Dr. Anand Mehta is a dedicated board certified family physician who has focused on patient care and improving the patient experience throughout his medical career.
His residency was completed at Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington, NJ, where he continued to work for the hospital system there for 4 years.
After the move to GA, Dr. Mehta worked as a solo family physician for WellStar Health System for five years in Roswell, GA, where he later established himself as the medical director for Primary care for the local hospital.
He then took a position as the first medical director in the nation for Walmart Health during the summer of 2019. He helped grow the pilot location into a successful model that promoted the growth of future Walmart centers in GA and beyond.
However he left this position to pursue healthcare that meant more of a difference in patient lives, then his personal wallet.
Dr. Mehta takes the time to listen to the needs of his patients. He is an extrovert known to make people laugh, is empathetic, kind and welcoming. His character is spoken highly by patients, both in New Jersey and in Georgia. He has received remarkable patient satisfaction scores, coupled with providing exceptional care to his patients.
Dr. Mehta is a doting husband and busy father to three young children. When he is not busy with family life, he has been seen around Atlanta doing stand-up comedy, playing basketball, or watching the Buffalo Bills.
He is a better physician and person since starting Stand Up family Medicine, in October of 2020.
In today's episode, Dr. Mehta shares how he has literally "stood up" to the many challenges he's faced in his journey to opening his own DPC, Stand Up Family Medicine. After ten years of working for different practices and climbing the corporate ranks, it was reflecting on his life and what he had become that made him choose a better way of life. He opened in October of 2020 and now has over 220 patients under his care.
Dr. Mehta's Stand Up Act at the Gate City Brewery
Resources Mentioned By Dr. Mehta:
- The Official Guide To Starting Your Own Direct Primary Care Practice by Dr. Doug Farrago
- DPC Docs on FB
[00:00:00] Maryal Concepcion, MD: [00:00:00] Welcome to the podcast,
[00:00:01] Dr. Anand Mehta: [00:00:01] Dr. Metta.
[00:00:02] Thanks, Mary. All great to be here. Thanks so much
[00:00:05]Maryal Concepcion, MD: [00:00:05] now pleasure to talk with you yet again, because I consider you a dear DPC world friend, but you and I were on a panel just yesterday at the DPC 2021 summit.
[00:00:16] So I wanted to start off with your background because. For those of you who may or may not know Dr. Metta was the first medical director for Walmart health and had also previously been approached by diamond physicians, as well as in his own private practice prior to opening standup family medicine.
[00:00:36] Dr. Mehta, I'm wondering if you can please share with us more about that amazing background that you came from?
[00:00:42]Dr. Anand Mehta: [00:00:42] So my background is interesting. I actually went to medical school in Moneyball India in it was an interesting journey getting there. I was in university of Buffalo and I was actually studying to be an actor. And I thought I had a gig being a standup comic.
[00:00:58] My father and mother [00:01:00] who were also physicians did not think I was too funny and thought it was a better idea for me to go to med school. So they actually filled out an application and I got into that school. And before you knew it, instead of going to junior year at university of Buffalo, I became a medical student in a cause group of medical college.
[00:01:18] So I graduated from there. I came back, I took my USM Louise and I got into a residency program in hundred and family medicine residency in Flemington, New Jersey. I did my residency graduated and took a job with the hospital at a place called hundred and family medicine. It was a two provider practice that had a 70 year old physician who was about to retire and a middle-aged physician who was also a former graduate of the same residency program who was aligned to be my mentor.
[00:01:46]However, the day I joined I realized that they would not have good terms. And that mentor who was the physician I was supposed to work with, gave us two week notice. And so basically in two weeks I inherited a [00:02:00] 4,500 patient practice and had to dive into it head first very scared, like a deer in the headlights.
[00:02:07]There was a nurse that I'm still very good friends with now named Julie. She looked at me, so we'd be down and said, Hey we can do this. I have a son who's getting into college and I need this job. We're just going to have to make it work. So at that point reality hit the hard way, but it was a good team.
[00:02:24] And she did help me along the way and told me how to handle certain patients differently. And told me whatever she knew about the patients. And we did it the seven year old physician was nice enough not to retire, but he came in a couple of days. He mentored me with a couple of questions I had. And I started running a solo practice basically right out of residency.
[00:02:44] And it was a big eye-opener, but what was really good in a way is that it really gave me the sense of how unique practices as an individual physician and the relationship that you have with your peers. I think it was one of a kind and it got me on my [00:03:00] feet and discovered not necessarily the hard way, but in a good way, how important a family is, not only with your coworkers, but the patients that you have and that trusted you with their care, despite knowing that you were just a kid out of residency.
[00:03:14] So we did that for about two years and then hospital mergers took place and they shifted two practices together and we became cornerstone family practice, which was a seven provider practice. That was a big shift for me because I realized being in a multiprovider practice was difficult and patient care was not as coordinated as being an individual practitioner.
[00:03:37] I saw, working with mid-levels as well as other MDs that patient charts were getting mixed up care was being broken. The simple things like med refill requests were being confused and it was just difficult to get things done, but we stayed with it. I also, was fortunate to be meet, my future wife and was engaged in later, got married.
[00:03:59] And when it was [00:04:00] time to look for a house, New Jersey taxes became evident and I thought it was a good time to ask my hospital. I got a raise request of $5,000, which at that time wasn't going to cut it, but also was a slap in the face to realize that no matter what you did for the hospital and how many years you served for them, which was seven in total, including residency it didn't matter because your patient satisfaction scores you're recognized by your colleagues and your specialists the familiarity and the good things that your patients said about you.
[00:04:32] At the end of the day, you're just a number. And they gave me a number back. It just wasn't going to make me feel right. So at that time I uh, Looked at my wife. I said, we're going to have to look for something different. I chose Atlanta, Georgia as the next place to move particularly because my sister was in Greenville, South Carolina, she's an oncologist.
[00:04:50] She kept enforcing and reiterating that the south is a better place to live. The cost of living is better. And Atlanta seems a good hub that was [00:05:00] diverse. And that seemed to have a lot of good opportunity at the time. And so I took a job with north Fulton, primary care. They built a solo practice around me.
[00:05:09]And the CEO at that time had just a good feeling about me and I had a good feeling about her. It gave me the opportunity to start a practice brand new. So they came to Atlanta, not knowing anything, not knowing anybody in the area any of the patients. And I just started becoming hungry to make this practice successful and doing things that most physicians wouldn't do.