A small waiting area with four chairs greets you upon entering Lake Baldwin Medical office off Lake Baldwin Lane in Baldwin Park.
Valerie, the office’s one and only nurse and receptionist, whom you probably spoke with to make your appointment, greets you at the desk by name.
In one of those chairs, you sit and wait as inaudible murmurs are heard from one of the practice’s three examination rooms.
Healthy living tips from Dr. B for back to school and beyond:
• Remember to get your flu shot. Flu season is around the corner. Everyone 6 months of age or older should be vaccinated each year.
• Use sunscreen daily. In Florida the sun’s rays are harsh year round. Daily sunscreen is a must to avoid premature skin aging, wrinkles and skin cancer.
• Keep your child healthy. Back to school means back to the doctor for most young children. Keep your child up to date with a school physical, immunizations or a well child check.
• Healthy living means healthy eating. Eat whole foods for whole body health. Eliminate excess carbohydrates from your diet and get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Info box: Lake Baldwin Medical is located at 1459 Lake Baldwin Lane in Baldwin Park. For more information on Dr. B’s practice, email him at [email protected] or call 407-893-3905. You can also visit lakebaldwinmedical.com
When it’s your turn, the one doctor of Lake Baldwin Medical, Dr. Rafik Bouaziz – or “Dr. B” for pronunciations sake – holds the door open with one hand and offers you a handshake with the other.
“We started this place with the idea that we’re not on a five-minute face-time work schedule,” Dr. B says. “We spend the time people need, when they need it.”
At Lake Baldwin Medical, which Dr. B opened in 2009, that “we” is a staff of two. And at his “micro-practice,” how that time is sometimes spent is dictated when, how and where the patient prefers.
Show up sick outside his office on a Saturday during non-business hours? Rather have care provided to you in the comfort of your home?
Dr. B — who’s lived in Baldwin Park since 2007 with his wife, Jennifer, and two sons, Khaled and Moussa — says he’ll do his best to be there. He says he’s built his practice — from all-ages care and cosmetic treatments to concierge appointments — on doing things just a little bit differently, in the best way he knows how: by putting value in his patients’ time and care.
“I don’t do anything differently, general care-wise… but the name and face recognition you get here,” he says, “that’s worth something.”
In a typical week, Dr. B says he typically seeing 10 to 15 patients a day in his Baldwin Park office, but the services he offers don’t end there.
During his residency in his tenure at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Dr. B says he was introduced to the practice of concierge, home service medicine. In opening his practice in Baldwin Park, he brought the philosophy with him.
“Concierge care,” though not a primary part of his family practice, is something Dr. B says he’s more than happy to offer patients if it’s what they want, and is a service he’s contemplated entering into full time. But the extra cost required keeps him coming back to the office.
“What about the people who can’t afford that? What about them?” he says. “That’s always in the front of my mind.”
He says he didn’t go into medicine to only help those who could afford such special services, but to care for everyone, from birth to death. That, he says, is the drive behind what keeps his practice alive.
“This has proven that this is the best way to practice medicine for me,” he said. “And we’ve been able to build a small, steady practice around here, even surrounded by medical giants.”
He also assists at one of those local health care giants of which he speaks. In his time not at the office, Dr. B serves has served as an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine since fall 2009.
His little office that could is also growing. Though the intimate feel of his current office is an asset, he hopes to move to a bigger facility and offer the same individualized service, only with more options in the coming year.
It all comes back to, he says, pursuing the means to keeping his patients, and in turn the community, healthy.
“If you treat people the right way,” Dr. B says, “then more will come.”