Health anxiety is a persistent and unfounded worry about having severe medical conditions. Think about feeling something is off or noticing a change on your body. You then look up your symptoms on the Internet and you see there are a multitude of possible reasons for what you’re observing. Of—let us say—20 possible causes for your symptoms, all of them benign save one. You’re pretty sure if not absolutely certain that one horrible cause is the reason for your condition. 

A slightly elevated prostate specific antigen score, for example, means prostate cancer not benign hyperplasia. A few muscle twitches means amyotrophic lateral sclerosis not benign fasciculation syndrome. That discomfort in your chest is not indigestion but the precursor to a life threatening heart attack. Complicating the matter is that health anxiety can produce its own collection of symptoms such as dizziness, abdominal problems, muscle tension and the like which only elevates your stress level. 

With the Covid-19 pandemic acting as a catalyst, probably more people are experiencing some level of health anxiety. To be clear, health anxiety affects all manners of people regardless of their financial stature. However, the wealthy suffering from health anxiety are increasingly inclined to take actions that better enable them to deal with the condition as well as deal with possible serious medical problems. For the wealthy who fall into this category, concierge medical practices have become a very effective way for them to more deal with their worries.

According to Daniel Carlin, CEO and founder of WorldClinic, “Concierge medicine is generally a retainer arrangement between primary care physicians and their patients. The objective is to provide a higher quality of healthcare because the physicians know their patients well and have the time and resources to deliver exceptional medical care.”

Addressing Health Anxiety
While some people seek psychological help such as cognitive-behavioral therapy to deal with health anxiety, a very effective way of managing specific incidences of health anxiety is when a qualified physician says the symptoms are not the result of some serious medical condition. This approach—in no way—addresses the person’s overall mental perspective. He or she still suffers from health anxiety. However, by having a qualified physician provide an accurate diagnosis that the medical condition is not life threatening, it is very likely to mitigate the anxiety a person feels around a specific set of symptoms. 

“The ability to help patients quickly, by either reducing their concerns because their medical condition is not what they horrendously imagine it to be or by taking action to diagnose and treat a more serious medical condition is very powerful,” says Jeffrey Friedman, MD, Director of Medicine at Community Health Associates and a member of MDVIP. “We have some patients who describe themselves as hypochondriacs. Their concerns are very real and it’s better to make sure they’re healthy or have relatively minor medical problems than to ignore symptoms until the situation gets very bad. What’s so important is to help each and every patient not only with their health problems but to help them effectively cope with their health concerns.” 

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, probably more people are experiencing some level of health anxiety. For the wealthy who fall into this category, concierge medical practices are proving to be a way for them to more effectively manage their worries and, more importantly, receive a higher level of healthcare. 

The increase in people with health anxiety is another reason for the growth in the number of concierge medical practices. While once only available to the wealthy, concierge medicine is becoming increasingly normative. Concierge medical practices like Friedman’s serve a financially diverse patient population and, very importantly, irrespective of a patient’s net worth, each and every patient receives exceptional healthcare. 

For a complimentary PDF copy of The World of Concierge Medicine: How a Renaissance in Health Care Cab Help You and Your Loved Ones Live Long and Healthy Lives request the book from [email protected].