Direct Specialty Care Doctor
Dr. Stephanie Phillips, DO, is a highly accomplished healthcare professional with a deep commitment to delivering top-tier patient care. Born and raised in the picturesque town of Bluefield, West Virginia, her journey in the medical field is marked by outstanding achievements and a passion for global healthcare outreach.
Stephanie's academic journey began at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia, where she not only excelled as part of the women's basketball team but also graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
Continuing her pursuit of excellence, Stephanie earned her Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from the Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, located on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, in 2010. During her time there, she served as the President of the Christian Medical and Dental Association and actively participated in an international missions training program.
Stephanie's commitment to providing comprehensive healthcare was further honed during her family medicine residency at Anmed Health in Anderson, South Carolina. Her dedication led to graduating with honors and a strong foundation in healthcare.
Since 2015, Dr. Phillips has been dedicated to the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she provides outpatient primary care services. She has also held the role of Medical Director at two Community Based Outpatient Clinics, one in Princeton, West Virginia, and the other in Athens, Georgia. Her expertise extends to caring for children, adolescents, and college-age adults.
Dr. Phillips holds Certification in International Medicine, underscoring her dedication to global healthcare. She has actively participated in numerous international mission trips and lent her expertise to the Baptist Hospital in Ghana, Africa.
In 2020, Stephanie and her family took on a new adventure by relocating to Georgia, where they now oversee a family farm in Royston. She is an active member of Royston First United Methodist Church and values her community involvement.
Beyond her medical practice, Stephanie enjoys quality time with her husband, three children, grandchild, and a charming array of farm animals. Her hobbies include quilting, knitting, and relishing the simple pleasures of front porch sitting.
Dr. Stephanie Phillips is a distinguished medical professional committed to enhancing the health and well-being of her patients, locally and globally. Her journey reflects a dedication to excellence in healthcare and a genuine passion for making a positive impact.
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Direct primary care is an innovative, alternative path to insurance driven healthcare. Typically, a patient pays their doctor a low monthly membership and, in return, builds a lasting relationship with their doctor and has their doctor available at the time. their fingertips. Welcome to the My DPC Story podcast, where each week you will hear the ever so relatable stories shared by physicians who have chosen to practice medicine in their individual communities through the direct primary care model.
I'm your host, Marielle Concepcion, family physician, DPC owner, and former fee for service doctor. I hope you enjoy today's episode and come away feeling inspired about the future of patient care. Direct. Primary care.
I went to medical school to help other people. I didn't go to medical school to fill out paperwork to deal with insurance companies that don't understand the importance of my relationship with my patients. And I went to medical school so I could sit on patients front porches, get to know them and care for them the way that I was meant to.
I am Dr Stephanie Phillips of Front Porch Family Medicine, and this is my DPC story.
Dr. Stephanie Phillips, DO, was born and raised in Bluefield, West Virginia. She attended Emanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia, where she played intercollegiate women's basketball and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology, graduating magna cum laude in 2006. She obtained her medical degree at the VIA College of Osteopathic Medicine on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she was president of the Christian Medical and Dental Association and a participant in the International Missions Training Program, graduating in 2010 with her doctorate of osteopathic medicine.
Dr. Phillips attended family medicine residency in Anderson, South Carolina at Ann Med Health, where she completed a global health track and graduated with honors. Dr. Phillips has been serving our nation's heroes at the Department of Veterans Affairs since 2015 in outpatient primary care. She has been medical director for two community based outpatient clinics in Princeton, West Virginia, and Athens, Georgia.
She has extensive experience caring for children and adolescents, as well as college age adults. Dr. Phillips has certification in international medicine and has led and participated in many international mission trips, and has also served at the Baptist Hospital in Ghana, Africa. She and her family relocated to Georgia to take over operations of the family farm in Royston, Georgia, in 2020.
She is a member of Royston First United Methodist Church and she loves spending time with her husband, three children, her grandchild, and her many farm animals. In her spare time, she enjoys quilting, knitting, and front porch sitting.
Welcome to the podcast, Dr. Phillips. Thank you. It is such a treat to be talking with another rural family physician. So I'm super excited. If you have not gone to Dr. Phillips website, uh, front porch family medicine is her practice. And she talks all over the place about bringing the sweet tea. to the podcast today.
And we are super excited to hear all of the amazing things you're doing in your community. So you did. A soft and then a harder opening all earlier this year. So January you had a milestone and July you had a milestone. Tell us about that. Yeah, so in January I was working full time for the VA in primary care and I opened just seeing patients on Saturdays and that was in January and from January to June I grew to about 80 patients and so that was huge but then we opened full time in July I opted out, and I've grown just from July to now already to 150 patients.
So really exciting and really fast growth, and that's kind of how my journey went so
far. I love it. And let's go into your environment where you're physically practicing because we mentioned that you are rural just like myself, but how rural are you and where are you in the state of Georgia?
So, I'm in Northeast Georgia in Franklin County, Royston, Georgia.
So, Royston is a town of about 2700 people, very small. There are several other towns around me. So, I'm in a kind of a tri county area. So, I have 3 other counties, 3 other. Cities that are close by each of those places have 3000 people. There's also another only 15 minutes down the road for me. She has been super successful and kind of mentored me and help me and she filled up and, like.
7, 8 months, so I decided to open with some encouragement from her for sure, because I was scared about it being a rural area, but it's been shocking. How many people still are calling and coming even with just just small area. It's actually a farming community, mostly agricultural. We grow Franklin county has more chickens raised in this county than any other county in the whole entire United States.
So a lot of chicken farmers and it's just been awesome. So tell us about that fear, that hesitancy when you were saying, like, I don't know if this could work rural because there are other people out there who have that same fear and just today was reading a post online about how there's even specialists who are rural, working rural, but their hospitals are changing the policies, eliminating physicians and specialists are wondering even like, how could I do this?
Because I'm rural as well, right? The patients are there. Like, so even if you're rural, There are, there's still a huge need and patients, no matter if they're in a city or in a country, everyone has trouble finding doctors, especially specialists and family doctor, everybody. And I think it's, uh, everyone's disenchanted with the way medicine is.
Everyone's tired of it. And so that's why this really works. It takes people getting in the door a lot of times, but once they get in the door and they realize, hey. This is real, and this is happening, and this is affordable. Same with the doctor. So, like, when I opened, honestly, when I first opened in January, I was like, I'm not 100 percent sure I'm even going to do this because I don't know if it's going to work.
I'm scared. I have to have my salary. I have to pay my bills. You know, my husband's a farmer, so I'm pretty much our soul. Our main sole earner, he makes some, but nothing what I made, so it was important to me to be able to have that financial security. So it was really scary. And I was like, I don't know if this is going to work, but it works.
