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Convenience, perks and a little sizzle are drawing some women to the doctor’s office

Later this yr, the University of South Florida will open a health middle in South Tampa the place women can get their annual exams, keep for lunch ready by an in-house nutritionist, and see lab outcomes earlier than they depart.

At Dr. Parveen Vahora’s obstetrician-gynecologist apply in Trinity, sufferers can purchase reproductive bodily remedy instruments — in any other case often known as intercourse toys — with the steerage of a physician and in personal, with out the awkwardness of an grownup retailer.

And in Wesley Chapel, a new clinic referred to as Inspiration Place seems extra like a day spa, with gentle purple lighting, glass-paneled workplaces and a waterfall function at the entrance. Patients can see a vary of specialists, from a bodily therapist to a urologist, and get any imaging or blood work finished the similar day. They can also improve their go to with a therapeutic massage, a facial, an eyebrow waxing, a journey to the clinic’s espresso bar or a spin by means of its jewellery and purse boutique.

With sufferers gaining entry to ever extra choices, some suppliers are discovering it’s not sufficient anymore to supply simply health care. They are separating themselves from the pack with what has come to be often known as “concierge medicine,” providing perks to women, typically the heads of households, who are in search of some consolation and extra of an “experience” at the physician’s office.

“I have never seen a model this specific set up for women,” stated Dr. Gina Kirkpatrick, a urologist with Florida Hospital who sees sufferers at Inspiration Place, which opened late final yr.

“Women are busy,” she stated. “We have less and less time to wait around for results or to make appointments on another day for follow ups. We need to be sensitive to patients’ needs.”

• • •

Pamela Muma had a health scare three years in the past.

During a routine examination, docs discovered one thing irregular and informed her to schedule a number of follow-up exams to rule out something critical. But the means of establishing a number of appointments was tedious and sluggish.

“I was having a difficult time getting things scheduled and trying to get those results,” stated Muma, 72, whose health ended up being nice. “And I’m a person who has all these medical s at my disposal,” she added, citing her philanthropic and strategic planning involvement with the University of South Florida and its medical faculty.

“If I’m having a difficult time, it made me think that the average woman in Tampa Bay who is not at all involved in health care is going to have a much harder time,” she stated. “So I decided things have to change.”

Muma and her husband, Les, who are already well-known benefactors to USF, gave $2 million to the college to open a new women’s health middle, which shall be housed at the USF Health constructing on the Tampa General Hospital campus. The Pamela Muma Women’s Health Center will open later this yr, and goals to be a one-stop store for all women’s health care wants, says the middle’s medical director, Dr. Emily Haly.

“Concierge medicine is basically making doctors more available for the patient,” stated Haly, who ran her personal concierge apply in Charleston, S.C., for 3 years earlier than shifting to Tampa Bay final summer time.

“Patients can call me any time to get the information they need quickly. We’ll have the availability to coordinate any type of care if a specialist is needed. All routine appointments, from general exams to lab work, will be handled that day.”

Most docs, usually talking, have anyplace from 1,800 to 2,000 sufferers they’re chargeable for. In the new middle at USF, every doctor may be answerable for 500 to 600, to allow them to be accessible 24/7, Muma stated. While health insurance coverage will cowl the prices of most routine exams, women will probably pay a bit extra out-of-pocket for the additional entry, Muma stated. Overall prices are nonetheless being ironed out.

And it gained’t be in a stuffy setting, she added.

Each affected person suite could have an examination room but in addition an adjoining sitting room, which can function a snug area to entry WiFi, watch TV and even order lunch, whereas they wait between scheduled appointments for the day.

“We’re providing massages, acupuncture and possibly dermatology services too. There will also be a nutritionist on staff,” Muma stated. “We want to create an environment that is very soothing, comfortable and stress-free.”

• • •

Dr. Parveen Vahora started promoting vibrators in her office almost 9 years in the past to assist women who struggled with intimacy and reproductive ache.

“At first I sold glass tools to massage pressure points. If you have a knot on your back or shoulder, you’d massage it right? It’s no different with the vagina,” Vahora stated. “Patients didn’t want to go to physical therapy for this, so I found tools that they could use at home.”

Vahora sells Luna Beads, used to stimulate stronger orgasms and for Kegel strengthening workouts, and Lelo-brand vibrator intercourse toys as modes of remedy for women. In addition, she provides vaginal rejuvenation providers utilizing MonaLisa Touch remedies.

“Are you really going to go to the sex toy store to get this? I knew patients weren’t going to do it,” Vahora stated. “Patients can go online and order these for themselves now, or they can buy them through our office. Either way, I think they feel more comfortable having a conversation and consultation about it.”

Vahora stated this is only one perk she presents for sufferers in an effort to keep a non-judgemental and stress-free setting in her clinic.

“Patients are more educated now, which is great. They come in, sometimes with their husbands, and ask questions. Some of these tools can be bought through health savings accounts, too,” she stated.

• • •

Back at Inspiration Pace, Kirkpatrick sends lots of her post-surgery sufferers to the women’s clinic for bodily remedy and follow-up appointments. She stated they typically lump in routine OB-GYN care whereas they’re there, too. That’s what Deborah Giella did throughout a current post-operation appointment at Inspiration Place with Kirkpatrick.

What she liked most about the expertise was that she acquired all the things she wanted for the yr executed in a single journey. Health insurance coverage covers the value of most medical providers, however sufferers must be ready to pay for spa providers.

“It’s just so convenient,” stated Giella, 56, who lives in Dade City. “You don’t feel like a patient when you’re here. I’m not used to that.”

Contact Justine Griffin at or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.





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