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Dr. Tea 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. Tea 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. Tea 0:51
I'm really excited to share something special in this 100th episode. So stick around, I have something here for you. I'm really excited that you are all here to share this episode with me. Some of you have been here consistently. Some of you maybe this is your first episode. And I want to thank you so much for letting me be in your headspace to learn about direct care. This is almost coming up to my two year anniversary of starting this podcast and I wanted to share some data with you about podcasting. There are over 2.8 million podcast as we speak. And those who have had at least 20 to 30 downloads per episode are considered to be in the top 50% of podcasts. So that's a yay for us. As of this recording, there has been close to 7500 downloads of me talking about direct care. And I think that's really amazing. I don't promote this podcast, I don't optimize it for SEO or anything. It exists in LinkedIn, in Facebook, amongst interactions with other doctors who ask about how do they start their direct care practice. So most of this is word of mouth. And so I'm really excited to see that there are close to 7500 downloads to the episodes that I put together, just for you doctors like you. Another statistic that I found interesting was that only 10% have produced over 100 episodes. So again, as high achievers, here we are, and 90% of podcasts don't produce more than three to four episodes. So look at us, we are making waves we're making are inching towards a way of life for physicians who just want to know what's life is like outside of insurance.
Dr. Tea 2:45
So what we can learn from these numbers is that you don't need a whole lot to start, whether it's a podcast or your business, like a direct care practice, you don't need a lot. When it comes to my podcast, I just grabbed my iPhone, I use the voice memo recording. And I'm speaking directly into the phone, I have a lavalier mic that I sometimes use, sometimes I don't have it. Sometimes I'm recording in my car, sometimes in my home and you can hear loud motorcycles or even my neighbor playing the banjo in the background, or I'm in my backyard, where I have thoughts that I want to share with you. So you know, I don't try to complicate the systems I have. Because I know ultimately, it's the message that is most important. Could I refine what I offer? Most definitely. And maybe I'll celebrate this episode by purchasing a real podcast microphone. But I purchased one of the past and I haven't used it, it was complicated. It didn't really give me that much of an improvement in sound quality. And so I kind of just pitched it, I didn't use it anymore. But okay, maybe I'll move towards something new in the next couple of series of episodes we'll see. But what I'm really just trying to say is you don't need a lot to start. As physicians, we are not only overachievers. But we're over thinkers and civil and we do that we hold ourselves back from moving forward. And if I had just waited for the right moment, to have enough data to have enough guests to have it all pieces put together in the right time then this podcast may have never made it to 100 episodes this time. You know this phase in my practice this phase in my coaching practice as well. And so, I'm okay with showing up a little bit messy. I think it's okay. I know it's okay because 7500 downloads have existed.
Dr. Tea 4:39
And a lot of doctors have reached out to me privately to ask for my help in starting their direct care practice. So it's working no matter what people say no matter what you see on social media, how people make things appear like it's so perfectly put together. I'm showing up messy exactly how I am just to let you know that it's totally okay. And people are going to value what you have. So that's my little side note for you, others, my husband who learned about with the numbers I just shared with you, if you sit in a space of your why, why are you doing what you're doing, and you continue to revisit why it's necessary for you to start that business to start that podcast to start, whatever adventure you set your mind to, that is what's going to keep you going. simply looking at the vanity metrics of the likes, and the shares is not really enough to have your business running the way you want it to. So do what you need to do to create and start your practice your business, do it for the people who need it, even if you don't see those vanity metrics. So although I don't see all 7000 plus people, reach out, give me a review anything like that. I know I'm affecting people, by the way that they come up to me at conferences, or at random social functions, or just DM me once in a while saying that they've been listening to my stuff for a long time. And that that's usually you know, an indicator that I'm I'm on the right path. So don't worry about the vanity metrics of the accolades, the you know, external validation that what you're doing is valuable. So with that, starting my podcast, very much like starting my direct care practice, it's hard, it's scary, and you never know whose life you'll change. Simply by showing up with what you already know, the intent of starting this podcast was to let doctors like you know that there's another way to practice medicine that doesn't involve the complicated process of filling insurance. And I wanted you to know that this podcast is more than just having an insurance free medical practice, it's a lot more than just having a cash practice, it's more than a concierge or a boutique, or whatever words you want to use. It's more than the practicality of living outside of an insurance model.
