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Episode 95: Dr. Alia Hussain (She/Her) of Creekside Kids Pediatrics - The Woodlands, TX

Direct Primary Care Doctor

Dr. Alia Hussain is founder and owner of Creekside Kids Pediatrics
Dr. Alia Hussain on her way to do a home visit

Dr. Alia Z. Hussain has many years of pediatric experience. After residency and chief residency at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Long Island, New York, she moved to Jackson, Mississippi where she had a busy solo pediatric practice for a few years. For the last few years in the Woodlands area, Dr. Hussain has passionately provided care to children, from newborns to teens. She discovered direct pediatric care and chose this model of practice so she could have more time with her patients and provide them with the care that they truly deserve.

Dr. Hussain lives in Creekside with her three kids, ages 11, 7, 2 children.

She is an advocate for breastfeeding and having been a busy mom, she has the experience and expertise to provide support and advice to her patient's families.

Other Featured Direct Care Pediatricians:

EPISODE 45: Dr. Rosana Lastra of Head 2 Toe Pediatrics - St. Petersburg, FL - HERE

EPISODE 55: Dr. Jalan Burton of Healthy Home Pediatrics - Washington, D.C. - HERE

EPISODE 8 & 51: Dr. Lauren Hughes of Bloom Pediatrics & Lactation - Kansas City, KS - HERE and her 1-year Anniversary Episode HERE

EPISODE 38: Dr. Whitney Webster Pack - Formerly of Cortez Pediatrics - Cortez, CO - HERE



Website HERE


Creekside Kids Pediatrics FB Page


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Welcome to the podcast, Dr.

Hussain. Thank you for having me.

Last season we were supposed to have you on the podcast and things happened, but now you are, about to approach your second anniversary in your practice. And so I think this is even more of a power punch of an episode because you have all of that experience underneath your, belt.

Absolutely. So now I can speak to you with, you know, this whole last year and a half worth of worth of experience. In the beginning, you know, it was a kind of Rocky road and a completely unknown territory. so like definitely more to say and, more to discuss with you today. I love

that. And I wanna start with having the audience hear about your journey because your journey has definitely been, a vast journey geographically.

You went from Connecticut. To New York to Mississippi and now in the Woodlands, Texas. So can you tell us about your journey into medicine and your journey before opening your DPC?

Sure. So my journey of medicine probably even started like in childhood cuz my, my dad was a physician.

So, you know, even from the beginning, I was exposed to that way of life and just, he always put his patients first and, so even from early on, you know, I was exposed to medicine. After, boarding school, I actually went to medical school in Pakistan, , which is where my family's from.

I was at one of the oldest medical schools in, in Pakistan and, um, so I saw a lot of disease pathology that maybe I wouldn't have been able to here in the states. And then I moved back, um, I was in Boston for a bit, so I did some research there at Harvard, and then I moved to New York for residency.

Um, and I was just lucky enough to be at a very busy hospital level four NICU PICU. So a lot of, experience there. And then we moved to Mississippi, which obviously nobody thought we would do from the Northeast, but. My husband got a GI fellowship down there. And so I ended up being a solo doctor, right out of residency, thrown into my own practice.

It was a hospital owned practice, like completely Medicaid. and so it was just a great experience to, you know, Get that initial, how I wanted to practice mm-hmm um, and get a lot of experience there. And then we moved to Texas because that's where we wanted to raise our family. And we had some family here.

So that's where we are now for the last six years.

I think that's so awesome that you have all of that experience under your belt going into DPC. I mean, now you even have a year and a half plus of experience in DPC, but I just love that you bring all of that to the table.

Now I wanna ask when you were in that journey, at what point did you learn about

DPC? So I think, about five or six years ago, my brother and sister-in-law, they had a, they had their first baby in Florida and they joined, some sort of a concierge DPC type practice for their baby. And, you know, I had a lot of the same questions that some of my patients or people that call in ask, like why, why would you join this practice when you have good insurance?

Mm-hmm um, you know, what's so special about it. And I, at the time I think I was in, you know, right out of residency. Working for an insurance based practice. So that's when I initially got exposed to it. But, when I really learned about it was during, the year before I started this practice, and I joined, uh, just kind of exploring different options, joined a.