And it really is the right thing to do for patients and for my mental health. It's been awesome. Some of that scaredness went away. Once I started seeing all the people call and all the people who. Just we're so thankful for the service and interestingly, so you think, okay, well, you're only going to get like uninsured underinsured working class people, but there's a lot of patient.
It's such a mix of patients that I have. So, I have working poor who are members who absolutely need the service really badly and then I also have, you know, patients who are very well off who just want to have that access to a doctor on the weekend. Thank you. So it's such a, a big mix of type of patient because I really thought it would just be higher income people that would be signing up.
But actually, the value that we provide to patients who don't have insurance is, is astronomical. So they're shocked to see how much they can get for just a small fee every month. And it's really interesting to see how they look at me when I say, oh, no, that's included. They're like, what that's included.
Okay. You know, like, there's a huge amount of value. That they get from the membership
and just from what you're, you're saying you're implying or what I'm hearing is that you're implying that health care access is definitely an issue there when it comes to quality access. So, what is the landscape in your area in terms of, like, the, the big fee for service clinics?
Satellite fee for service clinics. What options do people typically have in your area without
DPC? So the options that they have are doctor's offices that are hospital owned, that are full of doctors who are burnout, family doctors who are, have too many patients. There's actually 1 county right next to me that has only really 1 clinic in the entire county for outpatient care at that clinic.
There's a lot of people to get in every morning of 20 to 30 people. so if you want to be seen there, you have to go in there. There's no urgent care services in that county and it's just a nightmare to try to get care. And this is a rural county. So I've gotten a lot of people from that county that's about 20 minutes away.
I have a lot of patients from that city too. And these hospital owned practices, they know the doctors are overworked. They know they're going to get a 15 minute visit. And a lot of patients who come to me have actually said, you know, I told my doctor about this, but I know they just have time to order a bunch of tests.
And I really want to get down to what's going on. And I always try to, anytime a patient comes in and tells me something like that, like that their other doctor. Didn't pay attention them or whatever actually even try to point out. You know what? It's not because that doctor is a bad doctor because honestly, I used to have to do that too.
Because if I'm already an hour behind, and I've got 3 other people waiting on me, and you've got this very complicated problem. A lot of times. I'm just going to basically order every test I can think of, because I don't have time to sit down and take the time that it needs to actually figure it out. So, it's not because they're a bad doctor.
Yeah. Yeah. It really isn't it's most of the time they would like to have time to sit down and talk to you. It's just that our system is set up the entirely wrong way. And they're probably good doctors out there. And I try, you know, I want to get those doctors into my way of doing things because I think they'd be a lot happier and patients would be happy to too.
But. It's just the kind of system that they have access to is totally different and they're not able to get same day appointments. Most, especially pediatric offices around here are not available. They don't have same day or even same week. So a lot of times kids are waiting 2 weeks to be seen by pediatrician.
So they're utilizing an urgent care. With mid levels who do not know them at all, which, in my opinion, is almost kind of dangerous. It's just bad. It's just not quality care, in my opinion. So, to have a doctor that you can call anytime for your kids is, is priceless. So, especially in a rural area, because you're driving even just two hours to get to a pediatric ER.
I am in a totally different locale, but I am totally with you in terms of, you know, to get to the nearest inpatient pediatric unit is an hour and a half away for us. Nick you hour and a half away, you know, like it is unreal how access in rural America really works for health care. So I am so grateful as well as all of your patients.
And I know you are even for your own patients. practice now that you are open. So bring us back to that time though in January when you doing clinic on Saturdays and you were still working at the VA and you were like, I just, I don't know still, but I, I'm at least willing enough to try. What was it that made you even go to doing Saturday clinics versus like, Oh, I'll just wait a little bit longer.
Yeah. So I had heard about DPC years ago when I. Got out of residency, and I really, I came up with front porch family medicine, the name of the clinic, then in 2013, and I even designed a logo and everything and, like, wanted to do it and and I got scared and I backed out because I had a bunch of student debt.
And so, for me, the big. Big draw was getting out of my student debt. So I had worked for the VA for nine years in federal service for, uh, for that long. And so I actually got my loans forgiveness. So that for me, not having that student loan payment for me was a huge deal because I had already. Kind of design my life around the salary that I needed and I had car payment, a farm payment.
We bought a half a million dollar farm, you know, so I had to make that mortgage payment and there was no getting out of that. And so we decided to just. Let me work in this horrible system that I'm in, and I actually was really not miserable the entire time I was at the VA. I was at several different VAs.
There were times I was, I was happier with my job, but overall, I was overworked and it just kept getting worse and worse. And I felt like they kept adding and adding and adding more things. And it just got, I was so disenchanted. And so when I got that letter from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness, that was really what put me over the edge of just like, you know what?
I don't have this burden anymore. I'm going to move forward and just jump right in. And that honestly for me gave me a lot of security to know I wouldn't have to make that payment anymore, that I just got to be able to just, you know, be done with it and say, okay, I'm doing my own thing. And also just hearing my patients when they came in for me, they would see how downtrodden I was.
And they're, they're like, You know, I can tell this is killing you and I know you're so busy and you have so much and they would actually come in and see a pile, like a 3 inch pile of paper on my desk and they knew, you know, and just hearing them say that I'm just like, you know, what, even my patients know that this is killing.
And that was a big one, too. And my, and my little daughter saying, Mommy, I never see you. She's about to turn seven this week, actually. And she would, she would come home and be like, Mommy, I don't ever see you. Because whenever I'm at home, I'm on my laptop trying to get stuff done when I'm not at the office.
So I was working, you know, 60 hour weeks. And it was just, and I just got this point where I was like, you know what, this life is too short. Life is too short to just spend all day on my computer all the time. It's just too much. I don't want to miss it. I don't want to miss my baby's life. You know, uh, that was another big thing.
It's so awesome that you made this change when your daughter is still little. And I love that, you know, she's. only going to be about seven, but the, I'm guessing that already you've had so much difference in your life that like, in terms of spending time with her. So what, what have you been able to do now because you have a DPC practice?
Yeah. So my practice now is like really close. I was driving 30 minutes to work. Now it's like five minutes from my house. So now I get to pick her up from school. Oh, I work 4 days a week now. So I have a whole day in the summer. I'll have a whole day off with her, but now she's in school. So I get to spend more time with her.
I pick her up from school on my day off and we spend more time together. It's just been overall great. I can leave the office and not work. Sometimes I do have to. I mean, I'm still busy. I still have a lot of stuff that I do. But at the same time, like it's not every single night I'm on my computer. It's not every single weekend I'm just on my computer.
And like, I actually have weekends off now. I don't work it on the weekends, which is totally different. And just, I've noticed a difference in her and like, she's a lot more attached to me the last few months I've noticed too, because I think she knows I have more time and so she wants mommy. And that's so cool to me.
