Dr. Paul Thomas at AAFP FMX 2019

Paul Thomas MD at the AAFP FMX 2019 in Philadelphia

Paul Thomas MD at the AAFP FMX 2019 in Philadelphia

This week, I’m at the AAFP’s FMX for the DPC Summit and it’s been a ton of fun - this is the largest gathering of Family Physicians and it’s been inspiring to be a part of the conference.

Further, it's been an honor to speak about Direct Primary Care and the growing movement of physicians across the United States who have adopted this practice model over the traditional fee-for-service system.

Today, I was able to speak to family doctors who are considering the Direct Primary Care practice model and they brought a ton of great questions and a ton of positivity to the conversation.

Tonight, we'll be at AIA Philadelphia for a DPC mixer and tomorrow, we'll be hosting a DPC Member Interest Group meeting as well as two panel discussions on Direct Primary Care.

Full schedule for the event is here.

Anyways, I always want these posts to be valuable for my readers - I’m trying to help everyone grow the best DPC practice that they can. So a lesson learned from this trip is to post about your travels to conferences on social media. This gives your patients an opportunity to root for you as you lean and grow in your DPC practice. I wrote a post on my personal Facebook and Instagram account about my trip, and I had a ton of people reacting, commenting, wishing me well, and otherwise supporting me in my journey. When you get people excited about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, they can become your biggest cheerleaders, champions, and advocates.

Thanks for reading and have a great day, and if you’re in Philly, say ‘what’s up!’

- Dr. Paul

Dr. Paul gettin’ loose before the presentation. Photo cred: Shane Purcell

Dr. Paul gettin’ loose before the presentation. Photo cred: Shane Purcell

The StartUpDPC Show Episode 1: How this Direct Primary Care Doctor Successfully Leveraged His Personal Brand

Building a Personal Brand can help you build your Direct Primary Care practice. By having a trusted personal brand, more people will be willing to sign up with your Direct Primary Care service.

Paul Thomas, MD and Kendrick Johnson, DO talk about personal branding for Direct Primary Care doctors on the first episode of the StartUpDPC Show.

Paul Thomas, MD and Kendrick Johnson, DO talk about personal branding for Direct Primary Care doctors on the first episode of the StartUpDPC Show.

But, many of you reading this are unfamiliar with how to build a personal brand. So, I wanted to show an excellent example of how to get this done.

Dr. Kendrick Johnson is a Direct Primary Care doctor with Ark Family Health and he recently made an excellent post on LinkedIn, which helps build his personal brand. The post is titled “Why this Doctor Had to Escape the Healthcare System.” During the video, he tells a personal story, shows real emotion, and even vulnerability. He becomes a relatable person and builds trust with his audience.

Because of this, we thought he'd be a perfect first guest on our StartUpDPC Show, where we will be interviewing thought leaders in the Direct Primary Care field and asking them some tough questions.

In our conversation, we talk about building a Direct Primary Care Practice, leveraging Social Media to get this done, the importance of Google Reviews, sustainable growth rates for Direct Primary Care practices and more.

One of the things that really struck me is that Dr. Johnson used a relatively inexpensive technology, an older-generation iPhone, to shoot his LinkedIn video. Take this as a lesson: you don’t need to hire a camera crew or an agency to produce high-quality content. Instead, you need to look into the camera (on the back of your iPhone or other smartphone) and tell your story with authenticity.

Thanks for watching and have a great day,

- Dr. Paul Thomas with StartUpDPC

Positive Reviews for our Presentation at the AAFP DPC Summit 2019

In June 2019, I was invited to speak about personal branding at the AAFP DPC Summit 2019 in Chicago. It was an incredible event with hundreds of Direct Primary Care doctors from across the country sharing best practices with each other.

Dr. Paul Thomas speaks at the AAFP DPC Summit 2019. His talk is about using your personal brand to grow your Direct Primary Care practice.

Dr. Paul Thomas speaks at the AAFP DPC Summit 2019. His talk is about using your personal brand to grow your Direct Primary Care practice.

