Medical Care in The Villages

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  #1  
Old 02-18-2011, 10:16 AM
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Default Medical Care in The Villages

The following is nothing more than a personal assessment of general medical care in The Villages. My own experiences, biases and opinions shape the tone. It is meant to do no harm but rather to encourage the focusing of energy into improving our system. I would be delighted if but one future Villager found it helpful in some way.

Five or is it six years ago, when we purchased our home in the Villages, a concern was the quality of medical care available here. We were getting long of tooth and leaving the Northeast's world class care options like Columbia-Presbyterian, The Kessler Institute, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and others. Over many years we had established relationships with a wide assortment of medical professionals we have great confidence in.

When we first arrived, we realized that medical care in The Villages was going through growing pains and a metamorphosis of sorts. After research, trial and error, we found a great General Practitioner. At that time it wasn't easy because it seemed like no one was taking new patients. Since then, we have secured quality medical and dental care that we are very confident in. In some cases, the exchange of medical information here on TOTV was very helpful. We also discussed options with our new GP, friends and neighbors.

Initially, reports on hospital care suggested mediocrity at best. We were advised by many including medical and emergency service professionals to go to Leesburg Hospital for emergency heart and medical treatment. Since that time, we have witnessed positive changes in the level of emergency care at The Villages Hospital. I recall a public recognition and acknowledgement of the problem by hospital administrators. There were staff and leadership changes. It appeared someone was paying attention. The same sources that suggested Leesburg as the first option, now say improvements have placed The Villages Hospital on a par with their sister care center. Personally, I now have confidence in both facilities. They are part of the Central Florida Health Alliance. Someone more conversant may want to explain the relationship in more detail.

I guess that recent comparisons would be based on personal experience. On that note, I did have an emergency admission at The Villages Hospital. First, on entry to the hospital, I routinely reached for my insurance card and was waved off and told we're going to take care of you first. That is a first for me. I was then promptly taken to an examination room where in less than 5 minutes I was being examined by a physician. I realize that every experience may not be the same, but if my treatment was more typical than not, I would have to say the experience was exceptional. I have heard of many positive reports and a few that might not agree. On balance there seems to be more positive than negative.

Medical care is a very personal thing. In that regard, The Villages offer an extraordinary number of options. There are abundant specialty alternatives available. All of them are easily accessible....most by golf cart. If you haven't gone to the doctor or dentist in a golf cart......it's different.

Arguably, our town is the most rapidly growing community of its kind in America. Consistent with that distinction are growing pains that surface when medical services try to keep up. Mistakes are made. Markets, watchdogs and balanced media should play a role in molding and elevating the caliber of care. Energy, especially at our age, is likely better spent on improving the system then wasted on blanket vilification of what is wrong. When I was young and very angry over a chain of events, my father told me to step back. He then said, "Never tear something down unless you can offer to build it better." I know, almost every body's father told them that at some time in their life. Our fathers were very smart. They must have gone to school together. Here's to our fathers and building it better.

If you got this far, thank you for indulging the ramblings of a Villager with no tee time today.

Have a great day.

Last edited by cabo35; 02-18-2011 at 10:49 AM.
  #2  
Old 02-18-2011, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo35 View Post
The following is nothing more than a personal assessment of general medical care in The Villages. My own experiences, biases and opinions shape the tone. It is meant to do no harm but rather to encourage the focusing of energy into improving our system. I would be delighted if but one future Villager found it helpful in some way.

Five or is it six years ago, when we purchased our home in the Villages, a concern was the quality of medical care available here. We were getting long of tooth and leaving the Northeast's world class care options like Columbia-Presbyterian, The Kessler Institute, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and others. Over many years we had established relationships with a wide assortment of medical professionals we have great confidence in.

When we first arrived, we realized that medical care in The Villages was going through growing pains and a metamorphosis of sorts. After research, trial and error, we found a great General Practitioner. At that time it wasn't easy because it seemed like no one was taking new patients. Since then, we have secured quality medical and dental care that we are very confident in. In some cases, the exchange of medical information here on TOTV was very helpful. We also discussed options with our new GP, friends and neighbors.

Initially, reports on hospital care suggested mediocrity at best. We were advised by many including medical and emergency service professionals to go to Leesburg Hospital for emergency heart and medical treatment. Since that time, we have witnessed positive changes in the level of emergency care at The Villages Hospital. I recall a public recognition and acknowledgment of the problem by hospital administrators. There were staff and leadership changes. It appeared someone was paying attention. The same sources that suggested Leesburg as the first option, now say improvements have placed The Villages Hospital on a par with their sister care center. Personally, I now have confidence in both facilities. They are part of the Central Florida Health Alliance. Someone more conversant may want to explain the relationship in more detail.

