Practice Profiles

Dr. Richard Schwartz on the Benefits of Thinking Big and Staying Small

An exemplary pediatrician draws on his long career to describe his obsession with science, the rewards of gutsy perseverance, and why he can’t work for someone else.

On an early December afternoon in 2016, Dr. Richard Schwartz sits in an office at his practice in the DC suburbs, preparing for this interview after a morning of seeing patients. Holiday decorations are strung across the wall, and the loud bustle of other clinicians moving through their day can be heard through the door. His loyal staff looks after him, keeping his energy up with holiday treats dropped off by patients’ families.

With his unruly tufts of white hair and rumpled button-up shirt, Dr. Schwartz nearly looks the part of a mad scientist. He does have an obsessive need to get the right answer; never satisfied with conventional wisdom, he must test and prove it. Over the years, some colleagues and medical students have even found him gruff and unreasonable (he maintains that he has “mellowed”). But, the only thing mad about Dr. Schwartz is his work ethic.

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Industry Trends

FAQ: Pediatric Practices and the Patient-Centered Medical Home

Deciding whether or not to pursue PCMH Recognition requires a little homework. We’ll help guide you through the process.

For many years, Medical Home was a pediatric concept used to describe a superior model of care delivery. The American Academy of Pediatrics introduced the idea in 1967, and it became AAP policy within a decade. Now, the term Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is most commonly used to describe an accreditation program, signifying that a primary care practice has jumped through a significant number of hoops, primarily in order to increase reimbursement. Even though incentives may drive participation, process improvement and better care are often the result. In fact, we’ve heard from many recognized PCMH practices who said the process helped them streamline their operations.

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The Solution is Not in Your Office

Chip Hart explains why the best way to discover what your practice is doing well — and where it needs improvement — is to get out of your office.What are your favorite types of patient visits?

Welcome, first time readers! For a significant majority of you, this is the first issue of The Independent Pediatrician to land in your hands. Our labor of love has evolved and grown in the three years since we took the leap and decided to dedicate a magazine to the neglected topic of independent pediatricians.[/strong]

I have to admit that our success surprised us, though it is difficult to define success for a mission-driven self-publication like ours. There are no advertisements here, no sponsors (except PCC), and we have no hidden agenda. We think that sharing stories about successful pediatric practices is vital to the quality of healthcare in our country.