Thomas Selznick, D.O.’81, dearly loves being a doctor. The family physician in Livonia, MI, doesn’t mind the stress or long hours. He gives patients his cell phone number and always answers when they call.
“It’s my life – I identify as a family doctor,” he says. “I become part of my patients’ lives.”
That’s why Selznick was named “America’s Most Loved” doctor on Valentine’s Day by DrScore.com, an online patient satisfaction survey and physician rating website that began in 2005. His overall score was 9.96 out of a possible 10. To be considered for the site’s “most loved” doctor title for 2010, physicians had to receive at least 20 ratings during 2009.
“Patient feedback on Dr. Selznick during the last year was truly exceptional,” said DrScore.com founder Steve Feldman, M.D., in a news release announcing the honor. “Patient after patient described how ‘caring’ he is, how he takes time with the patient, listens and doesn’t hurry.”
While Selznick first thought the news was a “joke,” its meaning is important to him – but not because of his ego. “If a patient trusts you and likes you, he or she is more likely to do what you advise,” he notes.
For that reason, Selznick and his colleagues at Livonia Family Physicians, PC, have conducted in-house and online surveys with their patients for years. That also supports Michigan’s “medical home” approach, which includes close interaction between patients and their primary care physicians to monitor, coordinate and manage their care.
“If we’re constantly watching out for our patients, we get better outcomes,” he says.
Selznick opened his practice in Livonia 25 years ago; although three weeks passed before he had his first patients, now many of those people are still his clients. He’s also a founding partner of a geriatrics practice, Continuum Geriatric Services, and serves as the medical director for eight nursing home facilities throughout southeastern Michigan.
“I take care of four generations. I become part of their family, and they know about mine. That makes it fun,” he says. “I know a lot of people can’t say they enjoy their work 100 percent, but I probably love it to a fault.”