Dr. Tara Troy loves that she’s bucking the trend by opening her new medical practice, Comprehensive Gastrointestinal Health, in Northbrook on Sept. 1, 2018.
Of the doctors in Troy’s field, gastroenterology, only 12.9 percent are female, according to Becker’s Healthcare. The publication also notes that only 23 percent of all female physicians work in a private practice. And, according to the AMA’s Physician Practice Benchmark Surveys, less than half of all physicians are practice owners for the first time ever.
So why is Troy, an Inverness native and Wilmette resident, starting her own practice?
“I prefer the intimacy of a small private practice to the larger and less personal medical institutions,” Troy said. “I have thought for a long time that I should focus GI more on prevention with a goal of prescribing the fewest prescriptions because that’s what I have heard from my patients. … I’m responding to what I hear from patients are saying they need and their frustrations, and I’m creating the job that I want.”
Troy’s 3,638-square-foot practice will be located at 40 Skokie Boulevard in Northbrook, just west of the U.S. 41/Lake Cook exit. She said there are no other gastroenterology practices in nearby Deerfield, Northfield, Glencoe, Bannockburn or Winnetka.
Troy spent the previous 12 years at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, where she said 85 percent of her patients were female. Troy said her target audience is 50-year-old women and their 20-year-old daughters. Many times, the moms’ husbands become her patients as well, Troy said.
Troy said her practice will include five full-time and five part-time employees. This will include an in-house dietitian and counselor/psychologist to help target some of the most common gastrointestinal conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome and obesity. There will be an in-office endoscopy suite with little touches like a more palatable colonoscopy preparation and the ability to choose their own music for procedures like colonoscopies to make the experience “as pleasant as possible,” Troy said.
“We’re going to have TVs in every room with PowerPoint slides to try and educate patients as much as possible,” Troy said. “We want to provide a well-rounded treatment plan and engage with our patients on how they would like to approach their own health issues. With a smaller practice, we will be able to offer our patients more of our time as well.”
Troy, 43, said she’s wanted to be a doctor since she was a young child, and she was heavily influenced by her mother, Martha, who was a beloved nurse at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. When Troy was 7 years old, she drew a picture with a caption that read “Someday I wish to be a doctor. I can’t wait till I grow up. And get my first patient.” The picture featured Troy as a doctor and a little girl as a patient saying “I feel better.”
Her education at Fremd High School, especially from memorable AP teachers like Richard Bokor (history) and Helen Schersten (English), helped her find a college with a strong medical background while continuing to nourish her interest in history and literature, both of which have become lifelong passions and serve her well in medicine and patient care.
Troy received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her medical school degree from Rush Medical School. Troy completed her internal medicine residency from the University of Chicago, where she also earned a Gastroenterology and Hepatology Fellowship.
Troy said starting a business from scratch has been “a little terrifying but also a little exciting.” She said it wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous support of her husband, Jon, a pediatrician at Sanders Court Pediatrics in suburban Buffalo Grove and Arlington Heights, and her children: Kyra, 13, and Taylor, 9. Troy said her family has helped her choose office colors and furniture, and Kyra has even assisted with proofreading paperwork and helping her install tech equipment.
“I have a family that is fully on board and supportive, and that’s a huge part of this,” Troy said.
You can check out her Facebook page below: https://www.facebook.com/compgihealth