As San Antonio has evolved, so too has the number of physicians. To give patients a better understanding of the current physician landscape, I will outline some of characteristics of my practice – location, experience, and innovation. First, location has become an increasingly important determinant of practice efficacy in the past decade. For many years, most San Antonio practices were based downtown or near the medical center. The recent population surge in San Antonio has necessitated that physicians become aware of the wide network that patients may come from and the preconceived notions that patients entertain about practices in certain areas. One recently pervasive example is the perception of Stone Oak as a “superior” area of medical provision. The belief is grounded in the notion that, on average, wealthier areas provide wholly better care. Although understandable, this viewpoint ignores many of the most important components of effective healthcare – experience and well-constructed support infrastructure. Both are embodied best by well-entrenched hospitals that have years of specialty-specific experience. Stone Oak is a relatively newly developed area with relatively inexperienced hospitals. Why does this matter? Many patients request a physician deliver services in newer hospitals. Repeated studies have shown that continuity of care, especially between physician and support staff, is a major determinant of favorable patient outcomes. To that end, I decided many years ago to keep my practice based in downtown. Metropolitan Methodist is uniquely positioned, it is located at the intersection of 281, I-35, I-10, and I-37. In many ways, it is the most convenient location for my patients to visit me. Also, it provides the ideal practice environment – a well-established infrastructure with years of experience but continued focus on innovation. Examples of this innovation include the extensive expansion of the Women’s Pavilion dedicated to female care and the introduction of DaVinci robotic surgery as a surgical option.
As mentioned above, experience and innovation are other essential ingredients to a successful OBGYN practice, especially in today’s age. How do physicians innovate while still providing quality care? Personally, I use continuing medical education, various journal updates, and an emphasis on a digital connection with patients to refine my professional experience. Interestingly, the latter has been one of the most fulfilling changes that I have personally experienced in the last decade of medicine. This renewed connection has expanded to include social media networks and review sites. These provide a dynamic connection whereby patients can communicate frustrations or satisfaction with parts of my practice and their experiences. This blog is another excellent example of the unique connection afforded by the digital evolution of medicine. Patients can gain an understanding of how physicians balance their commitment to patients with other requirements of their practice.
This brief entry allowed me to explain how medicine and my practice have changed recently. San Antonio is an exciting setting for these changes. The explosive growth, renewed focus on health in the city, and the promise of further economic development establishes San Antonio as a uniquely evolving locale for medical practices, especially obstetrics and gynecology.0