I guess that recent comparisons would be based on personal experience. On that note, I did have an emergency admission at The Villages Hospital. First, on entry to the hospital, I routinely reached for my insurance card and was waved off and told we're going to take care of you first. That is a first for me. I was then promptly taken to an examination room where in less than 5 minutes I was being examined by a physician. I realize that every experience may not be the same, but if my treatment was more typical than not, I would have to say the experience was exceptional. I have heard of many positive reports and a few that might not agree. On balance there seems to be more positive than negative.

Medical care is a very personal thing. In that regard, The Villages offer an extraordinary number of options. There are abundant specialty alternatives available. All of them are easily accessible....most by golf cart. If you haven't gone to the doctor or dentist in a golf cart......it's different.

Arguably, our town is the most rapidly growing community of its kind in America. Consistent with that distinction are growing pains that surface when medical services try to keep up. Mistakes are made. Markets, watchdogs and balanced media should play a role in molding and elevating the caliber of care. Energy, especially at our age, is likely better spent on improving the system then wasted on blanket vilification of what is wrong. When I was young and very angry over a chain of events, my father told me to step back. He then said, "Never tear something down unless you can offer to build it better." I know, almost every body's father told them that at some time in their life. Our fathers were very smart. They must have gone to school together. Here's to our fathers and building it better.

If you got this far, thank you for indulging the ramblings of Villager with no tee time today.

Have a great day.
Dear Cabo.

I found your post insightful, considered, personal and food for thought. Medical care was and is a huge consideration for us in making the move here to a full time home.

I believe that several years ago the doctors who practiced around this area did not have the education and background that I would choose as....excellent. I am a person who has been called a doctor picky person.

Now someone is going to say that there are good doctors who don't graduate from the top five medical schools in this country and I will agree. But, there are people in the the lower fourth of the class, people from another country who are getting established and other medical personnel who just couldn't get a position at a prestigious medical facility. They often start in small rural areas. And many of them become excellent. And some don't.

So when my loved ones have life threatening physical problems I want the best available. I have learned a lot about cardiac surgery, renal surgery, and cancer care and I feel satisfied that the people who are close to me have received the best that we could give them.

As this area grows to be as big as many cities in Florida, it is attracting more skilled medical personnel. So our growth is very good to improve the medical care in our area. I think it is good now and getting better every day.

I learned early on that you have a much better chance to survive if the doctor and facility have seen many, many, cases of the exact malady that you have. That is the reason that I was always told to seek a large teaching hospital for Helene's severe congenital supra valvar aortic stenosis. We did. She is here with us. I want to keep the good times going.

You are right Cabo. It is personal. We don't have time to get a medical degree when we are diagnosed with cancer. We have to seek the best care that we can get.

Many areas with population of 100 thousand people have more than one facility for cancer, heart, arthritis, eye surgery etc. etc. I think the competition keeps them seeking higher accreditation....and we can't lose sight of the fact that medical care is a business.

Just my very personal view too.
  #3  
Old 02-18-2011, 11:23 AM
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Two well thought out positions. thanks!
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:28 PM
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I greatly appreciate Cabo's positive spin. I am lucky enough that I haven't yet had to seek emergency medical care, but I am comforted that the positives of "our very own" facility are better and better.

I know any number of folks who have been here since even before the hospital was built. Most of them also came from where world-class hospitals were the norm or where teaching hospitals were It. Unfortunately, many of them still think all medical practitioners in The Villages are fourth class! It saddens me, but they're set in their minds, so who am I, also set in mine, to disabuse them?

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  #5  
Old 02-18-2011, 08:48 PM
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Thanks for sharing of the thoughts. I for one appreciate the sharing of thoughts here.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:58 PM
Dennis Ga Dennis Ga is offline
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Default Medical Care in The Villages

As a newbie and just wishing I could move this year and not next, I want to say a big thank you for what you said. As those of us from big cities with medical conditions that need care, and are now under control, it is good to hear that the care is getting better all the time in The Villages. The one fear that I have is finding GOOD Doctors and from my time a good GP is the one you see the most and they will give you names of Doctors that they think are good as they want to keep you coming to them. Just joined but been reading since last Sept.
  #7  
Old 02-18-2011, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Dennis Ga View Post
As a newbie and just wishing I could move this year and not next, I want to say a big thank you for what you said. As those of us from big cities with medical conditions that need care, and are now under control, it is good to hear that the care is getting better all the time in The Villages. The one fear that I have is finding GOOD Doctors and from my time a good GP is the one you see the most and they will give you names of Doctors that they think are good as they want to keep you coming to them. Just joined but been reading since last Sept.
I've been working in a medical practice for the past year. We have dozens of providers. And you know what? Every patient says the same thing "I think I have the best doc in this place". It's human nature to think that you've made the right decision when it comes to your own health care.
  #8  
Old 02-19-2011, 12:18 AM
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Default Cabo, you're not alone ...

