At 53, Anderson has never had his own practice and decided it was time to strike out on his own. He wanted more control over how he took care of his patients and he wanted the latest in medical technology — from electronic records to digital X-rays.
Although he built his practice on the urgent-care model with the ability to treat minor emergencies, he said, “We consider ourselves as primary-care physicians. We manage (patients’) healthcare.”
Anderson said a doctor of osteopathic medicine is very similar to an M.D., with the same training and responsibilities. The difference, he said, is that osteopathic physicians can manipulate patients’ bodies.
“We place more emphasis on treating the whole patient,” Anderson said. His philosophy for the center, which involved himself, two part-time doctors, a nurse practitioner and a physical therapist by appointment, “is to treat all patients as we would want our family members to be treated.”
His practice includes sports medicine and he’s the doctor on call at local professional tennis competitions. He was the team doctor for the San Diego Gulls hockey team and he continues on as the team doctor for University of San Diego and Mission Beach High School and as medical director for SeaWorld San Diego.
Anderson, a father of two, said he’s not overly worried about the unknowns of impending changes to U.S. healthcare.
Generally, though, he’d like to see less government and insurance-company involvement in healthcare, he said. But, he admitted, “I think it’s only going to be worse.”
As for competition from the urgent-care clinic where he used to practice, and the nearby pharmacy’s in-store clinic, “which is very limited in what he does,” he said he’s not concerned. “Dr. A,” as many of his patients call him, said he ends up treating some of the patients from the pharmacy clinic, as well as seeing many former patients who followed him to his new practice.
“This is a positive environment, not so stuffy, and Dr. Anderson just seems to care a lot; he’s genuine,” said receptionist Londa Monroe.
The center takes most insurance and hopes to participate soon in local HMOs, Anderson said.
“Insurance companies tend to be our biggest challenge,” he said.
For patients without insurance, the practice offers a cash discount. The initial visit is $125 and, after that, $75.
Additional tests are extra.
If the Garnet Avenue address sounds familiar, it’s because it once housed San Diego National Bank. In fact, the bank vault is now home to digital X-ray equipment, which allows for fewer X-rays, Anderson said.
The remodeled building and its décor resemble a beachside spa, complete with surfboards as art and a focal wall of waves.
No, he’s not a surfer.
“But everyone else in Pacific Beach is,” said Anderson.
He’s been a tennis player for 25 years. And he’s not shy about telling people he had a cardiac arrest on the tennis court two years ago. That’s partly why cardiac healthcare is so important to him. In fact, the center has offered classes in use of the automated external defibrillator and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
“I believe we offer a great quality of care and the latest in technology to provide that,” Anderson said. “We tried to make (the center) accessible and easy with extended hours — from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays.”
Walk-ins are welcome.
Anderson Medical Center is located at 1945 Garnet Ave.
For more information, call (858) 224-7977, or visit www.andersonmedicalcenter.com.