Regal Medical in Simi Valley

You may have noticed a hiatus in the volume of posts on this site.  The reason is that I’ve been preoccupied with my health over the past 7 – 8 weeks.  For years, I’ve suffered from chronic sinus infections that yield the typical symptoms, combined with severe sinus pain and frequent headaches.  Also for years, I’ve been trying to get a long term cure for this problem but have ultimately failed.

I switched recently to Regal Medical Group in response to the highly publicised exodus of well respected physicians from Community Medical Group to Regal.  As I was browsing the list of available physicians, I found Dr. Brooks Michaels.  Years ago, he was my doctor at Community Medical and he was fantastic!  He left without warning and there was much secrecy behind his departure and where he landed.  It was handled poorly by Community Medical, in my opinion.  I signed up for Dr. Michaels without hesitation and looked forward to my first appointment.

First, to my surprise, Dr. Michaels remembered me from years ago and also remembered that we were working on identifying the cause of the chronic sinus infections.  After our first visit, he had ordered a blood panel to test for allergens, referred me to an ENT (Ear Nose Throat specialist) and referred me to an Allergist.  In a few short weeks, I received a CT scan and diagnosis of my sinus problems, as well as a thorough plan and schedule for identifying any and all allergies that I may have.

Thanks to Dr. Michaels, I’m on the fast track to getting better after many years of suffering from an annoying bout of frequent sinus infections.  Dr. Michaels has a way about his treatment that they simply don’t teach in medical school.  He is compassionate and personally invested in the health of his patients.  He runs a private practice now but contracts with Regal to allow him to see patients with HMOs, like me.  His office staff consists of the people who were once so kind behind the front desk when he worked at Community Medical… when he left, so did they… and they followed him!

My search for the best in healthcare in Simi Valley is offer.  I’m with Dr. Michaels again… finally!  If you’re having as much trouble as I’ve had over the past several years, I encourage you to join Regal Medical Group and seek out Dr. Michaels are your primary physician.

Dr. Brooks Michael
2925 Sycamore Dr. #101A
Simi Valley
(805) 578-9751

Community Medical Group – You Lose!

Community Medical Group and Regal Medical Group of Simi Valley have both been engaged in silent war.  Regal finally won me and my family over. It’s a shame, but it’s a matter of simple business practices.  Both groups have good doctors, but Community Medical’s customer service is weak and their handling of this well publicized doctor exodus is poor.

Imagine having a long term medical history either with yourself or your children and depending on a doctor for many years to treat and evaluate your treatment.  That doctor leaves your medical group and a new doctor is assigned to you.  Troubling, right?  You’d imagine a solid business would prepare its staff to handle these concerns professionally.  You’d imagine that the doctors who step in to replace those who left would research your or your childrens’ file.  Instead, you’re presented with these scenarios:

* A doctor says to you, “That medicine your child has been taking for 2 years with effective results… I won’t prescribe it.  I’m not comfortable with it.”  No explanation is given. Sure, he’s the doctor… but he wants to keep you as a patient, right?  So explain!

* A receptionist says to you, “That doctor is out for the entire week and we’re unable to schedule appointments for him in the future.”  This is what they say when you schedule an appointment with a doctor who has already left for Regal.  Tell us he’s gone so we can schedule an appointment with someone else.  We’re sick!

* The Sycamore and Alamo front office staff is brutally rude.  Yes, they’ve got some very pleasant people working there, but those one or two rude ones really kill it.  Why aren’t doctors offices held to the same customer service standards as other businesses?  They want to earn money, right?  They’re out to build loyalty and increase profits, aren’t they?

The bottom line is when Community Medical Group lost their doctors, the only thing they had to fall back on was good service… and they don’t seem to have any of that.  That shook up my confidence in their abilities to serve me and my family.

Here’s a quote from a recent Ventura County Star article on the topic from Keith Richman, Community Medical’s Regional VP.

“This is a business practice of Regal Medical Group,” he said of the unfolding drama. “Their practice is to go in and recruit the physicians of other medical groups.”

Yep, that’s a pretty good business practice if you’re in the business of providing medical services — get the best doctors you can to offer the best possible service and ensure loyalty and profitability.  Regal, here I come!

Healthcare in Simi Valley

Is it just me, or is the Simi Valley healthcare community getting some kind of a shakedown?  Rather, are the Simi based medical groups at war with one of them taking a hit?  It certainly seems that way from my perspective.  As a not-so-proud participant in an HMO program, my primary care physician is with Community Medical Group of Simi Valley and the past year has been one of many surprise departures.

For years, my doctor was a terrific doctor with Community Medical Group named Dr. Michaels.  I found him to be knowledgeable, kind and sensitive to my medical concerns.  My wife started seeing him as well based on my recommendations.  After years of reliable medical service, Dr. Michaels suddenly disappeared.  The people at the appointment desk weren’t talking, other than to say he was no longer with the medical group.  With no forwarding information available, I began to see Dr. Lee, also a terrific physician in the same office.

Dr. Lee quickly got up to speed on all of my medical issues, specifically my occassional break-out of hives and my chronic sinusitis.  I became just as satisfied with Dr. Lee as I was with Dr. Michaels.  I later learned that Dr. Michaels had moved to Regal Medical Group of Simi Valley.  Because I had established a rapport with Dr. Lee, however, I chose to stay with Community Medical.  Then, Dr. Lee left the group… and joined Regal Medical.

When a couple of doctors that you depend on suddenly jump ship and land in the same place, it definitely makes you think.  Should I be concerned?  I recently learned that Dr. Whyte, one of the best pediatricians for Community Medical Group, who treats my children, is also moving to Regal Medical Group.  Uh oh.  What does all this mean?

I’m curious to know if anyone else has any insight into the migration of all the outstanding physicians from Community Medical making their way over to Regal.  Are any members of Community Medical Group of Simi inclined to make the switch to Regal Medical Group?  Have you done so already?  And if so, how was the transition?