I am Catherine Harmon Toomer, M.D. a graduate of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (1996) and completed my residency in Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Florida Shands at Alachua General Hospital in Gainesville (1999). I opened my office to fill in the gaps of what I see is missing in our present medical model of ill-care delivery. I have spent my time since residency practicing in medically underserved areas of South Carolina, raising a family, and even threw in homeschooling for good measure (since I didn’t already have enough to do). I’ve also spent time recovering from a medical crisis of my own and experiencing how frustrating it can be navigating our medical system (from both sides). For the most part, doctors learn the same information in medical school and in our respective training, but what differentiates us is our bedside manner, our personal experiences, and the lessons we’ve learned from our patients. I can’t show you my effervescent personality here, but I can tell you what I have learned from my experiences and my patients?
- That the only way to be a good doctor is to treat the whole person using both the science AND art of medicine.
- That the art of medicine can’t be taught; it is developed through years of experience, paying attention to detail, and listening.
- That in many ways we are the same, but it is our differences that are important and that a cookie cutter approach to care is ineffective
- That the best way to get good medical care is by being a determined self-advocate
- Most people don’t like being told what to do, but don’t mind being taught and shown.
- That honesty saves lives
WHO ARE MY PATIENTS?. Those –
- Who are sick and tired of being sick and tired
- Who want to spend an hour or more with a doctor discussing their concerns
- Who are having difficulty coping
- Who are overwhelmed by a new or chronic diagnosis that you don’t understand
- Who need assistance navigating a medical system that doesn’t make sense
- Who want to loss weight
WHO ARE NOT MY PATIENTS: Those –
- Who like getting in and out of your doctors’ appointments in 15 minutes
- Who feel everything is perfect and don’t want improvement anywhere in their life
- Who want a large doctor’s office with several people between the door and their doctor