House calls: Just what the doctor ordered

Published: Sep. 24, 2010 at 9:17 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2010 at 10:49 PM EDT
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DANIEL ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - By Sheldon Dutes  bio | email | Twitter 

DANIEL ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Two local doctors are taking their practice back to the early days of medicine. As part of the "Doc At The Door" program Dr. Marion Cooper, M.D. treats patients in their homes, instead of a clinic.

For more than three years, the "Doc" program has provided in-home health care services for the elderly, disabled and homebound.

Cooper, a board certified family physician, drives all over the Lowcountry for house calls.

"For me, as a doctor, it's great to see patients literally in their home environment. I have a much larger window into what's going on with them."

Because the patients are in the comforts of their home, they're usually more at ease during physical exams or checkups.

"This is the way I was brought up. They came to the house back in my day," Miriam Wallace laughed.

Although she's a relatively new patient, Wallace, 84, already sees the benefits of the "Doc" program.

"It's convenient," she said, "I have a lot of time on my hands, but I don't want to spend it getting ready for the doctor."

According to Dr. Cooper, many of the patients he sees have mobility issues, and a trip to the doctor may be a big ordeal for them or their caretakers.

Michael Ayers' father is a patient of Dr. Cooper's. Even though Ayer's is grateful for the convenience of his father's physicals, his gratitude for the program runs much deeper.

"This concept is wonderful because it's been the difference between keeping him at home or in a nursing home," Ayers said.

In addition to the added convenience for patients, Dr. Cooper said house calls allow him to fully appreciate the reasons why he became a physician.

"I went into [medicine] because I wanted to have time with people. The great thing about home visits is that I generally have more time with someone in their home than I did when I was in the clinic," Cooper said.

Doc At the Door is affiliated with Trident Health System and accepts Medicaid and Medicare patients. For more information call (843) 847-3470.

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