Dr. James D. Quarles is a one-of-a-kind physician in the Frankfort area.

He is the only doctor in Frankfort to be a part of MDVIP — Medical Doctor and Value in Prevention — a network of doctors that aims to increase the quality of patients’ care. Patients who sign up have access to all MDVIP doctors across the United States. Although Quarles is the only MDVIP doctor in Frankfort, he is not the only one in Kentucky.

Soon, there will be five in Lexington, one in Danville, one in Paducah and 12 in Louisville. There are close to 1,000 MDVIP doctors in the nation. After switching to the program two and a half years ago, all of Quarles’ patients get into the office within a day, spend at least 30 minutes with him and get a yearly physical.

“I switched to MDVIP and my patients went from about 2,200 to about 200,” Quarles said. “Since then, I have built that to around 270. Each patient that comes in now gets 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter if you have a runny nose or chest pain. You get 30 minutes to just sit and chat if you want to.”

In those 30 minutes, Quarles says he can address multiple problems. If a sick patient goes into the office, they can talk to Quarles about symptoms relating to the illness and any other problems, such as knee pain.

At age 18, Quarles knew he wanted to be a doctor. At that time, his grandmother had breast cancer. Watching her struggle with cancer inspired him to go into the profession.

Now, in addition to working at his office in Frankfort, Quarles is a medical director at three nursing homes — Bradford Square and Frankfort Care and Rehabilitation of Frankfort and Signature HealthCARE at Tanbark of Lexington.

Quarles said he made the switch from being a normal doctor to a MDVIP doctor so he could give his patients better care and spend more time with his family. He has three children — Tommy, Anna and Sarah, with his wife, Meg Quarles.

Quarles is a Western Hills High School graduate. From there, he completed his undergraduate degree at Kentucky State University. He went to medical school and his internal medicine residency as well as a year of sports medicine fellowship at the University of Kentucky.

Quarles said he no longer feels like he has to rush people out of the office because of the switch to being a MDVIP doctor. He’s able to provide more personal care, and patients receive more attention. When a physician becomes an MDVIP doctor, he typically loses about 90 percent of his patients.

Quarles said his goal is to reach 300 patients.

“If I get more than 300, it’s going to get so busy that I’m starting to feel rushed again, and I don’t want to feel rushed again,” he said. “I don’t want my patients to feel rushed. I want to have time to actually sit and think about what’s going on and how to fix them.”

Quarles is an internal medicine doctor, meaning all of his patients are adults. His patients pay a yearly fee of $1,650 — about $137 per month — a year to see him.

“For that yearly fee, all of my patients get a big executive physical every year with lots of screening tests, like for diabetes, heart disease and lung disease and thyroid and all that,” Quarles said.

The yearly tests are geared toward prevention. They are done so any problems can be detected early, keeping patients out of the hospital and doctor’s office. However, if a patient does end up in the hospital, Quarles is there with them.

“In the hospital, you want to see a face that you are familiar with that knows your history and knows your medications,” Quarles said.