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The village doctor

Patients praise Dr. Mary Norman—and for good reason

Created date

May 24th, 2011

Like a diamond in the rough, George Perry knows you have to hold on to a good doctor when you find one. So when he and his wife first met Mary Norman, M.D., at the Dallas Diagnostic Association in Plano in 2002, they were convinced they had found a gem of a doctor. My wife and I were both in our 70s, and we felt like we needed a geriatrician as our primary care physician, says Perry. Dr. Norman was so personable. She was genuinely interested in us as people. When we left that day, we knew we wanted her to be our doctor.

A long-term relationship

According to a recent poll of 660 primary care physicians by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, forming a long-term relationship with a primary care physician is the most important thing a patient can do to get better medical care. Studies show that people who frequently change doctors experience a greater number of health problems than those who have a consistent relationship with their primary care physician. The benefits of having such a long-term relationship include the ability to avert major illnesses by keeping the doctor abreast of even the slightest symptoms. Norman, board-certified in internal and geriatric medicine, favors that proactive approach to health and wellness. It s one of the reasons she accepted the position of medical director at Highland Springs, an Erickson Living community, in 2007. Our doctors spend 30 minutes with each patient. Does yours? Call 972-746-4531 to learn about the exceptional health and wellness opportunities at Highland Springs. I like the idea of being the village doctor, she says. Having the ability to interact with my patients around the community, not just in the medical center, allows me to notice subtle changes that I might not observe otherwise. Anything I can do in the area of prevention is a tremendous benefit to patients.

Caring and compassionate

Perry, who had moved to the north Dallas community when it opened in 2006, was thrilled when Norman came on board. When she told me she was coming to practice at Highland Springs, it was like I died and went to heaven, he says. She s the type of doctor who can walk into an examination room and you feel better instantly. She just has this aura that she s going to do good. And now she s just an elevator ride away. It s the greatest thing. As word of Norman s skill and compassion spread, residents increasingly turned to the on-site medical center for their health care needs. Currently, 99% of Highland Springs residents use the medical center. Dr. Norman is a skilled physician with a passion for people, says Jennifer O Reilly, marketing director at Highland Springs. She treats her patients as though they are family.

Family ties

One resident, in fact, did have family ties to the popular doctor. Shortly after Norman started her practice at Highland Springs, she began encouraging her dad, who lived in Baton Rouge, La., to move to the community. Both as a doctor and a daughter, I could see my dad thriving here, she says. In many ways, he came kicking and screaming. But after a few months he really started to find his niche. His knees bothered him when he first moved in, but Dr. Eichenwald, our other full-time doctor in the medical center, had him going up and down stairs in no time. My dad also founded the Louisiana Club and organized a Mardi Gras parade, which is now an annual tradition on campus. In addition to Norman and Eichenwald, the medical center is staffed by physical and occupational therapists. Specialists including a dentist, an audiologist, a podiatrist and two cardiologists visit the campus several times a month. Our ability to provide the highest quality of care is far above any other group that I know, says Norman. I sleep better knowing that my patients will get the same type of care my dad did.

Extending the scope ' of her influence

Norman has recently been appointed the regional medical director over four Erickson Living communities, including Highland Springs, Eagle s Trace in Houston, Wind Crest in Colorado, andTallgrass Creek in Kansas. She still continues her practice at Highland Springs, helping residents get back on their feet and live life to the fullest.