Since graduating from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1990 and finishing his residency in 1993, Dr. Merlin Brown has been an internist in the Twin Cities. Ever since he was a small child he always liked bioscience. His parents were both nurses so he was exposed to the medical field while he was growing up and always knew that he wanted to be a doctor.
“I feel that in order to be a good doctor, I have to be well-educated, certified and up on all the latest advances in my area, which I am,” says Dr. Brown. “I also have to make sure that I use this information and knowledge in a very personable, non-judgmental way with my patients so I can implement my recommendations in a way that is not intimidating to the patient.”
Dr. Brown has been on staff at Fairview since 1995 and on staff at Fairview Southdale since 2000. As a result he knows most of the commonly-used specialists personally both at Fairview and at a number of other health systems. This allows him to be able to call the very best specialists personally and get very timely treatment for his patients. “Besides having a great network of referring physicians, I am also a bridge between standard western medicine and evidenced-based alternative medicine,” says Dr. Brown. “I’m happy to refer patients for treatments that are safe yet alternative. I believe in many medical modalities including chiropractic, mind-body medicine, etc.”
Dr. Brown has many interests outside the clinic, including developing homes for the mentally challenged in the state of Wisconsin. He is also one of the principal founders of a new healthcare solution built on free market principals called SolarteHealth.
In his free time he enjoys traveling the world and finds serenity in tending his garden and cooking for his friends and loved ones at his home in Minneapolis. Dr. Brown also spends his free time tirelessly working towards healthcare reform.
Dr. Brown enjoys establishing relationships with his patients over the long term and he also loves medicine and bio sciences in general. “Everyone’s afraid to go to the doctor and they are also afraid of feeling sick and finding out something bad,” says Dr. Brown. “But because I have a close relationship with my patients I am capable of managing those fears.”
The relationship Dr. Brown has with his patients is not the typical “What’s your name, what’s your date of birth, have you been out of the country in the last 48 hours?” It is more like: “Hey Mrs. Jones I know you went to India last month how did that go? Did your skin infection resolve or did it flare up while you were away?” Dr. Brown’s patients know and trust him because he gives them advice based on his long-term experience with them. His medical management is so far ahead of the game because he knows the patients personally, and they feel free to really talk to him.
Dr. Brown does not run his practice with time restrictions which is why his patients say that he actually listens to them and takes them seriously. Patients appreciate that he can think out of the box and combine what he calls “evidence based medicine” (standard medicine) with “alternative medicine”. “I treat patients that have problems; I don’t just treat ‘the problems’”, says Dr. Brown. “I don’t really care what the ‘procedure code’ is; the patient is always my priority not some ‘number in a file’”.
Patients of Dr. Brown’s appreciate his style of communication and the fact that he is so easy to get in touch with. His patients have much better access to him as an independent doctor than they would at almost any other type of clinic. Many patients opt to do their appointments over the phone which is a big bonus for patients who are “snowbirds” and those with very busy schedules. He can literally “start the process on the phone” for any issue, and if it doesn’t get solved, he asks the patient to come into the office for a visit.
As far as interim communications, patients can call Dr. Brown or send him a text or email directly; no patient portal necessary (although there is one available). It’s almost simple as communicating with a friend. Even with this easy access, all communications are documented in the patient’s medical records.