Cause I'm like, she never really cared about me before. Like she did, but you know what I mean? Like my mom keeps her. And so she actually asked for me now and it's just like, I get to be mom and it's just so fun and such a relief to know that I'm not having to, and I would even find myself buying her gifts and trying to get more like material stuff for her because I felt guilty and I don't have that tendency anymore.
Like, I just want to spend time with her. It's just really cool. I just Don't even care about the money lost right now. It's just about her.
So yeah, that time in that relationship is so well deserved. So I'm super glad for you both. Now, going back to when you mentioned your patients were even telling you, like, this, this is going to kill you.
I know that there's people out there who are thinking about their own patients and fee for service who have said that to other doctors who are listening right now. And I know, I, I definitely know that, especially at the end of my stint in fee for service. It was like. If I do one more day, like I will not be able to continue medicine as a career and my patients, especially the people who followed me over for my practice, like 80 percent of my patients who joined my DPC were from my old practice and they made comments like that.
Like you were so stressed and fee for service or like you are so much happier now. And it's amazing how, you know, even though we try, like you're saying, you know, there's, it's not that the doctor is bad. It's just the system that they're in is really impacting how they are able to do quality medicine.
Like I remember conversing with my husband about like, what, why did, but you sent that person to a cardiologist, but you, you could have done that yourself or like you, why did that person go to Durham? Like you are a physician and surgeon. So why? Because he didn't have time. And so that, that is the thing that I really feel residents also are picking up on now.
And even medical students, when they're shadowing, they're like, what do you mean? Like, I remember, I think it was Dr. Cindy Rubin. She said that a medical student asked her like, why do you have 15 minutes for everyone? And she's like, cause that's just how it is. And like, you know, so it's, it's amazing that you also experience that it's sad that, you know, there are so many of us who experiences moments when that's not at all what we signed up to be doctors.
To experience. So I love that you're again doing your DPC practice. And I think that's so cool that you that you had this time, you know, I get it that you were working towards paying off your loans being in a different place to then jump, but I love that you were working on your logo, which I love. It has a super cute stethoscope hanging off the front porch chair.
It's awesome. Let me ask you, like, if you were to talk to yourself after finishing residency with all of these. Thank Loans and whatnot on your plate, would you have told your previous self anything different in terms of, I know that you've heard about DPC, I know that you're scared, but like your future self is telling you X, Y, Z.
Yeah, I wish I had just done it. Then I just feel like I would have been so successful even then right out of residency. I feel like I wasted 10 professional years of my life. You know, you can make that payment. I could have easily made that payment just for the rest of my life. Like, um, who cares about the 10 years and the forgiveness?
Like, I could have just paid it off. I mean, at the end of the day, it's not worth it to grind in this mess and just get burnt out the way that I did. I mean, it It's not how we should be taking care of patients and I knew then it was broken. I knew then I would be burnout and I just did it. Anyway, I just ran the rat race and I just wish I hadn't if I could go back 10 years.
I definitely would tell my 10 years. Just go just do it because it's people need doctors. They want a doctor. We have a service. This is basic business. 101. we have a service that people need and people will pay cash for it. They will pay cash for what. Okay. is quality medical care. They come in, they see what they have.
If you do this right, if you follow this model the correct way, it will work. I think it's 100 percent fail proof. Like it's just, I don't see how it could fail, really. I really don't. And I think there's a lot of research being done and there's a lot of talk about why do DPCs fail. We've, I've been seeing them on the Facebook groups that we have with doctors and everything.
And it's really interesting and you look at the reasons that they fail. Most of the practices that are failing are not following a model. They're either too expensive. My fee is 75 for everyone a month, period. And in a rural area, I see a lot of other practices called, you know, charging a lot more. I don't plan on increasing my fees.
I don't think I need to because I can see the patients I need to see and not be super busy. And have plenty of openings for people and not charge more. So I just don't see, I know there's a big trend like increase your prices and do all this thing. And I just don't see where that is going to help my practice grow or help me get any more value.
I just think that 75 is a great price point. Yeah, maybe more, who knows. But I may stick my foot in my mouth in two years and increase my prices. I don't know. We can. But at the same time, people are going to pay more. They are. But I think the higher prices are going to cut off certain people and I know you didn't even ask this question about why the PC is closed, but I think it's important to talk about because I want to know the reasons that they're closing myself.
Because when you're opening a business, you want to know. Okay. What are the reasons people are failing in this business that I'm opening? So I think we need to be talking about these things. But for me, making it valuable in a rural area, I needed to be have a good value price point for uninsured patients because that is a lot of my group.
I would say over my probably, I would say probably 25 percent of my patients are uninsured completely. They don't even have a health share plan and I'm trying to get them to get 1 because I want all my patients to have some kind of insurance or for catastrophic things. So, yeah. That's where I'm at with that with the business plan and everything, but I just want to encourage others to say, okay, yeah, we have a product that people need and this is just a great thing that we're that we're able to do.
And we can do it. Like, it doesn't take a rocket science. It's so easy to do, you know. So,
you know, I, I love that you mentioned thinking about why do DPCs close soon after your interview airs, we're going to have a physician who's practice closed. And I definitely encourage those who are out there. Like, I know that there's this whole, that most of the episodes on my DPC story are about.
successful direct primary care practices and all different sorts of locales. However, I absolutely encourage those people who are, you know, who've chosen life after DPC, like they're still alive, they're still breathing, they're still doing whatever they want to. I go back to Whitney, Dr. Whitney Webster Pack's episode where she says, even if Your DPC closes, you did it out of love like you did it because that's what you needed to do.
And so I definitely encourage that if there's a physician out there who has chosen or is soon going to choose to close their practice, because there's something else that they want to do. Like, they want to travel the world or they want to go back into fee for service. They want to do whatever it is.
It's like. Amen. But definitely I encourage you to go onto the contact page of MightyPCStory. com and sign up to do an interview also, because I think that that is such an important topic because, you know, we don't want it to be like the, the elephant in the room that no one talks about, but it's interesting because as physicians, we're taught pathology and then we're taught like.
The full picture. It's like, this is diabetes. We're gonna talk about diabetes today. And like, how does a person get diabetes, you know, it's like, you're going to go into a clinic, you need to know all the things about the clinic to be a, you know, a business owner who is not with their head in the sand when it comes to like, why do 50 percent of businesses closed within the first few years?
Like, why is that, you know, of any of any type of small business? And Whatever we can do to learn from it and whatever we can do to help others understand, like, Had you thought about this if your business is failing or your, you know, your model is wavering, people are not joining the practice, whatever it is, but I think that there is nothing to be embarrassed about or shameful about because the fact that even the people who are thinking about, could I do DPC?
