Ep 111 – A New Model for Primary Care with Dr. Ken Rictor

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“Well, the one thing was the change in family medicine, and we started seeing family physicians being pushed out of the hospital systems in place of hospitalists.  And you had the decision to make whether you wanted to stay inpatient or you wanted to stay outpatient, and I chose to do outpatient, and that was fine, that was good, I thought I could make my biggest impact that way.   But where we really started seeing the changes was- it was taking more and more effort just to keep your head above water financially.  You had to see more people, you had more paperwork to do associated with that, more coding, more procedure coding, more regulations, more control of the insurance industry that was requiring you to do more and more to do the same job.  And so, I started seeing there’s going to be a critical mass here, there’s going to be a point where I cannot physically see as many people as I need to see and keep my head above water, as it would be.  And then there started to be a breakdown care, where I was not able to spend the time I wanted. I was habitually running an hour to an hour and a half late because I was trying to give that care and the system was not allowing me to do that.” – Dr. Ken Rictor

Dr. Ken Rictor is the founder, owner and sole physician at Scotland Family Medicine, a Pennsylvania-based family medicine practice using the Direct Primary Care (DPC) model.  Dr. Rictor graduated with honors from the University of Maryland Medical School in 1985 and completed his residency at the Washington Hospital in Washington, PA in 1988.

Upon the completion of his residency, Dr. Rictor immediately opened his own private practice and enjoyed helping a broad scope of patients as a family physician.  Over time, he witnessed the healthcare system making dramatic changes and the role family doctors becoming more limited, with many private practices being bought out by larger hospitals.   As insurance contributed to increasing costs, Dr. Rictor fought to keep up with increasing paperwork and overhead, and decreasing time with patients.

After 25 years of practice, he made the choice to convert  to a Direct Primary Care model in an effort to enhance his patients’ experience and reduce overall cost.  Since making the switch, he’s noticed an improved relationship with his patients, and his patients have benefited from high-quality, affordable care.

I sat down with Dr. Rictor after attending the Hint Summit in San Francisco to learn how he made the choice to switch to Direct Primary Care, the benefits he and his patients enjoy from this model of practice, and some of the commonalities he sees between CrossFit and DPC.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What led Dr. Rictor to pursue a career in medicine
  • His early experience with family medicine and the changes he’s seen in primary care and healthcare over his career
  • How he saw other family practitioners changing their practice and shifting towards salaried positions at hospital-owned practices
  • How Dr. Rictor got into Direct Primary Care (DPC)
  • What is Direct Primary Care
  • How DPC works alongside insurance
  • The advantages of DPC for patients and physicians
  • The patient experience and costs of using a DPC model versus an insurance-based model
  • What making the transition to DPC was like for his practice and his patients
  • How Dr. Rictor heard about CrossFit and came to join an affiliate, and the changes he’s experienced since joining
  • His athletic background
  • The commonalities between Direct Primary Care and CrossFit
  • Where Dr. Rictor hopes to see primary care in the next 5-10 years
  • How people can find DPC practitioners
  • Three things Dr. Rictor does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Dr. Rictor

You can follow Dr. Rictor on Facebook and on YouTube at Curbside Consult with Dr. Ken Rictor.


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This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market delivers your favorite healthy food and lifestyle products to your doorstep at 25-50% lower cost than you would spend in the grocery store. Visit http://www.thrivemarket.com/ph to receive an exclusive offer from Thrive Market for being a listener of Pursuing Health: 25% off your first order + a free 30 day trial!

This episode is also brought to you by Siete Foods. When Veronica Garza was facing a series of major health challenges as a teenager, her entire family of seven jumped on board to help. Together, they adopted a low-inflammation, grain free diet. As a Mexican-American family living in south Texas, they couldn’t imagine life without tortillas and it wasn’t long before Veronica came up with a delicious solution and Siete Foods was born. Visit www.sietefoods.com to try some of their delicious grain-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly tortillas, tortilla chips, quesos, and hot sauces yourself and use code Julie19 for 10% off your order.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


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