The Direct Care Way

Why are doctors afraid to opt out?

April 11, 2023 Tea Nguyen, DPM Season 2 Episode 61
The Direct Care Way
Why are doctors afraid to opt out?
Show Notes Transcript

If you’re still on the fence about opting out, I get it. I was there not too long ago and the reality is Direct Care is not for everyone. However, I have found that there are a lot of doctors feeling incredibly burned out and they don’t know of a way out.

Why doctors are afraid to opt out and what I propose you do before choosing Direct Care.

Dr. T  0:00  
Owners of a direct care practice are more likely to experience higher job satisfaction than the insurance based practice. And it's no wonder why direct care is independent of insurance. Patients pay the doctor directly for their expertise. The doctor gets full autonomy in how they care for patients and how they get paid. They have chosen this path with a love of medicine. This is the direct care way. 

Dr. T  0:24  
By listening to this podcast, you may even start to believe that you too can have a successful direct care practice. Come listen with an open mind as I share my personal journey and how I pivoted from an insurance based practice to direct care right in the middle of the pandemic, and the valuable lessons along the way. This podcast may be the very thing you need to revitalize your medical practice. I'm your host, owner of a direct care podiatry practice, Dr. Tea Nguyen.

Dr. T  0:52  
 Welcome to another episode. I've been speaking to a lot of doctors, and most doctors are afraid to opt out. I totally get it. If you're still on the fence about opting out. Listen, I was there not too long ago. And the reality is direct care is not for everybody. However, I have found that there are a lot of doctors feeling incredibly burned out. And they just don't know what else to do. Some are choosing to leave clinical medicine altogether. I know a person who went to grad school after they received their medical degree after they've done their medical training. After they've had a couple of jobs and found it just wasn't working out for them. They had reconnected with this person on LinkedIn and found out they left medicine behind them and are working on the IT side, the charting side of medicine. I spoke to another doctor, she turned her part time passion as a writer and made it a full time gig. I spoke with multiple doctors who started work as a medical liaison for a company that they worked with, and turn that into a full time job. There are a lot of doctors who are just really fed up with the culture of medicine with the way things are going. 

Dr. T  2:11  
They're going into medical legal consulting, real estate coaching. And listen, I will always support diversifying income just as you would with any investment because we we just can no longer put all of our eggs in one basket. But we as a whole still need to help the healers, because we still need doctors to stay in clinical medicine, we are going to need them we are going to get old. But what's going to happen when this pool of physicians that we need to help us stay healthy start to dissipate, then the access to medical care also decreases. And that's on top of the regulations that makes it really hard to even access physicians. So it's my opinion that if doctors got to do what they truly wanted to do on their own terms, while getting paid well for it, then they would stay in clinical medicine. We need happy doctors and the most satisfying doctors that I've seen are those indirect care, Direct Care offers this type of lifestyle. Number one, it gives you more time, when you can make more money, you see fewer patients. So you're no longer functioning in a volume based practice seeing 30 to 60 patients per day, which also includes having to chart having to code and knowing and remembering who you saw everybody for and all the details that are required in charting to get paid. But when you finally get paid the full amount, you don't have to see this many patients, which also means you're decreasing the stress of a volume based practice. And it actually ends up being a value based practice, you're giving a ton of value to that one person you are solely focused on, you have the bandwidth, the brain power to really savor that, which is my number two, you get a deeply satisfying relationship with your patients. Since we are spending more time with patients piecing the puzzles together as to why they have a current problem, or why they are at risk for a certain complication. 