Facebook group with other DPC pediatricians, which was just, you know, so much knowledge there and so much just, I learned so much from them. Um, and that's when I really learned what, what it was mm-hmm and how people are just sort of building their own practices , you know, they're all unique. All DPC practices are kind of their own, you know, just built very differently and, how a physician wants to practice. So

at what . Point did you decide that you were going to open up your own DP?

So I was on maternity leave with my third child, and I decided that I didn't wanna go back to my previous, position at a large, you know, five or six different doctors at that last practice.

And you know, I was seeing 30, 40 patients and, and just. You know, just doing my thing. And, um, and so I was on maternity leave and I, and I just decided like there has to be a different way of practicing what I want. And that's when I discovered about DPC and, and that's when this, new project started.

I love, love that

you call it a project because of these practices are our babies, but they're constantly, needing work and needing care. So I love that it, that you call it a project now, in terms of. When you were watching, learning, taking it all in all of these lessons about DPC from the Facebook group, as well as just understanding where your brother and his wife, uh, were coming from with their concierge practice.

What did you envision as you were about to open Creekside kids, pediatrics.

So I wanted my practice to be, and we heard this word a lot, a medical home, and that's really what direct care is. It's the direct, access for the patients and patient families and a medical home is a place where, you know, your whole.

Medical care is. So I wanted this practice to be comprehensive in that sense that, I was the go to for answer mm-hmm , um, my patients and their, the families were not Googling. I mean, they could get a hold of me , when they needed. And then also, as I mentioned, I started thinking about this practice when I was on maternity leave and I'm a pediatrician.

So, you know, I envisioned the kind of practice that I would. To go to I, this was my third kid, so I'd obviously changed multiple times, but, I do house calls for newborns through three, three to four months. And, um, you know, it would've been great to have a pediatrician come to my house and, and this was during the pandemic and, worried, scared, not wanting to take my kids into the doctor.

So that's what I wanted. I wanted, uh, my practice to be, you know, direct care, so direct access. I wanted my practice to be. Compassionate and complete care, that my doctor, like the doctor that I wanted to be, that I would care about my patients and show them that I, knew their child.

And I, wasn't just one of another number, and just convenient for, for the families. And so no waiting, no, hassle, just, timely care, love that.

That embodies your why, and that it really embodies, the desire that we have as physicians to go into DPC. I mean, yes, it is a business model, but at the same time, we don't start out with, I wanna make this much money or like, you know, I, it, it's, it's about the quality of care that we can bring to patients.

It's about, um, the quality of life that we can have because we have DPCs. So I, I just really love that. Now, after you envisioned your practice after you had, The why behind opening your doors, once you opened, how did patients find you?

So I think it was a little bit of a slow and painful process because there was no guidebook or mm-hmm, , you know, just rules about starting this kind of practice. Because like I mentioned, every DPC practice is very different. I mean, there's obviously similarities, so I. A lot of it was word of mouth, already people in my community and my friends and family.

So many people as a pediatrician, you know, you end up being the person that people text or call or, you know, you're just like the go to for, Hey, I went to my doctor and this is what they said. , so you end up being like that extra, person to reassure them. So that's kind of how, when I started telling people about my practice, they're like, well, I've never heard of this and such a cool idea.

And I wish, you know, my kids are all grown, but I wish I had this when I was younger. Um, and so that, I mean, that's kind of where it started. And then I did a lot of just in the community and the neighborhoods, you know, it was, you have to remember, this is like the midst of. COVID. and so I couldn't go and, and walk into places and I just tried my best and to get, kind of get the word out within the community.

, and you know, of course, just then online marketing and, and word of mouth really.

gotcha. And for online marketing, did you use things like, Facebook ads or, what did you use specifically?

Sure. So I did use some Facebook ads, some Google ads, um, and Instagram ads in the beginning. And then I also, I remember sending out like printed flyers and stuff and it.

Just completely useless, cuz I mean, I think the growth of my practice really was very organic. I had people approach me, like physician marketing companies and to be honest, I couldn't afford them. So I was like, okay, let me see how this goes. And if, if I need it, you know, we'll see.

Um, but you know, it just grew very organically and it was a lot of, it was just word of mouth and Hey, my neighbor comes to you or. you know, my, my friend or, um, you know, so that's kind of how it grew and, and it's been, it's been good. It's been great, you know, this last year.