That is hugely different from what I ever was exposed to in residency, as I'm sure you were, you know, you practice was like, Oh, no, no, no, you, you, we don't do private practice anymore. You just work for somebody. So when you said that you were just like amazed that people were calling, what, what caused that amazement?
Like, what were they saying when you were doing those Saturday clinics that kept you to go full steam ahead in the summer?
Well, I was scared, too, because, you know, I didn't have a patient base. So, my, most of my patients, I worked 30 minutes away, and all of my patients were VA patients. So, VA patients are not going to pay cash when they can get free care, right?
Because most of the VA patients don't pay. So, I knew I wasn't going to have a huge amount of my veterans who came over. And I do have a few that have come and followed me, but I guess for me, what they kept saying was, wow, you really listen? It seems like you really care. We wanted to my practice manager, Eric.
He's a good friend of mine. I've been friends with him for 20 years. He's like my brother. He helped me start the practice. We really wanted to have a place where when people came in, they felt like family. And I know there's so much stigma about. Keeping a line, you know, you want to have a line drawn with patients.
You don't want them to be too close to you. You know, they're not supposed to be our friends or go to lunch or all these things, but we did want to have a very. Very loving environment and a very encouraging environment. So we tried to, even though we don't have a building with a front porch, which eventually I do really want, we actually put a rocking chair in our patient lounge.
We put books out there. We had a library. We had honey from a farm. We have just kind of things that we wanted to make people comfortable. We wanted to make people feel like they were the only person there. And so we tried to stagger the visits, making sure nobody was visiting. Like, nobody was waiting for their appointment.
We actually named our lab chair, the prayer chair. And so. We're both Christians and we wanted to be able to encourage our patients that are Christians. So we pray for our patients who are Christians and, and that has been a huge thing. I think people are shocked when we start praying for them because I think that I can only do so much, you know, when it comes to certain things.
And so spiritual care and, and that kind of thing was important to people. So I think even though I am very much a normal doctor, I've attracted several patients who are not into modern medicine at all. I have patients who... do not care about taking any of the medicines that I recommend at all, but they still pay me a fee every month, which I don't really understand, but are here because they know I'm going to care about them.
And I think they know deep down that if something really bad does happen, then I'm going to take charge and make sure they get the help that they need at the end of the day, that they can rely on me. And I think that's really what people want when they think about a family doctor is somebody that You know, I may not have anything wrong with me right now, but when I do, Dr. Phillips is going to figure it out and she's going to be be there for me. And I think when, when we have that environment in our clinic, that really helped people realize, hey, you know, this is something I want to keep doing. And so for me, that was really important. It's just having that family because I like, get so excited when I think about someone that's my patient, like, I just want, I've always wanted to do primary care, even from the very beginning, because I love the idea of just having my patient, like, this is my, like, I get my, I got a new five month old yesterday in clinic, and I was just like, this is gonna be my patient, and I'm actually gonna, like, have her till she's 20 or whatever, you know, like, I just get so excited about that.
And I lost that before. I lost that. I'm about to cry, but I lost it. You know, for a long time. What I signed up for. Yeah. Is that, not the mess that I've been in for 10 years. And it's so, so good. And I love it. And I'm just thankful because I think I would have left medicine if it hadn't been for this because it's how it's supposed to be, you know, I did rotations even, you know, in residency.
I remember one of my favorite attendings in med school, my fourth year rotation I did with her. She was a family doctor at the time. She was working in Blacksburg, Virginia, and I remember Sitting in her office watching her look out the window and just bawling her eyes out because she kept having to see 30 people a day and she was so afraid she was going to miss something.
She's like, I know we're missing stuff. I know we're, we're missing stuff. And she's crying her eyes out. And I was like, how are we supposed to do this? And it just made me almost not want to do family medicine, but I'm like, I'm already on. This is what I want to do. There's got to be some, but at the end of the tunnel, maybe I won't have to see 30.
maybe I could see 20 or, you know, somehow I can make it work, you know, and, and I didn't know about BPC then, you know, that was in 2010 before it wasn't as even a thing really. So, yeah, it's just, it's been a journey for sure. I'm sure there's other people who are. Getting their climax boxes out right now, because it is something that I feel that most people have gone through.
I mean, maybe not audible. So the other people can hear, but it's like, it absolutely happens. Like, I have talked with so many people who the tears have come. The, the stress levels have been unbelievable. The questioning of like, what is, what am I doing here? Why did I go into medicine? All of these things are so real.
And it is so wonderful. So wonderful that this five month old has you for her life now. You know, it's like, it's amazing. And she would not have had that had you. Chosen a different path. And so the fact that you are here and the fact that you are grateful. I think it also helps us really put our heart and souls into our practices.
And that's why if you've seen one DPC, you've seen one DPC. And this also goes into my next question with regards to the growth that you experienced between January and July. Because when patients are sensing like now, Dr. Phillips is my doctor, like, she's my doctor, how did your practice grow? Was it because they were, you know, like, Hey, you're my neighbor and oh, I'm so sorry that you're going to that clinic.
But like, you want to hear about my doctor? Like, how did your practice grow to go along with this? Gratitude that you had that patients were sensing as you kept practicing in your D. P. C.
Yeah, well, word of mouth is the best advertisement in the world. I mean, we know that and I think that it rubbed off.
People saw how much I cared. They saw how much Eric cared to you. I mean, it was really a team, both of us together and they spread that around. You know, they tell other people, they talk to their friends about it. I have one patient who drives 45 minutes to see me, and he just saw an ad on Facebook. We ran, we run a lot of Facebook ads, and they're cheap, and they work great.
That's where a lot of our patients come from. And, you know. We touch the heart of why people want to leave their doctor. You know, do you have time for me? Do you care about me? Do you, um, health is a very intimate thing. People want intimacy with their doctor and they really do. And not even not just women either.
Like, I have a lot of male patients and I think. Problems. I worked for the VA for 10 years. So I know all about prostates and all about everything. You know, I'm like a male specialist really. I mean, I really know a lot about men's health. So I've been really attracting a lot of males too because I think that they understand that I am going to take care of them.
But also I've been trying to put out a lot of stuff for farmers because farmers don't want to come to the doctor. They don't want to ever come to the doctor. Number one, they're busy. They have a lot of work to do. Yeah, and they never want to do anything for themselves. And so when something gets wrong with them, they do not want to come into the doctor.
So that's one thing I've been trying to push to a lot of farmers is that if you are, if you get sick and you have a sinus infection, I will not make you come in. I will call you in some antibiotics. Like, I really don't need to see you anyway. So you just call me up. Let me know what's going on and we'll get you treated and you don't have to come in.
