Washington Park Direct Care has come full circle since patients have been coming to the clinic.
In the late 1930’s or early 1940’s Dr. Parke and Dr. Galvin began practice here. The address was 208 Locust Street. A good number of our current patients have been coming to this office for over 60 years, and Dr. Parke was their first doctor. Dr. Parke’s era is long gone, but he began practice at the advent of Sulfa antibiotics, and during his time, surgical infections and postpartum maternal deaths dropped, and chemotherapy agents were being studied for cancer. Dr Parke’s practice was direct care. Patients came to see him, paid him up front and he invested himself in their lives. His notes were simple, a few lines, and to the right was the fee he charged. He did full patient care, as there were no emergency room doctors, hospitalists, obstetricians or orthopedic doctors.
Dr. David Williams, my father, joined Dr. Parke’s practice a year before Dr. Parke retired, in 1976. Dad took care of many of Dr. Parke’s patients, and established relationships with his own patients over his 31 years at this location. During this time the street name was changed to 208 Centralia College Boulevard. In the first couple of decades of practice, he did full obstetrical care, c-sections, newborn care, appendix removals, gallbladder, repaired hernias, performed hysterectomies and more. Office procedures done then are now operating room procedures done by surgeons. As his career continued, he had to give up surgeries due to the office demanding more time, malpractice rates going up, and the cost of doing business climbing.
Emergency room physicians replaced his needing to cover the emergency room, and in the last few years of his practice, hospitalists took over his role of managing his patients in the hospital. More and more control by malpractice carriers, government, insurance companies and medicare made practice more restrictive, more difficult to enjoy. His joy was taking care of his patients and being engaged in their lives. He moved into retirement as the pressures of computerized medical records pushed their way in.
Medical care that began in the 1940’s at 208 Locust Street has continued to stay patient focused. Our patients are more than just our patients. The transition to Washington Park Direct Care is meant to continue this legacy of care, while shrugging off that which so encumbered it over the years. We will continue to provide modern medicine with old-fashioned values – that is what medicine is meant to be.
To find out more about direct care, please go to: http://www.dpcare.org, http://www.dpcunited.org, http://www.primarycareprogress.org, http://www.Iwantdirectcare.com, or http://directprimarycare.wordpress.com.
Paul Williams, M.D.