Comprehensive patient care under one roof.

Illustration of doctors and nurses.

The health care system can be tricky for patients to navigate. Between providers, specialists, cost and location, it can seem impossible to maintain a sense of stability. At Associated Physicians, patient independence, autonomy and decision-making power are encouraged.

Associated Physicians is celebrating its 75th anniversary, and during this time it has maintained its strong patient-provider relationship, continuously improving on a model that ties providers, patients and community together. By building a foundation of caring and listening, the practice prides itself on being a resource to patients — not the patient’s decision-maker.

“We want patients to feel supported, and to know that we have their backs,” says Executive Director Terri Carufel-Wert. “We genuinely support decisions our patients are making for their health care. We provide facts, resources and information to inform their decision, but we want everyone to walk away feeling in control of their health care.”

Because Associated Physicians operates on an independent model different from that of most other health care providers, choices can be made in-house. With no “red tape,” staff may implement measures quickly to assist patients.

In the era of COVID-19, this independence has proven to be invaluable. Because of the quick pivot COVID forced upon health care workers, this working model helped the Associated Physicians team rise to the occasion. In fact, we just added a behavioral health provider to our team to better assist our patients through this difficult time.

“With many specialties and resources on-site, that independence gives us the ability to make quick, effective decisions,” says Carufel-Wert. “We are able to involve doctors from any department to improve patient care.” Because we are under one roof, our staff works closely as a team for a common goal, our patients’ health and well-being. 

For example, a mother recently shared that she took her son into his pediatric appointment and mentioned she had been having pain associated with breastfeeding. An OB-GYN was able to step in with the pediatrician so that both mother and son could be cared for simultaneously.

Remaining independent is something the practice prides itself on. The growth over the last 75 years has been encouraging. “There’s nothing like being able to practice medicine the way we want along with helping our patients, community and staff along the way,” she says.

“We have always embraced all walks of life. We have grown our workforce to reflect that,” says Carufel-Wert. “Beginning with female providers in the early days — it wasn’t so visible. Now it’s a sea of amazing and diverse faces that captures what our community is all about.”

With its unique model, Associated Physicians looks forward to providing health care to the Madison area for generations to come.

“We’re a family, and we treat our patients as if they are family,” says Carufel-Wert. “Our staff gets to know patients, and we develop a bond with them. Part of the family sense of the clinic is knowing that we are always there for each other. Even during the difficulty of the COVID crisis, we lift each other up.”