My favorite thing about primary care is the relationships. I enjoy getting to know my patients and their stories. My goal is to help them transform their lives and improve their physical and emotional health. After three years of practicing outpatient family medicine, I was struggling to find balance in my own life. I was always at least an hour behind schedule in my clinic because I gave each patient as much time as they needed, even if I was already two hours behind. I spent 13 hours per day at the office, barely saw my family, was chronically sleep deprived, and ate a diet high in sugar and other processed carbohydrates. I was able to empathize with my patients, but I felt ill-equipped to advise them when I was still searching for answers for myself.
At this point, I discovered Direct Primary Care, and I knew it was the answer I had been looking for to be the best doctor I could be without sacrificing myself or my family. In the meantime, I starting prioritizing my own health. I changed my diet, drank more water, got more sleep, got more exercise, and started meditating, which has made a huge difference in my energy level and mental state. I also changed my schedule to see fewer patients each day, so that I could still devote plenty of time to each patient, but also get home to see my family. When I opened my own Direct Primary Care practice in October 2018, I was no longer acting on behalf of myself and my family. I took the leap for my patients who deserve the very best I have to offer, and that is DPC.
Emily O’Rourke, MD