Family Practitioner Offers Therapy Cats And Video Games At Office

Family Practitioner Offers Therapy Cats And Video Games At Office

  • By Sara
  • October 16, 2020
  • 8 minutes read

We are all well aware of what doctors’ offices look like.

It’s usually all-white furniture, really bland and dull walls. The place would put you to sleep if you stared at it for 5 minutes. The “magazines” they have to offer are either catalogues of the same furniture or tips on dental care. Needless to say, going to the doctor’s office is a boring and painful experience.

However, that doesn’t have to be true in every case. Some doctors tend to change things up a bit. Powers Family Medicine in Farmington Hills, MI gives its patients an entirely different experience at their office. This has brought them a lot of success, but this success cost them a lot along the way.

Dr. William Powers announces his plans to his family members, but there wasn’t a lot of support for him. “I told some colleagues that I planned to launch a family practice that would have therapy cats and video game decorations and they told me I was insane and that it would be a complete failure as people want to go to a sterile, simple, professional-looking place for medical care,” he told Bored Panda.

This is him posing with one of his therapy cats, Hyperion.

via: Dr. William Powers

The doctor wanted to be creative in his ways, and he had a lot of reasons for wanting so.

“Back in 2017, two of the cats I had raised from kittens had become Guinness World Record Titleholders. Arcturus Aldebaran Powers was the tallest cat to ever live and Cygnus Regulus Powers had the longest tail on a cat ever (All my cats are named for stars). I had designed a diet for them that I thought was what would be ideal for a feline species. It was highly synthetic and by no means natural, but I’m all about science and evidence-based things, and I’m fairly sure it turned them both into giants.”

Things were happy at one point.

“Life was pretty great, and we were booking TV shows and charity events, as I was president of the Ferndale Cat Shelter at the time, and the cats’ fame helped us raise money to help Detroit rescue and street cats.”

However, things took an unexpected turn.

“On Nov 12th 2017, my wife (who is also a doctor) left in the morning to go round in the hospital. I woke up about an hour later to smoke alarms and my living room ablaze. I searched for the cats and opened as many escape paths as possible until I finally passed out from smoke. Ultimately, I made it to the basement where I was rescued by first responders. The house burned to the foundation, and we lost everything, including our beloved cats Arcturus, Sirius and Cygnus.”

“The tragedy completely devastated me, and it took me over a year to recover mentally and physically from it. When I was cleared to go back to work, I decided I didn’t want to live my life how I did previously. I spent my 20s studying and training to be a doctor, and it was almost all for nothing. I decided that being happy and enjoying my life was worth far more, and so I decided to start my own family practice clinic, Powers Family Medicine.”

People warned the doctor that he might fail, this was his response:

“I decided to proceed anyway, and rented a small office space near the ruins of my old home (which is currently being rebuilt). We have been wildly successful, and are currently the #1 patient-rated family practice in our state.”

He further explains how no problems are created with his cats in the office:

“The therapy cats are all exotic hybrids (early generation Bengals and Savannah cats) who lack the Fel D1 gene in their saliva, and so people with severe cat allergies are unaffected by them.”

“We recently had a patient who is so allergic to cats that she carries an epi-pen for it come to the office. She got to pet Polaris, and broke down into tears because she loves cats but wasn’t able to pet one for almost 30 years.”

via: Powers Family Medicine

Their office is actually quite fancy.

“We have special prism film on the windows which produces rainbows when it’s sunny out.”

He explained the restrictions on the cats:

“The cats aren’t allowed in sterile zones, but otherwise, have free reign of the office. (They are fully vaccinated and free of zoonotic infections, and so honestly the doorknob to the office is more of a risk to you than they are)”

“Our clinic is special in that it welcomes truly everyone.”

There is a lot of diversity in their patients.

“We are friendly and cater to the LGBT population, and also have a lot of alt/kink/BDSM, commercial sex workers, polyamorous patients, HIV+ patients (which I treat and prescribe PrEP) and other people who feel like they can’t be open and honest with their doctor.”

“At our clinic, you check in using your initials only. You are then assigned an Amiibo (the name is printed on the bottom if you don’t know the character). Then, when it’s your turn to be called back, my MA will say “Pikachu!” and you come back to the exam room. This way, no matter who is in the lobby at the same time as you, your privacy is maximally preserved.”

“Panoramic view of the lobby, we have a big screen TV out there which streams multiple streaming services and also has a SNES Classic. On this day someone had queued up Sword Art Online from Crunchyroll”

“Surrounding the nurses’ station are nano leaf light panels that have an animated ever-flowing rainbow pattern.”

“We also have some middle-class families in the mix too, all are welcome and treated with respect! In short, we don’t care what anyone else thinks, just tell us the truth and we will help keep you safe and healthy.”

The doctor was stunned at the quick success of the office.

“I expected it would take years for me to develop the practice, as 5-7 years is pretty normal. We’ve now been open for 6 months, and as of today, we are completely full. We have over 1000 patients in the practice, and we’ve established a waiting list for people to get on if they want to transfer their care to us. I’m looking into expansion options and hiring some help so that we can continue to accept new patients, but for now, that has to wait.”

There are different SNES for patients in each exam room. And the cats have “shifts” and escape routes for whenever they need a break.

“Sometimes the therapy cats have received sufficient pets for the day, and need to take a break to their heated bed.”

Instead of advertising his office, the doctor focuses more on making the experiences of his patients better. Whenever a patient recommends the office to someone else, their name is added to a lucky draw! They have prizes like a Nintendo Switch or 3dsXL for the winner.

“We have a community board where patients or their families can post up whatever they like. Polaroids of the art chalkboard from every month also get posted here.”

He accepts different forms of payment.

“I’m really into bitcoin and have been for a very long time, so we accept it at our clinic!”

“We have a chalkboard where patients can draw whatever they like. It gets erased on the 1st of every month.”

“The lobby and every exam room have multi-chargers in place for your convenience.”

The world record certificates that his cats, Arcturus Aldebaran Powers and Cygnus Regulus Powers, won are hung on the walls.

This is how the patients are welcomed when they enter the office.

They even have Mario’s anatomy on the wall.

“The back wall has x-rays of the various consoles and gaming controllers.”

“Myself, my MA, and whatever resident/med student I have rotating with me for the day all use Razer Blade Stealth gaming laptops with full chroma keyboards as our work laptops.”

All the rooms are extremely detailed, like Exam Room 2:

As you can see below, there is a lot of decoration on his desks.

“Phoenix works Monday and Thursday, Hyperion Tuesday, and Polaris Wednesday. On Fridays, both Hyperion and Polaris come.”

The doctor likes to enjoy himself too during lunch breaks.

He appreciates his hard-working staff.

“My wonderful receptionist Laura and my amazing medical assistant Stacy! I couldn’t have made this place without them.”

“The list is first come first served, and so as patients move away, we get less busy, or we manage to expand and hire another provider we will pull people off the waiting list.”

You can find out more about this office on his Facebook Page. Let us know your thoughts about this in the comments below.

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