Care Practice Since October, 2008
The decision to open Care Practice began with a February, 2008 speech by Barack Obama: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
At that time the ideas that would form the philosophy and identity of Care Practice were a disorganized mass that Dr. Blackledge had been kicking around in his head for a few years as he worked in a large array of health care settings. In between jobs and struggling to find fulfillment in a career that had 50% of Bay Area primary care doctors surveyed considering leaving the profession in the next three years, Dr. Blackledge decided to risk it all on his idea of what he thought the future of primary and urgent care medicine should look like.
Most of his colleagues thought he was crazy to open a medical office in San Francisco when more commonly doctors were abandoning their offices and joining Kaiser.
Unable to get a loan from a bank at the beginning of the 2008 Banking Crisis and near economic collapse, he spent his entire life savings and signed a ten year lease on a vacant and graffitied storefront in the Mission.
As Dr Blackledge put it, “essentially I put myself in a position where failure was not an option and my only plan B was to keep 5,000 dollars to the side and put a shower in the back and turn the office into my apartment if it didn’t work.”
Care Practice opened in late 2008 like one would open a neighborhood restaurant with a focus on patient experience and developing a compelling identity and brand in a tough urban marketplace with fewer and fewer doctors.