An inside perspective of health care and life as a physician, from Pure Family Medicine
As we approach the beginning of a new year, and a new decade, I think it is natural to take a look at the past and plan for the future. It’s a time for re-evaluation. What have we accomplished, what hasn’t gone so well? What will the future bring?
Moving into a new year, having made a major life change in opening Pure Family Medicine, I would like to take a moment to share a piece of my “why”. Finding your “why” is important in every aspect of life, from setting and achieving goals, to finding balance. For me, the decision to start my practice was a very personal one. Leaving a guaranteed paycheck, co-workers who were like family, and patients whom I had gotten to know and care about deeply, was not an easy decision. But I did, and set out on an unknown path, opening not just a business, but an independent family practice in an era of big corporations, big hospital systems, big insurance, big everything. Now I am a small fish in the big crazy sea of medicine. Why?
Because its personal. Because I care. Because patients, my patients, deserve better when navigating the medical system.
Once upon a time, the primary care physician was the center of the medical team. Why? Because that’s how the system works best. That’s how people stay healthy, and have an advocate for them in times of distress. Family doctors are able to manage the vast majority of a patient’s health care and prevent serious illnesses, and can enlist the help of specialists when necessary . But that’s not what happens anymore, family medicine doctors are a shell of what they could be if they had more time, and more control. Somewhere along the way, the role of the primary care doctor in health care changed. Quite frankly, over the past 20 years we family doctors gave up our independence, small practices sold out to larger systems, health insurance started controlling care, and doctors (who just wanted to focus on patients instead of business) now have much less control over how they practice. And so, primary care has changed, and is now less about serving patients, and more about satisfying the goals of big businesses; leading to higher prices, worse patient care, and physician burnout. Now, there is a growing group of doctors who are fighting to take back our profession, for our patients, and for ourselves.
So why would I do what I am doing? Because in my small practice, I get to practice medicine the way it is supposed to be. I am honored to truly get to know all of my patients. I get to spend time with them and care about them, and the ONLY thing that influences the care they get, is what is best for them. In a medical system currently in a state of chaos, I can control my small bubble of health care by providing high quality, affordable, and accessible care, and from there I help my patients navigate the chaos (when needed).
So, that’s why I turned my life upside down, to be the best family medicine doctor I can be, for my patients, who deserve the best healthcare. What is your why?
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