Internist William P. Boxer, MD, FACP Treats Patients in the Office and at Home
DIRECT RELATIONSHIP: “I want to help people with their quality of life. It was my dream to become a country doctor and be able to help patients the way I want to care for them. There is a direct relationship between the patient and me. There are no intermediaries, and helping them get well is my only concern.” Dr. William P. Boxer is shown treating a patient in his home office in Pennington.
By Jean Stratton
A doctor who makes house calls? In 2020? This is news many people thought they would never hear again!
But William P. Boxer, MD, FACP will indeed come to see a patient at home, and this is part of the reason he decided to relocate his practice to Pennington this year.
“I wanted to have a home office, and I wanted to be able to offer home visits, explains Dr. Boxer. “I also came to New Jersey for the lifestyle, more land, the schools, and a slower pace. It fit in with my hope to be a country doctor.”
He does practice out of his home office in Pennington, where he lives with his wife and five children on a spacious property he calls Triple Creek Family Farm.
As an internist, he focuses on the “whole” patient, and he also has special expertise in arthritis and sleep apnea. He sees patients with a wide range of conditions in his practice.
“Patients are thrilled to have a doctor who can make home visits,” he reports. “It is very helpful to see patients in the home environment, to see what their house is like, their lifestyle. All of this helps with a diagnosis. I am interested in the overall person. I like to look into medically complex conditions, and attack and solve challenging problems.
“I love to make a diagnosis that may have previously been missed, and really help someone who had tried other treatments, but has not found the help they needed.”
Dr. Boxer’s interest in healing began when he was 8 years old, he says. “There was a medicine background in the family — my father was a dentist and my uncle a pediatrician. I was always interested in it, and especially enjoyed science and math in high school.”
After graduation from Millburn High School, he earned a B.A. with honors in biopsychology from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, and then entered Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, N.Y. After receiving his MD, he completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Boston Medical Center. He earned board certification in internal medicine in 2000.
“I wanted to become an internist because I liked to deal with all kinds of patients,” he emphasizes, “I wanted to treat people with many different conditions and many patient situations.’
After his residency, Dr. Boxer joined the New York City practice of Dr. Jay Adlersberg, rheumatologist and WABC Channel 7 Eyewitness News physician correspondent. He became director of Internal Medicine, Osteoporosis, and Infusion Management of the Joint Pain Center of New York.
He also managed the on-site intravenous infusion of biological medications for patients for more than 15 years, and he built his reputation as an osteoporosis expert as well as an excellent primary care physician.
In 2010, Dr. Boxer was elected to be Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and he was chosen by his peers as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor in internal medicine for five consecutive years. He was also honored to be named to New York Magazine’s Best Internal Medicine Doctors in 2014.
In 2015, he joined the Phelps Medical Group in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., where, in addition to treating patients, he enjoyed doing Town Hall presentations on a variety of topics with groups of residents at area nursing homes.
And now, after 20 years of practicing in New York state, Dr. Boxer has come home to New Jersey. His patients are teens and adults that experience many conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, and also anxiety and depression.
He worries about obesity issues and lack of exercise that are problems for people of many ages today, and these can lead to further difficulties, he explains.
“If people are sedentary and not getting enough exercise, this can make a lot of conditions worse, including osteoarthritis. Exercise and diet are important, and so is enough sleep. Many Americans are sleep-deprived, and it’s important to sleep in a dark room without phones and blue light.
“I am also definitely seeing more depression and anxiety in my practice,” he continues. “There are lots of reasons: the pace of life, worry over work, not enough sleep. And now, it’s even worse with COVID. People worry about getting it —they don’t know what to expect, how to keep safe.
“I am very glad to be able to make house calls, and especially now with COVID. People may be afraid to go to the doctor’s office, where they think they might be exposed, and they don’t know what to do.”
Helping people be as safe as possible is his priority, and he points out that the current safety measures are helpful. “Without a doubt, masks help keep people safe. The virus is mainly spread by airborne droplets, and masks can protect against them. It is important to keep a social distance, not to touch your face, and wash your hands often. Be careful.”
“My long-term perspective is that the virus will eventually be under control,” he adds. “I hope we have a vaccine soon, and then a drug. We’ll need to diagnose, test, track, and vaccinate. We will also need to be especially careful this winter, as people spend more time inside.
“I think people will understand how necessary home visits are going to become. Especially this winter. If you get sick, you may not be able to get to the doctor’s office, and it will be so important that the doctor can come to see you.”
Dr. Boxer had a frontline look at the virus last March and April when he volunteered at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., to care for COVID-19 patients. He, along with other doctors, nurses, and medical professionals from all over the country, worked diligently to serve patients.
“I was honored to be helping critically ill patients during an historically important time in our country. A once-every-100-year pandemic, and something that will be written about for the next 100 years. I felt as if I was part of a historic mission to be deployed there. I believed I really had to be there — it was my duty and my honor.”
“I was inspired by the bravery of all the people who were there serving patients,” he continues. “They were providing valuable relief for doctors and nurses who were severely physically and mentally exhausted from COVID. I was especially moved by how hard the residents and medical students were working and how incredibly brave and smart they were.
“It was heart-wrenching to see patients, including young patients — for example, a 45-year-old man — die from the disease. We performed CPR on this patient multiple times over a three-hour period, but we were unable to save him. He had to die with no family members around. It was truly tragic.”
Dr. Boxer advises that he will continue to practice hospital-based medicine by working as a part-time hospitalist at Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell.
He points out that although he practices alone, he is able to perform many examinations and tests in his office or at the patient’s residence. “I can do an EKG there, and I also have a defibrillator. In addition, I can do at-home sleep apnea tests for patients, and I also do telemedicine.
“I look forward to seeing my practice expand so I can help even more patients,” he says. “And I really look forward to being a part of the community and becoming a real community presence.”
He adds that he couldn’t be happier in his Pennington location, with his practice, and with his lifestyle. When he has moments away from treating patients, he looks forward to making maple syrup from the many maple trees on his property.
As a sole practitioner, Dr. Boxer does not take health insurance, but explains, “I offer a Model of Direct Primary Care. Patients pay a small membership fee, and I try to keep the costs as reasonable as possible.”
Typically, he sees patients in his office in the morning, and makes home visits in the afternoon.
For further information, call (609) 293-3904 or visit www.drboxerathome.com.