Dr. T  4:23  
We get to know them on a deeper level. socially, emotionally, we even get to know the details of the life stages they're in. Maybe they've become a parent or a grandparent these things that you would only know if you spent a lot of time with them. And that's what we get to do in direct care. There is no rushing from patient to patient. It's just the one patient who's in front of us. And we were solely focused on them the entire time. Patients are really craving for that personal attention. We are so divided with social media with the way the healthcare system works. There is a barrier between the physician and patients and patients are just, they want to feel heard, that is not what they're getting. And that is a problem that we are solving for them by being a direct care doctor. And number three, you heard me say this already, it's just less stress. When you're contracted with insurance, you are basically working for them, because they control whether or not you'll get paid. And you will still have to be compliant for the things that they ask for. And there's really no debate about it. Their resources are abundant. And whether we think what they're doing is right or wrong isn't the point. It's the fact that they are a business that's built on profits, not on ethics. And they will capitalize on us who do function on ethics, and our general natural desire to do things right for our patients.

Dr. T  5:50  
 Now, having spoken to a lot of different doctors, a lot of different specialists, we all have the same concerns. These are the things that are holding us back from having a direct care practice. First, we are afraid to lose income, we took on a huge risk in the way of student loans, to get that education to get that experience. And now we need to pay it back. And then slowly life came at us there was a mortgage, maybe there were some unexpected expenses that now we have to be responsible for, we need a steady income. Another thing is that we're just afraid to do something different. Direct Care is swimming against the current and doctors don't like to be wrong, we really don't like to guess we like having a roadmap. We are careful, we are methodical, we need a pathway, we were probably even scrutinized throughout our training for being just a little bit off of being perfect. And this has carried into our present self. So that's why we aim for perfection. And failure is not an option. But in business ownership. That mentality is not productive. It does not teach you anything. If you get everything perfect all the time, the model in business ownership is predominantly trial and error. That's how we learn best. 

Dr. T  7:09  
And if we were never taught to embrace failures, then we are going to be even more afraid to fail in business ownership. And of course, we are afraid of the unknown. We like normalcy, we want predictability, we like stability, and we need to get it all perfect. These are all thoughts that we have when we are learning about something new and aren't quite sure if it is for us, we have given up a decade of delayed gratification. And we just want to live a life with a predictable income. So here's what I propose before you decide to move into direct care. If you haven't already, where you're still kind of on the fence. Or maybe you're just in the curiosity phase, I'm going to help you move from curious to confident and help you build your dream future. So number one, decide that this is what you want to do and plan for it. 

Dr. T  8:00  
This is your chance to be methodical, just decide that this is what you want to do live in that future version of yourself. So that the decisions you make today leads you to that if you make decision based out of fear, then you'll never really get to live your true potential. So think about the future that you want it make decisions today that gets you closer to that future number to have a nest egg of about six to 12 months of income before you choose to start opting out. Or for some you already have a source of income, maybe it is a spousal support or other revenue. Because you were able to plan ahead and had diversify before even listening to this episode, just have some money aside so that you can start this new business venture for some that might look like being employed, and living lean until you're ready to make those decisions to opt out and build your own business. For others. A business loan might be plausible, it's not necessary. 

Dr. T  8:59  
That's what I had to do. My circumstances were I hated my job, I needed something else that was more flexible because I had a kid. And there wasn't a lot of options for me here. So I kind of had to open my own practice. So I did have to get out a business loan to make that work. Of course, I opened my practice in the insurance model, which meant I had to take out a huge loan because it was just more expensive to have to buy things that revolved around supporting the insurances in the way of staff support software, accommodating a volume driven practice and so on. And that was just my path. Yours may look totally different. If you happen to have a really supportive partner that would be incredible. So just see the gift of what you currently have and appreciate it and find a way to leverage it so that you can move forward into that future version of your practice or of yourself. Number three, this is most relevant for podiatrists because we have a board certification system that requires a lot of cases again a volume based type of deal So if you need to collect cases for board certification, do that, get the employment job put all your cases in, get through the stress of collecting your cases so that you can sit for boards, and then be done with it and then decide to change your model. 