Gotcha. Now I wanna go into your office.

Can you please paint a picture for the listeners as to where your office is?

Sure. Um, so I am in, uh, like typical suburbia. Um, we're a suburb of Houston, Texas. The area is called the Woodlands and within the Woodlands, I'm in the community called Creekside and it's a, it's a growing community.

It's a lot of young families. , if you can imagine, kids ride their bike, School people walk to school. People play outside and walk their dogs and are running. And it's just, it's like typical suburbia, where my office is. It's right on the main road of kind of that, that community.

I'm located in like an office suites, um, you know, like individual office suite I'm in one of those. I also share space with, a psychologist, and she has an educational background, which is great because we actually share patients. But I'm in the majority of the office.

And like I said, I have no waiting room. It's we have big rooms. They're, uh, very child friendly. so kids, when they come in, they can like run around the office and, you know, they don't have to be confined to like one room. I do have one primary, exam room, which is kind of colorful and has some toys and, you know, just place for the kids to kind of hang out and, and play.

Um, and then I have my office in a lab, and then we have an extra couple of firms.

And in terms of, your office, I wanna paint a visual for the, listeners as well on your website. You actually have a picture of the outside of your office, the placard with your actual address on it, and then of the inside sign.

And so I thought that you having those three pictures really represented that you were thinking from your patients parents' minds or your patients. Um, if they're old enough, um, But that you were, you were guiding them visually into your office.

So can you tell us about, like, how did you go about designing that? Cause I'd love to hear what your thoughts were when you put that on your

website. So where my office is, it is a little bit tucked away. It's not on the main road. Um, so it, you know, you have to kind of drive in there and see the sign. And, , so I guess that was my thinking that if they see one sign, they can kind of follow it to the next one and, find the office face.

But, I didn't really put too much thought into it. I just kind of went around snapping pictures in my, in office and, and posted those onto Google or Google maps. , But I hope that helps people find the office

for sure. Yeah. I know I would know where to go if I, if I were looking for your office.

So that's awesome. Now, in terms of the clinic name, so you mentioned that you are, that your neighborhood is Creekside. So can you tell us about, , how you decided on your.

When I went about, trying to think of a unique name for the practice and, was just hitting mental roadblocks.

I read some articles about, , naming your business or naming your practice and SEO. And, and if you're in a specific area, if you put the name into the. The town's name or the geographical name into the practice name. People are usually looking for pediatrician in Creekside or Creekside doctor,

so that's kind of what my thinking was. I stuck kids in there because just want people to know it's a, it's a pediatric office.

There's a bunch of other offices in the area, you know, dentists and others that have used the same name. Um, so we sometimes. Phone calls from, for each other for people think we're, we're a pediatric dentist, but that's kind of where that name came from.

Gotcha. And how about your logo? Can you tell us about the design.

so I just thought that baby wrapped in a burrito is really cute. You know, that's one of the first things that parents and moms, um, you know, when they bring the babies home from the hospital, so it's essentially a baby swaddled. Um, The colors were just, you know, colors that I liked.

And can you share about if you go on vacation

um, so I do have a covering doctor who is a family practice doctor. but while I'm on vacation, I always have my phone on. I'm still on call. I mean, my panel is small enough where I can, still be accessible to my patients.

And even I've traveled internationally and my patients have contacted me through WhatsApp, um, and called me and FaceTimed me. And so I'm, I'm always on call I'm. That's what I tell them. I'm here for you. No matter. Where I the world. Gotcha.

Recently there was another doctor, who is internal medicine, and she had gone overseas for.

You know, a good amount of time and same thing. It was like the patients were still able to get ahold of her.

I think I was very nervous at first, too, there are days where, you know, it's very busy and I'm, on my phone a lot, because we're lucky and we have text communication, um, , my patients can get , that's where they can text me pictures of things, rashes and, quick questions.

So I always tell them like, don't Google, just text me, get questions. Um, or just gimme a quick phone call. My phone is always on and. So initially, yes, I was nervous about that too. I have three kids of my own and I was like, what am I, how am I gonna balance this? But my patients really do respect that, you know, when it is after hours or weekends, you know, they really do call or text me when it's an actual.

