Note: All patient names have been changed to protect their privacy.
We are back with another “day-in-the-life” from one of our Direct Primary Care physicians. This time we are spotlighting Dr. April Calderon out of our Cedar Park office. As it is for Dr. Larson, Dr. Calderon’s day is full of variety. Rest assured, each individual knows they will receive the full attention they deserve. Below is an outline, in her own words, of a recent Monday for Dr. Calderon.
9:00 am – COVID-19 follow-up
I had an acute follow-up with “Amy”. She is currently recovering from COVID-19, but over the weekend she had gotten a little bit worse and I was able to talk to her “telemedicine style” on Saturday. She was able to get ahold of me though the urgent line, and I was able to give her some advice and then send a prescription to the pharmacy to help her get through the weekend.
Following up on a Monday is something I routinely do when there are patient needs over the weekend.
9:30 am – Labs follow-up
Had a call with “Drew”, a new patient who recently joined the practice at Cedar Park. He hadn’t had any bloodwork done in two or three years because he was afraid of the cost. We were able to talk about his sugar levels and discuss changes that he could make prior to potentially using medication.
10:15 am – Removal of IUD
This was actually a long-term patient of mine who recently started her own business, but she could not find affordable health care or a doctor she trusted as much. She was surprised to find that the IUD removal was free to our members.
With Direct Primary Care at Euphora Health, any skill that I have, I am able to offer for free as part of our membership.
11:15 am – Anxiety consultation
“Joe” is a patient who had anxiety and was given Xanax by one of his last doctors. He was continued on the prescription without ever being offered a different perspective or prescription. We talked about different medications that he could use and also lifestyle changes he might consider to reduce his anxiety.
This is right up my alley and as a DPC doc, I’m always looking to help the patient and educate them on better lifestyle choices and about less risky medications.
12:00 pm – Birth control consultation
This patient at the Cedar Park clinic was someone who had never used birth control previously because she thought it might be too expensive. However, once we checked on GoodRx, we were able to give her a coupon for her birth control that made it easily affordable.
Most people are very surprised when we show them the cost of medication through coupons based apps.
12:30 pm – More COVID-19 questions
A patient “Sally”, who’s mother recently had COVID-19, just wanted to know when she could physically see her mom again and what would be the best precautions to take. We spent 20 minutes discussing the nuances of how she could reach her goal while minimizing risk.
1:15 pm – New patient visit
“Dan” was a new patient and this was his first experience using Direct Primary Care. We met for 45 minutes and it was nice because we were able to discuss his diet, exercise, and sleep in detail. He remarked that he’d never had such a long conversation, that didn’t seem rushed, with a doctor before.
These are the types of comments Dr. Larson and I love to hear and is the reason we chose the DPC model of healthcare.
2:15 pm – Testosterone consultation
Had a visit from “Billy” who just wanted to discuss testosterone. This topic is a bigger discussion than most realize. He had some questions in regard to potential side effects he could have from the use of testosterone. We also discussed getting blood work first and understanding his current diet.
2:45 pm – Ear discomfort
Next I spoke with “Mia”, who had left ear discomfort. We were able to avoid prescribing antibiotics because it was more of an irritation than infection. I was also able to instruct her mother on how to help with the pain.
3:00 pm – Low back pain follow-up
This quick follow-up was with a patient who had low back pain. We had avoided higher dose medications and basically started on home therapy. He was able to get a lot of relief from home physical therapy and so we decided it was not needed to prescribe anything additional.
We have common physical therapy handouts that guide the patient through the therapy routine and we send this through our secure messaging app.
3:15 pm – New Patient Visit
I had another new patient visit with “Tina”. Again, we set aside about 45 minutes to make sure we covered all of her needs. Our discussion included a brief explanation of inhalers and blood pressure medications. She could not believe that the medications were so affordable.
4:00-5:00 pm – Clean up and head home
During my final hour in the Cedar Park office, I spent some time cleaning up and communicating with patients. I was able to refill prescriptions and answer a few questions from our mobile app. After the final checks are made, it’s off to spend time with the family.
As you can see, my day is full and varied. It is also very fulfilling because I know I am able to give my patients the attention and help they deserve to live healthier lives.