Doctors still do make house calls
Could it be? Doctors who make house calls?
Yes, indeed – right here in Carson Valley.
Two Valley physicians, Kirkland White, MD and Joseph Heflin, MD have decided to join forces and form House Call Doctors to fill in where other health services cannot.
“We are hoping to compliment the existing doctors here, not to compete with them,” Heflin said. “We feel there is a definite need here for our services.”
White said doctors often tire of working in the “factory-like situation” of a larger medical facility, making the option of becoming a house call doctor more and more attractive. He and Heflin came together rather serendipitously.
Neighbors in Fish Springs, Heflin and White were separately brainstorming the idea of starting a house call practice at the same time. One day, White was walking in the neighborhood when Heflin happened by in his car and stopped to say hello.
“I was walking along thinking about how I could start a house call practice and Dr. Heflin came along and said, ‘Hi. I’m thinking about starting a house call practice,’ and I couldn’t believe it,” White said. “‘Count me in,’ I told him,” and the duo started planning the merger.
White, a board-certified family physician did his residency in North Dakota, working for the United States government and the Chippewa Indians after completing his training. He came to work at the Washoe Tribe Health Clinic in Woodfords in 1987 and eventually left that position, moving to the Valley five years ago.
Heflin, a board-certified internal medicine physician, has practiced in the Valley since 1989 and was the first internal medicine specialist in the Valley. He was in solo practice for five years, worked for Job’s Peak Primary Care for three years and is currently a full-time emergency room doctor at the Carson Valley Medical Center. He is also a ring doctor for boxing matches in most of Northern Nevada.
Heflin will be working part time at House Call Doctors while White will be full time.
The pair will be practicing primarily during daylight hours and plan to work around the time demands of the community, White said.
“A lot of patients would prefer to have medical care in the privacy of their own home,” Heflin said. “Patients don’t have to be housebound – we’ll treat anyone of any age.”
“We want to provide unrushed, personal care in the patient’s home, office or workplace,” White added.
White and Heflin have authored a mission statement which reads, “The House Call Doctors believe that the old time tradition of a physician house call can be united with modern medical practice. Our goal is to provide the best of both worlds to the people of Carson Valley by bringing a caring doctor into their homes, offices and work places.”
Patients with life-threatening situations should not call the House Call Doctors, both doctors stressed.
“If you wake up at 3 a.m. with a severe belly pain, don’t call us – go to the emergency room,” White said, explaining that the doctors will not be carrying the equipment needed for emergency care.
Visits to the House Call Doctors should be covered by most medical insurance plans, including Medicare, Heflin, adding that prices will be comparable to visits to other Valley doctors.
For more information, call 782-2880 or fax 782-8483.
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