EP.12 - Dr. Swain and Dr. Waters: The Team Approach

How should the Urgent Care Center and your ENT and Sinus specialist work together? Dr. Ron Swain (ENT Specialist) and Dr. Darren Waters from Greater Mobile Urgent Care discuss how they and their staffs work in unison to improve your sinus and allergy health and care.

This episode is part 2 of a two-part series with Dr. Darren Waters on the Swain Sinus Show. Thanks so much for your time, knowledge and humor, Dr. Waters!

Topics Covered:

> Seeing another doctor when you can’t get a quick appointment to see your primary care physician?

> More than sniffles and band-aids. What are the most common things seen and treated at urgent care centers?

> How Dr. Swain (medical specialist) and Dr. Waters (urgent care physician) work together to provide you and your family with the highest quality healthcare?

> Urgent Care Centers compared to traditional Hospital ERs.


Stacy: Hello listeners, welcome to the "Swain Sinus Show." We have a special treat for you today. Continuing our conversation from episode 11, we are going to hear more from Dr. Darren Waters, the founder, and physician at Greater Mobile Urgent Care. We had such a great conversation with him, we wanted to bring some more of it to you. So let's jump right on in. I have a personal question. Sometimes I'm not able to see my primary care physician and I choose to go to Greater Mobile Urgent Care. Am I the only one that feels a tiny bit guilty when I'm not able to see my regular doctor?

Dr. Swain: Patients will come in and say...and it's almost... They're not confessing, but they're saying, "Hey, I've been to the, you know, I've been...

Stacy: Right. you kind of feel guilty, like I'm cheating on my doctor.

Dr. Swain: Right. I've been to Urgent Care five times and like, you know what? That's okay because we're all about trying to take care of you. So, a lot of times I get the impression that people think we're not...we're on different teams, but we're not. We're on the same team, and that's the real purpose of this show today was to try to let the public know that this is all about your care and the convenience and the efficiency that the urgent care centers have. You know, it's really remarkable.

Stacy: Dr. Swain, as a patient, I couldn't agree more with you. Dr. Waters, we've learned through this conversation that urgent care is more than sniffles and bandages. Can you tell us what are some of the most common reasons why people visit an urgent care?

Dr. Waters: Most of what we see is sinus and allergy or upper respiratory tract infections or flu-related, you know, your UTIs, your pediatric illness, your trauma with reference to orthopedics and lacerations, and then your medical problems, you know, your chest pains, your dizziness, you know, we see really, it's hard to say because we see everything. We'll see anything that walks through the door.

Stacy: And then when it comes to testing, tell me the top testing things that you can provide.

Dr. Waters: Probably the top testing would be, especially at this time of the year is flu testing, strep testing, mono. We do a lot of urinalyses to check for urinary tract infections and x-rays. We do a lot of x-rays to check for broken bones, pneumonia, things like that. And then EKG. Somebody comes in with chest pain, shortness of breath, things like that, we can do that as well.

Stacy: At what point do you recommend that I see a specialist?

Dr. Waters: Sure. And just to touch on what you guys were just talking about too, I mean, it's a team approach. Just like when you're in a hospital and, you know, let's say a car accident, you have some sort of trauma, you have a trauma specialist, you have maybe a general surgeon, you have a medicine physician, you have a pulmonologist, you have a team taking care of you. And as an outpatient, it's no different. I mean, it's the same thing. You could have an urgent care seeing you and evaluating you after hours. We then send you to Dr. Swain who also can basically take over the care and hopefully, provide the definitive care you need. We're there to see you, make you comfortable, provide good medical care, be there maybe when someone else can't be there, make sure there's nothing else going on.

At that point in time when we feel like, "Okay, well maybe this is a little bit more over our heads than what we need to be dealing with." Say, for instance, somebody comes in and they have a sinus infection, we see him, we put 'em, you know, give them some, you know, inhaled steroids, maybe plus or minus antibiotics if they've had an infection for, you know, 10 to 14 days and treat them well. Will they come back again the next two weeks later, and they come back again two weeks later. That's when we say, "Look, you know, you really just need to follow up with a specialist and he can use of these fancy tools on you, I want you to...

Stacy: And turn that fancy nose camera.

Dr. Waters: ...look up your nose and see where you're clogged up."

Dr. Swain: I think he just really made the point very well. It's an outpatient medical care team.

