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A Holistic Plan for Concierge Patient Care

Methodist Premier Wellness physician Jill Waggoner, M.S., M.D. treats the whole person with her background in integrative medicine

Everyone knows that old saying “laughter is the best medicine.” The sentiment isn’t lost on Methodist Premier Wellness physician Jill Waggoner, M.S., M.D., who loves comedy. She considers laughter an important part of a well-balanced, healthy life, along with her faith, building community, and spending time with her husband of 30 years and two adult daughters.

Dr. Waggoner’s concierge medical practice, which operates out of Methodist Charlton’s campus, offers an integrative, holistic approach to patient care. She emphasizes multiple healing modalities for a healthy mind, body, and soul. Some of her recommendations include méditation, prayer, proper hydration, good nutrition, and intermittent fasting.

“We are whole beings with a spirit, mind, and brain,” says the author of seven books. “What we feel, see, experience, and consume has a direct impact on how we are physically.”

Dr. Waggoner earned her master’s degree in anatomical sciences, in addition to a traditional medical doctorate, which helped her to view the body as an integrated system. From there, she developed her holistic approach to patient care. “It just made sense to me,” she says.

Over the span of her career, Dr. Waggoner sought out further education in integrative modalities and holds certificates in medical nutrition, hormone replacement therapy, and wellness and prevention.

“I assist patients with healing, not just stopping whatever physical ailment they have at the time,” she says. “They come to me for all sorts of things, at varying places in their health journey.”

She consults patients age “two to Jesus” on factors like diet, exercise, supplements, and herbal remedies. For the record, her youngest patient is currently 5 years old and the eldest, 101.

A concierge approach

A veteran practitioner within Methodist Health System, Dr. Waggoner pivoted to a concierge model in early 2020 to devote more one-on-one attention to each of her patients.

“When you connect with people, they trust you and follow your guidance,” she says. “What's most important is that we have a relationship.”

A strong doctor-patient bond became especially critical during the coronavirus pandemic as people were experiencing more anxiety, uncertainty, and needed on-demand healthcare in times of crisis.

“My practice grew during COVID,” she says. “Patients need a doctor that they can talk to if they got COVID and were having breathing difficultly in the middle of the night—someone who could give them specialized recommendations rather than sending them to the ER.”

Aside from COVID, the convenience of concierge medicine has been especially useful for her patients who are short on time, travel often for work, or who live primarily in other areas of the country.

“We get patients in the same day or the next day,” she says. “We take care of patients no matter where they are. They could be on vacation or live in another city. We’ll do tele-visits and I can order their lab work wherever it’s convenient for them.”

Some of her patients are based in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta, for example.

“It’s truly global medicine,” she says. “Patients come to my practice because of the care that they get. I’m not just their doctor, I’m their advocate if they need emergency care somewhere else.”

At work and at home

Long viewed a leader in her community, Dr. Waggoner’s church relies on her as a medical adviser, and she also teaches a women’s development course.

“My faith is very important to me,” she says. “It’s important to have a moral compass for my life and how I approach other people.”

As far as downtime is concerned, Dr. Waggoner’s favorite hobbies—aside from enjoying comedy shows and concerts with her husband—are painting and drawing.

“For Mother’s Day, my daughters brought over canvases, and we had dinner on the back porch and painted,” she says as her voice lights up. “It was the best thing.”

The proud mom says that her older daughter works in event production and maintains Dr. Waggoner’s social media accounts, and the younger is studying to be a naturopathic physician and carry on her mother’s legacy of holistic healing.