Issue or concern.

Awesome. And

now I wanna ask about the home visits because that is wonderful. Um, I do them myself. I absolutely love my home visit time, but for, you know, a pediatrician to be able to do that, especially for newborn babies. Can you give us a little bit of, what it's like for your newborn home visits or any, home visits that you do, ,

so I try to schedule my home visits for newborns, even before the baby is born. So I tell my, families or moms expecting moms. I do actually do like a free prenatal, visit or phone call with them. So we kind of like get the background about, how the pregnancy's going. If there's any complication to find out where they're delivering.

That. Um, and so what happens is when the baby is born in the hospital, mom or dad usually shoots me a text or an email. So we're kind of like scheduled already. Um, I try to do them early on in the day, um, if they're okay with it, depending on what their convenience is, but that way I can kind of group them together.

So I'm not driving. Too far in the middle of the day, like in the middle of my clinic day. Um, and as far as like getting things together, you know, I have like my core things that I need and, you know, my scale and my measuring stuff and, um, otoscope and all of that. And just, um, and just have a bag ready and, and, and go on the house call.

And so it's been great. I love it. Uh, it's, it's my favorite thing to do. I just love offering that service because, um, you know, that postpartum period is just so special. With the baby. And, um, and, and honestly, like, you know, just right after having given birth, you know, you mom doesn't have to Lu in their diaper bag in their car seat and have to drive somewhere or get somebody to drive them.

And, um, I think patients do really appreciate that convenience. Absolutely.

Absolutely. I could. I mean, when you talk about how, you know, you saw your brother have that and you were like, well, I wish, you know, I could have had that. I, I sit here listening to you and I'm like, I wish I could have had that because it totally

Yeah, it totally makes a difference. I mean, for me, like I had C-sections and it's like just, I had to have other people load the car seat , to eliminate all of that. It's just amazing, amazing that you provide that


And I'll also like, you have to remember a lot of, you know, I promote breastfeeding, as well. And, you know, I offer a lot of lactation help and, uh, I'm not an I B CLC, but I'm hoping to get that certification at some point, but I breasted three kids. And so, you know, just, I just remember not wanting to go anywhere.

You know that first initial time, that first week, couple of weeks, you know, you just kind of on your own routine, you haven't slept much. Mm-hmm you don't wanna be going into a Jeremy doctor's office, you know? So that's, that's kind of where, where this thinking of house calls came into.

How many house calls do you have a week, um, even, you know, going beyond newborns, just for, on any of your patients so that you can balance in person care at your clinic,

with the home visits.

so initially when I started off, I was able, my panel was obviously much smaller and so I was able to offer house calls for all ages. Mm-hmm um, I limit them to within 20 minutes driving distance to where I, where my office is. Um, but now I feel like, because my panel's grown, um, I've limited the house calls to up to four months, except for like some of those patients that have kind of grandfathered and that I've seen since newborns and, you know, just special kind of circumstances, but yeah.

Um, . And so that's where I've kind of drawn the line with any new patients or new families that are joining. I've told them that, the older kids do come to the office. And again, when they do come in, there's no waiting room. And so they, they come in immediately. Um, the, the appointments are up to an hour long if they need them to be.

So I just do hour long blogs. And so if there's any like, other concerns or they need to discuss anything, they take their time and, and do that. Gotcha.

On your website, one of your services highlights that you treat children with ADHD.

So can you tell us about, your patients, who are you treating and, , the care that you provide for ADHD?

Sure. So speaking about ADHD, I've had training with ADHD patients since residency, you know, I've worked with neurology, pediatric neurology and behavioral peds.

Um, and then when I'm went to Mississippi, like I mentioned, I had a solo clinic and there were actually a lot of kids that had ADHD. And, um, so just as far as volume and experience there, um, I got to see a. You know of different levels of ADHD and, and screening and, and diagnosis, um, and the steps with diagnosis and treatment plans.

So as far as if a, if a child were to come in where par parents had concerns about attention, uh, deficit, or, you know, not doing well in school or other things. Um, so initially we start with screening tools. , and then I also work with, like I mentioned, I have, um, an educational psychologist at the office who has our own practice, but.