Unfortunately, I don't live in TV, I only rent for one month each year. But, I want to second your opinion of TVRH Emergency Dept. Two years ago I fell, hitting my head on pavement, and had lots of bleeding. Upon arrival at the ER, I was quickly taken to an exam room and treated. Like you, it was within 5 minutes. While I did need to flash my insurance card at reception, my insurance information also wasn't taken until I was medically discharged. That was a first! I hope to never need another visit to the ER, but if needed, I would not hesitate to go to TVRH ER.
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  #9  
Old 02-25-2011, 01:39 PM
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I have over 35 years of health care experience. The quality of care at The Villages is about average. It approximates the quality in smaller communities. It is good for bread and butter issues, but travel to a university medical center for anything out of the ordinary.
  #10  
Old 02-25-2011, 02:05 PM
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Thanks for the insight...sent you a PM. We all need to share our info and opinions....yours was particularly well thought out!
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2011, 04:48 PM
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I moved to The Villages "Belvedere" 7 years ago and there wasn't a Southern Trace or even a grocery store, we had to go to Albertsons on 441. Now in 7 short years we have a first class hospital, many physicians and now we are getting a MOFFITT. Someone pinch me, this is the most wonderful place on earth. ...I am very happy.
  #12  
Old 02-25-2011, 06:16 PM
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Thumbs up The Villages Regional Medical Center

I was down in JANUARY and interviewed a Nurse recruiter for my own decisions on where I want to work. She anwered my questions honestly. Then I was allowed to tour with the captain of the 600 volunteers, the floors that I was interested in someday working. I found that the atmosphere to be inviting and not so stressed as some of the other hospitals were. It is my goal to work for the Villages Regional Medical Center now. When you get to talk with the actual employees, one can see why they chose to work there also. I want to work where the employees are proud and happy with their work. Actually cannot wait to work and care for the people of the area.

Also, I met Gracie and she is as gracious as one gets !!!
  #13  
Old 02-25-2011, 06:34 PM
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Gotta jump in here as I needed to find a provider fairly soon after we arrived here due to some medical issues that need routine monitoring. I was blessed to find people fairly quickly...not always an easy task in a new area, for sure. We live here permenantly and I don't have the ease to return back to where we came from...which would be nice but costly. I have to say..so far I've been impressed with the medical providers I've encountered. As someone shared here..."perhaps it is 'bread and butter' kinds of issues" and ne could/should go to a larger facility if needed for special issues. Having said that...the town we came from had a very good, but small hospital. We always utilized it even though within a 1/2 hour driving time there were 4 other much larger ones (one even a teaching hospital). Many in our town would opt for that drive but you know, I heard MORE stories of mistakes etc. re: those hospitals than I did from our smaller one. "IF" the doctor's felt a patient needed a specialist they would always refer them out. I'm very relaxed about choices here in our new home!!!!
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:08 AM
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Question Request for Doctor Recommendations.

We are fairly new here to TV and have heard some horror stories about the medical profession here. Now that we are full-time villagers, we need to get established with a new physician and dentist. May we have some names which you would recommend. Thank you.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:27 AM
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We are fairly new here to TV and have heard some horror stories about the medical profession here. Now that we are full-time villagers, we need to get established with a new physician and dentist. May we have some names which you would recommend. Thank you.
I asked around right away (also thinking about horror stories of FL physicians) and was given Dr. Burris's name in Lady Lake. I see his nurse practioner, Sylvia Wallace. I've been very happy with that decision. She will refer me out to the people that address various issues (physical therapy etc)

I also asked around (at my church mostly) regarding a dentist. I heard good things about Laural Manor Dentistry (Dr. Still) and went there. Was VERY impressed with the care received!!

Have had some back issues so went to Dr. Daniel Spurrier's seminar and ultimately made an appointment with him and now am getting great care. He's conservative, NOT knife happy! I'm currently dealing with it through a pain management provider.

I'm sure there's a plethora of good providers here! As someone else stated as T.V. grows it will draw more "world-class" people and we'll have many to choose from that will have great qualifications. I always check where they were educated and what their credentials might say as well. The internet is a great way to do this checking!! Also IF you hear more than 3 or 4 complaints by word of mouth about someone...that would be a red-flag for me for sure!! A sour word here or there might just be just that--sour grapes.
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