2006-07-26 / Local News

Country doctor does it all

from bartering to Botox
By Jennifer Archibald Staff writer

Laughter prescribed Dr. Thomas Anderson believes laughter is good medicine, and he prescribes it for himself, too. He is pictured in his consultation room, wearing his Sponge Bob Square Pants house slippers. Comet photo by Jennifer Archibald Laughter prescribed Dr. Thomas Anderson believes laughter is good medicine, and he prescribes it for himself, too. He is pictured in his consultation room, wearing his Sponge Bob Square Pants house slippers. Comet photo by Jennifer Archibald Dr. Thomas Anderson is a true country doctor.

The bearded physician lives on a farm, raises sheep, and has a family practice in the rural community of Camden.

He is the sole owner and sole doctor in his practice.

He performs minor surgeries, still barters on occasion, and he makes house calls to dying patients.

The doctor says he has good common sense and enough experience to make accurate diagnoses without a lot of expensive testing.

He doesn't keep patients waiting, he keeps costs down, and tries to accommodate people who don't have insurance.

He added space onto his own home to care for patients who can't afford to go to the hospital, and until two years ago, he delivered babies at his home, including the last of his four children.

Dr. Anderson maintains a relaxed, sometimes jovial, atmosphere in his office. He may greet children in his "mad scientist" hat or his oversized, yellow Sponge Bob Square Pants house slippers.

Laser treatment in Camden This summer, Dr. Thomas Anderson added a laser machine to his family practice in Camden. He is pictured here giving a facial rejuvenation treatment to Dawn Eaker of Denver, Ind. Comet photo by Jennifer Archibald Laser treatment in Camden This summer, Dr. Thomas Anderson added a laser machine to his family practice in Camden. He is pictured here giving a facial rejuvenation treatment to Dawn Eaker of Denver, Ind. Comet photo by Jennifer Archibald He just remodeled his whole office, with wife Cindi as the decorator. He said the dcor is "country" because he's a country doctor. He said the idea was to make it warm and comfortable so it doesn't feel like a doctor's office.

Laser broadens his scope

Situated in the midst of his country dcor is a new state-of-the-art $135,000 laser machine. Dr. Anderson trained in Chicago to be able to offer various treatments.

"It broadens what I can do for people," he said.

People can now come to the country doctor for facial rejuvenation, acne treatment, oxygen infused/antioxidant facials, and removal of wrinkles, birth marks, scars, unwanted facial and body hair, and spider veins.

"I learned all kinds of techniques that are not done around here," Dr. Anderson said.

His new service is called MedAesthetics, and his techniques include laser and Botox treatments, and medical needling.

He said there is an emerging market, especially baby boomers, who want to reduce the signs of aging. He sees the new service as a way to help people feel better about themselves, and as a way to expand and stabilize his country practice.

Dr. Anderson said his laser machine, called a Laserscope, differs from most of the other laser machines in the surrounding area. He said his machine has two laser waves instead of one, and it is four times more powerful than the previous model.

"The more powerful it is, the more effective," he said.


        
        
          
        
          As a reminder 
            In Dr. Thomas Anderson's office are pieces of equipment and 
            memorabilia which he purchased from retiring physicians. He said 
            some of his current patients are former patients of those 
            physicians, and they like to see those familiar items. The manual 
            typewriter pictured here belonged to Dr. Robert Seese, who practiced 
            in Delphi. Dr. Anderson also has the doctor's chair that came out of 
            the office of Dr. Charles Wise in Camden. Comet photo by Jennifer 
            Archibald As a reminder In Dr. Thomas Anderson's office are pieces of equipment and memorabilia which he purchased from retiring physicians. He said some of his current patients are former patients of those physicians, and they like to see those familiar items. The manual typewriter pictured here belonged to Dr. Robert Seese, who practiced in Delphi. Dr. Anderson also has the doctor's chair that came out of the office of Dr. Charles Wise in Camden. Comet photo by Jennifer Archibald He explained that the Laserscope has a 532 micron wavelength, which is a visible green light, and a 1064 wavelength, which is invisible. He said the shorter electromagnetic wave targets superficial skin lesions, and smoothes out skin coloration. The longer wavelength penetrates deeper, targeting such things as wrinkles and hair follicles. Some treatments require the use of both lasers.

"The machine has 19 FDA-approved applications," Dr. Anderson said. It can be used, he said, on everything from sun spots and age spots to pre-cancerous lesions.

"It is safe for all skin types, and does not leave scars," he said. "It is non-ionizing, which means it won't cause any type of skin cancer, and it has a safety mechanism so that people can't be burned or harmed in any way."

Dr. Anderson said there is a brand new technique for treating acne that involves applying a chemical on the face, and then photoactivating the chemical with the laser. He said after three treatments, the acne is 90 percent reduced.

"What I like, is it's permanent," Dr. Anderson said. "People don't have to use all those expensive medications."

He said laser hair removal, which is also permanent, replaces expensive and painful electrolysis.

Jan Gibson of Flora, a patient of Dr. Anderson, has had laser treatments on her legs and face.

"I've been very pleased," she said. "I would recommend it to anybody."

Linda Barnard, medical assistant at the doctor's office, said people who are not regular patients of Dr. Anderson have been coming in from Kokomo, Lafayette, Covington and Indianapolis. One woman from Indianapolis said she came to Dr. Anderson for Botox because the cost was about half of what it would have been in Indy. Botox treatment is a non-surgical facelift. Injections fill in crow's-feet and crevices.

Medical needling

Dr. Anderson said he learned the medical needling technique at the same time that he learned how to do laser and Botox treatments.

"There are only about a handful of doctors who know how to do medical needling," he said. "It was developed by a plastic surgeon in South Africa. You can only get it done in New York, Boston, Chicago and now Camden."

He said medical needling removes deep wrinkles, pit marks and stretch marks, and thickens the skin.

"The skin is stimulated with a roller with small needles that penetrate the skin," he said. "It causes micro trauma to the epidermis and makes the body grow collagen."

Dr. Anderson said other new things offered at the practice are a line of oxygen-infused skin products and a foot bath that pulls toxins out of the body.

He officially started the MedAesthetics on July 1. So far, he has done more than 100 laser treatments and three Botox treatments.

Since he doesn't want to overcrowd his regular patient schedule, he has added later hours for the laser work.

Dr. Anderson does all the consultations and decisionmaking on procedures. He has trained two technicians to do some of the treatments. One technician is Dr. Anderson's son, Ben, who is working in the practice before entering medical school, and the other is staff member Linda Barnard.

Dr. Anderson has been practicing medicine since 1982. He said since that time he has had more than 120,000 patient visits. He currently has 5,000 patients, and expects more with his increased services.

He is affiliated with Unity Healthcare as a memberowner. Because he owns his practice, he can make changes or additions as he sees fit. Right now, blending old-fashioned doctoring with state of the art equipment suits him fine.

"I love my practice," he said.

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