Sunday, June 22, 2008

Old Fashioned Touch

From The Olympian in Washington State: "Old-fashioned touch: Micropractice helps doctor humanize modern medicine"
Dr. Marius Laumans strives to run an old-fashioned medical practice with modern-day conveniences.

Need a same-day appointment? Patients can go to his Web site, check his availability and schedule one.

Wondering if an over-the-counter allergy drug could mix poorly with prescription medication? All of Laumans' patients have his cell phone number and e-mail address and are encouraged to use them anytime.

Too sick with a stomach bug to get out of bed and drive to his office? Not to worry, he makes house calls, too.

"Thirty years ago, this was what a regular practice looked like," Laumans said.

The 34-year-old family physician is one of a growing number of doctors who are opting to go solo - without the support of receptionists, nurses, medical assistants, billing clerks and cleaning staff.

Dr. Laumans is indeed part of a growing movement of IMP (Ideal Medical Practice) doctors that seeks to improve quality of care as well as quality of life for patients and physicians alike. However, this article perpetuates the old concept of "micropractices" being completely solo-solo operations. Many IMPs start out without any employees, then add staff later as the practice grows.

And there aren't 500 micropractices/IMPs in the country...yet. But hopefully there will be. To find an IMP, go to