“What’s scarier to you: Being in a career that you spend time, money and energy to do and not be able to do it the way you want to for the next 20 years or taking a couple of years where it may be rough, you may have to take a loan out, you may have to moonlight, to end up coming out on the other side practicing medicine the way you always envisioned and that made you apply to med school in the first place?”
—Dr Jeff Gold, Founder, Gold Direct Care
To embark on one’s own as a direct care doc can be daunting these days, especially when one considers the challenges that must be faced. This is the question Dr Jeff Gold posed to himself when thinking about leaving his nearly decade-old successful practice owned by a local hospital system and starting his own direct care practice. In some way or another, every direct care doctor faces the question when deciding on the model.
In addition to “just” caring for patients, there’s business planning, marketing, regulatory hurdles and, not-to-mention, financing. After four years of medical school and three years of residency, it would seem at first thought that such matters are best outsourced to administrators. After all, we trained to be doctors didn’t we? Not administrators.
Like most other young primary care doctors straight out of residency, Dr Gold took this path, starting a practice under the management of a major hospital system. But after traveling that path he came to realize that this was not what he went to medical school for. Having to see up to twenty patients per day, take time from patient care to fill in insurance codes, and see patients in office for reimbursement, he, like many other primary care doctors, felt like the system of insurance-based care got in the way of caring for his patients. So he made the jump to direct care .
While daunting at first, the decision has allowed him the opportunity to practice medicine with a freedom and joy that he’s never experienced. While at times the challenge of running a business and having to market oneself can be daunting, he notes, being able to help his patients when they need it and how they need it is priceless. This is why Dr Gold embarked on the “road less traveled,” and he has “not regretted it one iota.”
[1:21] Dr Gold talks about his direct care practice.
[02:17] Where Dr Gold’s practice is located.
[03:01] What kind of demographic population Gold Direct Care serves.
[06:42] How long did it take from Dr Gold’s decision to start a direct care practice to starting his practice.
[10:05] What hurdles Dr Gold faced transitioning to direct care .
[13:30] Particular moments during a day’s work that motivate Dr Gold.
[16:55] Many direct care doctors recount similar experiences of being inspired by the model.
[19:14] Dr Gold offers to host other medical students, residents and doctors.
Dr Jeff Gold is a DPC doctor in Marblehead, MA. Prior to opening his DPC practice, Gold Direct Care, he worked san a primary care doctor at the Parters Healthcare System for 8 years.