About DR. HICKS
continued from the About page
. . . The wood was tied to a length of string, so he could wear it the contraption around his neck, and in that hole he had placed the bottom of a broken coke bottle. Yep, you guessed it, in order to see with any detail he would hold up that triangle of wood and peer through the coke-bottle glass to be able to see better.
I remember him to this day. He had a small cataract, but after testing his vision, dad said lenses would still dramatically improve his vision. We dug into the box, found a pair of glasses with lenses that equaled his needed correction, and fitted them so they would fit. He opened his eyes and saw the other Navajos who watched with interest what we were doing. Tears began to well up in his eyes, and he mumbled something I couldn’t understand. His translator told us that for 65 years he had never clearly seen the detail of his people’s faces.
I had wanted to be an airline pilot when I was younger, but ironically my vision was so bad it disqualified me from flying for either the airlines or the military. The impact of helping this old Navajo chief see for the first time drilled into my mind the power of medicine to make a difference in people’s lives.
To truly impact the lives of others through medicine, a relationship must exist between a patient and their doctor. In fact, for years the fun I had practicing medicine derived from the satisfaction and contentment that came with building authentic, lasting relationships.
But insurance companies don’t allow doctors to operate that way. So after selling my two urgent care centers to a local hospital, I worked part-time for a division of BJC. One day I was called into the "principal’s" office and told by the department chairperson that I needed to speed up -- see patients faster in order to see more patients – because the budget required it. I explained why I needed to spend more time with each patient in order to help them. He replied, ‘I know you want to, and the patients love you for it, but that’s not the point . . . ’
Seriously? That's not the point!?!
Well, maybe not for insurance companies . . .
. . . But that sure is the point for me.
Medicine can be practiced within relationships using a membership model of medicine like I've established here with Direct Patient Care St. Louis. In fact, I love this article on the “Marcus Welby” vision of direct primary care.
If you appreciate spending enough time to get all your questions answered,
then DPC was made for you -- and I’m your guy.