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DPC and other Ways to Practice Pediatrics

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Marina Capella who is a direct primary care pediatrician in Salt Lake City. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Stanford University and then went on to obtain her MD from U.S. San Diego School of Medicine.

Today Dr. Erkeda chats with Dr. Marina Capella about her experience practicing pediatrics at a community health center, a hospital, an urgent care clinic, and now, at her own private practice.

  • [00:38] Dr. Capella’s Medical Journey and Background
  • [04:49] Why Pediatrics?
  • [10:03] Different Ways to Practice Pediatrics
  • [15:20] Direct Primary Care Model
  • [20:41] The Future Minority Doctor Podcast
  • [26:07] Dr. Capella’s Advice to Pre-Meds and Medical Students

Why Pediatrics?

Dr. Capella discovered her love for children while spending time at her mother’s workplace: a kindergarten. During her rotations, she took a liking to pediatrics because of the welcoming and positive environment. These experiences affirmed her decision to specialize in pediatrics. She finds it fascinating that pediatricians can be generalists or sub specialists¾there is so much variety in their work. Dr. Capella is also a huge proponent of holistic and preventive medicine, remarking that there is a greater opportunity to prevent disease in children than in adults.

Dr. Capella’s Diverse Roles as a Pediatrician

Straight out of residency, Dr. Capella served as a general pediatrician at a community health center for the underserved. It was fulfilling to be able to help low income, Hispanic families and other minority groups but her new role did not come without challenges. She recalls seeing patients every 15 minutes, or sometimes tending to two people at a time. Eager to pay off her student debt, she also worked shifts at a hospital’s ER department. This quickly led to burnout. When she and her husband moved to Utah, she became an urgent care pediatrician. At her new role, she was able to reduce her working hours and had more time for herself. However, she felt that she wasn’t fully utilizing her skills and missed the connection with patient families. A year ago, she found about the direct primary care model and has started her own private practice.

What is Direct Primary Care (DPC)?

Direct Primary Care refers to the direct relationship between a patient and a physician. The patient pays a fixed monthly fee to the physician who offers direct primary care services. There is no third party involved like insurance companies, corporations, or even the healthcare system. This kind of set up gives physicians freedom to choose how to practice: whether it be via face-to-face appointments, house calls, or even telemedicine.

Visit Future Minority Doctor’s website and reach out to Dr. Marina Capella by sending her an e-mail at [email protected].

Got questions, feedback, or suggestions? Send a message to Dr. Erkeda DeRouen’s Instagram or MedSchoolCoach’s Instagram.

Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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