Trying to do that and then be like. Get your butt in here. There's something wrong. You know what I mean? And they know I'm going to fuss at them. They want that kind of relationship. Like, okay, she's got my back, but she, she knows I'm not going to do that, but. She's going to take care of me anyway. You know what I mean?
So it's really an interesting dynamic in the south of the farm taking care of the rural community because there's a lot of patients. I like, no, they're not taking their medicine, but they know I'm not going to judge them. And it's funny, you use the term all the time, shared decision making. There's some patients that they don't want to hear a shared decision.
They're like, tell me what to do. I'll do it. I don't want to hear what you think. I think about it. Like, I don't care. Why do you. Care what I think, just I'm going to do what you say. I'm like okay, well that's great too, just do this then. You know, so it's interesting the type of patients that we have, but it's, there's a lot of patients too that um, want to do a lot of research.
They want to make sure they, they, you know, have everything in line before they take anything I give them too. So it's a good mix, but it's, it's really interesting the patient types that I have. So it's, it's fun. Just being real with people. Yeah. Yeah.
I love that. And I'm, I'm laughing because, you know, not the South, but the Midwest where I, uh, practiced in, in Superior, Nebraska, when I was in medical school and residency, I I'm just laughing because I can, I know all the farmers in, in the, you know, the alfalfa farmers and all the people who were doing farming in Nebraska.
Same thing. You're like, I saw you at the grocery store. I saw you buy those Twinkies. Like I'm not going to judge you, but I did see you. I need to acknowledge that. I saw you do that and it's like, yeah, like, you know, I would hear the stories of like who was the person that was other than themselves who made them come in to like get their actinic keratosis frozen off and stuff like that.
So I just I'm laughing because that is so. farming community, no matter what farming community you're in, which I love. And I feel also that in places that are rural, the connection to a true family medicine physician is so strong. Like it has not necessarily watered down over time. I get it that there are areas where they do appreciate in rural communities, family medicine, but they don't have access to it.
But there's still this remembrance, this, this cultural remembrance of like, I just need my doc. Right, so it's very cool that your community has that. Now, let's go back to your patient population because you mentioned how there's around 2700 people in Royston, and there is not a lot of access to urgent care because you.
created something which is phenomenal. You went out and reached out to the college, Emanuel College, which is now Emanuel University, to provide urgent care services, not only to your patients, but to college students. So tell us about Emanuel University and how that all
came to be. Yeah, so what we're doing at front porch is really unique and really cool.
There is actually an urgent care in town. Funny to say there is an urgent care in town, but the college was not really happy with that. They didn't have a health center. So, a lot of rural colleges, a lot of small colleges cannot afford a student health center and so the majority of health and wellness fees that are charged to colleges that colleges.
Charge to students really just includes maybe a campus nurse or possibly a little bit of counseling services, but really, it's very tight budget. See, schools are on a very tight budget and being able to afford, like, actual an actual mid level provider or an actual doctor to be available to the students is very rare.
And so students are kind of left on their own most of the time, especially the trainers at Emanuel University has a lot of sports. So they have 750 students, but over 500 are athletes. Right? So their training room is overwhelmed with medical problems. So their head trainer was just like. Totally overwhelmed and she's amazing and really awesome to work with.
And I work with her daily to take care of these kids, but they were all coming to her because there's no doctor, right? I mean, that you could go to the training room when something's wrong. And so these trainers were just really overwhelmed, could not handle, they had no team doctor, no backup when they needed x ray orders, whatever.
So I approached the college with a proposal To provide care for the students, and so I was in a really unique position to offer that because I was just opening. I actually reached out to the college myself. I reached out to the CFO. It is a small town and I live in this town. And so I also graduated from a manual University.
So I use that as kind of like, hey, I'm an alumni. I want to meet with you. I want to tell you what I have to offer. They know how much I love a manual. I already. I still talk to some of my professors that work there and I love the students. My daughter's a student there as well, which also helped. So I approached them.
I told them what I wanted. I asked them straight up for 325 dollars a semester for per each student to offer full DPC for each student, right? So they had a current student health fee of 47 dollars a month that they were charging 50. I think it was 57, but they were charging just that amount. Each semester to each student, and so they told me, we don't want to increase tuition.
Apparently, there's a lot of pressure on these colleges to not have a higher tuition. They want to have a lower tuition. It attracts more students lower the tuition, the better obviously. Right? So, when you're going to make a choice for college, you're going to choose the cheaper 1. So, they did not want to increase the amount.
So, we went back and forth a couple times and settled on urgent care only services. So, I provide 2 free urgent care visits for each student at a manual per semester plus a sports physical. So, there's a potential that I would have 3 encounters with the student, and that would all be included under their student health services fee.
So, the way that I structured it, Emanuel pays me 47 dollars per student per semester to take care of the students. So, I did not know what was going to happen. I didn't know if I'd get 1 person a day. I didn't know if I'd get a few students today, but for me, I only had 80 patients and so that extra income.
For me was like, okay, I'm going to do this because I have time to see how it's going to work out and I'm not full and this is a perfect time to do it. So, what it has turned out and I was going to update everybody on the Facebook group too. And I'm going to tell you what has happened because I ran some numbers before this meeting.
And so what I've what's happened is with the 750 students, I've averaged 3 to 5 patients a day, 3 to 5 visits a day. I'm only open 4 days a week. So it actually coming out is a great value for me, because if I paid, if I charged 125 dollars per visit, that's about what I'm getting paid when you average it out.
So it's actually coming out to be a great value. And the other great thing that I've done that I think that is kind of smart business with. Um, is I'm actually not giving the students a discount. I'm not giving the students discounted prices. So if they need a thyroid check, I'm not giving it to them for 3.
I'm charging them 20. if they need an antibiotic, they don't get it for 2. They get it for 15. It's like a convenience fee. So they are purchasing some of the stuff on on site, which we're making a little bit of profit off of a lot of times. They're opting to get it at the pharmacy, which is totally fine with me, too.
And I don't pressure them to buy anything in the clinic and the majority of the students. Actually, we don't make any money off of other than their feet that we're getting from the college. So the college actually pays us. They collect that fee from the student and then give us the check every semester.
So, it's been really great so far. I don't know if I'll be able to see 3 to 5 acute visits, plus have 500 DPC patients. So, my thought is that I maybe won't take the full 500 patients. I may only take 300. I may only take 350, you know, to, so I'll have room to see the, the, the manual patients, but we don't take any walk ins.
I make them a schedule an appointment. That's worked out great. I don't want a lot of, you know, college students in the patient lounge when I'm trying to see patients who are well or well visits for kids, making everybody sick, you know what I mean? So we're trying, we try to stagger them and schedule them all together in the end of the day, but.
It's been really great. It's been successful so far, and I think it's going to be sustainable. So I'll have some real numbers. I'm going to share with everybody on our groups. And so everybody can see, hey, this is how this is working because I haven't heard of anybody else doing this. So it's a new thing.