Again, we, we kind of overlap with some of the patients. And so she does the comprehensive testing, , for schools and then we kind of bounce back and I do medication management. Um, so that's, it's kind of like a good teamwork. And then she also does counseling. And so she does counseling with families and with the kids as well.

Um, and she sees through adult age groups. So, you know, she has sort of a different panel of patients, but some of our school, age kids are overlap. So that's what that kind of looks like. So in my practice, you know, it's not just. Just the medication management. You also get the, the counseling there as well as, so it's kind of like a one stop shop.

And then as far as like developmental pediatrics, um, I've developed more and more interest in that field and, Recently, I got my, certification to do ADOS testing, which is one of the tools that we use for autism diagnosis. And which was very exciting because, you know, it's, it's been a long, long time kind of pursuit of mine.

So eventually at the practice, I would like to start doing, um, some ADOS testing as well to help the community with autism diagnosis, which, you know, during the pandemic, there was a lot. Sort of gap in a lot of kids where they hadn't been to the pediatrician in like a couple of years mm-hmm and they were sitting at home and they hadn't contacted early intervention or, you know, they were just like lagging behind in milestones.

Um, so I'm, I'm really happy to have done that certification and hopefully in the future, I'd, I'd love to provide that to the community as well.

How do you handle, routine childhood vaccinations at your clinic?

So I do have VAX care. So I actually also vaccinate another DPC providers, , patients as well, who, doesn't have VAX care.

So we kind of pulled our patient populations together and, and we do have. Fax care available to both my office and then for her patients as well. And so they sometimes swing by and, and get their vaccines at my office. Um, but we're lucky enough to have fax care and which makes life very easy because you know, all that billing as far as insurance based, um, billing, and then also, um, just, you know, the, the inventory and not having to worry about that.

So it's, it's great.

Now in terms of adolescent visits, how do you handle adolescent visits at your practice?

The benefit of, um, having an adolescent visit at my practice is that, you know, the, the visits are an hour long.

Um, so, you know, we take everything very solely just going through all the, you know, Um, the checkup, the, you know, obviously the history, \ if there's a sports, physical, involved, all of that. Um, and then I take about 15, about 15 minutes with the, the, um, adolescent themselves with the, the parents stepping out of the room.

They kind of sit in my office and hang out. Um, so I can speak to the patient directly. And, and, you know, a lot of times a lot of stuff comes up and they open up about certain things and just, you know, with, um, especially with the last couple of years with depression and anxiety mm-hmm and. The stresses of having to do, um, virtual learning and, and all of that and, and, um, social media.

And so that's how, um, adolescent visits are handled and of course then vaccines if they need them. And, um, sure. Mm-hmm .

And how do you.

Maintain that relationship when they might not be in the office. I mean, in terms of, uh, are they able to text you if they have any questions in particular, do they go through their parents to, to access you? How does it work for them to communicate with

you? So I do actually ask the permission of the parents to share my cell phone number, cuz obviously my, my patient families, the parents do have my cell phone.

So I ask them to share it with their, uh, kids, if they're comfortable doing that. Mm-hmm um, and then they can text me directly if they would like. Gotcha.

Now I wanna ask this next question, in regards to where you are with your growth.

You, you mentioned how, you know, in the beginning you had fewer patients and you do now. But now you have more patients and you're needing to focus your time on their care. Uh, publicly, you had mentioned about how frustrating it can be to talk with a lot of people that are coming from the public view, spending the time to talk with them about the practice, but then they, you know, throw in the, oh wait, you don't take insurance. So. How have you, risen to that challenge of, of balancing that time with your patients and time to talk with people who are interested in your practice and is staff involved in that

solution? So I don't have staff yet, but I'm hoping, I think I'm pretty much at the point where I do need someone to help me, whether it's a virtual assistant or a medical assistant, uh, in the office.

But I'm getting to the point where. It's more and more tough for me to answer those phone calls back and, you know, respond to, , new patient inquiries. I do have, a little, box on my, website where they can plug in their information. And then I email's the best way to kind of get in touch because then I send out like an introduction email.

And then if they're interested, then I send out the new patient intake forms. Um, but as far as answering phone calls and speaking to people. I find it also a little bit. I'm a little nervous about handing that responsibility off to mm-hmm , you know, either a virtual assistant or, you know, someone else, because I feel like I'm the best person to explain how this works and what the value is.

