When you go in for a visit with your primary care doctor, do you sit in the crowded waiting room for an unannounced amount of time? Does the staff seem overworked? Does your doctor seem flustered? Is he/she rushed to move on to the next patient? Well, these are all typical complaints of today's primary care system.
Shockingly, however, you and your doctor are complaining about the same thing. Doctors are switching to a primary care alternative called direct primary care, because insurance hinders their relationship with their patients. But, what can you expect when you become a member of a direct primary care practice?
1. More face-to-face time with your doctor
During office visits, it's important for you to have time to talk about what's on your mind and for your doctor to listen closely. While doctors in traditional primary care practices want to spend time listening to you, their overloaded patient panel (2000+ patients) makes it hard for them to spend adequate time with each patient.
In a direct primary care practice, the doctors manage significantly less patients so they are able to spend much more time with each patient. This means if you need an hour (or longer) for every visit to discuss what's going on, ask questions, and so forth, you have it. Plus, direct primary care doctors are notorious for communicating with patients in between visits.
Related Article: Why Do I Have To Wait To See My Doctor
2. Much more personal relationship with your doctor
Sure, it's possible to have a good relationship with your primary care physician in the traditional model but, due to time restraints caused by insurance, it's not easy for this to happen. If your primary care physician has to rush through office visits in order to stay on schedule, it makes it challenging to develop a meaningful relationship let alone a partnership.
This is not the case in direct care. The whole point of direct care is to emphasize that personal touch—something akin to the doctors who used to make house calls a century ago. Because you typically see the same doctor for every visit, you two can work towards building a meaningful partnership.
Related Article: Direct Primary Care Saves Patients Money
3. Wellness visits
Too often in western medicine, we only think about our doctors when we're sick. But what if we thought about them when we're well? A doctor's true calling, after all, is to restore our health…and make sure it stays that way. In other words, wellness visits are just as vital as sick visits. But imagine trying to schedule a quarterly or monthly wellness visit with a traditional healthcare practice.
Most medical concierge practices today embrace the idea of personal wellness. And if that means checking in with patients quarterly, monthly, or even weekly, direct primary care doctors are able to do so because they're handling a significantly smaller caseload. (Note: we're not suggesting traditional primary care physicians don't care about wellness. Of course they do! But their schedules are already so tight with sick visits.)
4. You'll have easier access to YOUR doctor
Sure, traditional healthcare practices have after-hours phone services. This means if your baby is sick in the middle of the night and you call, the answering service will contact the on-call doctor (whom you might not even be familiar with) so he or she can call you back.
With direct primary care, this "middle man" approach is removed. Most primary care physicians supply their patients with their personal cell numbers and email so that you can get in touch with them right away when YOU need them. As a result, you'll likely make fewer visits to the ER or urgent care centers, which will save you time, stress, and money.
Direct primary care, of course, isn't right for everyone. We certainly understand that some people are quite happy with their primary care physicians. But if you're curious to learn more than schedule a FREE meeting with one of Total Access Medicals concierge physicians.