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A GREAT INVESTMENT: Dr. Neil Neimark detected early cancer in patient Rick Haugen (pictured above), an investment advisor who made a great investment in Dr. Neimark's attentive concierge care, which he credits with his now being cancer free.

By: Natalia Cortes-Chaffin

IRVINE, CA: When Rick Haugen called Dr. Neil Neimark, his concierge physician for the last five years, to schedule his annual physical, he expected everything to go routine. Dr. Neimark performed the recommended tests, including a PSA screening test for prostate cancer and all the lab results came back within normal limits.

Under another physician's care, perhaps a doctor whose busy practice sees thousands of patients, Mr. Haugen's normal results might not have raised a red flag or signaled anything out of the ordinary. Normal results in a normal practice are taken at face value. Mr. Haugen would have happily gone on about his day, comforted that his annual physical, once again, returned a clean bill of health.

Yet a concierge practice is not a normal practice. Though Mr. Haugen's results were, in fact, within normal limits, they were not exactly normal. So when Dr. Neimark reviewed Mr. Haugen's normal PSA level, he took the extra step--as he always does--of comparing his level with the previous year's result. Turned out, Mr. Haugen's PSA level had increased significantly. The PSA level was still considered normal, but the PSA velocity (the change in PSA from year to year) was not. Dr. Neimark promptly sent Mr. Haugen to a urologist who diagnosed early stage prostate cancer, and the malignant cells were successfully removed.

Small detail. Enormous consequences.

"The PSA velocity is not something every doctor thinks to look at," Dr. Neimark said. "I have the luxury of being able to give my patients a high level of attention."

This attentiveness is exactly why Mr. Haugen chose Dr. Neimark as a concierge doctor for him and his family. He finds the level of care and twenty-four seven availability a concierge doctor provides to be of great value.

As a concierge physician, Dr. Neimark is able to focus on a more manageable number of patients. He gets to know them. He gets to understand their bodies.

"The PSA velocity is not something every doctor thinks to look at," Dr. Neimark said. "I have the luxury of being able to give my patients a high level of attention."

"With a reduced patient load, Dr. Neimark has the ability to know our family. For our family, in their growing years, that is a particular advantage," Mr. Haugen said.

While concierge medicine does come with a price tag, the added value of having a doctor literally on call to answer your questions every day of the week is invaluable. Dr. Neimark's patients are all given his cell number, and can expect their calls to be promptly returned.

"We see concierge medicine as an investment," Mr. Haugen said. "And we don't try to minimize our investment in healthcare."

So far, it's been a wise decision to go with Dr. Neimark. Mr. Haugen's investment has paid off in cancer-free dividends.

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Quotable Notables
On Health, Happiness & Peace of Mind

"Of one thing I am certain, the body is not the measure of healing - peace is the measure."

George Melton

"Every patient carries his or her own doctor inside."

Albert Schweitzer

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."

Mark Twain