Back in 2005, there were only a handful of medical practices and doctors doing house calls in New York City.
While completing his residency at Overlook Hospital in 2004, Natan Schleider, M.D. received a call from an established patient, a pleasant 70 year old gentleman who lived across the street from the hospital where Dr. Schleider’s family practice called Dr. Schleider.
“Hi Dr. Schleider,” said the gentleman, “I think I have strep throat.”
“Sorry to hear that,” said Dr. Natan Schleider.
The gentleman went on to say “When I was a boy, my doctor used to do house calls. I remember having strep throat and scarlet fever. My throat hurt. I had a fever. There was a rash on my skin. I felt miserable! My good old time doctor came to the house that night, gave me me a shot of penicillin, and within a few hours, I was feeling much better. Not a day later I was cured! Would you come visit me, I live across the street and feel to weak to come to your office.”
“I would be happy to visit you and do a house call,” said Dr. Schleider, but first I need to ask my attending teaching physician since I am still a resident.”
When Dr. Natan Schleider asked his boss at the time, the senior attending physician to do the house call. He was told he could not go. “If the patient is too sick to come to the office, he must go to the emergency room,” said the teaching attending physician.
“That’s ridiculous,” replied Dr. Schleider, “the patient lives 100 feet away. I can grab a thermometer, blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter, rapid strep test, perform a throat culture, and be back in 15 minutes. If it looks like strep throat, I can treat him with antibiotics immediately and save him the trouble of an emergency room visit.”
Long story short, the house call never happened. The attending physician said hospital guidelines prohibited house calls. The patient spent 36 hours in the emergency room just to get a prescription for amoxicillin.
Thereafter, Natan Schleider, M.D. realized that he would have to think “outside the box.”
When he finished residency training, with about two hundred dollars in the bank to spare, Dr. Schleider, bought a black doctor bag, basic medical equipment, had some business cards printed, and started a house call based medical practice in the New York City where all patients were treated like family. Hence New York House Call Physicians slogan: “Your Doctor in the Family.”
Over a decade later, New York House Call Physicians has grown into a group medical practice of multiple health care providers who treat patients in their home or our offices through New York City, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island, and other regions of New York State.