Susan Wilder, MD
Dr. Wilder is a mom of a daughter and twin girls, a family physician, and founder and CEO of Lifescape Medical Associates in Scottsdale, AZ. www.LifeScapeMed.com
How many children do you have? I have three daughters (a 15-year-old and 11-year-old twins), plus a golden retriever, a guinea pig, and three snails. My kids keep me humble.
What’s your specialty? I specialize in family medicine. I have a hybrid retainer practice, which is like adding first class to the airline. Some of my patients choose pay extra for more time, more access, and more personalized service.*
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Perfection is a great goal, but it’s not achievable and it costs too much. Parenting is a humbling experience. I am quick to say “I’m sorry. I didn’t understand.” It is important that our kids understand parents aren’t perfect.
What has surprised you most about parenting? How challenging it is. I can’t comprehend how my mom, who has seven children, did it. But I know she is masterful at compartmentalizing. If she was having “her time,” there was nothing we could do to get her attention. She could sit at the table, eating her lunch and reading a magazine, and a child could be having a tantrum on the floor, and she’d just keep chewing and turning the pages. But then when it was our time, she was fully present for us.
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? My husband and I are not perfect role models. We do even at times to go McDonald’s. In the summer in Arizona, there are only two places to stay cool: in a pool and at the Play Place at McDonald’s. But when we went, I struck a deal with my kids: If they ordered a Happy Meal, I kept the toy. But if they ordered a yogurt or salad, they could pick a toy from my basket of collected toys.
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? I work 60-hour work weeks and so I don’t have the time to go to the gym and work out like I used to. I try to use my time right. For example, I’ll walk around the field when my kids are playing soccer. Or I send email on my “crackberry” while I take a walk. I also do walking meetings and even walking patient visits.
How do you recharge your batteries? One of my kids put “Breathe” on my screensaver so I see it each time I turn on my phone. When I’m on hold on the phone or stuck in traffic, I do deep breathing. I also get up before everyone else each morning and take my dog for a walk, do yoga, and read the paper. That’s my time.
I like to read a bit in bed before I go to sleep. My husband gets short shrift because at dinner the kids all want to talk and so at bedtime he tries to talk to me about business. I say, “Uh my brain is done. I’m off duty.” I need time to chill down before I go to bed. If I talk shop, I’ll never go to sleep.
*Dr. Wilder recently switched her practice to a hybrid concierge model, which is a system that gives physicians a private source of revenue and allows them to continue seeing all their patients. This hybrid model provides an affordable choice (about $150/month) to patients who want to participate in a concierge model. These patients get same-day appointments, longer scheduled office visits, an in-depth physical with specialized tests, more extensive evaluations, and often 24-hour direct phone and email access to their physicians. The hybrid concierge option is for a wide range of patients, with the desire for a more meaningful and personal relationship with their physician, one that emphasizes, convenience, prevention and wellness. The program specifically offers medical services not covered by traditional insurance plans or Medicare. What’s different about this program is that patients who do not want to join the concierge program or cannot afford it can stay in the traditional insurance model and still get to keep Dr. Wilder as their physician. The hybrid model is a product of Concierge Choice Physicians (CCP), the largest company offering a hybrid model and the second largest concierge management company in the nation with more than 100 physicians in 15 states.