Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Cynthia Villacis, the family physician and owner of Health Connections Direct Primary Care in Florence, Kentucky. She is also a certified life coach for physicians. As a direct primary care doctor, Dr. Villacis dives into the DPC model for us and explains how it works.
- [01:01] Dr. Villacis’ Medical Journey and Background
- [05:02] Embracing the Non-traditional Path to Medicine
- [09:46] What is Direct Primary Care?
- [15:17] Where to Learn More about DPC
- [19:03] Life Coaching for Physicians and Med Students
- [22:02] What Dr. Villacis would Change about Healthcare
Diving into Direct Primary Care (DPC)
The direct primary care model establishes a direct relationship between doctors and their patients, without mediation from insurance companies. Patients pay a fixed fee to avail of their physician’s services. Doctors can open their own practice or join an already existing chain of DPC clinics. A typical consultation at the hospital or community center only lasts for 10-15 minutes per patient. The time constraint is a result of how insurance providers reimburse health professionals. As a DPC physician, Dr. Villacis is able to set longer consultations and get to know her patients’ background, and provide quality care without feeling rushed. Direct communication also makes medical services more accessible due to its straightforward process. Another advantage is that direct primary care physicians can tailor their practice to a specific niche or population they want to serve.
Getting into a DPC Practice
A great way to learn more about direct primary care is by visiting your local DPC physician. Talk to them and maybe even request if you can shadow them for a day. It’s a good opportunity to see first hand what the workflow and environment are like. You may also want to join the Direct Primary Care Summit in Kansas from July 15 to 17. Learn from the experts and network with other direct primary care practitioners. For more information, visit www.dpcsummit.org.
How Life Coaching Can Help Your Career
Life coaches can help you see patterns in the way you think and act. They guide you to realize that you can make impactful choices in your studies, career, or relationships. They are also there to constantly remind you to be compassionate towards yourself and to help reframe setbacks as learning experiences. Dr. Villacis recommends listening to the Life Coach School podcast for practical tips that can be applied in day-to-day life.