Lose the Wait

Speedy appointments among benefits of concierge care model.

In early January, property investor Mitchell Pozin developed a persistent cough and other flu-like symptoms that made him feel weak and run-down. He became concerned enough to reach out to his doctor, who saw him within hours of his phone call. For Mitchell, this wasn’t the only time his physician came through for him in a clutch.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Feeling better now, Mitchell sits outside with his dog, Jax.

Mitchell’s doctor is Michael A. Zimmer, MD, a board-certified internist and head of The Zimmer Medical Group in St. Petersburg. Dr. Zimmer offers a model of medical practice called concierge medicine. This model is based on a limited membership, so physicians can spend more time with patients, allowing for more personalized care and quicker appointments.
“I called Dr. Zimmer, and he got me in that day,” confirms Mitchell. “He was concerned about fluid in my chest so he took an x-ray, which came back clear. He then gave me medication, including antibiotics.
“A week later, I still wasn’t feeling well, and I was done with my medication. I happened to be downtown, so I stopped into Dr. Zimmer’s office. He saw me without an appointment and checked everything again.”

Unrestricted Schedule

Under the traditional model of care, internists like Dr. Zimmer often see 25 to 30 patients a day, so their schedules are full. Because concierge medicine is based on a limited membership, physicians have fewer patients to see each day and are able to spend more time with each patient.
“Seeing fewer patients leaves more flexibility in my schedule for those issues that arise suddenly and need to be addressed right away,” states Dr. Zimmer. “There’s room for last-minute, work-in appointments, which would be filled in a traditional practice. This way, my patients don’t have to wait to get appointments.”

“I like the concierge service because Dr. Zimmer is one hundred percent available at any time.”- Mitchell

In the concierge model, physicians make themselves available to members not only through office visits, but also by email and telephone. They are also available after hours at night and on weekends.
“Mitchell needed to see me right away eighteen months ago when he was passing a kidney stone,” reports Dr. Zimmer. “I was able to get him in and promptly set up with a urologist for consultation and treatment.
“Then in January, he came in again, this time with flu-like symptoms. I did an analysis and an assay (in-office test), which I then sent to the lab and confirmed he had viral bronchitis. I was able to treat him promptly for that as well.”
“I like the concierge service because Dr. Zimmer is one hundred percent available at any time,” comments Mitchell. “Last year, I called him on my way out of town when I was getting ready to pass a stone. He was able to get me set up with an appointment and medication before my trip.
“Dr. Zimmer is well connected in the community. It’s not as if you go on a waiting list to get in to see a specialist. He gets on the phone and does it right then while you’re sitting there. It’s a huge benefit to have somebody take care of that for you.
“I’m very lucky to have Dr. Zimmer.”

Print This Article
    • Zimmer Medical Services

      The mission of Zimmer Concierge Medical Membership has always been to provide excellent, evidence-based, advanced medical care in a compassionate and individualized manner. We understand that the little details matter when it comes to your he... Read More

    • Michael A. Zimmer, MD, FACP

      Michael A. Zimmer, MD, FACP, is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Zimmer completed his undergraduate studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he grad... Read More