I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Richard Park, founder and Chief Executive Officer of CityMD, the leading urgent care provider in the New York metro area and Seattle, Washington. He is board-certified in emergency medicine and holds expertise in all facets of urgent care delivery and operation. His unparalleled education combined with his vision for delivering highly accessible, top-quality medical care has grown CityMD to more than 100 locations.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path as a doctor or healer?
Thank you for having me! A passionate group of emergency medicine physicians and I founded CityMD in 2010 with the mission to serve our communities by providing an exceptional experience through high-quality medical care and convenient access. We all shared the belief that healthcare had lost its human touch, and we wanted to restore humanity back into it.
I’ve always aspired to serve others, and being a physician enables me to do that. I love what I do; I love being able to help people. At CityMD, we play a small role in bettering patients’ days, even if it’s just by making them feel better, and that’s an incredible feeling. It’s an honor to wake up in the morning and think: “What can I do to help someone today?”
How have your personal challenges informed your career path?
As a father, I’ve been in those situations where your child needs medical attention, and often you want help quicker than what an emergency room can provide. So that’s why we started CityMD: to be a cost-effective alternative to the ER that treats everyone with respect and kindness in a timely manner. These simple building blocks have shaped our company and drive our business.
Can you share five pieces of advice to other doctors/clinicians/healers to help their patients to thrive?
- Go back to the basics. Put the humanity back in healthcare, gain the trust of your patients by taking great care of them when they are at their most vulnerable — when they’re sick or injured — and follow up with them to make sure they are feeling better and on the path back to wellness.
- Patient care is all about quality. CityMD is aligned with the patient’s needs first, the payer’s needs second, and the healthcare provider partners third. Care always comes first and foremost–it’s what doctors commit to when they enter the field of medicine.
- Today’s customer-centric world requires companies to put the consumer first — and healthcare is no different. CityMD delivers value and an exceptional experience because we bring a retail-minded philosophy and hospitality service to healthcare, and our patients have, rightly so, come to expect this type of service across all our locations.
- The patient experience doesn’t stop when they leave the doctor’s office. At CityMD, we have a program called Aftercare that helps navigate a patient through healthcare follow-up after they leave our sites. Aftercare helps coordinate follow-up appointments, fill medication scripts, and offers direct access to a healthcare professional when needed after the initial visit.
- Staff burnout is not going to benefit anyone. As with caring for the patients, it’s vital that we care for our staff and physicians. We started CityMD as a way to increase access to great healthcare in all neighborhoods, while giving board-certified emergency physicians a more flexible schedule. This harmony allows the physician to better deliver quality care to our patients.
Social media and reality TV create a venue for people to share their personal stories. Do you think more transparency about your personal story can help or harm your field of work? Can you explain?
Healthcare is more than just caring for others, it’s about the personal connection you establish with your patients as you work together to make them feel better. I’m always happy to share my personal stories that shaped who I am today and why we founded this company, and I enjoy connecting with my patients and learning who the person I’m treating really is.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant to your life?
When I was a child, I fell off a slide and broke my tailbone. As a child of working-class immigrants, I was afraid to tell my father about the severity of the injury because I didn’t want to burden my him with the cost of treatment.
After three days of quietly being in excruciating pain, my father decided something wasn’t right and took me to a doctor who was a friend of his. After examining me, Dr. Kim took my father aside to talk. I later realized that it was to tell him not to worry about the cost of the visit — it was free.
Dr. Kim helped out my family in a way I will never forget, and yet it was just another day for him. His act of service decades ago has greatly influenced what CityMD is today because I learned that a doctor should provide equal parts care and compassion. This mantra has helped guide my approach to caring for patients ever since.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
CityMD was founded upon the idea of building healthier, kinder communities and increasing access to high-quality care for everyone. We strive to open urgent care centers in underserved areas to increase this access. Our locations in these areas are designed to have the exact same look, feel, and staff as those in the more affluent neighborhoods because no matter your financial ability, everyone should have access to the best care. So, in short, I’d love for the door to quality care to be open to everyone.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Thank you again for having me!