My presentation was entitled "Building a Personal Brand to Grow your DPC Practice" and I talked about the tools that you can use to attract and retain patients for your DPC practice. Basically, if you can build a strong personal brand, people in your community will trust you with their health care and want you to be their doctor.

For the Effectiveness of Faculty (ie. knowledge of subject, organization & clarity, effectiveness of teaching methods), I was rated as excellent by 90.8% of the attendees. The remaining 9.2% rated me as very good. I had no good, fair, or poor ratings.

I received so many positive reviews for the presentation that I gave and it was really validating for the amount of time, effort, and energy that I put into these events. Anyways, here are some of my favorite notes from my colleagues:

-Excellent speaker! This was very helpful, and he’s got a fantastic, enthusiastic delivery!

- Great success story with outside-the-box marketing.

- Really interesting presentation. Eye-opening and useful for more than my practice.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

- Paul Thomas, MD

How to Build Your Personal Brand for your Direct Primary Care Practice

Building a Personal Brand can help you build your Direct Primary Care practice. By having a trusted personal brand, more people will be willing to sign up with your Direct Primary Care service.

But, many of you reading this are unfamiliar with how to build a personal brand. So, I wanted to show an excellent example of how to get this done.

Dr. Kendrick Johnson is a Direct Primary Care doctor with Ark Family Health and he recently made an excellent post on LinkedIn, which helps build his personal brand. The post is titled “Why this Doctor Had to Escape the Healthcare System.” During the video, he tells a personal story, shows real emotion, and even vulnerability. He becomes a relatable person and builds trust with his audience.

Video of Dr. Kendrick Johnson posted on LinkedIn - this is a great example of how you can build a strong personal brand that will help you attract new patients to your practice.

Video of Dr. Kendrick Johnson posted on LinkedIn - this is a great example of how you can build a strong personal brand that will help you attract new patients to your practice.

So, the first part of building a strong personal brand is building brand recognition. Brand recognition is exactly what it sounds like: the ability of a consumer to recognize one brand over other brands. In other words, it's the ability of consumers to identify your product by its attributes and design elements.

But, in this case, it’s you and your face, your body, your beliefs, and the stories you tell. And no, you do not need to have a perfect face, body, belief system, or stories, but you do have to share these elements (aka your personality) with your audience.

So, in the example above, Dr. Kendrick Johnson is introducing himself to his audience by telling a story about himself. He even tells a very touching and relatable story about his father.

Importantly, he Dr. Johnson uses a medium that many people use - LInkedIn, a very popular social media platform. This sort of professional discussion about the role of a physician in society plays really well on this medium. In fact, LinkedIn is probably the perfect medium for this video.

And, because Dr. Johnson delivers a strong message with a great medium, he has great results, and this is based on the engagement that this post has received - over 100 reactions and several comments with thousands of post views.

The third part of this formula is consistency. If Dr. Johnson can create unique, engaging, thoughtful content that demonstrates his trustworthiness and compassion on a regular basis, he’ll build a strong personal brand. If this is a one-off thing, Dr. Johnson’s efforts here won’t be as impactful.

Consistency is key. Consistently generating high-quality content helps you win on social media platforms.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more content and more informational blog posts and courses.

Sincerely

-Dr. Paul Thomas

One Daily Habit to help you Market Your Direct Primary Care Practice

If you want to market your direct primary care practice, the best thing to do is to document what you do on a daily basis with pictures and short videos. This is a daily habit that can be very powerful for the growth of your personal brand and your business brand.

This is really important because you build a relationship with your audience, and they get to know and trust you. By seeing you consistently speaking about our sharing about your business or yourself, your audience will slowly get to know who you are. They will create a clear and consistent image of who you are as a person and as a doctor, and what your business offers.

Also, this is absolutely free! It only takes a few minutes of your time to get a photo or a video of you in your office doing what you do on a daily basis. Have your assistant or a physician colleague in your office help you with this. Have them hold your camera or iPhone or smartphone between you and the light source (window) in your office and share what’s going on that day.

