He moves from one room to the next listening patiently as the person sitting on the cushioned table describes his or her ailments.
Exam room one contains a worried mother and a child who has a hacking cough, a runny nose and a spiking fever. Exam room two contains an eighty-nine year old man who has severe pain in his right knee. Exam room three contains a middle-aged woman with a lump in her left breast and fear in her eyes.
Day after day, for nearly 30 years, Dr. Gary Birdsall has served as a family practitioner to residents of all ages in the south Lafourche area. He does it all from treating common illnesses such as sore throats and ear infections to diagnosing and managing rare diseases and terminal illnesses.
Dr. Birdsall’s medical clinic focuses on five core areas of practice including family medicine, internal medicine, pediatric care, urgent care and immunizations.
Family practice is a broad category of primary care medicine that covers newborn to elderly patients.
Dr. Birdsall’s clinic cares for acute and chronic illnesses, disease management, diabetes, minor injuries and surgeries, pediatric and adult wellness screens, immunizations, physicals, preventative therapies, the Kidmed program and more.
“Despite the wild changes in healthcare nationwide, we are very enthusiastic about the future. We stay abreast of the changes to minimize impact on the patient and do everything we can to provide the best medical care possible. We are expanding to meet the medical needs of the community we love,” said Dr. Birdsall.
The practice is expanding by adding urgent care during business hours on weekdays and may eventually expand into evening hours and weekends. The clinic will take walk-in and same day appointment requests for urgent care on a first come, first served basis.
Ochsner recently moved into a wing of Dr. Birdsall’s clinic and will have rotating specialists. OB/GYN is currently available for appointments. Other specialties including urology will begin soon. Ochsner may be reached at 985-632-1070.
In December 2013, Dr. Birdsall made the decision to remain independent rather than moving to the Lady of the Sea Medical Center. His practice remains in the same building in Birdsall Plaza, 102 West 112 St. in Cut Off, but his phone number changed to 985-632-5222.
Dr. Birdsall’s clinic accepts virtually all insurance plans, Medicare, Medicaid and all Bayou Health Plans. The clinic has a full-time registered nurse that does pediatric wellness screens, immunizations and Kidmed screens.
“In the past, the treating physician was the real driver of healthcare. Now, government, insurance companies, and medical corporations are the predominate drivers of healthcare. The trend for many doctors is to join large groups or hospitals and ‘hand over the reins’ of their practice to boards and committees that base medical decision making on business and politics and have no idea how to treat a patient or what a patient needs,” said Dr. Birdsall. “I have bucked the trend and opened a private practice to get back to doctor driven medicine. I can make a decision based on what’s best for the patient between the patient and me without any outside influence.”
Dr. Birdsall’s medical clinic boasts a great team of healthcare professionals including a nurse practitioner, two registered nurses and a skilled administrative staff. Linda Garlington, one of the office’s secretaries, has worked alongside Dr. Birdsall since he first started practicing medicine. The clinic administrator, his son Gary Birdsall, Jr., is also an attorney.
All six of Dr. Birdsall’s children helped turn the building over at its start-up earlier this year and did everything from moving equipment to painting walls and scrubbing floors. Two of his daughters help at the office when on break from college during the summer.
“We offer excellent comprehensive same-day service in a doctor managed clinic with nearly 30 years experience in the community that I was born and raised in. Unlike many clinics that operate without a doctor on a daily basis, our patients always have access to a medical doctor in the clinic and over the phone. I answer all my calls the same day and take calls for my patients every weeknight.
“Our clinic stays open later than most clinics; we often treat patients well into the evening. We are expanding into Urgent Care where we accept walk-ins and same day appointments for acute illnesses and injuries,” said Dr. Birdsall.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gary Birdsall call 985-632-5222.
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Posted on Tue, October 28, 2014
by The Lafourche Gazette