For these families. And sometimes they don't. And, and to be honest, they they're surprised when I pick up the phone and I'm, I'm like, Hey, it's Dr. Hassein Creekside kids, pediatrics. Oh, it's the doctor who's answering the phone. Oh, you answer the phone yourself. So, um, you know, I think there's definitely a plus to taking those phone calls and, and trying to explain and, you know, discuss the, um, the option for joining, um, So I have some, you know, obviously my web, my website has some information on there, but, um, patients definitely have a lot more questions.

So that's when I send out sort of like that email, if they're interested and, and that has a little bit more, um, and if then they're interested in joining, I send out the intake forms and, and they just join and sign the agreement. So that's how it.

And are you managing all of those forms within your EMRs?

Do you use a form service link, jot form or intake queue?

I, I use something called form doctor it's like form Dr. Just found it a little bit more user friendly than some of the other ones. They had a service where you can , pay to get them to format the forms the way you. And so that's the one I, I initially started with.

I think there was something else that I was using. I can't remember what it was, but, um, but I, I moved away from that and, and now I'm using this one and they have an unlimited number of forms you can send out. So it's, it's kind of convenient, cuz even if you send out a form and someone doesn't join, um, you know, you can still send it out and, and you don't have to worry about reaching that maximum number for the month.

Nice. Yeah.

That's awesome. Thank you for mentioning that. Cuz that's a resource. I don't think anyone has mentioned yet on the podcast


As the word of mouth has grown, you have also continued publishing, social media reels and posts and whatnot.

So can you tell us about, uh, how do you throw social media into the mix, uh, within your, your work week and what types of, uh, and, and how do you come up with your content?

So it's very random and it's definitely not on any sort of schedule . Um, actually I feel like I'm terrible at it, but, um, I think if I was like maybe 10 years younger, I'd, I'd have more of a grip on it, but it's just kind of random.

And what I think is funny and sometime I'll, I'll come across some something on reels or TikTok or whatever, but, um, but really there's no, there's no science behind it. And, and to be honest, I have a lot to learn, um, as to, you know, how to manage social media. Sure.

And in terms of engagement that you get from your community, who do you, who engages with your social media?


most. I think, young moms, um, you know, people that have kids in the community, um, that kind of find some of the stuff that I have on there is just like funny things. My kids have done, like coloring on the walls or cutting their own hairs. So, you know, people kind of relate to that cause I'm, I just trying to make it as real as possible, to be honest, I'm just.

Just one of you guys just trying to survive each day, you know, just trying to, you know, take care of my kids and, and be the best parent that I could be. And just, um, but you know, uh, sometimes things don't go as planned, so that's kind of what my, my social media is just very much just stuff I do day to day and just trying to keep it as real as possible.

I think that's great though. And just the fact that you said, , it doesn't necessarily have a schedule. It reminds me of that idea of like, you know, do I start now or do I start when I'm fully prepared to do something? And the, the fact that you do it when you can. , it's still working towards building, , presence in the community and.

, one more video of you living your real life and showing that it definitely, it it's gonna be out there, whether somebody sees it today or, you know, six months from now. It's not so much pressure added on, your already busy plate and in terms of your Facebook page, one of the things I was really impressed by is that you also have appointments slots on your Facebook page.

And you also have , a, a bot responding to, , inquiries on your, your Facebook. So can you tell us about how you develop those aspects of your, social media?

I'll be completely honest with you. No one has ever used the Facebook appointment bot.

Wow. Whatever. Yeah. And it's all, all my appointments either come through new appointments, come through phone calls. , or if, you know, someone reaches out through my website, so if somebody messages me on Facebook, it does, there is that, you know, the automatic response, but then I, I go in there and check it from time to time and kind of respond, you know, Hey, it's me.

And how, how can I help answer questions? Gimme a call. so a lot of it is just personal, you know, just phone conversations.

And then you've mentioned just now how you are portraying your actual life on your social media. You have three children who are younger than 12. How do you go about balancing everything? Because you talked about how, you know, you were nervous initially, providing twenty four seven call because you have a family. So I, I would, I would love to hear, especially for those people who are, parents of young kids who are looking


to do DPC.

