A Team Effort


After seven years in independent practice in Milwaukee, Dr. Shammo admits that the path he has chosen is not an easy one. Maintaining a viable practice in an age of rising practice costs and declining reimbursements is difficult for any physician, let alone an independent practitioner.

But Dr. Shammo considers it the price of freedom and self-satisfaction and emphasizes that he is far from alone in his efforts. “It is very much a team effort and the patient bears significant responsibility. It is ultimately the patient’s life, the patient’s body. Spouses and children also play an important role. And we partner with other physicians to ensure continuity of care. The primary care physician, cardiovascular specialists, diabetes specialists, dietitians and exercise physiologists all play a part. It is definitely not a one-man job.”

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Dr. Shammo is committed to doing his part to keep health care costs in check. His emphasis on prevention is part of that. So is a willingness to go the extra mile to help the indigent, uninsured and underinsured. Ultimately, he says, the hours of staff time spent on the phone and on paperwork to ensure that patients receive maximum benefits is preferable to the costs of ignoring their plight. “It is more cost effective in the long run to help on this end because, otherwise, they will end up getting sick and costing the health care system even more.”

“In the final analysis, medicine and cardiology will always be personal interactions between a doctor and a patient. The lifelong doctor-patient relationship, the trust that develops, the evidence-based treatments, timely interventions and appropriate utilization of health care resources will still be the most important factors in the perception of the quality of the care patients receive.”