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‘The way medicine should be’

Manlius doctor follows national trend, makes the switch to personalized care practice

Dr. Chris Stringer stands in the waiting room at his private practice facility in Manlius. “The idea is that people don’t wait here very long,” he said, smiling.

Dr. Chris Stringer stands in the waiting room at his private practice facility in Manlius. “The idea is that people don’t wait here very long,” he said, smiling. Allie Wenner

— Essentially, a doctor who practices the personalized medical care will have fewer patients each day, which allows for longer appointment times as well as the ability to implement preventative care, among other things. Stringer said it’s not uncommon for him to see patients for 30 to 45 minutes for an office visit and an hour or more for a physical.

“You can’t diagnose complex problems and multiple issues very well in 10 minutes,” he said. “A lot of primary care doctors will take care of one problem, and if there’s another problem, you’ll have to come back again. When people have multiple problems, we take care of them the best we can, within reason.”

Additionally, Stringer’s patients have access to his cell phone number for 24-hour assistance in case of an emergency. They can schedule same-day appointments with little to no waiting. Stringer will see any of his patients’ family members from out of town if they need care. If a patient is on vacation, Stringer can use Skype to help diagnose what’s wrong. He makes house calls if needed. And finally, he will continue to take care of his patients once they’re in the hospital.

“We think it’s a disservice to the patient to not have the person who knows you best at your bedside when there’s a problem,” he said. “So we continue to see our patients in the hospital and with the changes in healthcare, it is increasingly unheard of.”

The catch is that in order for Stringer to be able to deliver this type of enhanced care, pay his employees and make sure he’s doing the best possible job, it all comes with a cost of $1,800 each year, or $150 each month, depending on how the patient prefers to pay. A complete physical and preventative testing are included, but patients still need to have insurance and pay their usual co-pay each visit.

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