Episode 85: Dr. Tiffanny Blythe (She/Her) of Blue Family Medicine - Lee's Summit, MO

Direct Primary Care Doctor


Dr. Blythe is a DPC physician
Dr. Tiffany Blythe, DO

Dr. Tiffanny Blythe grew up in rural Alabama idolizing the rural country docs. She had an early passion for medicine and dreamed of providing simple, life-saving care for everyday people. While getting her degree in biomedical sciences from the University of South Alabama, she held multiple leadership roles and volunteer positions. She went on to get a Master of Educational Psychology from the University of Alabama simply for the joy of learning. In medical school, she wanted to focus on how to care for humans, not simply how to cure diseases. She found that at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. Here she also learned to use her hands in what is called osteopathic medicine to diagnose and treat what the body knows is wrong but what cannot be detected by labs and xrays. Simultaneously, she obtained a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Leadership from Rockhurst University.

After this solid foundation in business and medicine, she was fortunate to learn from the compassionate, highly-skilled leaders at Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency to hone her skills and broaden her knowledge of primary care, including hospital medicine and obstetrics. Dr. Blythe is proud to offer superior, full-spectrum primary care for everyone in the family. She finds all aspects of medicine fascinating and loves the variety that family medicine provides. But her greatest joy is in providing women’s health and helping a family welcome it’s newest member into the world.

She opened Blue Lotus Family Medicine in July 2017.



 



 

CONTACT:

Website: Blue Lotus Family Medicine

info@bluelotusdpc.com


SOCIALS:

FB: @bluelotusdpc

 

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Transcript*



I decided to open a DPC clinic, quit my well paying corporate job because there was no other option for me at the time. My options were leave medicine altogether or find a better way to do it and so I am ecstatic five years later to still be doing Direct Primary Care because it allows me to be a full human, a mom, a wife, a as well as a competent engaged doctor and patients to simultaneously access, helpful healthcare and truly that's the way the system should be.


I'm so to be doing this. I am Dr. Tiffanny Blythe of Blue Lotus Family Medicine and this is my DPC story.


Welcome to the podcast Dr. Place.


Thank you so much. I'm happy to be here.


So I think this is such an exciting interview. You know, one, because, you are just outside of Kansas city where the summit will be happening, but also because you have roots in Alabama and our last podcast featured Dr. Kyle Adams in Auburn, Alabama, and as somebody who during pride month during this time of, you know, tumultuous everything in our country, I love that you're coming onto the podcast to share how you've applied your training in business, your training


in psychology, you're training in medicine, you're training in osteopathy and taking it all and making your DPC a place where you can practice all of those things for every single patient. So again, thank you for being here.


Thanks. And as I mentioned, you're in Lee's summit, Missouri.


So for those people who are on, are not familiar with the geography there, can you share a little bit more about Lee summit? What's the population like and where, in terms of where your practices are there other DPCs around you or other corporate medicine, locations around you?


Yes. So I feel really fortunate to be in the area that I'm in.


I call Kansas city DPC. Because there are tons of other DPCs within a very short drive and we actually do get together quite frequently. So there's a lot of communion. There's a lot of sharing of resources. Teaching, you know, from the older, the people who have been doing this longer than we have.


So, this community is so great to do DPC, but it's also, I was a little worried when I first started DPC because there are also a lot of hospital systems. And they've purchased, you know, pretty much all of the private practice doctors at this point. So what I was most worried about. When I was thinking about transitioning to DPC was actually losing community with other physicians.


Because I was like, well, I'm going to be by myself. It's going to be a solo office. I'm not really connected to anybody. But it's fine. I'll just have to figure it out. You know, I have to do this. And so, and now I have a better community of physician colleagues and friends than I ever could have imagined otherwise.


I totally agree. And you, before we started recording, we were talking about our why's and in terms of this podcast, that the community, I feel it really is so lively and so supportive because one, we have a shared, experience in fee for service. For the most part. Some people don't have experience after residency, but still they understand the hamster wheel, the golden handcuffs.


And because we have this shared background to build off of, plus we have the time and we love our practices. We have the time to be part of the community versus in fee for service we're.


So I got to do my charts. I can't talk to you. I have to be done with them in 72 hours. So I totally agree with you there.


And I find that actually is a really surprising, valuable piece of DPC because. As we know primary care has been devalued extraordinarily over the decades. But when primary care doctors were more integral, there was a community doctor and everybody, you know, they were part of boards and volunteer committees.


And, you know, everybody knew a doctor and we rubbed elbows regularly. But now corporate medicine is so grueling. Literally nobody has time for that anymore. And anytime we do show our face, it is mandated and it's usually unpleasant. And we're usually, uh, having to burn the candle at both ends to make that happen.


So I really enjoy that. I'm able to be a physician and a voice for the community and a resource for patients for good medical information.


And now you mentioned, you know, what, what medicine used to be like for the primary care physician. And I want to go back to your roots specifically, because like was mentioned in your bio, you grew up in rural Alabama and you were idolizing the rural country doc.


