When it comes to using medicine’s most modern technologies, millennial physician Dr. Lisa Cadoo is just what the doctor ordered! While the forward-thinking 35-year-old Dr. Cadoo is at the forefront of incorporating new technology, she is also bringing personalized care and attention back to medicine at her recently opened private practice at 66 Park Street, Montclair, New Jersey. When it comes to treating her patients, Dr. Cadoo, who is originally from Grenada, is always available – after all, that’s why this devoted doctor said she was originally drawn to medicine.We sat down with Dr. Cadoo to get a more in-dept look at what makes her approach to medicine and passion for this field so unique.
What inspired you to go into the medical field?
I don’t remember a specific point when I decided I would go into medicine, although I’ve always known it was my calling in life to be a physician. I grew up in the Caribbean, in Grenada, and I knew early on that school was both my passport and key to exploring the world, so I studied; in fact that’s all I did. Medicine came naturally to me. I attended St. George’s University, one of the oldest offshore medical schools in the Caribbean. Mostly all of my classmates were Americans, there were only two Grenadian students. The first two years of school are always done in the Caribbean, and the last two years, the hospital rotations, are done in the United States. That’s how I was transplanted to the United States. In short I was not only preparing for but also answering my calling.
What are some of your most memorable or life-changing medical moments?
Shortly after finishing my residency at St. Lukes Roosevelt Hospital in New York, I soon found myself working in Mobile, Alabama, at a federally funded clinic in an underprivileged community. Leaving Manhattan for rural Alabama was difficult but in hindsight, I loved the experience. It was at that point that I begin to realize the harsh realities of our existing healthcare system. We took care of all patients, often this included patients with no medical insurance. This required practicing medicine outside of my specialty because we were their only chance of getting medical help.
After 3 years, I then moved back to the East Coast and settled in New Jersey. There I worked for a larger healthcare system; what an eye-opening experience! My time there really shed light on the need for quality care. After four years, I realized physicians are not able to make much of an impact on people’s lives with only 15 minutes with a patient. It’s almost impossible to fully take care of a person this way, not to mention fully understand the details of the individual lives that can affect their health. That’s not how medicine should be.
What finally prompted you to start your own practice? What is your mission and how are you doing things differently?
I started my own practice about four months ago and I’m loving every minute of it, it’s what I was meant to be doing. For me, it’s about taking care of the person, not just the problems that they come in with. You can’t isolate the two, that’s why it’s so important to spend time with the patient and understand their unique experiences. You need to get a sense of their background. This all makes it possible to give treatments recommendations which may be more aligned with the patient. Not understanding this can also lead to misdiagnoses and it certainly won’t help you find a way to help anyone. You have to understand the person that’s in front of you. The problem is you don’t have time to do that in a traditional medical practice where patients are scheduled every 15mins. That’s why it was so important for me to start my own practice where my patient’s health comes first!
At Cadoo Medical, I can dedicate time to my patients and assess their unique needs. I see entire families, so I really get to know their full history. They in turn respond very positively to this new approach.
How do people respond to you being a young, millennial doctor?
People have been responding very positively to my approach to medicine.
I was able to pick an office building that was a blank slate, so it doesn’t look like a traditional doctor’s office. My design of the entire office was intentional and created with the patient’s needs and comfort in mind. Every exam room has a designated consultation area strategically arranged so I can remain at eye level with my patients. I’ve found this creates a more relaxed environment for the patient.
We incorporate a technology that allow our patients to have access to their medical records and to communicate with me directly.Additionally, my patients can schedule televisits with me which allow them to receive care from the comfort of their home and/or office.The use of this technology has been greatly received by younger working professionals. Moreover, our early morning, late evenings and weekend office hours are convenient for patients with busy schedules.It’s a great access point which people really like.
What do you think has to change in order to make medicine more adequate for all?
As technology advances, our patients have access to more information and are now demandinga better product. The old system is not working for lots of people. The current political conversation is about access to care and health insurance for everybody, but the quality of care that we have also needs a bit of a shakeup. Either you have access or you don’t, but what kind of care are you getting access to?
The quality of the care given is very important for me. I recognize that the system is shifting towards everyone being employed. Private practices are declining.
We don’t leave residency and open our own practice anymore. Most medical practices are owned and ran by business people who are motivated by financial gains. Quantity over quality. The system has become capitalistic, but that’s not what medicine is about at its core.
Do you and your partner find yourself bringing your work home?
We live and breathe medicine! We’re always thinking about new and innovative approaches to medicine. He has been in private practice for about three years and I’m just getting started.
66 Park Street, Suite 101
Montclair NJ 07042