Throwback: Physicians Still Make House Calls

How often does a physician come to your house when you’re sick, tell you what’s wrong, prescribe medicine, and go on their way? Probably not as often as they did when your parents were children. The house call has largely gone the way of the dodo, but it hasn’t entirely disappeared. The reason for this shift in the way things work is simple: Money. Hospitals realized that they could make a lot more money by bringing all of the patients in as opposed to going from patient to patient. The result can be seen any time you look at a new hospital and see a $20 million renovation. But there’s good news; physician house calls are still around! While the majority of doctors have given up on visiting patients in their homes, plenty still do. Importantly, it’s not just specialists — there are plenty of primary care physicians who still make house calls

Key Points:

  • 1Doctor house calls have largely gone by the wayside, but there are more doctors willing to visit your home than you might think.
  • 2For young primary care physicians, house calls are a viable way to start a practice by establishing a stronger bond with patients and making the doctor look good.
  • 3Consider asking your physician if they do house calls and if they do not, ask for a referral.

The house call has largely gone the way of the dodo, but it hasn’t entirely disappeared.

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