Tribune Print Share Text

Stand-out physician offers stand-out care

Ann’s Choice doctor spreads the love

Created date

April 11th, 2016
Peter Schwartz, M.D., Ann’s Choice’s assistant medical director

Peter Schwartz, M.D., Ann’s Choice’s assistant medical director

The full-service, on-site medical center at Ann’s Choice, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Bucks County, Pa., offers residents the convenience and peace of mind of having a doctor in the house. 

Not just one doctor, either, but a team of five physicians, two nurse practitioners, two mental health professionals, a podiatrist, and ten support personnel (not to meniton a bevy of visiting specialists).

Due recognition

Last December, one of them, Assistant Medical Director Peter Schwartz, M.D., was recognized as Volunteer of the Year for providing medical care to Bucks County Health Improvement Partnership (BCHIP). The organization aims to fill the gaps in service and to improve health care throughout the county.

Schwartz’s monthly commitment with BCHIP started ten years ago. “The need there is so great that once I started, I didn’t think I should stop,” he says. “They tend to save the complicated medical management issues for me.”

An internist by specialty, he believes his intense training gives him a deep understanding of individual patients’ situations and helps him puzzle out difficult diagnoses.

At Ann’s Choice, of course, he provides health care only to older adults. “I’m not officially a geriatrician,” he says, “but I’ve practiced geriatrics for the past 11 years here.” 

Generous appointment time

Schwartz joined the medical center because Erickson Living offers him the ability to practice medicine the way he wants: It gives patients enough time with their physician, and it gives physicians the time and tools to deliver better care.

The entire medical center team feels the same way. They would agree that the main attribute of care at Ann’s Choice is its personalized nature. The generous appointment times account for that. 

A new patient’s first appointment lasts 60 minutes. All subsequent appointments last 30 minutes. And same-day appointments are available if needed.

“We pay attention and listen to each patient,” says Schwartz, “and we take the time needed to think about what should and shouldn’t be done. Sometimes it’s better not to do something.”

A partnership of care

While he comes to patient care wearing his internist’s hat, he also must recognize and integrate specific existing geriatric issues and syndromes. 

“The integration is a difficult thing,” he says. “You need to understand the issues from the medical perspective, the perspective of individual patients and their stage of life, and the geriatric perspective—how their geriatric issues impact their underlying issues.”

Synthesizing those perspectives lets physicians make medical decisions in partnership with their patients. 

That’s important, says Regional Director of Practice Administration Marlene Fiume, who is based at Ann’s Choice. “We work in the residents’ home, so they’re like family,” she says. “We have genuine concern for all our residents.”

That concern extends beyond the medical center. Ann’s Choice’s comprehensive approach to health care includes its social workers, its home support services, and its on-site rehabilitation and continuing care neighborhood. 

“The commitment to residents’ well-being is unwavering,” Fiume says. “Whether they’re ill or they’re coming for regular checkups, lab draws, or preventive measures, every patient receives the same level of attention and care.”