You will get so many offers from people trying to help you to market your practice. If you have a smart phone and 30 minutes each day, you can absolutely do this on your own. The more you practice, the better your content will become. The point being, people who offer to shoot a glitzy video for you will charge you $2,000 - $3,000 for the video. AND the end result will not be as powerful as consistently telling your story on your own terms.

If you shoot a video with your smartphone, you can upload the video file directly from your phone to your YouTube Channel in a matter of minutes. You can then copy that YouTube video link and paste it into a blog post (just as I’ve done here) and this creates a loop. If customers find your YouTube Channel, they also find your Blog, and if they find your Blog, they also find your YouTube channel.

Keep it short and simple - address one topic at a time! Do not overwhelm your audience with too much information. If you remove a toenail, share about that one thing. If you lowered the cost of medications, share about that one thing. If you try to do too much in this format, it will be distracting or disorienting for your audience.

Remember, you have the attention of your audience for about 7 seconds or so.

If you want to learn more about this, take our Sales Funnel course where I show you more tips and tricks to grow your audience and get more patients to enroll in your practice.

Thanks for watching and have a great day,

-Dr. Paul Thomas

How to Consult with Specialists as a Direct Primary Care Doctor

How to Consult with Specialists as a Direct Primary Care Doctor

This is a big one for folks taking the plunge into Direct Primary Care - how do you as a Direct Primary Care doctor consult with specialists? Because you’re not “in-network”, how do you get patients the care they need outside of your office?

There are a number of ways to go about this and I’ll tackle three of them in this blog below. This blog post was prompted by a community question:

Message: Dr. Thomas,
I am about to start a DPC clinic. I completed family medicine in 2005 and am tired of the headache and hurdles of traditional primary care. One of the biggest things holding me back is how to refer to specialist? In one of your videos--you mentioned using a specialist service(for difficult ekg reading, endocrinology..etc). What was the name of that service?
Also--how do you deal with preventive stuff---like colonoscopy? stress test--if needed?

Any help in this category is greatly appreciated.

I am glad you got away from the insurance companies. I own a medical and day spa and will incorporate the monthly fee to cover facial/massage on the months the members do not need medical care.

Thanks again,

Option #1: Use the time that you have

Because you’re a Direct Primary Care doctor, you now have more time to read up on diagnoses and more time to guide your patients through the care that they need. By leveraging the increased time that you have, you can take care of more problems in your office and therefore have to refer less often.

Option #2: Develop close relationships with specialists in your community

If you are able to develop close relationships with specialists in your community, especially the private and non-hospital-affiliated specialists in your town, you can discuss cash prices for your patients.

I try to keep in close contact with my physician colleagues, and that’s part of the reason why I attend Wayne State University School of Medicine alumni networking events. Many of the opportunities that you find to lower the cost of care for your patients will come from your network.

I try to keep in close contact with my physician colleagues, and that’s part of the reason why I attend Wayne State University School of Medicine alumni networking events. Many of the opportunities that you find to lower the cost of care for your patients will come from your network.

For example, by working with a local gastroenterologist in our region that owns a free-standing endoscopy suite, we were able to get cash prices for Esophagogastroduodenoscopies and Colonoscopies. They are roughly $1,000 each, which pays $400 for the facility, $300 for the Gastroenterologist to perform the procedure, and $300 for the Anesthesiologist.

Another example is Cardiology. We worked with a local cardiologist to get pricing on common tests that we need for our patients. Specifically, the Echocardiogram is $199, an Exercise Stress Test is $99, and a Holter Monitor is $99. These are very reasonable prices and they help us make better decisions for our patients.

Additionally, you can request visit prices/appointment prices from the specialists in your community.

