The essential element of a quality partnership is the mutually beneficial nature of that partnership. Our current healthcare system is far from that. Patients feel slighted: they are often treated as a number or corporate metric instead of a person; they are rushed through visits, have limited access to their personal doctor, and often avoid seeking out care. This is largely due to corporate leadership pushing doctors to see as many patients as possible so that they can meet their bottom line.
Grassroots direct primary care practices are often small businesses owned and operated solely by a local physician with a vested interest in helping a community thrive. These practices cut out the middle-men (insurance, hospital administration) and give power back to the patient. By cutting out the middleman, precious time and resources are re-distributed to strengthening the patient doctor relationship. The power of developing a foundational relationship is realized in unlimited visits with your doctor, appointments without time limits and results in appointments that are not rushed, easy communication with your doc, and ultimately the peace of mind knowing that you always have an advocate that will fight for you in our unnecessarily complex, wasteful healthcare system.
Direct primary care has a truly unlimited number of benefits for the patients (and thereby their doctors) who decide to embark on this entrepreneurial journey; doctors and patients equally benefit from spending more time with each other. With more time, doctors can get to know each of their patients on a deep level and by learning their history, can get to the root cause of a problem and treat the whole person, instead of putting band-aids on issues. With more time, doctors do not have to be rushed to come up with quick treatment plans; deep thought can be put into each problem, research and literature searches can be done, long education with dedicated follow-up can be provided to the patient, problems can actually be SOLVED. With more time, doctors get to develop real, trusting, long-lasting, and caring relationships with their patients.
I hope you consider joining Bridge DPC or any other direct primary care practice in the country as we take baby steps to evolve healthcare, one patient at a time. Thank you for joining me in this journey, and I hope that I can be a steady pillar of support in the community of B.I. and North Kitsap County, and eventually, with advocacy, leave ripple effects on the American medical system as a whole.
Some books/resources to explore to learn more about DPC:
- Direct Primary Care: The Cure for Our Broken Healthcare System. Dr. Paul Thomas.
- What is DPC
Payton Skawinski, MD
Bainbridge Island - Evolving the Patient Doctor Relationship
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Dr. Payton Skawinski, MD