Episode 89: Dr. Allison Edwards (She/Her) of Kansas City DPC - Kansas City, KS

Updated: Aug 6

Direct Primary Care Doctor

Dr. Edwards is standing
Dr. Allison Edwards

Dr. Allison Edwards aims to change the manner in which healthcare is delivered, putting the emphasis on keeping people well rather than solely stepping in and treating the sick.

Originally from Lawrence, Dr. Edwards spent her undergraduate years at Drake University in Des Moines, IA before returning to Kansas City for medical school at the University of Kansas. From there, she completed her residency and served as Chief Resident at the University of Colorado in Denver, CO where she also was awarded the Larry Green Award for Leadership, Scholarship and Vision. In addition to her role at KCDPC (now merged with Health Suite 101), she provides locum tenens coverage for rural hospitals and ERs across the Midwest as a board-certified family physician and serves as a Volunteer Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Kansas and a Volunteer Clinical Instructor for the University of Colorado, allowing her to continue to educate the next generation of healers. She also provides consulting services for healthcare technology startups (Sesame is a proud example), writes for the American Academy of Family Physicians, and is a nationally featured speaker on the subject of healthcare reform.

In her free time, she loves spending time with family and pursuing hobbies including travel, gardening, cooking, being outdoors (backcountry camping and skiing are top choices), and enjoying a cup of coffee, ideally while reading the (real! printed!) newspaper.





The AAFP National Conference for Residents & Medical Students

Many Maps, One Aim: Charting a Course to Family Medicine



The Larry A. Green Center Person-Centered Primary Care Measure


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Welcome to the podcast Dr.

Edwards. Hi, thanks for having

me. Your journey has definitely taken you very far from Lawrence, Kansas, where you grew up.

And so I wanted to start with something that was really, really impactful. Last year in Forbes magazine, you were quoted. Around sesames raising 24 million for, their venture, but the quote that you said was the insurance system is so opaque and full of hopes to jump through.

It's no different on the doctor's side than on the patient's side. We are equally frustrated with how poor of an experience working with insurance is. So given that DPC is your why, as you explained in your opening statement, this is so appropriate. And so, you saying how the doctors, as well as the patients are experiencing frustration, really highlights, , the, the why of this movement.

So I wanna ask, can you give us a little bit of a picture of your history and medicine and beyond so we can understand where you came from and how you came to this.

Absolutely. and thank you for having me. This is absolute joy. I'm so excited to be here. So I I went into medicine because I wanted to help people.

I think that a lot of people, especially those who are drawn to primary care are drawn into medicine probably for that reason. And I'd actually grown up like, like you mentioned in Lawrence, Kansas, it's a relatively small college town in the Northeast part of Kansas. And I had always worked for small businesses.

Like I'd worked for a hardware store and ice cream shop. And I, I was a server and I was a barista and everything. And, you know, I, I like to share this story one day. I was I was 16 and my boss who was not the kindest person asked me. I was a server at the time. Uh, He goes, you know, who do you work for?

And I was 16 and I'm talking to my boss. So I was like, obviously you, I work for you. And he laughed. And he said, no, no, you work for the person who signed your paycheck. and what he meant by that was that if you you know, at least when I was 16 in Kansas if you were a server, your paycheck was zero, your literal paycheck was nothing, cuz it kind of got all eaten up by taxes and, and whatnot.

And his point was that the person I worked for was my customer at the table, the one who was giving me the tip, the one who I was paying attention to to make sure they had a good experience and a great meal. That was the person who I worked for. Cause they were the ones who were ultimately paying.

And so that sort of ethos and mentality and small business mindset and relationship based like small, personal touch was, you know, what I grew up with culturally, so that when I finally gotten into residency and was working for a large healthcare system, it was the first time I'd actually worked for any sort of a corporation and a bureaucracy.

Not to mention the fact that it was, you know, we're, we're steeped in insurance reimbursements and all of those constraints. It, it really hit home that if I was. Gonna work for somebody in healthcare. I didn't wanna work for the large corporation and I didn't certainly didn't wanna work for the insurance companies.

I wanted to work for my patient. And so DPC is the way that you achieve that, right? Like they're the ones, your patients are the ones that sign your paycheck, so to speak. They're the ones that pay you. And so they're the ones that matter. And so I think, you know, that's why that's, that's my history.

Like that's, that's where I come from. And that's, that's how I arrived at, at direct primary.