An insightful discussion on how Direct Primary Care (DPC) allows more meaningful time to be spent with the patient and expanding one’s knowledge.
Dr. Ryan Neuhofel is a family physician based out of Lawrence, Kansas. He is also the past President of the Direct Primary Care Alliance which advocates for a stronger community and physician-led mentorship through DPC medicine. He likens DPC to the “Costco” of primary care with an emphasis on disease prevention.
Dr. Neuhfel states that having his own clinic allows for greater freedom and time to stay updated on education and medical resources. Networking and learning from each other is also a great way to maintain education. This model of clinical practice allows for “true primary care” through regaining physician autonomy and limiting outside interference. More time with the patient allows for a greater patient story and deep thought about the patient’s experience and healthcare concerns. Jumping into testing is not always the best path. Being outside of a hospital setting also adds additional responsibility, such as when to send a patient to the Emergency Department.
DPC physicians have more personal and patient time. This also translates into better patient experiences, more time for continuing education, and more time for friends and family. Future preceptors interested in DPC also have a strong network and support from others in the community to assist with knowledge acquisition and updated information. Current physicians can find DPC physicians in a wide array of social media locations, podcasts, and within the DPC Alliance.
DPC is a great transition for medical students and allows them to go from foundational knowledge to clinical diagnosis and medicine. They have more time to discuss the pathophysiology of a current patient with their preceptors. This can be a great, low-stress bridging experience in a learner’s medical education. Students can join the DPC Alliance for free and even join their Mentorship Program. Finding a great clinical experience is one of the most important standards a student can set for themselves to progress to the next stage.
Ryan suggests that a strong preceptor should talk out loud to their students and explain the thought process. Getting this type of direct insight into the physician’s clinical paradigm can add great value and act as a guide for students. And ask questions! There is no better way to get direct feedback than to ask your preceptor well thought out questions at the right times.
Connect with Dr. Ryan Neuhofel on Twitter!
Note: All summaries are host interpretations and are not intended to reflect direct statements made by guests or mentioned associations