A meeting like this may be the reason your primary care doctor recommends the next specialist you see. Alexander spends most days visiting different physician’s offices, armed with brochures touting the qualifications of the doctors in her orthopedic group. “The things that I can do really help my specialists shine to other primary care physicians and help them stand out against the- our competition,” said Alexander. She’s part of a growing new industry. Front line “go-betweens” like Alexander — and even entire marketing firms — are hired by specialty physicians to get the word out about their expertise. “Oftentimes that is the only way that we learn about a new doctor in town,” said Pediatrician Dr. Michael Cepeda. Busy primary care doctors, like Dr. Cepeda, don’t spend as much time in the hospital meeting other specialists. Instead they’re booked solid in their offices, so Dr. Cepeda says he’s happy to meet with specialists’ representatives. “Whenever I need another resource they’re the best way for me to find out what else can be done for your health care,” he said. But critics worry these office-to-office pitches. “I don’t think patients have the vaguest idea of, uh- that their referral might have been the result of a marketing campaign,” says bioethicist Lawrence Nelson. Nelson hopes primary care docs are basing referrals only on specialists’ qualifications. “The best protection for patients is physicians who are following their ethical obligation to make referrals based upon the patients need and personal preferences and not on slick marketing or any kind of other inducements,” Nelson said.
Virginia Cancer Specialists Adds Two New Medical Oncologists, Enhancing Access to Quality Care for Patients in Arlington and Loudoun
I have always enjoyed community practice and the wonderful relationships it allows me to develop with my patients and their families, said Dr. Sarma. Virginia Cancer Specialists has grown tremendously since I left, but their commitment to providing superior cancer care one patient at a time has remained unchanged. We share a common vision of offering patients convenient community access to some of the world’s most advanced cancer treatments, and I am excited to once again be a part of this dedicated team of cancer specialists. Drs. Sampat and Sarma joined 23 other physicians at VCS, which is the largest oncology group in Northern Virginia with multiple locationsthroughout the area to serve patients. The practice has specialized physician expertise in all types of cancers, notably breast, colon, GI,GU, hematologicmalignancies, lung, and sarcomas. The addition of Drs. Sampat and Sarma broadens this expertise and adds depth to VCSs overall patient care approach. The practice provides the full spectrum of state-of-the-art care including prevention programs, detection, diagnosis, cutting-edge treatment options, clinical trials, genetic testing and counseling as well as stem cell transplantation (the longest run program in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area and the only outpatient program offered in Northern Virginia). Appointments are available now with Dr.