Episode 58: Dr. Kenneth Qiu (He/Him) of Eudoc DPC - Midlothian, VA

Updated: Mar 6

Direct Primary Care Doctor



Dr. Kenneth Qiu and his white coat
Dr. Kenneth Qiu of Eudoc Direct Primary Care

Dr. Kenneth D. Qiu (pronounced Q like the letter or the Bond character) is a board certified family physician and the founder of EuDoc DPC. He received all his higher education locally in Virginia— graduating magna cum laude and as a Monroe Scholar from the College of William and Mary, receiving his medical degree from VCU School of Medicine (formerly Medical College of Virginia) where he was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and completing his family medicine residency training at VCU affiliated Riverside Regional Medical Center. He is currently an assistant clinical professor at VCU School of Medicine and has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Medical Society of Virginia and has been an innovation consultant for the American Academy of Family Physicians.


Specifically in the DPC ecosystem, He has been instrumental in the AAFP co-cponsored DPC summits and for the past three years he has organized the Med Student and Resident Tracks.


Additionally, starting in residency up until now he has been a key contributor in local outreach and DPC-centered education of medical students and residents.


He’s been on the DPC Coalition since residency began and he runs the resident and student section of DPC news.com.


Hear how he is working through his opening days in his very own DPC! After years of planning it is so refreshing to listen to hear how things are going now that he's opened!


Check out more of his diary at https://dpcnews.com


----> Read Dr. Qiu's Original Rebuttle Post HERE


----> Dr. Qiu & Dr. Keener


Recommended Resource:

Hint Health


CONTACT:

kenneth.qiu@gmail.com



TRANSCRIPT*


Welcome to the podcast, Dr. Q,


thanks for


having


me.


This is such an exciting time to be talking with you because we've talked off air before, but this is the time that you are opening your DPC. And you have been in the DPC ecosystem for so many years. So I want to ask before we get into the details about your practice, what's your involvement been like?


And also what have you seen change over the years as you've continued to be in.


Yeah, for sure. So I first got plugged in at the 2017 DPC summit. It happened to be my fourth year of medical school and it was in DC. So I figured why. And I had heard about it from classmates and I just went for it cause I was on a rotation where I could, and I went with questions, a lot of questions, and I spent pretty much the entire conference, just staying behind and asking all the speakers questions, Brian forest, Josh umber, Ryan new Hafele, Julie Gunther, all of them.


And I left that conference just completely enamored with. Like I realized that was it. So prior to fourth year medical school, I'd always been interested in the business and the politics of medicine and nothing made sense. Everything just seemed to be bad and getting worse. And there seemed to be no way out of it.


And then I went to a conference, I was like, this is it. This is the way. And so that's how I got plugged in. And then I went to go visit Dr. Forest in apex, North Carolina afterwards. Cause he was the closest one out of the conference to me. And we talked and I started reading more about it, wrote some stuff about it.


And then I went on scholarship to the 2018 summit and there did the same thing. Talk to everyone, had a million questions, got super involved. And afterwards they were talking about that summit that year. It was when JAMA published that issue of the story called direct primary care. One step forward, two steps.


And so everybody was up in arms about that article. And one of the speakers, I believe it was Joel Bessemer of strata healthcare. He was talking about writing a rebuttal to it. And when I got back from the conference, I was like, you know what, I'm going to do it too. So I went out my blog and I wrote a rebuttal and unbeknownst to me as somebody in the DPC community shared it.


And it got like over a thousand views. And I think somebody reached out to me, they're like, Hey, there's this Facebook group you should join. So I joined the DPC docs, Facebook group, and they're like, oh my God, you're the guy that wrote the thing. And that's kind of how I got started after that. I just kept in touch with everybody, kept talking about it, my med school and my residency.


And then I attended every summit since then, and have gotten involved in a bunch of various ways.


And one of the ways that you've been involved is the DPC coalition. So can you share for the listeners, what is the DPC coalition? And what's been your involvement in the organization.


