I absolutely love my career. I am so thankful for having the opportunity to connect with patients on a daily basis at such an intimate level. When I have the opportunity to truly listen to a patient and help him/her solve his/her health puzzle, I feel that I am in line with my life's purpose.
Since graduating medical school in May 2005 and prior to opening my own DPC practice in May 2018, I had worked in many different facets of family medicine. I worked in the hospital, in the outpatient clinic and delivered babies. I taught medical students and residents. I had been a member of many inpatient committees including Medical Ethics, ER/ICU, medical executive committees, retention and recruitment, medical staff president, etc. I had initiated many outpatient committees including a patient family advisory council, a retention and recruitment committee, helping to create a residency rural track. I worked very hard from within the system to make the healthcare experience better for both patients, physicians and students. But I eventually realized that as long as insurance continued to dictate so much of medicine, it would be very difficult to offer an excellent experience for patients and doctors.
Without going into too much detail, when an insurance company is making the rules, and deciding the payment, then a lot of the creative and artistic parts of medicine are lost. Family medicine doctors are generally limited to 15 minutes per visit and patients are limited to one medical issue per visit. Neither are satisfied. While looking for alternatives to the traditional medicine path, I started to learn about the DPC movement and was intrigued.
I opened my DPC practice in May 2018 with several goals. I wanted to have time to listen to my patients. I wanted a visit to be open to any acute or chronic issues needing addressed. I wanted a visit to include preventative medicine and lifestyle choices as the most profound determinant of health. I wanted to have more continuous contact with my patients. I wanted time to explain treatment options risks and benefits. I wanted time to truly understand and address each patient’s individual healthcare goals. In my DPC practice I have all of these things.
Practicing medicine really cannot be deduced to an algorithm. There are just too many variables. And every patient has a very different health goal. DPC allows me to practice individualized medicine and I love it!