Dr. Robert Chang is opening Gynecology Associates of South Kansas City at St. Joseph Medical Center. Photo by Kathy Feist
Gynecologist says his patient visits are longer for a good reason
By Kathy Feist
Dr. Robert Chang confesses he likes to spend time visiting with his patients.
“They are almost like friends when they come in the office,” says the new gynecologist who is setting up practice at St. Joseph Medical Center. “I really try to give them time with their preventative care. We talk about everything.”
For Chang’s patients, preventative care is more than the annual five-minute pap smear. It includes discussions such as colon cancer screening, vaccination for shingles, smoking cessation, weight and exercise benefits, sexual health and even stress incontinence.
“There are a lot of things people suffer with in silence that have avenues for improvement on their health,” he says, “but they are too bashful to bring it up.”
Chang says a good example of that is urinary problems. Today he says there are medical treatments such as the sling or collagen injections which push up the urethra and relieve an embarrassing condition.
“That’s why I spend more time with my patients.” he says. “I don’t make more money that way. But my patients are more loyal because of it.”
Chang is a second generation Chinese American from Philadelphia. He attended Swarthmore College before graduating from Jefferson Medical College. He completed his residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ
In 1987 he traveled to Kansas City to spend three years at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center providing indigent care alongside Samuel Rodgers. After setting up a private practice in New Jersey, he returned to Kansas City in 2002 and joined Associated Women’s Care Physicians with clinics in Raytown, Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs. Chang stopped practicing obstetrics in 2014. “The hours are difficult,” says the 62-year-old doctor. Associated Women’s Care Physicians disbanded in 2017.
US Pregnancy Mortality Rate
After 34 years delivering babies, Chang has his own opinion about the recent news pointing to the high pregnancy mortality rate in the United States.
“Part of the problem is access to health care for the more indigenous communities,” he says. “In Missouri alone, over 50 percent of deliveries are on Medicaid. A lot of those are the working poor. They work part time hours because the CEO is trying to make as much money as possible by not paying full time benefits.”
“It’s not the whole reason, but it is part of the reason,”
Chang says he is happy to join St. Joseph Medical Center, which specializes in senior care. St. Joseph Medical Center dropped its obstetrics department in 2016. His practice Gynecology Associates of South Kansas City will be open in mid August.