The direct primary care (DPC) healthcare delivery model is growing in popularity with independent physicians and with patients, but the concept is still relatively new. For the provider who is considering launching a DPC practice or converting a traditional practice, having a mentor can help guide them through the process. Sharing your experience through mentoring can benefit the next generation of DPC providers as well as their patients.
Experienced DPC physicians recommend that new providers do not attempt to “go it alone,” but rather that they should tap into the knowledge of those who have been successful with their practices. For you, as a potential mentor, that means you can positively influence not only the individual provider but the growth of the DPC model itself.
There are some considerations to keep in mind as you plan to mentor another physician, however, to ensure that you are not overwhelmed by running your own successful practice while also spending the time and effort to ensure your experience as a mentor is effective.
You will need to establish:
Whether you are the right fit for your potential mentee
How you will mentor, including what knowledge you have to share
How often and for how long you will spend time with your mentee.
Working with a mentee will take time, so it’s critical to be sure you are the right fit from the beginning of the relationship. It will be helpful to have a conversation with the individual to find out more about what they are hoping to gain from your mentorship. Do they want to know more about the business side of the DPC practice? How to set membership fees? How many team members they will need to hire?
Learn more about how to efficiently manage your practice operations by collecting patient payments and setting up recurring memberships in Elation.
Your mentee may have questions more directly related to the healthcare delivery side of running a DPC practice. Should they offer an in-house pharmacy? How many patients are ideal and how much time should they plan to spend with each patient?
Then you may need to come to an agreement as to how much time you will be able to spend with your mentee. Depending on your schedule, availability, and willingness, you might want to set a specific time to meet, at a set frequency. You might also invite your mentee to visit your practice to see first-hand how you run it.
Set expectations early. Your mentee should understand as much as possible about what you have to offer and how much you are willing to offer, in terms of time and knowledge. In other words, is the mentee looking for advice and guidance that is not in your specific area of expertise? Is the relationship a good fit between what the mentee needs and the experience you can share as the mentor?
Determine each of your goals and then track the progress you are each making toward those goals. Review the mentoring relationship on a regular basis to ensure it is beneficial for all involved. Set an endpoint for the regular, formal meetings and decide whether they should transition, after a certain amount of time, to a more informal, ongoing mentoring relationship.
Most importantly, remain open minded as you share your experience. You may actually learn something new yourself.