While being at the Siloam clinic, I have been privileged to experience what a house call looks like. House calls have been lost throughout the evolution of medicine. When I was younger, quite frankly, I thought that house calls were inefficient and a waste of the physician’s time. I used to think that pumping through patients was the way to best use the physician’s time. It makes perfect sense to have everyone come to the doctor because it eliminates the drive time of the doctor and allows them to stack patients so that they can see many throughout the day.
However, even though there are apparent disadvantages in doing house calls, there are significant advantages in doing them. For instance, the physician can take time with the patient without feeling rushed. This helps both the patient and provider to feel more comfortable in discussing the issues and ultimately leads to higher caliber care. On top of that, it allows the doctor to see the environment that the patient is in that can also contribute to health concerns. This practice is also a foolproof way to make sure that the patient is using their medication correctly because there is no way that they can forget to bring their medication to the appointment.
From a practical standpoint, it may not seem that house calls are a logical way to use the caregiver’s time, but I feel that medicine is far more than practicality. House calls force the provider into spending quality time with their patients. This ensures a more holistic visit for the patient and ultimately an overall feeling of being cared for. The time that I spent doing house calls with various doctors showed me how medicine used to be practiced and that there is a place for this type of care in the world today.