Dr. Waters: You know, talking about working together and Mobile is a huge community as far as sinus and allergy problems and there's plenty of patients to go around, it's just a matter of treating them all appropriately and, you know, just kinda triaging the appropriate... You know, the first time sinus infection they can see, we can see. The fourth time sinus infection in two months, they had to see it.

Dr. Swain: Yeah. Some might come in with a sinus infection for one time or two times. That's not a surgical case. And medical therapy is totally appropriate.

Stacy: We've talked about that several times. If you really...well, you always go to medical therapy first before it becomes chronic and surgical.

Dr. Swain: Unless there's some kind of acute indication for surgery, some kind of complication from a sinus infection, medical therapy comes first. They do an excellent job as well as...we do too, but I think that's just so important that people understand that.

Stacy: In wrapping up our conversation today, we've definitely discussed that urgent care is a major trend in the healthcare industry. What other trends do you see on the horizon?

Dr. Swain: I'd love to hear Darren's opinion on this, but I think efficiency of care, efficiency of time. I think people want that, you know, the efficiency of diagnosis. You're gonna see more and more of that being demanded. What do you think, Darren?

Dr. Waters: I really think there's a big trend in medicine in general, and I think the biggest push is staying out of the emergency department. I feel like the public wants that. Society wants that as far as cost goes, and certainly, insurance companies want that. And it's also...the old school doctors don't wanna admit this, but it's now a consumer-based, retail-type medicine, very consumer-friendly type medicine. The patient wants to know are you gonna practice good medicine on 'em, you're gonna be nice to 'em, you're going to see 'em, you're going to get 'em in, and I think that's a big trend too. In the past, even when I first started practicing, I don't care if you like what I'm doing or not. I'm going to do the right thing. If you're happy, you're happy. If you're not, you're not. And that was kind of everybody's way of doing things. That's the ER way of doing things. Now it's, "We'll see you, we'll treat you, we'll make sure you're there when everybody else is closed. We will make sure we get you in, not just get you follow-up, we'll go ahead and schedule your follow-up for you. And we'll be there if you can't get in, or we'll be there when they can't get you back in again." So I think the trend is less ER and more consumer-friendly medicine.

Stacy: Well, thank you, guys. I think this has been really helpful. Is there anything else that you guys would want to talk about?

Dr. Waters: I think part of the teamwork that we talk about is the medical community is still learning to work together and Dr. Swain has figured it out. I mean, when we have a patient that comes in with recurrent sinus problems or sinus issues, when we know we can pick up the phone and call his office and get a patient in that day, makes us look good, it makes the patient feel better. It's convenient for the patient, and it's just this good continuity of care, and that's a big deal. You know, we've heard in the past when, you know, you might call a certain physician and they can't see you for two weeks.

Stacy: Right.

Dr. Waters: Well, you know, that's not that continuity of care or that community circle were trying to work toward, and Dr. Swain figured that out.

Stacy: Well, we really appreciate you being here today is our special guest.

Dr. Waters: Well, thank you for having me. I appreciate it as well.

Stacy: Before we wrap up, tell us again where your five locations of Greater Mobile Urgent Care are.

Dr. Waters: We have one in West Mobile, Spring Hill, Saraland, Semmes, and Citronelle.

Stacy: And how can we best get in touch with you?

Dr. Waters: You can go to our website, gmucare.com, or just show up at one of our clinics. We're walking clinics, no appointment necessary. We'll see you basically at our West Mobile location from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Stacy: And the other locations?

Dr. Waters: Other locations during the week is 8:00 in the morning to 7:30 at night, and during the weekends is 8:00 to 4:00.

Stacy: Well, we really appreciate you being here today as our special guest.

Dr. Waters: Well, thank you for having me. I appreciate it as well.

Stacy: Thank you, Dr. Waters. And if they need to come see you, Dr. Swain, how do they get in touch with you?

Dr. Swain: So, you can call us. The number is 251-470-8823. Again, that is 251-470-8823. Or, you can find us on the web at drronswain.com.

Stacy: Great. Thanks, Dr. Swain.

Dr. Swain: Thank you.

Need an Appointment or Sinus Consultation?

Call Dr. Swain’s nursing staff at 251-470-8823 or schedule an appointment here.

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This brought to you in part by the fine doctors and staff at Premier Medical in Mobile, Alabama.

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