Care Practice is a primary, urgent and integrated care office in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission Dolores neighborhood. We are a team of multi-talented doctors who hold strong beliefs about the way care should be delivered. That means excellent medical care is our highest priority.
We don't like it when people come to us for a diagnosis they have already settled on. We are a practice full of doctors who will explore your health with you, and then decide the best treatment.
Another thing that's unique about us is our insurance policy. We don't take insurance. We don't wait for preauthorizations to provide care. If you come to us, we will gladly offer you all the services at our disposal, but we operate as a fee-for-service operation.
We are not the right practice for everyone, but for those who resonate with our humor, our approach, and our expertise—we are perfect.
How Care Practice came to be
Care Practice started out as a notion of what health care ought to look like.
Dr. Blackledge was struggling to find fulfillment in a career that had 50% of Bay Area primary care doctors considering leaving within the next three years. And, after working in Emergency Departments, Urgent Care Centers, as the clinic director of an indigent care clinic catering to migrant farm workers, and finally as a house call doctor for 5-star hotels and the very wealthy, Dr. Blackledge had formed an idea of what an ideal medical practice would look like.
Facing an unfulfilling, frustrating future, he opted for uncertainty and decided to risk it all: he decided to build a practice that made sense to him.
Most of his colleagues thought he was crazy to open his own office in San Francisco and run contrary to the trend of abandoning independent practices in favor of joining larger insurance operations like Kaiser. He did it anyway, but it wasn’t easy.
As it was the beginning of the 2008 Banking Crisis, he couldn’t get a loan anywhere.
He spent his entire life savings and signed a ten-year lease on a vacant, graffitied storefront in the Mission.
As Dr. Blackledge puts it, “Essentially I put myself in a position where failure was not an option. My only plan B was to keep 5,000 dollars to the side, put a shower in the back, and turn the office into my apartment if it didn’t work.”
Care Practice opened in late 2008 the way one would open a neighborhood restaurant—with a focus on customer experience. Slowly, Dr. Blackledge started developing a compelling identity and brand in a tough urban marketplace with diminishing access to quality doctors.
Eight years after opening, Care Practice has seen over 15,000 patients—a feat that makes it one of the largest private, fee-for-service practices in the United States.
Eight years after opening, our rent has also increased astronomically.
To stay afloat, Dr. Blackledge did what people in San Francisco do to make money to meet their rent—he started a business. Learn more about Orchestra One, our in-house startup here.
Take an honest look at how medicine is practiced today. Doctors are treated as vending machines. Patients self-diagnose online and seek out physicians who will grant their wishes.
Medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States.
This reality should horrify every patient in America and scare every doctor. Clearly, it's time for a change.
In San Francisco especially, medicine is even more corrupted. Everything about the technology industry exacerbates what is going wrong in healthcare.
We're doctors, but we're human too. We're trying to do our best to help our patients, and if you have misgivings about the healthcare system, know that we do too. We're often conflicted about the hypocrisy of doctors treating addiction and think the system could be better too.
At Care Practice, we listen to what our patients say, however, we reject the rubber stamp system doctors have become a part of.
Our approach to care is revolutionary in that it takes medicine back to a time when high quality care was derived from a great relationship between a patient and their doctor.