Doctors working together to serve the patients better.
Four years ago, I helped create Golden State Dermatology, which is a group of dermatologists working together to provide high quality affordable patient care.
It has been nearly four decades, since December 6, 1980, when I “hung out my shingle” and began my Walnut Creek dermatology practice. Fortunately, my wife Alicia has been a constant and reliable source of encouragement, wisdom, and management help. Alicia came with 25 year’s experience with Contra Costa County Hospital. She began by helping me part-time on weekends until the business grew to the point that I could utilize her full-time. Alicia currently serves as the Practice Administrator for Walnut Creek, Ygnacio Valley, and Brentwood locations (and much more).
My engagement with my profession and service to my patients got a huge boost when I joined ten other doctors in a state-wide program called the Patient Experience Collaborative. For two years, we studied ways to ensure that our patients have the best possible experience. We continued to meet several times a year in various parts of the state to work on improving our patient service skills. We made instructive videos, gathered data through surveys, and attended sessions with psychologists who helped us focus on making patient encounters as friendly, supportive, and effective as possible. By the time the collaborative was finished, I felt that I had become a specialist in the art and science of managing patients’ visits.
Twenty years ago, I finally expanded my practice by adding several Physician Assistants (PAs). Jay Zimmerman, M.D. joined me in 2012 as my first partner, and we opened a second office in Brentwood. We formed Walnut Creek Skin and Laser in 2014 and developed partnerships with several other dermatologists. Over time we expanded our facilities to accommodate our growing number of patients. Our original five exam rooms ultimately grew to 27, including seven exam rooms in Brentwood. I became a member of several boards in the John Muir Health System and saw that the Healthcare industry was going through revolutionary change. Healthcare consolidations and mergers were taking place at every level. I realized that the dynamic environment afforded an opportunity in which I could move local dermatology practices to a new level. By assembling dermatologists into a group practice and sharing resources and expertise, we could create large scale synchronicity and offer full-service dermatology that is both the highest quality and affordable.