Caught in the Act!

By Dr. Michael Baron, D.O.

Dr. Baron’s article was recently published in the Smoke Signal, Stone Mountain, GA.

It has been over twenty-five years since I decided to take time out of my regular medical practice to do some volunteer work. I still recall the gratification I felt when the patients showed their appreciation for the care provided. Initially, I had considered going to a distant location and spending a week away, as some local physicians do on an annual basis. As I considered the foreign care option, I realized that I had responsibilities as a father and a husband that made it impractical.

When I heard about the DeKalb Physicians’ Care Clinic (PCC) in Decatur, I immediately agreed. The organizer at DeKalb Medical Society started me off with evening shifts from 6pm to 8 pm every three months at the Health Department office on Winn Way. I found it quite liberating in the sense that I didn’t have to deal with insurance bureaucracies and staff at the business offices, or have to follow up on labs or handle refills.

The patients were asked if they could give a $20 donation in exchange for seeing a physician and receiving a free 90-day prescription of medications, along with an explanation on how to take the medicines by a pharmacist. On the occasion that a patient needed diagnostic tests, it was so easy to circle the order page, and the staff would make the arrangements. Luckily, multiple specialist have worked out arrangements with the PCC so that the patients will be seen in their office at no charge.

With time, I found myself increasing my volunteer house to monthly, and now I volunteer on the first two Wednesday of each month. Luckily, we still do paper charting, so I don’t find myself screaming at a computer screen. The positive spirit of all the nursing staff makes those two Wednesday evenings a joy! When Fox 5 did a feature on the PCC, I was lucky enough to be interviewed. You can view the interview at the following link;

The patient featured in the November 2016 video is Katie Lyn who survived kidney cancer because of the team efforts of everyone at the PCC. I wish I could say that she is the only dramatic case, but really there are so many patients that have been helped by the PCC. There are so many patients that are insurance poor. In other words, they are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, but they can’t afford health insurance. Luckily, there are multiple similar clinics around the state of Georgia that would benefit from volunteers. A good list can be found at