Family Life Medical: Putting Patient Care First for 25 Years
Small-Town Care with a New Beginning
Recruited by the Sadler Clinic in 1993, Dr. Scarborough began his career under the tutelage and mentorship of its doctors.
“Several of the Sadler physicians became mentors and helped me establish and develop a practice.” He shares. “I had planned on being a traditional small town doctor where you took care of the whole family. I was practicing in Richmond at the time, but I remember thinking that if the opportunity ever presented itself, I’d love to relocate here.”
As a large specialty clinic, with the goal of keeping medical care and treatment in the Conroe area, Scarborough joined the Sadler Clinic and helped it grow from 17 doctors in residence to over 110 physicians and specialists throughout their locations. Despite the fall and then closing of the clinic, Dr. Scarborough took the opportunity to branch out and begin his own practice in the area.
“It was a huge presence in the community for years. When the clinic folded, I joined the HCA hospital for about two years because it gave me a chance to stay in the area and practice.”
With the support of HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe behind him and the following of many of his patients, Family Life Medical was opened and began its work serving the members and families of the Conroe community.
A Family Practice that Puts You First
After founding his career at a large, multi-specialty clinic, Dr. Scarborough set out to shape his own practice into something different. With a focus on independent family practice, his goal was to build an environment with the kind of personal, attentive care that his patients deserved.
“With a family practice, I could be involved in the community in a wide-ranging specialty. You can provide services, but you can also be an advocate for the patients. You’re more involved with the community in family practice than you are with a lot of other specialties, and that’s what I enjoy.”
This family feel and personal approach to patient care are what set Family Life Medical apart from the rest. “We really try to listen to people and take care of their needs as personally as we can, as if they are a member of our own family.” At Family Life Medical, you are not just treated as a patient but as a person and an individual.
“I think people come to a family practice doctor because they want someone who is going to provide them with continuity. They want someone who knows their situation, their health profile and knows what their needs, concerns, and goals are. And you can’t get that in a walk-in clinic. As a specialist, you’re going to focus on one problem; their diabetes, or their heart, or their lungs. But you need someone to coordinate that care and look at all aspects of your health.”
Family Life Medical is a “true traditional family practice.” Dr. Scarborough says that their goal and what he emphasizes to his staff at every meeting they have is to provide exceptional care and personal service for the entire family. At Family Life Medical, we want to provide comprehensive care for a whole family, utilizing specialists when necessary.
“If there’s something more I can do to manage your health or optimize your chances of recovery, feeling better, and living a life that your more satisfied with, I want people to buy into that and take the responsibility of taking care of themselves… People that come to me want open communication. They want me to do what’s best for them. I’m putting their health first, not a company protocol or a government regulation. Nothing else. The goal is to provide the best health care we can.”
The Practice and the Pandemic
As Covid-19 ravaged through communities and businesses alike, those in the medical field experienced the shockwaves of the pandemic harder than others.
“The pandemic, at first, nearly devastated my practice. I wasn’t sure how we were going to survive and still see patients. For a while, we were at risk because suddenly, people couldn’t go anywhere. They weren’t coming to the clinic, and they weren’t going to see their doctors. One day I came into work, about a week into it, and the front door was locked. My patients could only get into the building through one door in the neighboring hospital. We had to figure out how to work with that.”
From printing and setting up his own signs for building access to designing and creating face masks for his employees, Dr. Scarborough had to think outside of the box to keep his practice running throughout the pandemic.
“You had to be innovative. You had to have some ingenuity. You had to be flexible and fast-thinking to overcome some of these challenges. I spent a whole weekend up here building plexiglass screens for my employees because all of a sudden, you couldn’t buy anything like that. There was a shortage of everything. We did everything we could to protect our employees and come up with protocols to keep our patients safe.”
Since the vaccine’s introduction, Dr. Scarborough explains how his practice had to adapt to fit the protocols in place for distribution.
“When the vaccine came out, just about every senior citizen in the county was actively seeking that vaccine… There were very few places you could get it, as far as a private setting, but it was not easy to qualify as a distributor of that. My wife, Tammey, is the clinical manager here, and she went through a tremendous amount of work; there was paperwork, we had to go through seminars, and many other steps to follow to be an administrator of the vaccine. She got us qualified, and our clinic received more doses than any single private clinic in the county. I think we ended up vaccinating over 2,000 people, and it was a monumental task. We were doing all of this on top of treating all of our regular patients.”
A drive-through clinic became an essential part of caring for their patients. With thermometers and testing supplies in hand, Dr. Scarborough and his team began treating drive-up patients every afternoon. Another solution Family Life Medical began offering in these unique times is something called a “televisit,” essentially a regular visit to the clinic, but through video on your phone or computer. This has proven to help seniors who have been in lockdown at their various nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Family Life Medical is using technology to help its patients with the development of a website with a patient portal. A patient can make appointments online from the secure portal and access their health records and lab reports. Along with these advancements, the practice has continued to grow and adapt in other ways.
A Growing Practice
After years as a successful family practitioner, Dr. Scarborough admits that he thought he would be easing out of his profession and preparing for retirement at this stage of his career. But, much to his surprise, the practice continues to grow, and they have begun the process of expanding into a new field; aesthetics and wellness.
“We’ve grown, and we try very hard to meet the demands of what the community wants from a physician. And it has worked. We just signed a lease for a new building just around the corner from here, and it’s a larger clinic with more exam rooms. We’re going to put in an aesthetics and health spa, we’re going to have some physical therapy in the department, and then the traditional family practice.”
Due to demand, they have expanded their services to include a wide range of skin care procedures, such as facial and skin rejuvenation, cosmetic procedures, hormone pellet therapy, Dysport treatments, and even tattoo removal. Though they already offer these services at their current practice, the expansion will see them featured more prominently in their new location as a separate, established part of their practice.
“We’re taking several steps to make ourselves more available to our patients. Right now, we’re confined by space and by staffing. Hopefully, we will be able to expand both in the new facility.”
Contact Family Life Medical
Learn more about Family Life Medical by visiting their website www.FamilyLifeMedical.com or call (936) 760-9900. The clinic is located at 508 Medical Center Boulevard, Suite 350, in Conroe, TX. They are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; closed Saturday and Sunday. Also, don’t forget to check out Dr. Scarborough’s column, “What’s Going Around” in the Conroe Courier on Wednesdays, and follow the Family Life Medical Facebook page to stay connected.