November 2012

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live in good health Medical WINNER On a Mission to Listen Voted BRAVA readers' favorite physician, Dr. James Long of Group Health Cooperative shares his philosophy on urgent care By Kelsey Bewick You're sick. You drive to urgent care, sign some forms and wait 45 minutes to see a doctor who's in a doing the opposite: Listening to patients' thoughts on their condition and treating them in a timely manner. It's this common sense, compassionate approach that makes Dr. Long a local favorite. hurry to see you and move on. So much for urgent care, right? Wrong. Dr. James Long of Group Health Cooperative's urgent care sees his role as What led you to work in urgent care? Prior to moving to Madison, I was a family doctor in a small practice. For 25 years, I [did ev- erything from] emergency room care to delivering babies to assisting in surgery. I realized if I could get rid of the midnight to 5 a.m. shift, it would add years to my life. When my family and I found this opportunity at GHC, we made the move five years ago. What do you think it is about your approach to patient care that makes you so popular? A famous physician, William Osler, once said, 'If you listen to what the patient says, the patient will give you the diagnosis.' I practice attentive listening and I ask directed ques- tions to further hone-in on the diagnosis. What is the most rewarding aspect about working in urgent care? Every person I see is having a bad day. Nobody gets up in the morning and says, 'Oh, I'll be sick today!' I want to provide an accurate assessment of their condition, timely treatment and return them to their normal state. That's the art of doing this in a caring and compas- sionate manner. 12 BRAVA Magazine November 2012 READERS' CHOICE PHYSICIAN James Long, GHC Emmett Blahnik, Next Level Clinic Pam Sprecher- Glaka, GHC Runners Up: Must-Haves Dr. Long's (mental and material) necessities for at-home care Communication: "I think the most important thing in a well-stocked first-aid kit is not material, but rather a frame of mind," Dr. Long explains. "It's a comfort level [people] have in being able to call their provider at any hour of the day or night." Whether you're not feeling well, you WINNER READERS' CHOIC READERS' have a pain, you're concerned about a mysterious red mark, or just generally wondering whether or not you should be concerned, Dr. Long says an open line of communication is by far the best tool you can have. Thermometer: In the vast majority of the population, the presence of a fever is an important, easy-to-obtain fact that a provider needs to determine how much illness there is. Instead of saying, "I'm burning up!" it helps to determine the severity of the illness with a thermometer. Band-Aids: A cut that bleeds is a portal to infection; controlling the bleeding and covering the wound lessens the risk of complications and infections. Gauze: Useful in controlling a larger open wound and bleeding, gauze is great to have on hand while you wait for proper medical care. Antiseptic: Any time you scrape or cut yourself, it's usually with something that's dirty; antiseptic, such as peroxide or hand soap, allows for immediate cleansing and can lessen the risk of complications, such as infection, and help the wound heal quicker. Photo by Sarah Maughan

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