Sunday, August 4, 2013

Concierge Medicine

I have been watching a TV series lately entitled: "Royal Pains". It's a story of an E.R. doctor who was relieved of his job because of the death of a wealthy patient under his care (who apparently was an important financial contributor to the hospital). Hank (Mark Feuerstein) finds himself in a local community together with his brother, Evan (Paulo Costanzo) and Divya (Reshma Shetty) offering their medical services to the wealthy and the working class as an efficient, on-call medical team - Hank Med.

Hank's skills extends beyond the usual impression of what a doctor is, because he can practically use any ordinary household item as a simple medical instrument to address any medical emergency. His quick-minded, resourcefulness, witty but unassuming personality is what endears him to the residents of the Hamptons.

I thought that it was boring at first, but after watching a few episodes it wasn't bad at all. It just goes to show that medicine shouldn't be only "confined" in the four walls of a hospital, because medical care can be literally made available to the public by bringing healthcare to them. It seems that concierge medicine is revolutionizing medical practice and providing options for doctors and patients alike.

The series somehow reflects life's mysteries wherein our plans aren't always fulfilled the way we envisioned it and just when you thought your life is crumbling right before your eyes, a door of opportunity opens up and it's your call if you're going to walk through it or not.

In Hank's case, he was practically hesitant about the whole idea of being a concierge doctor and being uprooted from his E.R. duties, but it worked out pretty well for him and has settled in his newfound home.

He even got involved with a female doctor who decided to stay in the Hamptons and planned to set up her own medical concierge service. Evan and Divya of course were uneasy with the relationship because of a probable conflict of interest.

Nevertheless, what's a TV series without a slice of twists and turns, right? The characters themselves contribute to the richness of the episodes - like Evan's overly-optimistic and aggressive marketing pursuits for which Hank can be quite apprehensive and adamantly against. Divya's tenacity and dedication to her job as Hank's physician assistant as well as her upfront, no-nonsense attitude and Boris the billionaire's stern, secretive and sometimes demanding ways adds to the hue of the colorful story line amidst the random and unpredictable medical issues that Hank Med attend to.

Doctors have a tremendous responsibility of saving lives, some of them pursue and answer their calling to serve while some do it for the fame and feed their egos. It's good to know that there are still some doctors who don't lose their sensitivity and warmth toward ailing patients and sincerely want to help them get through their ordeal, despite their stressful and demanding profession.

Royal Pains offers viewers an entirely fresh perspective of medical practice and health care. It also conveys a relevant message that patients are not mere "medical cases" (despite the stubbornness and impossible behavior of some) and shouldn't be treated as such.

The ideal it seems is not what the real is, but Hank Med of Royal Pains reflects a reality that hopefully a lot of medical professionals emulate.

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