It's a new way to try to get patients at work. A lot of people are talking about employers and getting employer contracts, but working with colleges, I think it's a great way to grow a DPC. Plus, I've also gotten 1 patient whose mom came by who I saw the son. And she signed up. So I got a parent there. So that was super awesome.
So it's just getting more word out about my practice to you. I'm just sitting here like, what'd you go? I was just so excited because it's like, yeah, I just wonder, like, as you were, you know, back in this life of like, God, what am I doing? I know I'm burned out, but I have to do it because we have a half a million dollar, you know, farm and like all these things I have to just have to have to do it.
And then now you're like, I could go propose to a college like you're you're just your story is so like it's so demonstrative of the freedom that you experience when you're just allowed to be a doctor and that doctor includes celebrating who you are as a person. So I'm just. I'm over here like cheering on mute because I'm like, oh, I'm like, yes, that's so good.
So yes, please. Like, we are so excited to hear, to continue to hear the updates. And I want to ask you there, when you mentioned how, like, you might not have 500 patients, cool, separate from the college kids, but like, how are you gauging that? Are you gauging that on time with your daughter? Are you gauging that on like, how you're feeling internally.
How are you gauging like, I'm, I'm okay not putting people on a waitlist yet for your own practice separate from a manual. Yeah, I've personally, I want to be able to look at my schedule and I don't want to see more than six or seven people a day. So that's how I'm gauging it. Um, if I start seeing more than 6 or 7 a day, I'm going to put a stop on it, but that I'm not including, like, a manual students in that.
So, right now, like, today, I saw, I think I saw 4 people and then I had 2 easy students. So, in my mind, easy students are totally different than my DPC patients, because I'm not prescribing any chronic meds for any of these students. Like, if they need a chronic medication. I'm not like I'm doing all urgent care and see I did urgent care on the side for years.
So I'm not responsible when they leave. I'm not responsible for follow up. I'm not doing referrals for them. I'm not doing anything like that. Like I did refer a girl for an eye issue to a specialist, but like I'm not doing like a chronic problem, you know. So it's a totally different mindset with the manual college students.
Now if I do have a couple that signed up for memberships, And those kids, you know, obviously take more time, mostly for ADHD. I have a couple that I have on ADHD medicine, but it's just, for me, that's a good gauge. And I may end up working some, like, I may end up opening 5 days a week. I think I may have to do that.
Right now, I like having that day off during the week, but I may open up. Because I don't have, that's not a deal breaker for me. I'd rather leave at 3 o'clock every day. And work 5 days a week, and I may need to do that. I may need to add a day. I haven't decided yet, but right now, I'm, I'm cruising pretty well at 150 patients plus the college.
But my goal, I think I'm going to probably have to cut it off at 300. I'm thinking or hire somebody like a mid level to do the manual college thing, which. Then would kind of negate it, I think. So by the time I hired somebody, I could just do it, you know, and have less DPC patients. So I don't know, but I think I will be full, the way we're growing right now, we're having five or six new patients a week.
So I don't think we'll be long before we're full. So proving every day that patients need care, patients need care from physicians, which is awesome. Now with, with the annual students, I'm, I'm also thinking that. Like a lot of those 3 to 5 visits that you have for the college students that you're also doing telemedicine with them, which makes their lives a heck of a lot easier because they're just like, hey, got a thing.
Here's a way to handle it over telemedicine. You know, come on into the clinic and take care of it in person because you need their magic code.
Yeah, eventually, that will get better. So, right now, my my practice insurance, it doesn't let me do telehealth only so I'm making them all come in. Unfortunately, like, I, it was way more expensive to not see them in person ever.
So, I have not gotten a telehealth only agreement and I did have to have. Act extra added on to my malpractice to have urgent care services for the students. So, I have that specifically in my malpractice to covering the manual university and I do think it made it a little bit more expensive because some of my quotes that I.
I heard other people I was, I'm probably paying a couple 1000 dollars more a year for this for this coverage, but I'm making them come in, but I do say, hey, if you have another problem, you don't have to come in now because I've seen you once. So we have a relationship, so I can do a telehealth after that.
So I think as I grow and more kids learn because we send out emails, I did flyers. We went on campus and did when the parents came. I wrote this parent letter that you can get on my website. It's actually under the college section on my website that I wrote to the parents basically saying, hey, you know, I'm here for your child.
Sign them up for a membership. I'm trying to get more students to sign up for an actual membership in addition to their student health fee, but that has not been successful. Very successful right now. But I'm hoping as time goes on, I have more people sign up every year. Well, let me ask
you this, because, like, you went to a manual and now you're local.
How many of the kids who go to a manual stay local to the Northeast region of Georgia?
I don't, I don't think a lot. I think most of them don't live around here afterwards, but there are 200 commuters. So those kids are definitely, you know, hey, you know, this is something that and I've already had kids come in who are on chronic meds who I get their med list.
I'm like, oh, okay. Well, you know, if you ever need a doctor, I can take you on as a member. You know, this is what it costs and that kind of thing. So, yeah. I mean, who knows what kind of seeds I'm planting for them to be able to look at this type of doctor, even when they move away, they'll see how good it was.
And they'll look for a DPC doctor. You know what I mean? We're planting seeds everywhere. And
as you're, you know, watching your trajectory grow, your practice grow, how are you keeping track of the data? Like you're talking about how you're watching the numbers with adding the college, the university students on.
But in terms of like, if you were to isolate data for a particular. Subset of patients like these, the kids who were just using me for the urgent care services, but have now become members, like, how are you able to parse that data out compared to the rest of your, the, the growth of your clinic?
So we have set up all of our manual students. To look just like an employer in the system, so whenever they sign in, they're in there as an employer or under under a manual university as the employer. So we can pull out all their data and share all of the utilization. So I can, they can see how many text messages I've sent, how many prescriptions they've gotten and so we can run that and then I'll easily be able to see who moved over to a separate membership.
So, if they actually purchase a separate membership, they're not under a manual anymore. They're in my. So I'll be able to see who moved out pretty easily. The way that that is set up is really nice and it's really easy to run the numbers and see who's who with what. And I can also I'm meeting with a manual next month to do that exact same.
So I'm going to be able to show a manual. Hey, look at this value that you're getting. From these kids and look at what they're saying, and, you know, also the trend, how I'm working with the trainer. So I send all the notes to the trainers. I've had all the students on waivers, allowing me to give notes to the trainers because.
The NCAA requires that any time a student athlete is seen by a doctor that that they manual college has to keep track of that. So they have their own rules and things that they need to do to keep track of everything. And so it's really important to have a good that's set up to do that and be able to show that value to to the college so they can see how much the students are using you.
