My Doctor, the Concierge

Forget the Hippocratic oath--welcome to a world of Gold and Platinum patients

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    Patients who pay an extra $5,000 a year can reach the doctor via office phone and email, but their return call is from the support staff. Patients who pay $10,000 per year may also reach the doctor via texting, Skype, Facetime and Google Hangout, and feedback is from the doctor, who will also make house calls.

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    There were other differences between the two plans. Platinums got house calls, 20% off on Botox, a complimentary session with a fitness trainer and "prompt telephone feedback with test results by [the doctor] herself."

    Presumably the Golds, with only $5,000 extra to spend, would be called by whoever--whenever they got around to it.

    Both plans, however, were eligible for "fast and easy prescription renewals" and "a dedicated support staff." All of which I seem to recall were always an expected part of going to a regular doctor. The letter contained no information regarding the availability of complimentary lollipops.

    In its new capacity as a concierge service, my doctor's website claims, her practice will traverse a medical high wire reaching from "congestive heart failure" to "muffin top."

    It's all making me rather nostalgic for the good old days of 2012--when I naively assumed doctors took the Hippocratic oath seriously. That oath ends, "May I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help."

    If this concierge trend continues, perhaps they'll update it to include "and for an extra $10,000, I will LIKE your rash on my fan page."

    Markoe won multiple Emmy Awards as a writer for Late Night With David Letterman. Her most recent book is Cool, Calm & Contentious.

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