Islon Woolf MD
Concierge Medicine Miami Beach
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and grew up in Toronto, Canada. I began my undergraduate training at the University of Toronto studying Biology and Physics. At age nineteen I was awarded two academic scholarships gaining me an early acceptance to the University of Toronto's medical school (ranked #5 in the world).
After graduation in 1993, I moved to the United States for postgraduate training. First, an internship at the University of Southern California, followed by a residency in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. Finally, in 1997, I completed my training as Chief Resident at the Cleveland Clinic where I helped design and initiate their Florida teaching program. I am board certified in Internal Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP).
Concierge Medicine model
I have been practicing Internal Medicine in Miami Beach for over twenty years. In that time, my goal has been to create the optimal practice for patients. I learned very quickly the standard Internal Medicine model, a fifteen minute office visit, did not afford me with enough time to properly care for my patients and solve their problems. As a solution, I was one of the first doctors in the city to adopt the Concierge Medicine model. Simply put, my patients subsidize my practice with an annual fee to ensure I spend more time with fewer patients. My annual fee is $6,000; my practice is limited to three hundred patients; and I typically only see two to four patients per day. This simple model frees me from the constraints of time, insurance, and conflicts of interest. Properly applied, Concierge Medicine can lead to many advantages over traditional practice.
Advantages of my
Concierge Medicine practice
My practice is small. It gives me the opportunity to get close to my patients. Every patient is important. Every patient is unique. No problem is too big and no problem is too small.
Better access to your doctor means earlier diagnosis, earlier treatment, and better outcomes. In my practice, there are no barriers to communication. There are no barriers to appointments.
Continuity of care is defined as having the same doctor from visit to visit. Better record keeping, better follow up, and better communication with specialists. It is the core feature of a small practice like mine and ultimately leads to better health outcomes.
Most doctors insist on an office visit to solve medical problems - only to punt them to a specialist. I try to make better use of your time. My goal is to solve your problems directly using the least number of steps. Either in the office, out of the office, after office hours or on our devices.
Medical school is just the beginning of learning. It has taken me decades to sharpen my diagnostic and critical thinking skills. It has taken me decades to learn topics not taught in medical school.
Overworked doctors with limited time and an obsolete knowledge base are prone to errors. My practice is designed to avoid these errors. Fewer patients permit me more time to devote to your case and more time to update my knowledge base between cases.
No Conflict of Interest
The current fee-for-service model of medicine financially incentivizes doctors to produce more visits, tests, procedures, and prescriptions. My practice, instead, financially incentivizes me to make you healthy.
Specialists are particularly prone to bias. A lost yet essential role of a primary care doctor is to provide peer review - to challenge and objectively assess the recommendations of specialists.
There are many treatment options outside of pharmaceuticals and surgery. There are many philosophies of practice outside of science-based medicine. You need to know all of your options in order to make informed decisions.
A comprehensive approach often produces an inundation of medical options. I can help you differentiate the options likely to work from the options less likely to work.
Shared Decision Making
Sometimes the right medical decision can be elusive. The evidence is conflicting, the evidence is lacking, or the treatment has as many risks as benefits. Incorporating your values and preferences in such circumstances leads to the best possible decision. This is shared decision making.
Autonomy is the right to make medical decisions for yourself. It relies entirely on you, the patient, receiving clear, unbiased, and complete medical information. It is considered the most important ethical concept in modern medicine and is a key principle of my practice.
It has been estimated that only twenty percent of a doctor's visit is spent on patient education. In my practice this is reversed. I try to spend the majority of our time together on education. My goal is to empower you to make good medical decisions by leveling the information playing field between you and your doctors. This is accomplished by:
Making complex medical concepts understandable
Providing good information - clear, accurate, unbiased, and complete
Teaching you to distinguish good evidence from bad evidence