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Annals of Medicine

 

continued

Sanda came to Ann Arbor in 1981 from Chicago to do his residency at St. Joe's and stayed to open his own primary-care practice. More than thirty years ago, he rented an office at the back of St. Joe's urgent care center at Maple and Miller. "I wanted to practice the way I thought medicine should be practiced," he recalls in a phone interview. His patients parked steps away from his front door, where his small staff greeted them by name. With the urgent care center in the same building, "if an X-ray was needed, for example, they could walk over and have it done without having to get back into their car."

Joe O'Neal, founder of O'Neal Construction, has been Sanda's patient for more than twenty years. "I've been outliving my doctors," jokes O'Neal, eighty-four, "at least their practices." When he asked St. Joe's to recommend a doctor who understood runners, they recommended Sanda.

"I'm used to his mantra," O'Neal says by phone. "Eight glasses of water a day, fruits, vegetables. We may talk about Obamacare or a building I'm building, but he is very focused, very businesslike."

"I practice what I preach," says Sanda. "I'm a true believer in diet, exercise, stress management." He also believes in "providing all the basics" and thoughtful, personal service to a diverse group of patients ranging from lifelong townies to high flyers, literally--he does physicals for pilots. One former patient, auto exec and Road & Track columnist Bob Lutz, gave Sanda a ride in his jet. "He likes to go fast," Sanda says.

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