I think it does offer, being a DPC provider offers more flexibility actually, in terms of, um, I'm able to schedule sort of, you know, of course I'm available to my patients and, and I do have still set clinic hours. I'm here, you know, between like eight 30 and four 30. , but you know, I do the after hours and things like that too.

Overall the flexibility that this kind of practice has offered me has definitely, , been more than, a practice where I was going in in the morning and coming back, you know, seeing back to back patients. So I have gaps in my day where I can, run my errands or, just do other stuff, which is, , definitely not there when you're a full time.

Fee for service provider, but, I've just tried to balance it as much as possible. I think there's definitely more flexibility. I'm able to go to like school events.

I've I've participated at my kid's schools. For, you know, different things that I could be the, the physician at an event, pediatrician at the event, they need somebody, um, fundraisers and things that they've had at the school. So, um, sometimes I wasn't able to do that at my other office because it was just, you know, patients are scheduled and they're double booked and you know, you, you don't have time to even step out.

It does give you flexibility. And a lot of, I think, if you do offer at a DPC practice, if you offer that text and call communication directly

to the provider, there's a lot of little things that, that can be managed over text and phone call. Sometimes I have multiple,

text conversations with patients throughout the day. I mean, it starts in the morning, but I don't have to see them because I can kind of manage them over the over text. And, um, so it, it definitely provides you a little more flexibility, I feel. And I

mean, you speak from such experience because your eldest is 11 at the time of this interview.

You've been in practice for years. So you especially have seen how it is to balance having children as well as fee for service and then DPC.

So I think those are really, really, wise words and you have the experience to really reflect on both models of care while having kids mm-hmm . So for, for those people who are listening to this episode, Are in medical school or they're in training to be a pediatrician they're in residency right now.

Um, what would you say to them in terms of, you know, they've, they've learned about DPC, they've wanting, you know, they're interested in doing it because of things like flexibility in terms of autonomy, in terms of, you know, being able to, to take care really, really good care of their patients. What words of wisdom would you have for those individuals in part.

I actually gave a talk to some of the residents, pediatric residents at Texas children's, few months back. Um, it was more of like, just a question answer session to, to, for them to learn more about this kind of practice. And you know, they, they had a lot of questions because even as a resident or, you know, when years ago, I mean, we didn't know what this kind of practice was.

We didn't have any exposure to it. Um, Some advice I would definitely give which, um, I think the newer residents are getting, um, lactation, , training, which we didn't, we had a informal lactation training, but we didn't have that as a formal, you know, certification. So it's very helpful as an, as a DPC pediatrician to have that knowledge under your belt because.

You sometimes are the first line for answering those questions for mom and, and establishing, breastfeeding early on in a newborn's life. So that's one. And then again, like I mentioned, developmental pediatrics, trying to get as much, you know, training in that. So that would be some of the advice and then, if you're interested in primary care, , this is a great way.

Of practicing

medicine. I mean, this is, you know, really, it gets down to the core of what, primary care is supposed to be. It's that relationship between. The, the patients and the patient families. I mean, I know when, when I get a text or a phone call or, you know, specific kid is sick.

I mean, I know exactly who that kid is. I don't have to go open the chart and find out, oh, I don't remember when I saw this child and this, that used to happen to me. That was me when I was seeing like, you know, 30, 40 patients a day. I, you know, sometimes wouldn't remember somebody, if I hadn't seen them recently, So this really brings it back to you being that, that doctor for that family.

And just being that go-to person and just building that relat those relationships.

And I just wanna ask you there, in terms of, when you talked with the residents, how did you come across that opportunity?

Um, they actually contacted me, their program director, reached out to me. They just sent me an email and they said, you know, we're looking for DPC pediatricians.

Would you be interested in speaking, at our rounds or I think whatever their lunchtime meeting was and they just, they just emailed me and I, I was like, whoa. Okay, sure. I'd love to.

That's amazing. And I definitely encourage people to do that because especially for people who are, early on in residency or in medical school and who, who can plan financially, who can plan, emotionally who can plan with their families to, to open up, uh, Pediatrics practice or another primary care practice in DPC, even specialty care.

