Rough Start – New Building – New Name – Same Philosophy
Updated: Nov 14, 2022
I have dreamed about starting a medical clinic since first beginning medical school at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine in 2012.
In my 3rd and final year of Residency at the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho, I got serious about it.
My wife Karlee (registered nurse and Wander co-founder) and I came up with a unique concept:
Wander: Travel and Adventure Medicine
We wanted to provide travel medicine consultations for people going on trips abroad, paired with a wellness and IV infusion clinic. Our goal was to start slow, lean, and build out more services over time.
From the beginning we have never accepted medical insurance. Our goal is to provide affordable care that is completely price transparent. This allows us to offer care at a lower price and do things our way.
In September of 2019 we acquired the building at 1105 S. Federal Way in Boise, Idaho. We loved our little 1500 sqft Spanish Missionary building with stucco walls and tile roof. But the building needed a lot of repair work.
We hoped to have the building ready in 4 months. But getting all the work done took time. Getting approval from the city also took a lot longer than expected. By the time we were ready to open, it was March of 2020.
Opening a travel clinic at the start of a global pandemic was bad timing to say the least. In business, timing is everything.
Karlee and I decided to delay opening. We figured our services would be needed more at the hospital. Clinics had all but died at that time. But 6 weeks later, nothing had changed. We were paying a mortgage on the building, had some inventory waiting on shelves, as well as costly IT subscriptions that added up quick.
In May of 2020, we decided to open.
Two weeks went by. No-one called, no-one came in, and hardly anyone even drove by the normally busy Federal-Kootenai intersection. We tried to get the word out. But society was sheltering in place. The lows were low.
We needed to pivot and started offering COVID19 testing. We made no money doing this because the tests were initially so expensive for us to purchase. But we wanted to help people as well as provide desperately needed public health. We thought it couldn’t hurt to get a few people in the door as well (and by that I mean in their car outside the building).
Our long-term goal had always been to eventually open a full-service primary care with a focus on wellness, travel, and adventure. But we wanted to start slow. This is because primary care is a beast. Primary care clinics must own their patients’ problems and be there for them all the time. We thought we would launch our primary care services 2 or 3 years after opening and building a client base.
But in August of 2020, just 3 months after opening, we knew we had to either sink or swim really hard. So, we opened our direct primary care (aka concierge) clinic at that time.
Times remained hard and growth was slow. Karlee and I did not pay ourselves a dime in 2020 and our business lost over $100,000. But early on, we got a few really great people to join our clinic as patients and started really helping some folks. The word spread, and we got more patients. Now, over 2 years in, we have had the privilege of caring for hundreds of patients. But we still have a lot of room for growth.
Our clinic has all the tools of a traditional primary care practice. But unlike most physician clinics, we do not worship pharmaceuticals. Instead, we focus on curing disease by treating the root cause. This often involves changing the way people think and behave. It takes hard work, discipline, and commitment. The results are extraordinary. When pharmaceuticals are needed, we have them and know how to use them. Wonder Medicine really offers the best of both worlds.
While our Spanish Mission clinic was charming, it was also small. As our patient numbers and staff grew, the walls began closing in on us. In addition, the pandemic conditioned all of us to value our personal space (stand 6 feet apart….). We have outgrown the space.
But fear not! Wander Medicine is not going away…….
Since February of 2022, we have been building and renovating once again. Our new office is located at 3366 West Overland Rd. in Boise, Idaho (Overland and Owyhee). It is almost 4,000 sqft, with high vaulted ceilings, and huge timber beams! The new clinic is breathtaking, and we hope that you enjoy it.
New amenities will include
- Private ketamine treatment room
- Exercise physiology lab and treatment center
- Ample Parking
- A buffer zone for the bathroom
- Even more plants
- A dedicated medicine room and laboratory
- TOP NOTCH LANDSCAPING
- And more
In addition to our new location, we also have a new name:
In 2019, we were wise enough to purchase the domain name wondermedicine.com. I knew that if we expanded into primary care, wonder would likely become a more fitting name to describe us.
1. a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
2. desire or be curious to know something
Wonder Medicine will have some serious new bells and whistles and the same amazing staff. Our core philosophy has not and will never change.
Wonder Medicine is still the wellness clinic focused on keeping people safe and healthy in any environment.
- Never stop learning
- Keep an open mind
- Have compassion
- Cut out waste
- Promote accountability
- Add value to people, society, and the environment
- Work as a team to better our world
We are Wonder Medicine. We want to help you achieve the mind, body, and spirit that you need to live the life you want. Are you ready?
Thanks for Reading!
Bill Brandenburg, MD
Founder of Wonder Medicine Clinic