Yeah. So the DPC coalition started with Garrison bliss a while ago.


It was, I can't remember the specific date that Garrison told me, but it was sometime before the ACA, but it is a federally federal lobbying group that kind of represents DPC interests. In the last few years, there has been an all openly admit that some controversy with some of the bills and that's a detailed discussion for another time, because it can go for a long time.


But essentially it's a bunch of physicians who have gotten together who support DPC and want to see a VPC positive legislation passed both on the state and federal levels. And so Phil sq, I actually introduced me to Jakey S I believe it was the 2018 conference. And they've had me on as the, a resident member of the steering committee for the last three years.


And in terms of just how things have changed in the last four years, I guess it's been cool not having a DPC during this time, because it's allowed me to. They kind of movement as a whole, from a bird's eye view, rather than being embroiled in the details. Like I am now where I feel like I'm not as up-to-date with what's happening in the community as a whole, because I'm dealing with so many day-to-day things.


But in summary, I think just going back and having talked, all the people who've been doing DPC for a long time, there's definitely like, I call it three versions. So version zero is what I call the Bushwhackers. So these are people like Garrison bliss and Brian forest, and the Clinton Flanagan who had this idea of, Hey, I want to not do insurance.


I want to provide better care. How do I do that? This monthly thing? Sounds like it could work, but back then there wasn't a name, right? So they envisioned a world that didn't exist. And that's why they're the Bushwhackers. They just gave it a name, made it happen and laid down the foundation for the version one doc.


So the version one dog. So I would say are the people who currently are somewhere between six and 10 years. Into practice. They're the ones who saw the path that that was placed. And they went out and they were the pioneers. So version was the pioneers. They were very much the Jack of all trades, very independent spirited.


And they're like, we do everything ourselves. We don't need anybody else. This is us. And they created a lot of the dogma and a lot of the principles that we have in DPC about direct payment and everything of the sort. And now version two is what I call the settlers version two, the settlers are people like me and you who are starting to UPC now.


And I would say within the last year or two has been the start of the settler group. And what that means is a lot of people are coming in and realizing, Hey, it's nice to build houses and do everything ourselves, but there's quite a bit of us now. And I think we need to build some sort of infrastructure.


And so I think our group is a lot less dogmatic and a lot more open to looking at opportunities and possibilities of how we. Bro this how we can work with other people to grow this thing and get things really rolling, to get the snowball and growing even bigger. And then we're all going next version three.


I'm not sure because I never could have predicted version two, but I'd like to call them the city builders just to take whatever infrastructure is put into place and then create something amazing out of it. So, yeah, it's been neat watching it for the last four years and getting to be part of it as a suburban.


Wonderful. Throughout residency, you were instrumental in educating the local community by doing outreach about DPC and education about DBC.


When you were doing that outreach and when you were doing that education, what avenues did you look out for in terms of ways to get into medical student lectures or presentations and the same.


Yeah, so it was nice being a well, so most of it was during residency, but being a resident, I had connections to my cause I did residency about 45 minutes away from where I did med school.


And so it was easy getting back to my med school and just saying, Hey, I'm really into this thing called direct primary care. Can I come talk to the students? Because we have pretty strong family medicine, I guess family medicine, recruitment, VCU, Virginia Commonwealth university, where I went to med school.


And so I was able to talk to my old med school there. And then some of the surrounding ones I just found out who was in their family, made groups who ran them and just sent them emails saying, Hey, I'm a resident here I'm nearby. I'd love to talk to you about this thing. And then through the Virginia academy of family physicians as well, they were able to give us a platform to talk about direct primary care.


And for those who are interested in reaching out to their former medical schools or the residency programs, and especially getting involved in the statewide AFP chapter, how would you recommend people approach those opportunities in their own communities?


Yeah. So my big thing is connections and networking.


It's really all about maintaining relationships. So I always stayed very close to my med school and I've come back to this year and I teach at the med school now as well. And it's because I've kept in touch with the people there. And same with the AFP, the state one, I got to know them pretty much as soon as I started residency.


