Magazine article Medical Economics

Doctors Who Go the Extra Mile: Michael Degnan, MD: Always an Open Door, Always Enough Time

Magazine article Medical Economics

Doctors Who Go the Extra Mile: Michael Degnan, MD: Always an Open Door, Always Enough Time

Article excerpt

He doesn't bother with an unlisted phone number "Around here," says Mike Degnan, "if a patient couldn't reach me by phone, he'd just come right to my house in Haines City, FL."

In fact, patients do. It's clear from talking with this 40-year-old FP and with some of his patients that there are no closed doors, time shackles, or monetary prerequisites in his practice.

Degnan's patients praise him for listening carefully and examining thoroughly-traits that have enabled him to make diagnoses that eluded their previous doctors. He removes the prickly part of a local wild plant from inside a 3year-old's nose, to the amazement of the child's mother, who says three previous doctors had provided expensive treatment for "chronic sinus infection."

He suspects a hiatal hernia is responsible for the symptoms that have long plagued one of the "snowbirds" who spend winters in Haines City. The elderly patient's wife recalls: "The doctors back home either ignored him or couldn't find the problem. But Dr. Degnan immediately ordered tests that proved he was right."

Degnan relieves patients not only of nagging medical conditions, but also of their frustrations with the medical profession. He has been known to offer marital counseling when patients divorce, and to attend their funerals when they die. He invited a lonely elderly patient, whose spouse had just died, to join his family for Thanksgiving dinner.

In 1993, Degnan launched a free clinic for uninsured kids. "My original idea was to provide a well clinicshots and other preventive medicine," he says. …

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