By: Joann Shin
PEARL CITY (KHNL) - The day starts with a call to confirm and Dr. Kirk Torres is off. His car isn't the only thing that grabs attention. It's the fact this doctor only does house calls. He says there's a great need.
"Having access to a doctor. When patients are sick they don't like to wait or don't like to be told I can't see you today," explained Dr. Torres, a family physician.
On this day he's seeing several patients at a care home in Pearl City. Care provider and patient, Elena Quitevis like the set-up because of the convenience.
She said, "Very helpful because I don't have to transport my client. I don't have to go to the doctor's office and he is coming to my home."
As rare as house calls are becoming, so are family physicians. The Hawaii Academy of Family Physicians says fewer graduating medical students are going into this field and opting for more lucrative specialties.
According to Dr. Torres, "Lot of students, they want a lifestyle and that goes along with specialization. To be a house call doctor whose available 24 hours a day does take a lot of your lifestyle."
Some worry this could lead to a nationwide shortage of family physicians in the future. But Dr. Torres will continue to buck the trend.