And I just kept in touch with some of the people there who are on the board or who are staff. And when you, when people know who you are and when you know them, then it's a lot easier to get in. Cause they're like, oh, this is the DPC guy. And he wants to talk again. So it makes it easier. I just think staying on.


With whoever you want to, I guess, not sell to, but present too. So if you're interested in medical student education about DBC, just stay in touch with the faculty or the staff there, get to know them. And if you're interested in speaking on the state level, just keep in touch with the staff, be a member who is active and doing some of the other things with them as well.


So people will know who you are, what you're about, and that just makes them going back in a lot easier.


So with you still being involved, like you said, at the school of medicine and with you being an assistant clinical professor now, are you opting out of Medicare or are you still opted in?


And if you are.


Yeah. So the clinical professorship doesn't have anything to do with opting in or out. I don't actually see patients and I'm not on the payroll of the school of medicine. It's almost closer to a 10 99 situation where for the classes I do teach, they do pay me. But as an independent person, I'm not like a W2 or anything in that sense.


I don't have to opt out of Medicare. It doesn't really matter, or I don't have to stay in or stay out. It doesn't matter, but I am still opted into Medicare. And the main reason is because I'm currently moonlighting at an urgent care, just to make sure I have some sort of income while my DPC is building.


I know a lot of people don't with loans and everything. I figured it would be the safer bet. And I hope to get out of there as soon as I get.


I want to focus on your clinic. Now it's so exciting, again, that you're on the podcast, talking about your experience as you're in the throws of opening your doors.


So I want to start by just acknowledging the fact that you are documenting your experience, not only here on the podcast, but also on DBC news, because you are running the resident and medical student section of DPC news.com. And so the clinical journal entries that you've done about your opening of your practice, they will be linked on the blog, accompanying this podcast, but I wanted to go through what your experience has been for the listeners as well.


Who've may have not seen these articles. So how are you feeling in this stage of your finally getting to after years? Learning and planning and dreaming about DPC. Finally opening your


doors. So I think first off, I just want to thank Doug FRAGO for making DPC news so that there could be one place where all this information could be.


And then also for asking me to come on and help work in the arrested and students section, he is also the guy I want to give credit for in having me publicly write out my journey as it happens. I actually call it a DPC diary, which I'm perfectly happy with that name. And yeah, it's been cool getting to week by week share what's been going on in real time.


And what my thoughts are, I think in terms of how does it feel to finally have one open? Because I've been so engaged with this community for so long. And I've been thinking about doing this for a little longer than I've than I was in residency. It almost feels like. The next natural step. Like to me, when I graduated residency, it didn't really feel like I graduated and I was starting a job and opening a business.


It felt like I was going from PGY three to PGY four. Like this is naturally the next thing that was going to happen. So in that sense, so there, there wasn't like a big moment where I was like, wow, I'm doing it. It was more like, all right, this is it. I'm doing it. And I'm still doing it and we're just going and we'll see where it goes.


And so that's largely what it's felt like. Everything's been building up to this and now it's finally here and I'm doing it and we'll see if it goes anywhere. I hope so.


Cool. So cool. And with you having completed your education in Virginia and now your clinic is open in Midlothian, how did you decide on your particular area and location??


Yeah. So just for spatial context, Midlothian is a suburb of Richmond, about 20 minutes Southwest of the city. And like I mentioned earlier, I went to med school in VCU at VCU, which is in Richmond city and then did residency east about 45 minutes east of Richmond city. And so I maintain a lot of connections with my med school.


So that's been helpful just having that partnership, but by also Midlothian itself, I know a lot of cities in the U S are booming, but Midlothian potentially is growing rapidly. And Richmond city is growing rapidly too. And I just felt like the suburbs were a much better place to start. I think the population of people definitely is higher than the population of physicians who can support them, especially with more people coming in.


So I felt like it was a good place in terms of de