Is this something we want to keep doing? And also making sure geographically that your clinic is close to the college. I've really want to be on campus with my clinic. Like, I want to be right there to where kids can walk. To my clinic, but I'm not been able to get a location that's on campus right now.
We're 2 miles away. So, sometimes students bike over. They do have. Kids that bike over, but most of them have cars because we're in a rural area, but they'll get a ride. And I've also let kids do a tell it. So I'll see him on telehealth. If they can't get a ride, I'll do a televisit, but then I make them come in the next week and see them in person.
It's annoying, but it's just how I have to do it right now. But I have done that too. It's awesome though that you mentioned how the telemedicine coverage is in your area because it's definitely not like that everywhere. And so very important, especially if you're looking to practice in Georgia, what Dr. Phillips said is super, super important to keep in mind. So when you talk about space, you have a physical location. Did you open your Saturday clinics at that physical location or had you been practicing at a different location before moving into your current space?
So, I opened in a building that people who own the building actually are affiliated with the college.
And so they really wanted to build this relationship with me. And so they gave me the space for half the amount I'm paying now. So, they basically said, okay, since you're only going to be open on Saturday, we'll let you go ahead and start working out of here. Since you're only open once a week, once a week, you only have to pay us half rent until July.
And so that was super nice because I was paying very little. To be open here, and they had it empty. So really they were. There's so much rental space around here. They were just trying to find somebody to go into it. And the really cool thing was, there was a urologist here a couple of years ago. And so the exam tables were here.
The lab was here, like that all the, the lab chair, everything. I didn't have to buy any of that stuff. I had a very unique situation where I just walked into a clinic that was. Full of stuff. We actually had to throw away a lot of stuff because it was just old and expired. But I mean, everything is here.
And so I had actually found this, like, really awesome exam table on sale and drove down to Atlanta to pick it up. And it's still in my storage right now, but I'm not even using it because I found this place, you know, so. I've got that for whenever I do. Hopefully, I do eventually want to have a building with a front porch on it because that's front porch family medicine.
Hello. We need a front porch on a rocker in front of it. But there's a dentist actually that that his dental offices on campus, like, right in front of the campus. So I'm just waiting for him to move out of that building. I'm hoping to take that building once he moves out. He doesn't own it, but once he he's planning to build a clinic of his own because it's too small for him, but it's perfect for what I need because, you know, Dennis have a lot of dental hygienists and they need a lot more rooms than we do.
So he's hoping to build a new building. So I'm hoping to get that eventually. But if not, we may build a building or something like that. I'd love to have my own building because I don't want to throw money away on rent. But at the same time, we are not paying that much at all to be here. And it's the perfect size.
I have 2 exam rooms and a waiting area and that's all I need in the lab. It's perfect. Love it.
And I want to ask here about how you mentioned Eric was very helpful. He's like a brother to you and he was helpful in opening the practice. When you talk about Eric, at what point did he You know, start coming in the conversation and what types of conversations did you guys have?
Because, you know, opening a business is usually something that we're not like sitting here making a decision. We don't talk to other people about it. So like, what were the conversations that you guys had that helped, you know, center your goals or help bring him into the fold so everyone was working around the same goals for front porch.
Right, so Eric was a really big reason that I took the plunge to and so that's why I really I'm glad you brought him up because for me, I was very intimidated by the financial part of it. And I'm not business minded at all. And I don't even like math. I don't even I just hate numbers. I can't I still can't really even.
Talk to people about money. I hate it. I don't like, like, the manual students when they come in. Like, I don't ever offer them. Eric does it. Like, I'm like, he's the one that does it because I'm just like, so I don't know why I'm like that. I just hate talking about money with patients. I just don't know why.
I shouldn't be, I shouldn't be hesitant, you know, but like Eric even says, he's like, you know, you let everybody come for free if you could. I was like, I know. I just want to take care of everyone for free, but I also need my paycheck. Please, you know what I mean? So it's, it's hard. And, and he really helps me with that.
And, you know, I started, he actually moved back from Georgia to Georgia from Virginia. He was working for a big corporation doing their tax stuff. And he has a business background and we are very close friends. And he moved back to Georgia and he needed a job. He had a few things open and I was like, you know what, let's, I'm thinking about doing this, what do you think?
And he's like, it looks like a perfect business model that cannot fail. Like. We need to do this. You need to do this. You'd be way happier. He knew how miserable I was in the VA. He's like, we got to do this. And so he actually like helped me do all the research. We signed up for DPC, the TPC frontier and got all the stuff off DPC university.
I sent everything to him. I also had Eric. To help me do all like the payroll and everything like that. So I didn't have to figure that all out. He knew how to do it already. So that was really unique. And I really encourage people who, if you have somebody like that in your life that can do that part of it, it really helps it be less stressful.
And also, like, I don't think I could have done. just the Saturday clinics and also answer the phone all week and work my job at the VA. Like, he answered the phones for me because we needed to have somebody answering phones and returning messages during the day. So, he actually worked his other job and took care of the phones and everything for when we were growing and getting people scheduled for the Saturdays.
So, I call him my practice manager, but he does everything. He manages all of our patients. He does all of my front desk work, all of the administrative stuff. He also does all of. A lot of the pharmacy stuff, I order the meds that he helps me with inventory and everything. So even though he's not medical, he does a lot of medical things I've trained him to do, which is totally legal to do.
He also can do EKGs. I've trained him to do that. He doesn't draw blood or anything. I do that, but he helps me process the labs. He gets them all ready and get some for I mean, he does everything for me. So he is really my right hand person. I'm paying him a full salary right now, which to me was really important to keep him, and so it's really cut down on my income, but it's at the same time it's really important for him to be here, I think, because he's just really important to what, and I wanted to have someone that, for some reason in the South too, patients don't want to call me for certain things, like they don't feel comfortable like calling me.
They'll be like, I didn't want to call you. I'm like, you're paying me. Call me. It's fine. Like. And they feel way more comfortable calling Eric. So that's another advantage of having somebody help you, but you don't have to have someone help you. But it's been way less stressful for me. I think having Eric there to take care of all the stuff.
I don't understand and making sure that I'm in line with everything. He helped me put all together our folders and our, all our stuff for the pharmacy. We had to have a bunch of rules we followed. And so we have a big binder. We keep, and I still do. It's so nice not having to worry about that stuff. He does all that for me and making sure all our forms gets in and everything's signed and the ID is had and everybody's paying their bill and I don't have to deal with people when they don't pay their bill.
He just bothers them and stuff, you know, but I don't really have that happen a lot. Most people we were actually talking about that yesterday are like most people pay their bills. We don't really have trouble with that. So that's really good. That's really and yeah, I think that and do you think that it has anything to do with being rural?
