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“King Arthur” on the East Side

story and photos by Laura Richard
North

One of the East Side’s best-kept secrets is family practitioner Dr. Arthur King. If you weren’t looking for his office, you could easily miss the “Dr. Arthur King, Family Practice” sign snuggled between the old gas station and the Yoga Society on Farwell. Twenty years ago, Dr. King took over the practice from Dr. Sanfelippo, who retired at age 72 after 47 years.

Dr. King grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin Rapids. A good relationship with his family doctor and a strong desire to help people led him to medicine as a career.

He was the first person in his family to go to college, so he stayed close to home and attended the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point. He paid his way through college working at a donut shop, where he could get food as part of his “benefit package.”

He ate well. “They had milk, orange juice, bagels and other healthy snacks.”

He was also a Teaching Assistant in Statistics. He was a busy man.

After Stevens Point he attended UW Madison Medical School. He had lots of choices for his residency, but found the view of Lake Michigan from St. Mary’s Hospital on Lake Drive “romantic.” After graduation he worked at St. Mary’s in the emergency room while building up his private practice.

North

Dr. King loved all aspects of medicine and didn’t want to have to choose one, which is how he ended up in family practice. “I get to work with patients from cradle to the grave” he explained.

A growing family led him to cut back a little on his hours. “I didn’t want to miss watching my kids grow up,” Dr. King said. His two sons are now 15 and 16.

What makes Dr. King special is his relationships with patients. He has worked with the same families for years.

Even his waiting room reflects his attitudes toward patients. They usually don’t have to spend too much time in his waiting room, but for the time they’re there, they at least have good reading material. Not just People and Time, but Astronomy Magazine. There is a giant fish tank and fun features like antique wheel chairs.

But it is not just these bonuses that make a good experience.

“I am blessed with a terrific staff,” Dr. King noted. “Lori, my medical assistant, has been with me for 20 years and Patty, my receptionist, has been with me for over five years.”

Whenever patients call, they get a call back the same day. In Dr. King’s world “that is part of being human and caring, and in today’s world, that is not happening enough.”

The most frustrating part of being a doctor, in Dr. King’s opinion, is dealing with HMOs and insurance companies. He prides himself on helping everyone. Dr. King accepts most insurances and welcomes new patients.

Riverwest Currents online edition – February, 2007