Option #3: Leverage an online or e-Consult platform

As a Direct Primary Care doctor, you have the option to consult with specialists via online or e-Consult platforms. The platform that I, and many DPC doctors, use is Rubicon. Rubicon allows you to write up a consult and include PDF files or image files - EKGs, skin lesion photos, pathology reports, lab tests - and send this information to the consultant/medical specialist of your choice. The Rubicon platform has over 100 specialists and sub-specialists from Cardiology (Electrophysiology, Pediatric, Heart Failure, Lipid Disorder) to Endocrinology, Plastic Surgery, Transgender Health, and Women’s Health. The spectrum of consultants is quite broad here and the responses are very often thoughtful and helpful.

This is a great service and I enjoy using it, but be aware that you are liable for any decisions that you make for your patients based on using this service. Finally, if malpractice litigation was brought against you or Rubicon for an outcome related to using this service, you would be responsible for not only your only legal costs, but the legal costs related to Rubicon’s involvement. Caveat Emptor, read the Indemnification clause from Rubicon’s Contract:

14.      INDEMNIFICATION; LIMITATION OF LIABILITY:

14.1.    General Indemnity: RMD and CUSTOMER will each indemnify, defend and hold harmless the other and its officers, directors, employees, agents and Specialists from and against any and all direct third party claims, costs or expenses (including reasonable out-of-pocket attorneys’ fees), and payment of damages awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction in a non-appealable final judgment or agreed to in settlement (“Claims”), resulting from the gross negligence or willful misconduct of the indemnifying party; provided, that the indemnified party promptly notifies the indemnifying party of the Claim, gives the indemnifying party sole control over the defense and settlement of the Claim, and reasonably assists the indemnifying party in the defense of the Claim at the indemnifying party’s expense, provided such settlement provides for a full release of all Claims against the indemnifying party and its affiliates. For clarity, CUSTOMER’s indemnification obligation will include indemnification for the gross negligence or willful misconduct of all of the Users and Drafters.

Yeesh.

Thanks for reading, thank you for the question, and let me know what topic you’d like me to tackle next!

-Dr. Paul Thomas with StartUpDPC

What are the Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Direct Primary Care Practice?

What are the Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Direct Primary Care Practice

This week, I received another question from a prospective Direct Primary Care doctor. The heading was “Nuts and Bolts” and these are some great questions to ask. First, thank you for your question, dear reader. Second, if you (audience) are reading this and have your own questions for me, feel free to send them to paul@startupdpc.com and I’ll answer them fully. Without further ado, here’s the question in full:

Dear Dr. Thomas,

I just finished reading your book this past weekend. Thank you! You instilled in me a tremendous motivation. May I ask you a few questions? I planning my transition into DPC and your responses will be greatly appreciated.

1. What EHR do you use?
2. What scheduling system do you use?
3. What recurring billing company do you use?
4. What phone system do you use? Who covers your phone when you are away?
5. How big does my office need to be?

Thank you so much.

______ ______, MD, MBA

These are all fantastic questions, so let’s dive in!

Which EHR or EMR should you use for your Direct Primary Care practice?

Before I give you the answer to this, I want to tell you that it’s not the decisions, it’s the decisiveness. Meaning that there are literally thousands of decisions that you will make on your way to starting a Direct Primary Care practice, and it’s better to make the best possible decision more quickly than waiting months until you have the perfect answer.

And making imperfect decisions is a hard skill for physicians to learn. In business, decisions must be made quickly and often. That’s why executives are called executives - they literally kill off other possibilities and make a decision. If you spend too much time hemming and hawing over which EMR to use, you’re losing valuable time focusing on building your brand, building your business, and recruiting new patients.

That being said, there are two leading Electronic Medical Record Systems in use in the Direct Primary Care space. They are ATLAS MD and HINT + ELATION. Personally, I use ATLAS MD because it allows me to take notes on my patients, inventory and dispense medications, as well as hold credit/debit/bank information and charge my patients on a recurring/monthly basis.

Many DPC Doctors use ATLAS and many DPC Doctors use HINT + ELATION. There is no right answer because there is no perfect system for your Direct Primary Care practice. Each EMR has its flaws, omissions, and issues, but on the whole they both are tools that allow you to take good care of your patients in this model.

Which scheduling system do you use for your Direct Primary Care practice?

