Metro Health helps women shop for doctors

November 29, 2010
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At a time when many people are focused on Christmas shopping, Metro Health is inviting women to shop for doctors.

Metro Health’s first-ever Shop For A Doc event on Tuesday will bring together eight ob-gyn doctors and 16 women to meet and evaluate each other in a gathering based on speed-dating, said Senior Marketing Specialist Jamie Barendsen.

“It’s a very lighthearted kind of way to approach a pretty serious topic,” Barendsen said. “Shop For A Doc is an engaging way to empower women to take an active role in their health care.”

She said she lifted the idea from a hospital system in Texas after reading about it in a trade publication.

The women and doctors will gather over the lunch hour Tuesday at the Professional Building in Wyoming’s Metro Health Village.

Each meeting between a prospective patient and a doctor will last four minutes. At the end of that time, the women will meet with the next doctor.

While one group of eight women is meeting with the doctors, the other group will be enjoying a free lunch. Tours of Metro Health’s Spartan Stores Family Childbirth Center will be available. Pre-registration is required. Visit www.metrohealth.net for more information.

The approach gives women a chance to review doctors’ personalities and ask questions to find the best fit, Barendsen said, rather than having to blindly make — and pay for — an appointment and perhaps be disappointed.

“Probably of all the areas and specialties of medicine, we’re probably the most personal specialty. Between a woman and her ob/gyn is a pretty personal relationship,” said Dr. Steven Lown, one of five doctors at Michigan Obstetrics and Gynecology who will be participating in the Shop For A Doc event.

He said he thinks it’s a good opportunity for women to meet a variety of ob/gyn specialists in a time-efficient manner.

“I’m always open to new ideas,” Lown said. “I think it is worth participating and seeing what it is all about. It might be a great idea; it might the worst idea. The only way to know is to try.”

Metro Health employs about a dozen ob-gyns, but about 200 have privileges at the hospital.

“We had more doctors sign up than we asked for. We had an overwhelming response,” Barendsen said

She said Metro Health is planning similar events for pediatricians and family doctors.

“Metro Health wants to change the experience of seeking out a new doctor to a positive, easy and comfortable one for patients,” added President and CEO Mike Faas. “Shop For A Doc is one way of doing this, and provides a great opportunity for community building between doctors and patients.”

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