The Day With Dr. Jay
By Calvin Tyler
My first introduction to Dr. Jay Marque was when an Exposure Magazine salesperson asked that I tag along to meet with a local physician who had stumbled across our publication and wanted to see what we were all about. The meeting was set and I arrived at the agreed upon time to the St. Nicholas Center for Children on Ryan Street where Dr. Jay was doing a Q&A with the children there. The kids sat on the floor across from him in a smaller room, while I stood outside listening in. Questions such as, “Can you fix bones?” and “Why do I need glasses?” came up. Dr. Jay, patiently and happily, took his time to answer every single question. He’s also got a timing for comedic relevance that had the children howling with laughter. It was definitely, for me, one of those “I got into this business to find people like this” kind of moment.
After answering the little journalists’ questions, Dr. Jay invited everyone to his newly constructed Ryan Street location (across the street from the St. Nicholas Center, a block North or so) for a tour. When the roaring applause died down the kids looked at me like a weirdo for my extremely loud clapping and cheering and we made our way to the van waiting outside. After the tour, Dr. Jay made sure to give the attention necessary to tell each and every child goodbye. Then, once they had all loaded up and driven away, he turned to me and we had a wonderful conversation that never felt one-sided. He’s the kind of person who genuinely cares about others’ stories, past, vision, and dreams. This made him a fun guy to interview.
There are numerous reasons to open a business, i.e., be your own boss, give back to your community, helps others, etc. Dr. Jay opened Lake Charles Urgent Care for a reason, and I was out to discover his why. What would drive someone with his background to go into the business of helping others instead of maintaining the status quo by staying inside of the big box hospital system.
Calvin: Lake Charles Urgent Care is going on its 5 year anniversary. What was it like getting everything off the ground initially?
Dr. Jay: I had no experience inside of urgent care, so, when we started, the big thing was finding the location and picking people to work with. We started out with four people working in the clinic: one person working the front desk, a doctor, a nurse, and an X-Ray tech. After that, it was all about getting patients. We sat around the first two or three months just waiting for patients to walk in. Everything at that point was just drive by traffic, people who had watched the building go up and came in to check us out and see what we were doing, then it was slow word-of-mouth. The first day that we hit double digits, we had been open approximately three weeks and we had seen nine patients that day and someone called the office saying, “Hey, we’re in DeRidder and headed your way. Will you wait for us?” I kept all of the staff there forty minutes after we closed for this company milestone.
Calvin: What do you attribute to the success of your first location?
Dr. Jay: The staff, really. The staff is really nice to the people who walk in, take great care of them. Almost all patients are in and out within twenty to thirty minutes with great care, and that’s how the word spread. We got really busy really fast. There was a time that someone I used to work with told me they felt sorry for me because there were never any cars in the parking lot, and I remember laughing to myself because by that point we doing great. It was just a high turnover rate due to how quickly myself and the staff can handle patients’ needs. By the first flu season I was thinking that I was going to have to get some help because the parking lot was completely full and the staff had to park across the street at the VFW. We expanded the parking lot the first year, and after two years we expanded the building, and in the third year we opened the second location on Ryan Street.
Calvin: Outside of growth, what was the reason for opening the second location?
Dr. Jay: As far as me, professionally, I would have been more than happy with just one location, but what makes this whole thing work is the staff. You’ve been around, Calvin, and the staff is just nice people.
Calvin: Yes, they are.
Dr. Jay (continued): There were so many awesome people who wanted to come work with us, so, we opened on Ryan Street and I hired them. Some days it can be a real pain for me to drive back and forth from Country Club to Ryan, but I look at the people I’ve hired and realize we’re way better than we were before because these people I’ve been able to add to the team are just so awesome.
Calvin: How do you maintain such a dynamic atmosphere for your team?
Dr. Jay: Whether it’s Mardi Gras, Chuck Fest, or any major event, we go out as a group and have a blast. I was in the military for almost twenty years, and I always worked in the ER. When you work inside of that kind of giant you never get to pick who you work with. That’s not the case now. I get to work with people I admire and like. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.
Calvin: How do you, a medical doctor, find a balance between your work and personal life?
Dr. Jay: My life revolves around two things: my family and my business. I am responsible for so many things on a day-to-day basis that it can be daunting at times. I love my wife a lot, she’s my best friend. Like, my wife and I are tight. She keeps me grounded and supports me in everything I’ve done. Fortunately, Candace, my wife, is super passionate about her work and isn’t sitting around counting down the minutes for me to get home. She’s driven. So, every evening we have a ritual where we sit on the sofa together and just veg out. That’s our sacred time together. It helps me a lot to know I’ve got her in my life.
Calvin: Anything you’d like to add?
Dr. Jay: Nope. I think we’re good. This was fun. You’re the greatest interviewer I’ve ever experienced, Calvin. True professionalism at its finest.
Calvin: Thanks, man. That means the world to me, and I can’t hear that enough. Would you like to get together and do this again sometime?
Dr. Jay: Absolutely. See you then.
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