For almost three decades, Mike Siegfried had been a patient of Dr. David Pulliam’s, an impressive statement not everyone can make.
“He was a Higginsville resident, known him forever,” Siegfried said. “He’s been my mom and dad’s doctor, my family doctor, so it’s just been through the generations. And then we had two boys, and so it just went through the family.”
Like the other clinics that are part of Western Missouri Medical Center (WMMC), the Family Practice of Central Missouri – Higginsville providers strive to serve the community of which they are a part. For Siegfried, part of that is a convenient location. “We live just right down the street, probably a two-minute drive,” he said. But more important is how he felt Dr. Pulliam valued his health.
“He was just very friendly,” he said. “You weren’t just a number, you know? You weren’t just another patient. There was a connection. He’d been there with my parents, and then with us and the kids, just built this relationship.”
However, as Dr. Pulliam began inching closer to retirement, Dr. Christopher Koehn arrived at Family Practice of Central Missouri – Higginsville to practice. Many of Dr. Pulliam’s patients would be seen by Dr. Koehn, including Siegfried. After so many years of developing a connection with one doctor who had seen three generations of his family, it would be understandable for Siegfried to wonder what a transition to a new doctor would be like. Siegfried didn’t have to wait long to find out.
“I was in the hospital shortly after I had met with [Dr. Koehn], and he shocked me,” Siegfried said. “He actually called me, on my cell phone, to find out how I was doing. And then when I was released from the hospital, I was on my way home in the car with my wife and my sister, and he called just to check on me and see how I was doing.”
Siegfried said he values the culture of community in a small town and liked that Dr. Koehn seemed to have immediately embraced that sense of culture.
“He actually seems to care about what’s going on,” Siegfried said. “And I got that because he called. I’ve been in there to see him, my wife’s been in there, and he’ll ask me ‘How’s (she) doing? How’s she feeling?’ It’s just a nice relationship.”
Siegfried said Dr. Koehn had begun working on that relationship before meeting for their first appointment.
“It appeared that Dr. Koehn had done his research as far as going through all of the records from the transition over,” he said. “When I walked in, he knew pretty much most of my past. He had questions, which I expected, but I think he spent time looking over the patients’ previous records so he didn’t walk in blind, and I thought that was very nice.”
Dr. Koehn has continued the sense of service to the local community Siegfried had come to expect, and WMMC has worked to continue to cultivate in all of its facilities.
“I think the big difference is you don’t walk in feeling like, I call it a number,” he said. “There’s doctors I’ve been to where you go in and you sit down and you say what you’ve got to say, and they’re up and they’re gone. You know, ‘next.’ It’s like an assembly line. There’s just no personal connection there. But in Higginsville, a small town, things are different. I just don’t know how else to describe it.”
However, Siegfried could describe Dr. Koehn’s attention and approach in just three words: “It is amazing.”