My Son’s Story

I would  like to share a  personal story about my own son who was a college student in Massachusetts  when we were living here in Virginia. Jake would often call home complaining about a lot of digestive issues due to his inflammatory bowel disease.  Being so far away was torture. As a doctor, I tried to give the best advice I could, but I discouraged him from going to see a doctor or going to the ER ( he had a few nights when he was really worried!). The reason for this was because we had an out–of-state, high-deductible HMO plan. First of all, Jake was not established as a patient up in Massachusetts and secondly the cost for seeing an out-of-network specialists, even if he could get in, was astronomical. My wife and I felt helpless trying to work through this situation while telling him to try to hold on until he could get home for break.   I treated his symptoms long distance while my wife went through the process of trying to line up appointments for him when he came home to Virginia.  He had to first see a primary doctor here, then have a consultation with a gastroenterologist, and then be scheduled for a colonoscopy.  It turned out he has Crohn’s disease and is now being treated through medication.  The lesson I learned from this personal experience is if he had some type of direct primary care available to him, we would have some peace of mind while our son away at school.  This is why I am offering this service here in the Lynchburg area to local college students and their parents.  I know what it is like to worry about the health of your child while he/she is away at school and I know that Forest Direct Primary Care is a great service to complement your school’s health center. – Doug Farrago MD

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