Monday, February 29, 2016

Direct Primary Care for Geezers: Smile and Keep Practicing

OK, so you're a Family Physician near the end of your practicing career.  A little tired, a little fed up, but still seeing a Family Physician when you look in the mirror every day.  How do you crawl out from under the piles of administrivia each day and still look ahead to the next day of patient care?

If it's harder each day and you are looking at your retirement plans more often, but torn because you love being a Family Physician, what can you do?

Direct Primary Care (DPC)is one option.  I spoke about "DPC for Geezers" at the recent DPC Ohio UnSummit IV.  As an independent Family Physician near the end of my practice years, I love what I do, but qualify as someone who's fed up with the "piles" and other issues mentioned above.  I'm a "Geezer".  I have a Medicare card.  I own and play records (before CD's).  My hair is beyond gray.
I look at my practice as an asset, but realize that only a hospital would buy it.

How do I find a younger physician to join in the practice?  None are seriously looking for a traditional independent practice.  DPC to the rescue.

As a hybrid DPC physician (Traditional plus DPC) who needs to transition to what I call Mixed DPC (DPC plus some self pay visits) by January 1st 2017, I see hope in the resident physicians who want a job in DPC- yes, a JOB - not a small business ownership right out of residency.  I can offer them a job, if they want to evolve into potential ownership later.

The combination of end of career independent FP's in DPC with residents who want to do DPC could be a game changer for lots of people.  The Geezer gets to extend their career, slow down and mentor the resident in the ways of private practice while the resident gets freedom to do DPC and connect with their new patients better than the hospital employed physician.

Geezers and DPC and New Physicians are a great combination.

What do you think?


  1. I think you're exactly right Pat! And for a lot of docs who are fresh out of residency, its great to have some support from an experienced physician.

    Docs can post openings (whether hiring or looking to be hired) for free at

  2. Thanks for the comment, Josh. Sites like the one you mentioned are great ways to connect jobs and job hunters in DPC.

  3. Your plan is a way for independent practice to thrive. This also works well with a transition to Concierge care. The smaller number of patients seen for longer visits results in less administrativia and fewer referrals with their expensive tests. ER visits and hospitalization rates go down. Younger colleagues can learn this more extensive type of primary care and gradually see more of the patients as the geezer slows down . Win, win, win.

  4. Thanks, Pat, for your insights. Yes, the time is here for new models that enable patients and physicians to get more connection and better health-- for both.