or guided wayward souls through mid-life crisis and serious illness - apart from his office duties as a pediatrician. Predictably, each patient found resolution within the duration of a one hour show.

A generation later, many adults who recall Dr. Welby cannot themselves remember the last time they had an entire hour to ask their doctor anything, let alone speak to their doctor about lifestyle issues. Such is the case in this era of restrictive insurance coverage and hyper-competitive medicine.

- Enter Concierge Medicine
Concierge Medicine/L.A. was launched 18 months ago by Dr. Raphael Darvish whose approach to patient care is summed up thus: No insurance. No billing. No payments. No paperwork. No waiting. No hurrying. No headache.
Darvish brings a unique understanding to practical medicine. As a U.C. Berkeley alumnus and UCLA-trained doctor. Darvish is a fourth-generation internist who also holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Management. Darvish's impressive credentials belie his down-to-earth approach to his profession: He seeks to bypass the fog of insurance hassles and return the doctor-patient relationship to the bygone days of Marcus Welby's unhurried face-to-face interaction.

This type of boutique medical service, also referred to as "retainer" medicine, is gathering growing interest among middle-income patients who desire more personalized and pleasant medical care. "We seek to treat the whole patient more thoroughly than the 'factory model' of healthcare most common today," said Darvish recently in his Brentwood office.

For Darvish and his staff, this "whole patient" approach includes sharing advice on lifestyle and wellness issues with his clients and Darvish has even been known to go to lunch with his patients. Darvish also prides himself on his familiarity with the latest advances in preventive care and how he is quickly able to relate this information to his patients. Darvish explains that his guiding principle is to offer the type of treatment he would like for his own family.

Darvish's patients pay a modest annual fee between $1750 and $2900 directly to Concierge Medicine to secure a number of preventive and checkup services that normally aren't covered by some medical plans or require mountains of insurance red tape. Concierge Medicine also provides each patient with a "Presidential Checkup" modeled after the detailed annual medical checkup the President receives. This checkup entails a battery of tests of the major organs and detailed analysis of the patient's medical history.

Darvish and Concierge Medicine limits their patients/doctor ratio to about 10% of that of conventional practices, ensuring individualized care to each patient. Additionally, patients have 24/7 access to their personal physician via cell phone and same-day appointments in a Brentwood office that resembles a rizty spa more than a doctor's office.

Concierge Medicine's approach is finding greater popularity among increasing numbers of people of all income levels. And as
Dr Darvish continues to bring back the personal practice of medicine that has been only a t.v. memory, his patients look forward to getting back more control of their healthcare from the insurance companies. Marcus Welby would be proud.


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