With the uncertainty of the new, national healthcare plan and its ripple effect looming, a Pacific Beach doctor took a giant leap of faith in early October 2011. Kenneth L. Anderson, D.O., opened the Anderson Medical Center at 1945 Garnet Avenue, just up the road from the urgent-care practice where he had worked for 24 years.
At 53, Anderson had 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 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 for 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. Dr. Anderson said he’s not overly worried about the unknowns of impending changes to U.S. healthcare.
“This is a positive environment, not so stuffy, and Dr. Anderson just seems to care a lot; he’s genuine,” said one of the receptionists.
The center takes most insurance, Dr. Anderson said.
For patients without insurance, the practice offers a flat sliding scale rate. The initial visit is $125 and follow-up visits are $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, Dr. 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 Dr. Anderson.
He’s been an avid tennis player for 25 years. And he’s not shy about telling people he had a cardiac arrest on the tennis court in 2010. 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 Avenue, Pacific Beach.
For more information, call (858) 224-7977, or visit www.andersonmedicalcenter.com.