Dr. Tea 7:11
The reason I chose direct care, as the word as the title for this podcast, is because this is a social movement, intended to create communities with like minded individuals who want a direct care practice, who are thriving in it and want to help others. You know, it's totally different to say I have a cash practice, this is how I did it. And here's the blueprint, versus actually pulling people in and creating this social network where we can have thoughtful conversations where we can be vulnerable about our fears. And you know, when we encounter hardships that comes along with owning your business, we share all of that. And when we share our burdens, the burden feels a lot lighter, and we can find a path through it. And onto the other side. So this social movement is intended to preserve the autonomy of the physician, and to preserve the care that we give to patients and offering patients another way to access quality medical care as well.
Dr. Tea 8:14
I know there are a lot of podcasts, a lot of coaches, a lot of consulting agencies that talk about developing a cash practice. And I didn't want to just be another one of those entities. They're incredibly valuable for the individual. But I wanted to gather people together in a supportive, positive community, where we can share our hardships, and help others shortcut their way through owning a successful private practice. So ultimately, I really just wanted to help inspire and enlighten people who feel stuck in practicing insurance based medicine in a constrained system where, you know, we're calling that corporate medicine now. This is for people who know that we were built for more. You know, my story in particular, I think it resonates with people who are first generation medical practice owners, you know, somebody who never had a role model to help them with building an insurance free practice, those who may need a little bit more help in understanding what it takes to run a medical practice this day and age, somebody who needs to strengthen their emotional intelligence, their resilience, and knowing what's required to push through those really hard, dark days of business ownership. And, you know, there's never been a guarantee in anything that we do, whether we're employed, we think that there's a safety net, we think that employment is forever until a hospital shuts down, or private practices, consolidate and sell out to bigger entities. Nothing is guaranteed or even life circumstances happen where you might have to take time off of work for an extended period of time. You and you're just having to come back into medical practice, we never really know where we'll end up until it actually happens. And so the risk of starting a direct care practice is not that different to the risk of employment, you never really know what's going to happen until it happens. So my insight for you here is just to recognize that there is no such thing as a safety net in business ownership. And we just have to build the resilience to know that whatever comes our way that we're going to figure it out, there's always a way through it, if it's not going to be one way, there's going to be another way. And with owning our practices, the direct care is an alternate path that a lot of people are really enjoying. Not very many people regret opting out of insurance, myself included, and we want to share that joy with others so that they can see what's possible to. So unfortunately, a lot of us, we don't really decide to make a change until we're pushed up against the wall, where we're stuck between a rock and a hard place, myself included, I never thought that opting out of insurance was enviable way to run a medical specialty practice, until I had no other choice until I felt like corporate medicine wasn't giving me the fulfillment i thought was there for me, after all of my training, you know, I was just desperately disappointed with what healthcare looked like, and the restrictions and the prior authorizations, the asking for permission, getting paid, being unpredictable with when I got paid. And then when I did get paid, they suddenly wanted the money back for one reason or another, right. So all those things are out of my control. And it deeply affected my sanity. And it affected the way I took care of patients. And it affected the way I showed up.
Dr. Tea 8:14
In my practice, it was a whole nother personality in that model, because it was all about volume. It was all about meeting metrics, it was all about the bottom line. And, you know, I went into this model thinking, I guess that's just how it is. And then I saw myself, you know, I wasn't the best physician for the patient. At times, I saw that my decisions were influenced by incentives. You know, if we do a certain procedure pays more, if we break up appointments to one question or one problem per visit, it'll pay more. You know, if you buy that ultrasound, it'll pay more like the decisions we were making was, it wasn't necessarily unethical. But it wasn't the way I wanted to practice medicine, I really didn't want to do things because I was incentivized to do it, it just, it went against the values I had as being a physician. And maybe you feel the same way, but you didn't really see it. So what I found through my journey as an independent medical practice, is that when you go into direct care, you restore that autonomy in the way you practice medicine, which means you're not waiting for an insurance company to dictate what you're going to order. And what you're going to do. It's not going to be based on arbitrary CPT codes, it's not going to be influenced by rv use, that you generate, you're not pressured to look at numbers, and cram as many patients as possible to see in your daily schedule. Instead, direct care gives you peace of mind, because you're choosing medical treatments as a partnership with your patient, you're not looking at them as a protocol as you are looking at them as the unique individual that they are. And you get to spend time with them to understand their goals and their values, giving them a tailored plan. This was the level of care that I thought we signed up for, and that we were trained to give but then, you know, we go into the real world. And we see that it's a totally different way of life. There's a lot of restrictions, there's a lot of time and energy wasted through bloated chart notes through protocols that don't really fit everybody that comes in our path. That just was not the type of doctor I wanted to be.