For scheduling, there are 100 ways to schedule patients for your practice. For me, I prefer that my patients text or email me to request appointments. That way, I can triage them via text and then get them in for an appointment in a timely manner. I use Google Calendar to get this done, which allows me to input the time, the location (our office address), their email address so that they get a reminder email, as well as instructions on how to get to our office. We sub-lease a one room office, so our location is slightly difficult to find.

Another way to schedule patients would be through our EMR, ATLAS, which has a built-in scheduling tool. This also has an automated reminder email system and you can personalize the messaging in your appointment reminders. This system can sync with iCal or Google Calendar.

For me, I use Google Calendar and text messaging with my patients to get them onto the schedule. I’ve found this combo to be the most streamlined approach with the least amount of back and forth.

For me, I use Google Calendar and text messaging with my patients to get them onto the schedule. I’ve found this combo to be the most streamlined approach with the least amount of back and forth.

Another way to schedule would be to have a front desk staff person who takes calls and inputs your appointments into your iCal, Google Calendar, or Outlook Calendar.

Still another way is to use an app like Orchestra One and have patients select their own appointment times. The reason I don’t use this tool is that I prefer to have total control of my schedule (within reason). I’m gonna be at the office most days from 9 am - 5 pm, and I want to control who I see when and for how long. Someone may just need a med pickup, but if they had access to Orchestra One, they could make a 30 minute appointment for this, which would be unnecessary and not the best use of my time.

Which recurring billing company do you use for your Direct Primary Care practice?

As mentioned in the Electronic Medical Record system answer, I use Atlas for my recurring billing. Other DPC Doctors use Hint and Elation.

Additionally, I use Square to get payments for Medical Records release documents. Often times, the law firms and insurance companies who request these documents offer to pay $30 - $50 for records. To collect this money, I’ll take a credit card payment over the phone and put that information into Square and run the charge. It’s a good way to collect revenue for one-time payments as well.

Finally, I’ll use QuickBooks to send some invoices. There’s an invoice tool within QuickBooks that allows me to charge for certain services to outside vendors. This is good for Business to Business transactions.

Which Phone System do you use for your Direct Primary Care practice?

There are 100 ways to answer the phone. The easiest is to get a phone number for your business and use Google Voice. That is a customer-facing number for non-members. Once members sign up for the practice, I give them my cell phone number and encourage them to either text or email me for the fastest possible response.

Our Direct Primary Care practice was featured on WXYZ Channel 7 in Detroit. We regularly text our patients to streamline our workflow. This gets around the issue of having a robust phone system. Many doctors use a VOIP system like Ring Central or 8x8 to manage calls.

Our Direct Primary Care practice was featured on WXYZ Channel 7 in Detroit. We regularly text our patients to streamline our workflow. This gets around the issue of having a robust phone system. Many doctors use a VOIP system like Ring Central or 8x8 to manage calls.

I discourage phone calls unless it’s an urgent manner because it takes more time to answer these questions and takes me away from the task in front of me. Now, keep in mind that this is for a solo doctor with no staff. As of right now, I do not have a traditional land line and I take every call via my laptop (Google Voice) or my cell phone (Google Voice forwards calls to my cell if I don’t answer right away on my laptop).

If I had a front desk person/medical assistant, their primary job would be fielding phone calls and taking notes on requests from patients and filtering that information back to me via the Electronic Medical Record. Another great aspect of ATLAS is that you can have a second user on your account who can assign TASKS or check boxes to be completed based on requests like this.

Many doctors in the Direct Primary Care space use some sort of VOIP system. You can read more about general phone systems for business from this INC article. You can read more about VOIP Systems in this PCMag article. Most doctors that I’ve talked to go with Ring Central or 8x8.

How big does my office need to be to practice in the Primary Care practice model?

