Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back to the Future

Two posts in one day! Whoda thunkit?

I've been holding it in. You may notice this gets random. The blog, not this post. Though now this post is taking a direction totally off topic.

Anyway, there's a huge group of people in Orlando, called the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). The Scientific Assembly and the recently completed Congress of Delegates, give Family Physicians see and guide the organization that speaks for us at the highest levels of government and provides physicians with resources and networking opportunities. For many years I attended this meeting and actively participated in the Academy. For the last few years, I haven't.

There are several reasons I could cite. I got busy. I had other projects. But let's be honest. I got jaded. You ever hear the story of the puppy who got kicked too many times and eventually just quit coming back? I never got kicked, but I did get quieted. I know I'm loud. And opinionated. And difficult at times. What I'm not is a door mat. I wasn't the only voice pushing to bring the Academy into the 20th century (let alone the 21st), but I was a loud one. The Commissions and Committees on which I served listened to my ideas, but they never seemed to understand. Call it an age gap, call it a group too focused on their own agendas (which is ok, since that's how we all operate), but whatever you call it, it wasn't for me.

All that being said, this weeks CoD and SA meetings have shown that change does happen, albeit at a glacially slow pace. And it gives me hope that the Academy may one day return as my voice. The meeting organizers broadcast over Ustream. Tweeters were (and are) everywhere. And one of my good friends even gave a presentation on social medicine. There may be hope yet.

Location:Mt Zion Rd,Florence,United States


So, I've been idle.  In more ways than one. 

Currently, my father and I are putting together a new practice based on the Direct Medicine model.  For those of you who have heard of the concierge concept or seen the show "Royal Pains," this should be familiar.  For everyone else, this model consists of a retainer fee for unlimited access.  In essence, you pay me (or us, though we'll get to that in a moment) to be available to you at any time of day for consultations.  Similar to the legal profession, this isn't just limited to face-to-face visits, but encompasses things like e-mail, phone and text messaging. There's also going to be an education and preventive medicine component that we're designing almost from the ground up.

While my father and I will be sharing space and staff (which are both streamlined and adapted to a much more personalized experience), we likely won't be seeing patients for each other. The whole point of Direct Medicine, the unlimited access, hinges on the fact that I will be Your doctor. We contract together that I will support and encourage your health, wherever that might be. In the hospital (no extra fee), in the office (no extra fee or "co-pay") or over the wires (STILL no extra fee!), I am your personal physician.  We may cross-cover if we get busy enough (extreme cases, vacations, etc.) but the goal is to re-personalize medicine.  In an age of hospitalists and laborists, we want to be there for our patients when they need us.  Like it used to be. "A new way of practicing old-fashioned medicine." Without the leeches.

All that being said, there have been many hours of waiting.  Waiting for my dad's non-compete clause to expire.  Waiting for a possible third partner.  Waiting for the bank to decide if we have enough possibility on which to take a chance.

I've been attempting to be a good house husband, though I sometimes think I'm not very good at it.... Now, though, as the practice comes together more, I realize that if the worst case scenario predictions occur, it may be years before I can sustain us on only this practice, especially since my student loans are about to come due. Therefore, I'm looking for a supplementary job, and in the meantime, I'm going to be posting on here more than in recent months, and I might even finish the three-part series I started

Either way, here's to your health.