For the last two years, the world shut down in times of fear and economic instability against a globally ravaging disease. For the medical field, social distancing and the spread of COVID-19 severely limited patient access to certain medical services and doctors. Many medical practitioners were either furloughed or had to shut down their practices. Yet against these odds, one boutique practice chose to open its doors during these difficult times. In the wake of uncertainty, this practice remained dedicated to providing quality care and assistance to their patients. Now with offices set up in Newton Square and Cherry Hill, Beatty Harris Sports Medicine is becoming a forefront example of the rising trend in boutique medicine, offering a wide variety of non-surgical orthopedic procedures and physical therapy. Their staff comprises former Division I athletes and national champions who evaluate, diagnose, and treat musculoskeletal pain for acute and chronic injuries.
In a recent interview, VUE NJ Magazine had the opportunity to sit with the practice’s co-founders, Dr. Tricia Beatty and Dr. Allen Harris.
Dr. Beatty is a former competitive Gymnast and Division l NCAA Diver, and a Board Certified Sports Medicine Physician with over 12 years of experience in her field.
Dr. Harris is a former Division I gymnast and National champion who served as the team captain of Penn State’s men’s gymnastics team. He is also a Board-Certified Sports Medicine Physician who completed his residency and fellowship at Crozer Keystone Health System.
“As a non-surgical orthopedic sports medicine physician, I wanted to take care of my patients even after being furloughed. Especially given the cancellation of all elective surgeries, people with painful orthopedic conditions had little access to a physician,” Dr. Beatty said. “However, I realized that if I was going to treat my patients, I had to open my practice. That’s when I partnered with Dr. Harris who was finishing up his fellowship in sports medicine. For him, finding a position in a large group could be extremely difficult given the uncertainty of the job market during this time. For both of us, opening the practice was a major risk given the pandemic, but it has been our best decision, ever.”
Beatty Harris Sports Medicine was founded in July 2020 and started from humble beginnings, with one exam room each in Cherry Hill and Newtown Square and only two employees. As plans for setting up the website and marketing the practice were underway, Dr. Beatty’s patients whom she had been treating for over 10 years were able to find her and continue their care with her in their new practice.
“We soon moved into a larger space with multiple exam rooms, hired a sports physician to take over the cherry hill office, and added physical therapy to our practice in Newtown Square,” said Dr. Beatty. “We now have 3 physical therapists treating our patients. Our practice provided orthopedic care to patients at a time when elective orthopedic surgeries were just not available when they needed it, and we were there for them. In the short time since we started treating patients, we became an option for those seeking the level of personalized care that is often lacking in other medical conglomerates.”
There has been a gradual shift towards boutique medicine or “concierge” medicine over the years for its personalized approach to the patient-physician experience. From the patient’s perspective, they are with a doctor who knows their medical history and their lifestyle, and create tailored treatment plans that best suit their needs and comfort. For the doctors, a smaller group of patients allows them time to fully evaluate, provide treatment, and care for their patients that often cannot be found in larger medical practices. For Doctor Beatty, working in a large multi speciality orthopedic practice was challenging.
“I didn’t have the time to connect with my patients, find out their goals, or answer all their questions about their diagnosis or treatment. It was just hard to provide the amount of time each person needed in that model of treating patients,” Dr. Beatty said. ”It was exhausting for me because I was frustrated that I couldn’t do more. The pace and volume of patients lead to a sense of burn-out. Burn-out is something many doctors are experiencing. It occurs in situations where they have limited time, resources, and are overloaded with the volume of people they are treating. That’s why Dr. Harris and I are strong advocates for boutique medicine: for the patient, they are treated by someone that knows them and their history and has the time and patience to walk them through their diagnosis and treatment; for the physician, they focus on a much smaller group of patients they are familiar with, and give them the quality time and care they need. In my experience working one-on-one with a patient, I have had more time to explore their care or diagnosis in determining what treatment is right for them.”
“I’ve had a lot of patients come to me and say they never felt like I, or any of the other physicians at Beatty Harris Sports Medicine had their hand on the door ready to see the next patient,” Dr. Harris told VUE NJ. “They appreciate that we sit down with them and thoroughly answer all their questions. Many of them do not expect the amount of time we take with them. I had one patient come up to me and say, ‘Every time I come here, I feel as though I am your only patient for the day. I feel seen under your care.’ When I hear my patients say this, it gives me immense pride in my work and that drives me to continue giving my patients the best care they can get, and for them to enjoy coming to our office.
“A lot of times, patients would have already gotten the same diagnosis from a bigger practice,” Dr. Harris told VUE. “But explaining the diagnosis, how that causes pain, and how we will make them better makes a huge impact on their involvement and willingness to follow through with the treatment.”
Patients who switched from a larger practice to Beatty Harris Sports Medicine also noticed the differences in the support and responsiveness of their staff surrounding their treatment, an aspect that is often lacking in larger practices. With this practice, patients can directly ask their doctor questions through email in their patient portal, patients can easily access their team of staff to help guide them often through the convoluted process of authorizations and precepts required by insurance companies.
“One of the ways our practice stands out from other boutique medicinal practices is that we accept all major insurance companies where for some concierge practices, there are steel out-of-pocket costs,” said Dr. Harris.
Boutique medicine is also referred to as “concierge” medicine for its individual and personalized treatment plans, a standard Beatty Harris Sports Medicine continues to excel in its patient care and services. Unfortunately, this level of care and attention is lacking in other, larger medical practices, leaving patients in the dark about their conditions and treatments.
For Dr. Beatty and Dr. Harris, they wanted a practice that would make their patients feel assured that their pain mattered. The timing of the pandemic could not have been better in bringing this dream to reality. Even as the practice continues to expand its services, locations, and clientele, its goal remains resolute in providing individualized patient experience with the care and quality its clients deserve.
Cherry Hill (East)
2005 Marlton Pike East Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
Cherry Hill (West)
496 Kings Hwy N Suite 110 Cherry Hill, NJ, 08034
(Located in 3DPT)
3409 West Chester Pike Suite 202 Newtown Square, PA, 19073