So can you tell us about what you saw when you were growing up that made you idolize these people who were rural


doctors? Yeah, we grew up in a really small town. And so, you know, it's one of those places where everybody knows everybody and the doctors were revered.


And so they were always like, oh, Dr. So-and-so is my doctor. And we're like, well, Dr. Sue is always like team Mullins or, you know, somebody else. And so it was, it was really nice to have that connection and it was very easy to get an appointment. You could just. Hey, Dr. So-and-so, I have such and such going on, I needed appointment and you'd have usually that same day.


And anytime you needed something, it felt very accessible to just go have a real conversation with a real person, with real resources and answers and then come out the better for it. And so I was like, this is magical and I have to do this when I grow up.


And I'm sure that there's some people listening who are just like, yes, yes.


She understands me. So now let me ask you, can you paint a picture as to how your exposure to that, that doctor who you could easily access and your training with your MBA, your educational psychology masters, how those impacted your training and residency?


Yeah, that's it, it was a little bit of a twisted Uh, Turney road for me, I suppose the truth is I was one of those kids that when you said, what do you want to be when you grow up? I literally always said doctor. So it's kind of honestly felt like just something I was born with. It was a calling that I just knew that that's what I had to do.


And it's the thing that felt the most right for me. But I graduated undergrad in biomedical sciences and, you know, the whole point of graduating undergrad in biomedical sciences is to launch into med school. And that was my purpose and my goal. And I very much wanted that, but I didn't feel done learning.


I just felt like. So many other things that I still needed to like explore. And so that's literally why I just decided to go get a master's in educational psychology, partly because I knew that in order to treat humans, you have to understand them. And a lot of times humans don't understand themselves.


And so knowing that piece of how to get to the deeper level of what somebody needs to heal, it would make me a better physician. And so that was Expanding my self and my worldview, but also still preparing for that future career. And so then I went into med school and the funniest thing about this is yes, I did concurrently get a medical degree and an MBA, which now looking back on, it sounds absolutely psychotic.


I don't know why I did that. But the funniest part about that is that I did it because I hate business. And I said, I'm never going to own a business. So I don't know why I would get this degree, however it's hard. And so that means I should do it because it was something I didn't really understand.


It was something that did not at all come naturally to me that I did not gravitate towards. And so I felt that if I had the opportunity to learn something like that, that I should take that opportunity and, you know, look where I am now, I own a business. So


that's incredible. And especially for you to have that training with medicine, you know, it's, I, I love when I hear people talking about having the dual degrees, especially in business and when it comes to medicine, because yes, DPC is a as a model, as a business.


But I want to ask there, when you look back Uh, getting your MBA. What are some of the key things that you pulled from the beginning of your clinic, when you were in the planning stages that you would challenge other people to think about when they're, you know, doing the business side in terms of planning for their own


Yeah, thankfully I was pretty lucky that my med school partnered with a local university and they ran, a masters of business administration in healthcare leadership. So it was very healthcare systems oriented. And I think a lot of people use that background and information kind of to squeeze every penny possible out of the medical system and like make it more profitable.


But it really helped me to see ways that I could use that to my advantage and use that to the patient's advantage ways that we could cut out the middleman or make a system more efficient. And so. I didn't realize it at the time, but now looking back on it, I sort of absorbed that training, like a mole, like how can I take this information that they give me and spin it to my advantage.


And in terms of, when you talk about that, you didn't realize what are some of the things that you notice now where you're like, oh my gosh, that totally is my MBA being put to work in my


clinic.


I can say that the biggest place is, leadership of your staff. As physicians, we wear many hats anyway, but as a physician business owner, it's a ton more hats. And I. Have learned how to fit into the boss, owner leadership hat in a way that I didn't fit so well into it in the beginning.


And so I think I fall most heavily on my MBA training with managing of the people and the staff and doing things like the actual book keeping and the procedural manuals, you know, like those like very business, like things that you have to do in order to run a business. And, and I'm, I'm glad for that because that's the stuff that doesn't come naturally to me.


I'd rather just sit in a big circle and have a communication. talk with people and, you know, just like, yeah, whatever you feel like doing today at work is totally fine, you know, but I found that that doesn't work. People need to be told what to do and how to do it and not in an authoritarian way, but in a, like, these are the expectations, however you get it done is fine.


So I've had to be a lot more structured than I normally comfortably would have been.


With that. I want to jump back for a second and ask you, how did you end up learning about DPC? Because I know you said that your areas at DPC Mecca, but When you were leaving corporate medicine fee for service medicine, and you decided, did you DPC? How did you learn about the movement?


Yeah, I


feel like I stumbled upon it actually. Like I was immersed in and didn't even know it. And so I just got to an intolerable pain point with my corporate medicine and I seriously was just considering being a janitor or literally anything else. Like I was like, if this is what medicine is today, I don't want any part of it.


And so before I jumped completely off the deep end I actually called up my osteopathic state medical society and I said, Hey, I hate my job. Do you have any ideas? And they said, have you heard about direct primary care? And I was like, I have not keep talking. And so he was like, oh, it's really great.