If Whitehorse is going to get a new medical clinic it might as well do it in style, according to Dr. Bijan Jahangiri.
This is why he and his partner Armando Heredia spared no expense in creating their new practice, Taiga Medical Clinic.
“We wanted it to remind you of anything but a clinic,” said Jahangiri.
It actually resembles more of a spa.
The walls are all painted in soothing pastel colours and lined with artwork. Patients will wait in comfortable leather chairs.
Overhead speakers played soft classical music and a large flat screen, plasma TV played a tranquil video of whales.
The children’s play area, with small colourful stools and toys, had a plasma TV of its own, playing cartoons.
And behind the front desk a large wall fountain trickled away, ensuring positive Feng Shui.
“I got the idea a little over a year ago,” said Jahangiri.
“I had to spend some time convincing Dr. Heredia to join.”
Heredia is the only psychiatrist in the territory.
That means the clinic will be both a family and a specialist clinic.
There are hopes to get other specialists to join, as well as more family doctors.
There are eight examination rooms in the clinic so there’s potential for eight doctors to operate there at the same time.
The lavish settings of the waiting room continue once patients are buzzed through the door and taken to their examination room.
Maple cupboards and shelves are scattered throughout, and the sinks are elevated to look like bowls sitting on the counter.
“We wanted to decorate it like we would our own homes,” said Jahangiri.
“After all, we’re probably going to be spending more time here than in our own homes anyhow.”
The pediatric room is slightly larger than the others, with toys for kids to play with while waiting for their brothers, sisters or parents to see the doctor.
Heredia’s psychiatry room has everything but the Freudian couch. There’s a desk and chairs for discussions and a medical table for neurological examinations.
Instead of paper files, each patient’s medical information will be stored and backed up electronically.
To read these files, each examination room has its own computer.
Doctors have the option to make reports with voice recognition software and they are even trying to work with local pharmacies to create paperless prescriptions.
No detail is left uncovered.
In the bathroom, the toilet seats lowers automatically to make sure that children don’t pinch their fingers.
And each room is equipped with a panic button so that, in the event of an emergency, the doctor can stay with the patient while help is coming.
The best part is that with all the perks offered by the clinic, patients won’t have to pay any extra.
It’s all covered under the Yukon health-care system.
“We did it for the Yukon — to raise the bar for health care in the territory,” said Jahangiri.
“We want people to be more relaxed and actually enjoy their trip to the doctor.”
The lavish decoration and high-tech software isn’t just for patients though.
Jahangiri and Heredia are hoping that the extras offered by their clinic will help them attract more doctors and keep them in the territory.
“If the patients are happy, then the doctors will be happy as well,” said Jahangiri.
“We want to make this the best place to work.”
The clinic already has two family doctors coming up from Alberta to join the practice.
The territorial government is very pleased about the new clinic, said Jahangiri.
It has implemented programs to help doctors to relocate and recently approved $10,000 in office set-up funding.
But that doesn’t come close to covering the cost of the new clinic.
“We spent more than that on that wall,” said Jahangiri pointing to the fountain.
The clinic is not yet open but is currently allowing people to register as patients.
The doctors will not be taking drop-ins.