For me, I’m practicing out of a 12 foot by 16 foot office, or roughly 190 square feet. I have a desk where I consult with my patients, some chairs, and an exam table. I have a bookcase with medications, a closet with procedure supplies, a refrigerator with insulin and vaccines. I have some open shelving with papers, books, and magazines as well as syringes, needles, shipping supplies, etc…

The point is this: you don’t need much more than your brain and your stethoscope to be successful in this Direct Primary Care model. More to the point, you don’t need a big, fancy office to deliver excellent primary care services and you don’t need a big, fancy office to attract paying customers to your Direct Primary Care practice.

There are so many of examples of doctors practicing out of small, sub-leased, retro-fitted, and otherwise atypical spaces. One doctor even practices out of his family home, with patients entering from one side of the building and his family using a different entrance. It’s really up to you how big or how small you want to be.

Our Plum Health DPC office in Southwest Detroit. It’s a one-room office and roughly 190 square feet. But, it gets the job done.

Our Plum Health DPC office in Southwest Detroit. It’s a one-room office and roughly 190 square feet. But, it gets the job done.

However, I am happy that I started in a small space. I rented my small office for $600/month and this has allowed me to grow at my own pace, without a great deal of pressure because of a high rent and a higher overhead. Having a smaller space helps to keep your overhead low and helps you to be more profitable and therefore more successful.

That being said, I’ll be growing into a larger space later this year as I’ve added a second doctor to my staff and it’s the right time for me to take the next step.

Thanks for all of your questions, and have a great day!

-Dr. Paul Thomas with StartUpDPC

Our one-room office at Plum Health DPC, our Direct Primary Care office. Your Direct Primary Care office does not need to be large in order for you to deliver excellent primary care services. You can do a lot with a little in the Direct Primary Care model.

Our one-room office at Plum Health DPC, our Direct Primary Care office. Your Direct Primary Care office does not need to be large in order for you to deliver excellent primary care services. You can do a lot with a little in the Direct Primary Care model.

How Personal Branding can help you grow your Direct Primary Care Practice

Intro

Tonight, I went live with the Direct Primary Care Alliance and talked about how personal branding can grow your Direct Primary Care practice. This is a huge topic, and I tried to tackle as much as possible in under an hour!

Currently, I’m working on my second course on this subject, Personal Branding for Direct Primary Care Doctors. If you haven’t seen our first course on Building a Sales Funnel, check it out here.

Why it’s important to Build a Personal Brand as a Direct Primary Care Physician.

2019 Dr. Paul Thomas on Building a Personal Brand to grow your Direct Primary Care Practice.png

Why is it important to build a personal brand as a Direct Primary Care Physician? Simply, building a personal brand is a great way to attract new patients to your practice. People/your potential customers spend a lot of time on Facebook. Instagram, and LinkedIn and these can be places where you can show your authentic self, where you can demonstrate your caring and compassion, where you can develop genuine relationships with people through social media.

Building a personal brand is all about communicating your character to your community or to your target audience. You can share about your successes and failures, your hopes and dreams, what you believe in, and why you decided to start a Direct Primary Care practice.

When you do these things, when you share about yourself in an honest and transparent way, your story and your character will start to resonate with people in your audience. They will identify with you and start to trust you for the person that you are, the caring, compassionate, and authentic physician in their community.

When you are a primary care doctor, you’re asking people to trust you with their most important resources: their health. By communicating your character, your ethos, and your values through these social media platforms, you can start to build that foundation of trust.

Question from the Community: How did you work with Veterans?

My name is Dr. Paul Thomas with StartUpDPC and I'm here to help you start and grow your Direct Primary Care practice. Our question this week comes from a Direct Primary Care doctor in the community. They want to know more about the health care services that we provide for Veterans in our community through our practice, Plum Health DPC.

“Hello again. This is _______ from _____ DPC in _______, __. I just saw that you have partnered with the VA to provide care for veterans. I currently have 4 patients who are vets that come to me and I would love to be able to help more of them as we all know this is a significantly under-served population. If you have a minute I am very interested in a few things regarding this partnership:

1. How you went about getting this partnership

2. How you are reimbursed (vets or VA paying?)

3. Did you have vets that were currently on your panel that were pulled into this (as I assume there is some sort of gov reimbursement)?

