Dr. Allison Edwards is the owner of Kansas City Direct Primary Care. Though she works in the community, she still hosts students from the University of Kansas and other locations at her clinic. DPC is a movement as well as a clinical environment that is designed to eliminate the middle-person and reduce costs for patients. Direct Primary Care provides a low-volume yet diverse learning experience and is great for shadowing or students requesting a break between intense rotations.
DPC preceptors are unique in that they are entrepreneur-physicians to a greater degree than hospitalists. As small business owners, they navigate the two complex worlds of medicine and business. DPC physicians are also free from the hospital and administrative constraints that regulate other physicians. This potentially allows preceptors and students to run more tests and provide in-house support that a hospital setting may pass off to a tech. There is a great focus on learning how to learn now so that students can use these critical thinking and technical skills more effectively later.
Students interested in a Direct Primary Care clinical rotation must be concerned with time-constraints and customer service. Though there is generally lower volume at DPC clinics, patient time expectations (more so than hospital time restrictions) are of paramount concern. Customer satisfaction is an important consideration in all small businesses.
Students should prepare for their externships by being open-minded and energetic. They should plan for downtime and have a general plan for self-directed studies. Showing passion and being proactive are great ways to assure a student’s Letter of Recommendation will display their strengths and ambitions. Also, students that remain humble and understand they are still learning will benefit more from their clinical experience than those that are abrasive or overstep their boundaries. The preceptor-student relationship is that of a dynamic team. Understanding each person’s level in the hierarchy and personal limitations provide a smooth transition of knowledge from one individual to another.
Most links related to DPC:
DPC Frontier (map of local DPC clinics)
AAFP’s DPC Toolkit
HintHealth DPC Software
Note: All summaries are host interpretations and are not intended to reflect direct statements made by guests or mentioned associations.