I am a final year student of The College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. I became interested in the Direct Primary Care conference because I wanted to learn about health payment models. In my country, the most popular health payment model consists of out of pocket payments. We have generally been taught to believe this is archaic, and insurance is the best way to access healthcare. I was quite surprised to find out that a group of physicians in the United States were going back to a semblance of this “archaic” model, and I was interested in learning about what they were doing.
I attended The DPC-Deconstructed conference held in Tampa, Florida, February 2-3, 2017. It presented the basics of DPC to beginners and reviewed already established DPC physicians. There were many speakers and panelists, most of which were already established in a DPC practice.
“I was quite surprised to find out that a group of physicians in the United States were going back to a semblance of this “archaic” model, and I was interested in learning about what they were doing.” ~ ‘Laolu Odufuye, final year medical student, Ibadan, Nigeria
In all of the speakers I could hear a passion for preserving the doctor-patient relationship and dismay as to how this sacred relationship is being ruined by insurance companies and government regulations. Dr. Brian Forrest spoke about the basics of establishing a successful DPC practice. Dr. Steve Manning was already in mainstream practice in his hometown when he decided to opt for DPC, because he realised he was being run by insurance companies and the hospital protocols where he worked.
Dr. Stevenson talked about establishing DPC in a rural community. I realise that rural America isn’t the same as rural Nigeria, but I got a few points. Basically, you have to think outside the box—and DPC allows you do that. Other speakers included Dr. Chad Krisel, who talked about how to establish a practice straight out of residency. Susan Bovisotto laid out the logistics required in establishing a DPC practice. She also talked about managing resources.
I got a lot from the conference. It changed the way I think about financing healthcare. I realised that although the out of pocket model in Nigeria has a lot of demerits, remodeling it to be more DPC-like could be a better solution to our healthcare problems than insurance.