4. Anything else worth knowing if able to get into this?

If you have some time I'd love to see your thoughts as I think this would not only help my practice grow, but provide a much needed alternative for vets besides going into a broken Fee For Service community system.

Thanks so much, _____.”

I love this question! You want to help veterans with their primary care services, and I absolutely love that. That’s what I’m out here doing as well. To be clear, I’m not partnering with the VA or the Veterans Administration.

What I did, was I partnered with a small business called Veterans Care Network. I developed a relationship with Shane and Jenny who run the Veterans Care Network. We built a relationship over time and they grew to trust me and want to business with our practice, Plum Health. They developed an application process, and selected two veterans to send to our practice.

You can read more about it on my practice’s blog, Plum Health. I go into more detail with our (first ever!) YouTube video.

StartUpDPC tackles how to work with Veterans in our latest blog post! It starts with developing relationships.

StartUpDPC tackles how to work with Veterans in our latest blog post! It starts with developing relationships.

How to Get Media Coverage for Your Direct Primary Care Practice

A big question that I get from Direct Primary Care doctors is how to get media coverage for their Direct Primary Care Practices. This is a huge topic and I’m going to bite off a small piece here. The big idea is to be media ready. Like the old saying, where preparation meets luck, you have opportunity.

How to Be Media Ready

2018 Paul Thomas MD on Flashpoint on WDIV with Devin Scillian and Frank McGeorge 04.png

Being media ready can take many forms, but it looks like practicing in the medium in which you want to be featured. For example, you want to be on TV? Why not have a weekly YouTube show? You’ll learn how to look into the camera, remember your talking points, and engage with your audience. You’ll learn about posture and effective communication. Some people in the Direct Primary Care community do this very well.

If you want to be featured on the radio, start by being featured on local or regional podcasts. Again, you’ll learn how to focus on your talking points, annunciate, and get to the point. There’s an art to being interviewed and it takes practice to get good at it.

For example, because of my activities on Social Media, I’m often asked to appear on Podcasts. I will participate in virtually any podcast because I love to talk about Direct Primary Care, I like to help people build their audience for their podcasts, it’s a great piece of content for me and my business, and it boosts my Search Engine Optimization.

Here’s my latest podcast interview: https://primarycarecures.com/2019/07/18/episode-25-dr-paul-thomas/

Reach Out To Journalists

A little secret: journalists are people too! They have deadlines and things that they need to accomplish. They have social media channels, and followers, and egos just like everyone else. One way to get onto the radar of a journalist is to follow them on social media. You can like and retweet their content, and overtime, you can respond to their content and start a genuine conversation around mutual interests.

Is there a health care reporter in your town? Do you follow them? Do you contribute thoughtful comments to their stories? Do you like/share their content on your social media channels? These are easy actions to take to communicate with journalists - and they cost nothing other than some of your time.

Once you’re on their radar, how can you package the work that you do so that they’re likely to write about it? And that can be accomplished via a Press Release. You’re basically packaging a blog post or a short article about yourself in to the language of a Journalist.

Sometimes You Just Get Lucky

I took a course at the Build Institute called Co-Starters. It was a cohort of about 12 people in Detroit, all starting unique businesses. We’d meet up every week and review the curriculum - marketing, identifying potential customers, leveraging capital, etc… As a part of the Build Institute’s 10 year anniversary, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion with the Media present.

After the panel discussion, I talked to a few different reporters and one of them came to our office to learn more about our practice. That turned into one of the biggest pieces of content and biggest magnets for new patients: our interview on Detroit’s NBC Affiliate aka Channel 4 News.

This is what I mean about when Preparation meets Luck, you have Opportunity. If I had said “no” to the panel discussion, I would have missed this opportunity and I probably would not be nearly as successful as I am today.

Thanks for reading and best of luck with your Direct Primary Care practice!

This will become a longer-form course shortly as it is one of my most common asks - “how were you able to have your Direct Primary Care practice featured on TV/Radio/Newspaper?”

-Dr. Paul Thomas with StartUpDPC