ROY -- Dr. Bannick Riggs decided to go into family medicine because he wanted to follow his patients through a lifetime rather than a temporary fix.
Apparently, his patients feel the same way about him. Riggs was chosen as one of this year's recipients of the Patient's Choice Award from the Vitals.com website.
About 150,000 people visit the site daily and fill out patient reviews. Riggs was one of 700,000 physicians reviewed across the United States and only 6 percent of those receive the high honor Riggs received.
"He is just fabulous," said his medical assistant, John Steed. "He is one of the few doctors that really takes time to spend with his patients. You don't always see that. His patients love him and come back just to talk to him."
Riggs sees about 20 patients a day, and Steed said they don't mind waiting when necessary, because they know Riggs will give them the care they need.
Riggs said he loves his job, so it's easy to establish that connection with his patients.
"I hope I'm doing what I set out to do -- to be helpful to patients," Riggs said. He feels honored by the Patients Choice Award, which he said is different from receiving a professional award from other doctors. "It's quite a privilege," he said.
Riggs has practiced at Rock Run Medical in Roy for seven years. Prior to that he spent a year in Kaysville and did his residency in Ogden. He is from Tucson, Ariz.
Riggs likes to keep the lines of communication open with his patients, which, to him, means letting them into his life a bit.
"I am asking them to let me into their lives, so I do the same with them," he said. He often tells patients about his wife and kids, and many ask about his family when they come in for a check up.
He said the view of practicing medicine has changed over the years, and he is now more of a health adviser. He considers himself a member of a health team.
"I offer advice. They don't have to take it. It's really up to the patient ... I'm their friend, and I am here to help," Riggs said.
He also keeps the environment in his office warm and friendly. He joked with office staff between patients and went over files.
"I like my job -- my job is so much fun," Riggs said.
He admits that, like most people,it is difficult finding a balance between work, home and other activities, but he strives for that.
"I have other responsibilities as a father and husband, and when I'm done for the day, I need to go home and be with them," Riggs said, smiling.
He has three children and one on the way. He is involved in Boy Scouts and loves to travel.
He named placed he has visited with both his immediate and extended family, adding, "It's a big family thing."