Dr. Tea 14:08
So you know, needless to say, I found myself deeply dissatisfied with the direction of health care, I wanted another way. And then life came along. And my daughter, senior I opened my practice gave me this whole new complex layer of things I had to balance and I was fighting between my identity as a surgeon, as a woman surgeon in a community that was predominantly or heavily employing doctors, you know, the corporate system, private practice was what they say nearly dead. There were so few of them. And then I had to think about what life meant to be a wife to someone, to be a mom to someone and to also have myself identity because I spent over a decade being a podiatrist or being a surgeon, I desperately craved to go create my own version of what it means to be a woman in medicine, a woman in surgery this modern day. So maybe that resonates with you. Because you're also looking to find a way to balance between medicine and living a meaningful life and making money and all those things, I hope that I've been able to show you what life could look like. And maybe you're already on your way to create that balance within your practice and in your personal life. And I'm really happy with what has transpired in all of these episodes. You know, from the first episodes, I've been able to create meaningful relationships with doctors who have reached out and asked for my help. Through that I was able to create a coaching program to help doctors launch their direct Specialty Care Practice until weeks. And I've been able to guide other doctors who just wanted to increase their cash flow, maintain some kind of a hybrid practice, I've also been able to have doctors who were employed, reached out to me and asked, you know, what is it like to own a business, you know, people who have no business background, wanting to just know what skills they need to have to have their own business, you know, these conversations, sparked a lot of joy, and gives me a lot of purpose in the work that I do and the stuff that I produce for you here.
Dr. Tea 16:16
I truly never believed that I had a calling until I started to put myself out there, through the use podcast on social media. And then suddenly, all these people were reaching out to me and telling me, the stuff resonated with them. And that is a really, deeply satisfying way to have my ideas validated. Even though the ideas that I had initially felt really crazy, like, I didn't know how much it would affect people. And I'm, I'm really excited to be able to share that with you here. What I want you to know out of all of this is that you can create a life in medicine, however you envision it. So whether you want to be full time or move towards part time in clinical practice, like I have, the freedom for you to do so is there. And you can do that through direct care, because you're not constrained by contracts, you're not constrained by employment, the restrictions that they put on doctors, you know, you can decide to take care of your patients that way you want to take care of them, you can work as little or as much as you want. And when you decide your rate and you have control in your time, you decide who you see what you want to treat. That's how you reclaim your time and energy back. So if you don't want to grind for six days a week around the clock, you don't have to, if you don't enjoy writing academic papers, you don't have to, if you don't want to do surgery, you don't have to, you don't have to do any of these things to make money, money is everywhere, you just have to tap into what works best for you where your heart is, and fully commit until you get there do work that you're passionate about. The money will follow develop the resilience that's necessary to be a business owner. And you can create a life that you want that you've built with your own two hands, and be really proud of the legacy you leave behind. You have to become brave enough to claim what you want. And if you need a shortcut, that's where coaching and mentorship is available to you. So I told you, I was going to do something really special for this 100th episode. And that special something is I am going to be gifting five, one hour call to one of you to help you move towards the next step in your direct care journey. If you're a specialist interested in direct care, and you've been hesitating, you've been listening, but hesitating on taking the next step, you're waiting for the right time to do this, take this as your sign, there really is no right time to do the thing that you want to do, I'm going to have a form for you to complete with the link below. I want you to take advantage of this just fill out a couple questionnaire and apply for this free giveaway.
Dr. Tea 18:58
This is my thank you for listening for being amongst one of the 7500 downloads of this podcast. This one hour coaching call is typically $500 to do consulting work like this, but it's going to be given to you for free with no obligation, no risk, and we're just going to have a conversation. I'll help you put together their cards that you might still need clarity around. And that's it. A free coaching call in exchange for listening to the podcast. Sometimes all you need is a conversation to get you the clarity and the confidence you need to get closer to your dream life. I would love to be able to help you through that. So this is something that you don't want to wait on. I don't know what I'm going to give another announcement for a giveaway like this. Don't miss out on this opportunity to get that free call. The link is down in the show notes. That's all I've got for this week. I hope you're off to a great new year. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for being here. I will catch you next time. Take care.
Dr. Tea 19:58
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. Tea 20:17
And lastly, if you remember nothing else, remember this be the energy you want to attract. See you next time.