By MARIBEL AVILES, M.D. President and Physician at Innova Medical Care, P.A. The First Direct Primary Care in Orlando
JANUARY 24, 2016 –
I am a 51 years old family doc. After 20 plus years of practice and having worked in my traditional solo practice, several health care companies- big and small, hospital based and MSOs-, having covered other physicians, and served the medically underserved and homeless through different not for profit organizations, I have witnessed many medical changes, experiencing joy and discomfort through it all.
Being a physician who has always appreciated honesty, clarity, commitment and mercy, these vital qualities must exist in my office (a.k.a. my healing corner) for it to be a suitable place for my patients in their path to wellness and recovery.
So, as many of my colleagues unwillingly continue doing these days, running around, trying to catch up and put volume over quality many times to cover an overhead was (and is) instinctively against my principles, but yet this is how business life has been one of the factors transforming us as doctors- not exactly my definition of personable medical care. With my desire to continue practicing the medicine I love, I tried my best to fit unsuccessfully in this broken system, wondering at night whether I did the right thing for a patient within a 5-10 minutes office visit or not, and frantically walking daily through this impersonal and complicated maze. Outsiders telling me, with a list of absurd codes and regulations, what the best for my patients allegedly was.
How can a healer try to heal when placed in such a fragmented and chaotic platform? Such chaos was about to burn me out and affect my patients in a negative way. I did reach my crossroad: leave the practice of medicine or find another way to push into doing what I love. That’s when Direct Primary Care came along at age 50!, and the reason why I am still practicing.
It is a privilege to be a physician. It is a necessity to find a space permeated with clarity, honesty and compassion so I can execute my mission in delivering the best medical care possible to those who have trusted me. The ‘Direct Care’ model fits this panorama for me. Exiting the traditional health system has been quite a change and challenge at my age, but I would do it again and again. It is a “NEW” kind of medicine, accountable, transparent, innovative…Innova.
Will it work for my patients and my community, as I embark on this journey? I do pray , whilst I continue to advocate and find ways to be part of the solution for those who could benefit from my care and from many of my colleagues doing the same.
Taking risks, disrupting a system that isn’t working, and persevering in the goal, especially at age 51, will be my motto for the upcoming years; and so help me God.
It is never too late when you are pursuing your life mission. Direct Care may not be the right answer for many, and I do understand. Nevertheless, getting to that place where physicians continue loving the practice of medicine must be an important task to tackle; otherwise … where will our patients go?
Fifty-one, still hanging in there. All your good wishes and prayers are welcomed!
Dr. Maribel Aviles, M.D.
Categories: DPC News