Dr. Paresh Goel Seeks to Humanize the Doctor-Patient Relationship Through Direct Primary Care
Paresh Goel, MD says the current medical system is dehumanizing to both patients and doctors, he proposes that the direct primary care or concierge medicine model provides a better alternative.
Scottsdale, Arizona–(Newsfile Corp. – May 9, 2023) – The COVID pandemic has shed light on a crisis in doctor’s offices, which is something that has been festering for years. The growing shortage of medical professionals has made getting an appointment at the doctor’s office arduous. It is not unheard of for a patient to wait months before getting to see a doctor, only to have a 10-minute appointment where a couple of pills are prescribed before they’re sent on their way.
Paresh Goel, MD, president of Desert Mobile Medical, describes this situation as dehumanizing for both patients and doctors. Patients are increasingly treated as numbers or metrics, rather than people. Most patients are seen as a medical record number for billing and coding and a tick box on a doctor’s chart. He believes there’s a lot of discordance between how patients view physicians, and the healthcare industry as a whole, as opposed to a bond and a true doctor-patient relationship.
“Usually, a doctor’s visit can be summed up as: ‘Here’s your disease, and here’s your prescription for relief of this problem’ and that’s it. I think that this works in a backward fashion. The industry is tackling the symptoms as opposed to addressing the root cause.”
Dr. Goel adds that in most clinics, patients don’t necessarily see the same physician each time they visit, and things often get lost in the mix. Most of the appointment with a new doctor is spent catching up with the patient’s medical history, leaving little time to make progress. Patients can also not identify with a single physician and build trust and camaraderie with them.
According to Dr. Goel, he encountered this dehumanizing situation firsthand, which inspired him to found Desert Mobile Medical in 2018. The organization provides concierge medical services and direct primary care to patients in the Greater Phoenix Metro Valley Area. In the direct primary care model, the doctor is the one who travels to the patient’s home or office, eliminating the need for patients to spend time in a doctor’s office and have others coughing or sneezing on them. This is especially relevant today, as communicable diseases are at the forefront of people’s minds.
Through a membership-based direct primary care model, Desert Mobile Medical allows physicians to spend more time with patients and eliminates a lot of the paperwork it deems unnecessary. According to Dr. Goel, this model returns primary care medicine to its root values of clinical excellence for and compassionate knowledge of every patient, also providing accessibility, convenience, and affordability to them.
Dr. Goel adds that the direct primary care model is also beneficial to doctors and other medical practitioners, resulting in more humane workloads. The pandemic has led many practitioners to opt for early retirement, while others were unable to pay their overhead and closed down their offices. This put a huge stress on healthcare systems and clinics that remained open.
“I think we’ll see happier, more content physicians, rather than the stressed out physicians the system has today. Most physicians see anywhere between 25 to 50 patients a day and experience declining revenue based on reimbursement year after year. Something has to give, and doctors are forced to reduce the amount of time they’re spending with each patient. I think we’re dealing with a fractured system and the bottom has yet to fall out. But it’s coming in the future.”
When a patient signs up with Desert Mobile Medical, the physician that’s allotted to them is the one who will see them on every visit, whether through virtual telemedicine or in person. Initial evaluations of new patients last around an hour to an hour and a half.
Desert Mobile Medical also focuses on preventative healthcare, covering almost everything about a patient, including nutrition, lifestyle modifications, imaging, and lab work, as well as different types of treatments that are available.
“I’d rather have things done naturally, as opposed to always initiating pharmaceutical medication. Lifestyle modifications can be as simple as reducing caloric intake in order to lose weight. But we also look at exercise and sleep hygiene, as well as many different factors that are directly related to chronic medical issues like anxiety, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Getting down to the root cause is of utmost importance.”
Dr. Goel believes that direct primary care and concierge medicine can initiate a change in the healthcare system and lead to better outcomes for patients and improved working conditions for doctors: “I think a human approach to medicine has to start with the physician’s mindset. All physicians have gone through similar training in medical school. But when we get out of training we’re bombarded with coding, billing, reimbursement – a lot of daunting paperwork. But, if we’re able to make a change at the root level; recruiting physicians right out of residency training before they get distracted by admin and paperwork, then I think we can change the paradigm of medicine as a whole.”