These New Primary Care Practices in N.C. Are Changing the Typical Medical Visit

The standard 15-minute doctor’s appointment doesn’t exactly encourage patients to ask a lot of questions and talk freely about their health with their physician.

If the single, brief time slot isn’t the best deal for patients, try multiplying it by 30 to get a sense of how big the challenges are for doctors. That’s about how many patients a primary care physician typically sees in a day.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. A new model for primary care is emerging. It’s called advanced primary care, and Neil Patel, MD, can attest to how much better it is for both patient and doctor.

“What could be more important to healing than the relationship we create with our patients?” he asks. 

Patel posed that question in a previous job as a primary care physician, when he was tasked with squeezing as many visits as possible into his work day. But those days ended when Patel joined Iora Primary Care, a primary care doctor’s office for adults on Medicare. Now, Patel, Iora’s senior vice president and regional medical director, and his team spend whatever time they need to help their patients improve their health. This unlimited time applies not only to office visits, but also to communication with patients before and after their appointments.

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