MD Match: Meet your "Dr. Right" in Plainfield. Read more.
Edward event helps pair doctors with patients
By Rowena Vergara
Jan. 21, 2011
Maybe you've been in Sharon Phares' shoes.
A physician she was seeing moved offices, but she wanted to see a doctor that was still convenient for her. A health care provider gave her a few recommendations of internists and Phares went to work, calling them one by one. Easy enough, right?
"Every doctor I called either had their office closed, was not accepting new patients or was moving out of town," said the Naperville resident.
Lucky for Phares, she learned about an Edward Hospital event that matches prospective patients with their doctors-to-be.
Think of it as speed dating. But instead of sharing your wants in a companion or your idea of a perfect evening, you're discovering a physician's philosophy on treatment and maybe even confessing your bad eating or lifestyle habits.
Called "MD Match: Come Meet Your Dr. Right," patients spend five minutes each with a handful of physicians from Edward Medical Group, the primary care practice of Edward Hospital.
The first of four sessions this month was held Thursday evening at the hospital in Naperville. Sitting at tables, doctors waited for patients to visit with them, instead of the other way around. Most doctors scrapped the white coat for a casual suit. A few donned a stethoscope.
For Phares and her husband, the event allowed them to ask those simple yet essential questions patients always wonder about: What are your office hours? What is your area of practice?
"It's just nice to get all those questions out of the way," Phares said.
Another couple, Melissa and Jim Nolan of Naperville, said they have delayed finding a permanent physician after moving from apartments to a home. Plus, they're both in their 20s and healthy; medical care has been the last thing on their minds.
"We've put it off for far too long that we couldn't avoid it anymore," Jim Nolan admitted.
So the couple spent the evening getting to know doctors informally. On both sides of the table, stories of family and personal life were shared. A doctor had casually shared with the Nolans her relocation from the northwest suburbs to the Fox Valley years ago because she liked the school system out here.
Melissa Nolan expressed to the physician that she has been to immediate care enough times in the past that she was encouraged to find a family care doctor already.
Melissa also told the doctor she was a bit scared of needles and treatments in general, adding she was hesitant to get a flu shot.
Then she leaned in and asked: "So when you see a patient for the first time, what do you do exactly?" her full attention on the physician.
At another table, a quite famous doctor was sharing his experience as a longtime physician who used to operate a 1,500-patient practice, Dr. John Saran. Saran's name made headlines last year after the Edward Medical Group doctor delivered a baby boy on board a Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Salt Lake City.
Saran recently downsized his practice. He now spends about a half-hour with each patient as opposed to 15-minute sessions with 30 to 40 patients daily.
"I wanted one-on-one time with my patients," he told two prospective patients. Looking around the room, he added, "All of these doctors are great, A-plus, but the difference is the system."
Saran added that his downsizing has allowed him to treat patients more thoroughly, like he did out of medical school.
There are more chances for patients to look for their "Dr. Right" this month. Two more sessions will be held Jan. 27 at the Edward Plainfield Campus.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services