By Dr. Sarah Allen
The impact of COVID goes beyond the physical impact on millions of people who contracted the disease. COVID changed what patients expect from their healthcare providers, and it forced these providers to change how they deliver their services.
Patients were educated during COVID that telemedicine and concierge home visits are reasonable replacement options for healthcare needs. The industry is seeing a shift, with providers transitioning from brick-and-mortar offices. Concierge medicine is now an affordable option for most patients.
However, providing those services is a challenge, as hospitals and physician offices are faced daily with staffing challenges, limited resources to provide access, and the inability to train more staff faster.
Physician and nurses are tired of the endless shifts and being responsible for a higher number of patients, which is usually more than a single provider can safely manage. Frustrations are high. Providers don’t feel they are providing quality bedside care like they were trained or called to do for their communities.
I wasn’t immune to these feelings. I found myself in private practice burnout during COVID. And I knew my patients weren’t taking care of themselves as they should. So, I began with an idea to bring self-care to the home.
Patients are seeking nonsurgical medical and therapeutic options as part of their self-care regimen. It’s a modest, less invasive, and less expensive way to invest in your relationship with yourself. We all tend to put others first or allow schedules to crowd out our personal care routines. Concierge providers have the time to listen to their patients and understand what meets their needs best. This allows a provider to be your advocate not only for injectable treatments to improve your self-confidence, but also to encourage healthcare maintenance, more frequent skin checks and sunscreen education to reduce the risk of cancer.
One of our providers shared this with me. “Stress and working in a job of low satisfaction have driven many of us to walk away from traditional medical practices. This new approach allows us to keep practicing medicine and, most importantly, serving patients in our communities.”
And several of my patients have told me that this kind of relationship with their provider is how medicine used to be. One said, “They listen and guide me through a healthy approach to looking better. I feel confident and ready to tackle what’s next because I took 30 minutes for me.”
Our greatest concern is that women are told they are not enough. We want patients to know that they are beautiful just the way they are. It’s important to take care of their health and wellness. When you feel good, you feel good, and we know you change communities through the work that you do, whether that is receiving a promotion, volunteering at a nonprofit, supporting your family, or passing it on to others.
Early aging can catch any of us off guard, mostly caused by environmental factors and the stress that we feel in our daily lives. Stress affects us all and it shows whether we want it to or not. I want to promote an overall positive experience, one where aging well and gracefully happens through good self-care programs.
Sarah Allen, M.D., is the founder and CEO of The Skin Clique, the first and only national medical concierge aesthetics practice comprised of Physicians, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. The Skin Clique improves access to medical grade skincare and to providers that offer a personal aesthetic care plan. More information is available at theskinclique.com