Dr. T  10:14  
That would be the most logical number four is to absorb the knowledge of other direct care doctors. And you can learn a whole lot from MDS DEOs. alternative health doctors who have already opted out have a lot to offer. And many of them are excited to see other doctors who are like them, thinking in alignment with them. And they're more than willing to be generous with their time and their knowledge. Direct Care is a road that has already been paved. And it's just a matter of you tailoring it so that it's personalized for you the way you want to do it. We all want others in this model to succeed, because we have a point to prove that physicians can do anything that we set our minds to, even if it means doing something unconventional, like opting out. And number five reemphasizing to connect with others who get it you're going to deal with a lot of doubts in your mind as it is, you really don't need to deal with other people's insecurities and add to that. So protect your light, don't share things if you don't have to. And really, nobody needs to know what you're doing. 

Dr. T  11:14  
Only you need to know what you're doing. So work at your job, save up, and then pivot, I want you to know something here, it's okay to be afraid. I don't think I've met one person who was not afraid of direct care. We don't know how things are going to turn out. But we do know that we're going to figure out a way to make it work for us. We deserve a practice that we love one that is simple, and gives us our time back with less stress. We are relentless, we are hard working. And sometimes we're afraid. And that's normal. That's why you need to be in the right space, mentally, and socially to to ease the burden of entrepreneurship. This is why I created my course and my coaching program. And we all need to do this collectively, to show folks that is not okay to take advantage of our goodwill, we are finally standing up for ourselves. And we're going to walk the other way. And we're going to choose to play a totally different game. 

Dr. T  12:12  
So this is your calling to claim your future, don't leave it up to chance that something down the road might change. Wishing for change is a terrible business plan, you can actually do something about it right now. And I've shared that with you here. So feel free to go back and listen to this episode again, and start writing out a plan to make this work for you. If you're waiting for just the right time, you might be too late. There really isn't the right time planning is just planning write on a piece of paper, your start date, what is the date that you propose that you're going to make this transition. And when you have that written down on paper, your mind is a beautiful machine, it's going to find ways to make that happen. So write it down on a piece of posted, put it somewhere where you can see it every day so that the decisions you start making leads you to that end goal. I'm not a person who can make promises. 

Dr. T  13:05  
But there are two things that I can promise you, number one, you and I will eventually die, we don't know when but we know is going to happen. And number two, you can choose how you want to live, you can choose to have a direct care practice or not. That is your choice. What might help you move the needle a little bit faster a little bit further, is taking out a piece of paper and writing a note to yourself. This is an exercise that I do for my coaching clients. And I've spoken about on previous episodes about speaking from your future self to your current self, what would an 80 year old version of yourself tell you about the life that you live? It's going to be the version of you saying I wish I would have done this? Or I wish I would have done that or one that had full of regrets where you were afraid to make decisions? And then you just lived your life out in that way in fear? Or is it the version of you that showed up the version of you that just made a choice to do it despite fear? Yes, you're going to be afraid. Yes, this is going to be hard. But what does that future look like for you and work from that point of view to make the decisions you need to make today, I do have a course called Launch in 12 weeks, where it gives you a week by week action items of things that you need to know stuff we didn't learn about in our training that will help you develop your direct care practice. 

Dr. T  14:23  
So if you're ready to start and sustain your direct specialty care practice, check the show notes. The link is there for you to purchase the course it comes with coaching. So you'll even get a chance to do one on one with me and be part of this growing network of doctors who are saying we've had enough we're going to do it our way, that direct care way and we want our physician friends to succeed as well. You deserve a medical practice that you love and stay in that is highly profitable with less stress. If you're on the fence, just take the course. If you don't love it, you can cancel anytime you won't want to miss out on this one. Take care for now. I'll catch you next time. 

Dr. T  15:01  
Thank you so much for being here with me. If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more, please like, share and subscribe so more people like you can have access to another way of practicing medicine, that direct care way. Let's connect find my info in the show notes and send me your questions. That might be the topic for future episodes. 

Dr. T  15:20  
And lastly, if you remember nothing else, remember this be the energy you want to attract. See you next time.