Because, you know, it's like, there's a little bit more of that. Like, everybody knows everything in the community type of feel.
Yeah, for sure, like half the patients that we see probably we see at the store or whatever. Like, I mean, we just everybody lives with everybody. And so everybody knows everybody and everybody's in that pickleball pickleball club or went down to be Bob's bakery.
And, you know, our goes to Royce Smith, you know, it's just. It's just that that kind of feel and so I love when people say when they write reviews. So one of our big things to get more patients was to get people to write reviews. So every single time a patient came in, we gave them a sheet with our Google Google information and we also had a thing that they could like screenshot when they left.
To get to our Google page, leave a review. And then Eric also send them a text and say, if you liked your visit today, please leave a review. And so we have over 25 five star reviews on Google, which has like been awesome. And I love when people write in the reviews, Eric and Stephanie made me feel like I was at home.
Like I love when it's Eric and Stephanie, because that's who we are. Front Porch Family Medicine is not just me. It's Eric and Stephanie. It's, it's both of us. Because we're both in it for just to just to just love on people to minister to people. That's our heart. And Eric's got a business heart, but he also was a missionary in Peru for like 5 years.
So he's a servant at heart, you know, and so we're both here to serve. And we both have a passion for serving our community, right? So that's what we want to do is serve others. And we're not here to be rich. We're never going to be rich doing this, but we want to love other people. And so I love that. I have that person that they know they're going to see at the front and people do know.
I am very busy. I have, you know, I have a lot of stuff going on patients who need me, blah, blah. And, you know, I do love having that support and I think patients appreciate having like somebody they can be like, Oh, Eric did this for me. You know, I didn't have to bother Dr. Phillips. You know, they like that.
I think anything how you guys are how you're talking about the both of you love to love on your patients. I think it also helps that accessibility when, you know, like, you don't have to be like, I totally feel you because we have our amazing nurse Domilane who is our Eric and it's amazing when. Thank you.
I don't have to put one more thing on my plate because I do have Dom helping. And so I think that it's definitely something to think about if you're looking to do DPC, you know, what, what would it look like if I opened by myself? What would it look like if I opened with a person? At what point would I envision or could I envision having another person join me?
Who would that person be? All of those questions, they're all valid, but I love that you found a way that works for you and your community, especially given that, like, in your blog on your website, you had mentioned your statement when you applied to residency and this. You know, this goes in so beautifully to what I want to ask you next, because in that statement, when you applied to residency, you had talked so deeply about taking care of forgotten patients and I, I want to go back to in closing.
this place that you were in where you had seen you're attending, look out the window and cry and wonder about what has she missed. You were feeling it yourself. You know that there's other doctors in the hospital clinics around you who are feeling crazy burnt out. What can you say to not only forgotten patients, but how is DPC addressing forgotten physicians?
I just want to hug them. I want to look at Dr. Bradford was her name. I haven't even talked to her and I just want to like, just love on them and say, there's a better way. Come just come. It's like, come over to the side. It's better. It's so much better. It's so good. And we are forgotten. I think we're just burning everybody to the ground with this.
Way things are, it's just broken and it's so much about money and profit and codes and BS. What are we doing? Like, I just want to slap in the face the doctors back in the 60s who decided to be family doctors and take insurance. We should have never done that. We should have never taken insurance from the beginning.
You don't have insurance to get your oil change on your car. You should not be paying insurance to see a basic specialist or a basic family doctor. You should not be paying insurance for that. Insurance is for hospital. It's for major surgeries. It's for major procedures you cannot afford. It's just we've got to change how things are done in this country and it's broken.
Our system is broken. We have patients who are lost but we have so many more doctors who are lost. And we can't lose them, because we're losing them in their, they've lost that passion, just like I said, I was just another cog in the wheel, like I wasn't even me, and even my mom and my, and my husband and my, and my, my sister, she's like, who are you?
I don't even know my sister. This isn't you. The way I would talk about patients and I would just be burnout and be like, ah, this person. I'm so I can't believe this person's coming back in. You know, it wasn't me. That's not me. You know, I love people and, you know, there's a certain element to growing up and, you know, you don't love everyone.
I mean, come on. This is the world we live in, but. Still, I just lost my passion. I lost what I went into medicine for, you know, and I remember when I took tests or during medical school, you know, how traumatic it was. I don't even remember it because like PTSD from how much we studied and stuff. But I would every time I walk through the door of a test, I would be like, this isn't for me.
This is for. This is for my patients. This is for other people. This is why I'm here. And I always said, why? Why? Why am I walking through the door every day? Why am I doing what I'm doing? I think everyone in their life needs to ask that question. Why? What am I doing? Why? Because if the answer isn't something really good for humanity, don't do it.
If it isn't good for you, don't do it. Like, we've got to do things that are healthy and that are good for us and other people or other people. We're killing ourselves In the rat race, we're trying to make more money. You know, there's a study that came out that said that, you know, people do not get more happy by having more money.
It's, it's not making you happier. You're only gonna spend more money. I think the, the cutoff was like $90,000 for Americans. I don't know if you've seen this study, but it was fascinating. It was basically like it, you know, they did a survey, thousands of people and people who made $60,000 a year versus $90,000 a year.
The $90,000 a year. People were more happy. Okay, so that's like, yeah, that makes you more happy with more money. But the people who made 90, 000 a year versus 300, 000 a year, they were not any more happy. They actually were less happy, the 300, 000 people. Because it's just not going to make you happy. It's not, being super rich.
And so I think if we change our mindsets, But at the same time too, you can also make 300, 000 a year doing this. So really that argument doesn't matter with this. So you can make the money, you know, but at the same time, the focus, my focus has just changed. It has, and I'm not, it's not my goal as much anymore.
Well, you are doing amazing things and we cannot wait to hear updates as you continue along this amazing journey. So thank you so much, Dr. Phillips for joining us today. Absolutely. It's been fun. Sorry. I cried and everything. I mean, I'm just like, this is me. This is who I am. So I always try to put all that out.
Take it or leave it. We're not normal doctors. I have a taxidermy bear in my patient lounge and a squirrel in my office. I used to have to have from Jayco when they came and did their inspections. So I'm not a normal doctor, but I like to have fun. And I really enjoyed this interview. You have a passion for patients too.
And I love it. Encourager you are like this interview has helped me a lot and been such an encouragement for me. So thank you for for all your kind words and everything. So it's been great.
Next week, look forward to hearing from Jay Keese, Executive Director of the DPC Coalition, who will bring us an update on DPC from Capitol Hill. If you've enjoyed the podcast and you haven't yet done so, subscribe today and share the episode with a physician you may know who needs to hear about DPC. Leave a five star review on Apple Podcasts now as well, as it helps others to find all these DPC stories.
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*Transcript generated by AI so please forgive errors.