Dr. C. Nicole Swiner and her partners are committed to their patients. So committed that 10 years ago, when the UNC Health backed practice nearly closed after losing the support of the Chapel Hill giant, Dr. Swiner and Dr. Mohan Chilukuri banded together to keep the practice going.
“We had thousands of patients that relied on us,” said Dr. Swiner. We couldn’t have them without medical homes.” Together Swiner and Chilukuri formed Durham Family Medicine, a certified, patient-centered medical home to more than 8000 patients right here in Durham.
Their commitment to their patients is not unusual for those who practice family medicine. “Family medicine doctors, in general have a heart for community service,” said Dr. Swiner, “we are sometimes considered the low man on the medical totem pole, but we do what we do because we love people. You almost have to be born a family doctor with a desire to help others.”
Durham Family Medicine doesn’t stop with the doctor – patient relationship. They also offer allergy testing and treatment, massage therapy, a trained herbal and nutrition specialist, Zumba and yoga classes, as well as ultrasound and mammogram services in the office.
“In order to take good care of someone you have to know them intimately. That is an honor and privilege to serve in this way,” said Dr. Swiner.
Having grown to a practice of four, Durham Family Medicine is a full spectrum practice, providing Pediatric, Men’s Health, Mental Health, Chronic Disease, Gynecology and Geriatrics care. “I like to say we see patients from just hours old or newborn to ninety-nine and up,” said Dr. Swiner.
The practice maintains late hours, seeing patients as late as 6 p.m. and six months ago begin providing telemedicine – the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology. Telemedicine appointments are ideal for anything that does not require the doctor to physically touch the patient, including things like medication follow -up, prescription refills, mental health and diabetes and blood pressure follow up.
Durham Family Medicine is a unique practice, but not nearly as unique as their current building on Broad Street. Arguably no building in Durham has been more adaptively re-used than this location. Built in 1925, the building has served as a prison camp, Tuberculosis sanitarium, television station and the home to several different medical practices.
The level of care and commitment that each provider shows to their patients is evident as the practice continues to grow. Durham Family Medicine is currently in search of a fifth medical provider.