It's just, you know, it, it really, I, I, I say this because I spoke with, uh, my old residency, the current residents were just like, okay, this is like, you sound like, you're happy though. Like, I, we, none of the people who've talked to the residents have been happy and I was like, You don't understand until you, you see, you know, and you hear what we, as physicians who are doing this model, are really feeling and experiencing.

So I encourage people to reach out to residency programs, to, , explore, any option you can to reach medical students nearby or residencies as well. . And in terms of taking that question to somebody who like yourself was already in fee for service, would you add any more words for those in individuals in particular, who might be hesitant or afraid to do direct primary care because of, , all of the reasons, the financial reasons, the balancing family life, what would you say to those people in


Sure. I've actually had a few, established pediatricians who have had very successful fee for service practices in the area. Reach out to me and ask me so many questions about this model of care and that they're thinking they've, they've been years of into practice, and they've heard about this and they're thinking of transitioning or having some sort of hybrid model.

Um, and so I've been able to kind of, you know, give them at least my, my approach on it and my experience, But, you know, when they hear how, I guess how happy we are as a, as a group, all us DPC, pedia, pediatricians, and family practice and all of the DPC providers. Um, I think that that's what draws them to this model of care is like, Hey, you know, , these doctors have work life balance.

They're, they're actually practicing the way they would like to practice. There's no constraints on them. There's no middle. There's no insurance stuff. So, I mean, I think there's definitely a growing awareness. And I, you know, I'm happy to answer any questions for, you know, doctors that are looking to transition or exploring this option.

I think it's, it's great to kind of get that. Cuz a lot of doctors haven't heard of it, you know, They're like, wait, we, we don't know what this is. What's DPC. And so once they learn about it, it's, it's, I think it's great to raise awareness and, tell them what I know about it at at least.

I love that. Now I wanna ask about the fact that you are approaching your second year anniversary. You've mentioned things like, you know, you learned the lesson about, mailing out those, those physical brochures. , I wanna ask. High level advice. Would you give looking back on your, time and practice and your DPC so far that you would, advise others to think about going into the.

So I think for a small practice that's growing, especially with the DPC practice, I would say, keep your overheads as low as possible.

I started very small. I think one of the things that maybe I made a mistake with was, my space was kind of larger than I needed. And I was obviously paying rent for that space. So I ended up subleasing part of it, which, you know, kind of cut my overheads a little bit. , And having some sort of, you know, business model in place before you, go into the actual practice, I guess, for those physicians that already have an established practice, definitely putting feelers out there and doing polls of how much interest there is in, in those patients wanting to join a DPC practice.

I think that would be helpful before you kind of transition, then, like I said, just keeping those overheads low, just kind of, you know, starting with the bare minimum, you don't need a lot to start a practice.

You just kind of need the essentials. And then growing it from there and then you kind of have more luxury to kind of add on always.

And are there any cautionary tales that you would like to share

as. So in initially I, hired somebody to make my website and, it didn't turn out the way I wanted.

There was just, I don't know, just a lot of mistakes and, I, I never actually got that money back either. So I ended up just going and making my own website. It's actually. Pretty easy to make your own website. Now you just, can use some of the programs like WICS that's what I used and it's pretty easy to make your own website.

I had no it background whatsoever. Um, and a lot of people do have it background or they're, you know, they're, they're definitely more technologically kind of knowledgeable and I am definitely not. But I think sometimes just hiring the wrong people to do certain things, um, can get you into just do your homework.

Maybe use somebody who's. Already been kind of tried and tested by another doctor. Awesome.

And going into the future, what do you foresee in addition to the autism, aspect of care that you're bringing to your practice? What do you see for the future of Ked kids? Pediatrics?

, I'm definitely looking into, and in talks with, a lactation consultant to come on board and, offer their services like a collaboration.

, we also have a team of PT, physical therapists and occupational therapists that we're trying to, I mean, they wouldn't be employees of the practice, but we're looking to collaborate with them. So our, patients have, that comprehensive, like I said, one stop shop where. Their kind of child's care can be taken place.

So, uh, we have the space at the office I'm hoping to expand and, and offer those services as well. Nutritionist as well. And then, I'm also looking to get my lactation certification at some point. So adding that on.

Amazing. Well, thank you so much, Dr. Husain for joining

us today. Thank you so much for having me

*Transcript generated by AI, so please forgive errors.

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