43: Leaving Burnout Behind for Concierge Medicine with Dr. Becky Lynn

by Jen Barna MD | Physician Job Change, Podcast, Work Life Balance

“Burnout is a real issue and I feel like I got to that point where I was like, ‘I just can’t do this anymore.’ And I don’t think it’s a good way to practice medicine. Especially what I do, cannot be done in a five to ten minute visit.” -Dr. Becky Lynn, MD, MBA, IF, NCMP

In this episode of DocWorking: The Whole Physician Podcast, Coach Jill Farmer talks with Dr. Becky Lynn. Dr. Lynn is the CEO and Founder of Evora Women’s Health, a concierge private practice. Jill and Dr. Lynn discuss what it was like to leave traditional medicine to open a concierge practice. We find out why Dr. Lynn made this choice, what the benefits are, if there were any challenges along the way, and she shares her tips for anyone considering delving into the concierge business model. 

Dr. Becky Lynn is the CEO and Founder of Evora Women’s Health. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

You can find her website here, her Facebook here, Instagram here and Twitter here.

“Can you tell us about your experience transitioning from a busy life as a practicing OB/GYN and professor full-time into starting this all new practice on that concierge model, and what that journey has been like for you? Is there one thing that surprised you most about your experience of making this transition over the last few years to this new practice?” -Master Certified Coach Jill Farmer

“Well, I’m a planner. I used to be full-time faculty at St. Louis University. I left there and I spent all this time creating a business plan. I had this vision of how things were going to go. When I look back, I’ve been in private practice concierge for a little over a year, my business looks nothing like what I expected. So I almost have to laugh at that. I’m really happy about what it’s morphed into. But when you start, you have this idea but then as things go along, things change. And then, not to mention I started in February 2020, so right as the pandemic hit. So if you can imagine, nothing was working as planned in April, May and a lot of March, too.” -Dr. Becky Lynn

“So being somebody who really likes to have a plan and have things turn out the way that you planned them to be, what you discovered is you have to plan and kind of hold it loosely, right? Because you have to be willing to pivot.” -Master Certified Coach Jill Farmer

“Pivot, and you have to be flexible. You know, I really think that you try something and if that doesn’t work you move onto your Plan B. You sort of learn along the way, and that’s one of the things that I really enjoyed about my new practice, it’s all about learning. I’m a lifelong learner. I love teaching, I love learning. So this has definitely been very eye-opening for me, a challenge for me, I love it, apart from the fact that I get to practice medicine in the way that I want to practice medicine. Where I have time with my patients, where I call them directly. The business model of concierge really works well. I just wasn’t really happy with the short visits where you didn’t have time to get to know your patients and get to the root cause of their issues or talk about preventative medicine and just being healthy. So apart from the fact that I love this model, I do love learning. So it’s been a challenge and a good one.” -Dr. Becky Lynn

“I’ll also say that we do a lot of things here that are nontraditional. So I think that’s been kind of fun to try things that are different, not as far as treatments or anything, we’re pretty evidence-based and academic. But right now the way that it works we don’t have one person usually specifically assigned to the front desk. My medical assistant will go to the front, bring the patient back, check the vitals, all that, but then they check out in the room. She goes back into the room and does all the check out in the room. Our office phone is a cell phone. Why not? We’re concierge, you can reach us after hours on the weekend. So it’s been kind of interesting to be able to think outside the box and not say, ‘Oh we have to have this many people at the front desk and this many people at check out.’ And not taking insurance gives us a lot of leeway to run as efficiently as possible. So it’s been fun and interesting.” -Dr. Becky Lynn

“When I was figuring all this out, I felt horrible for my patients who couldn’t afford me. Part of it is not fair. If you have money then you can spend an hour with your doctor. If you don’t, you get a five minute visit and if you have a second problem you have to come back and pay another co-pay six months from now. So I did, I felt bad. And I really enjoy working with my patients and I like the patient/physician relationship. And I just couldn’t bear to abandon my patients. So what I did is, I started a giving back to the community day. So that is the second Tuesday of every month. I see patients in my office regardless of ability to pay. So they can pay nothing, they can pay something, it just runs the whole gamut. I tell everybody they can bring me cookies, nobody’s brought me cookies yet, but I’ll take them! It’s just whatever they feel is appropriate. And I like doing that. That way I don’t feel like only the wealthy can have time with their doctor or a thorough history taken or a thorough exam or talk about prevention and lifestyle and things like that. So that’s one way that I’ve handled it. I started that from day one and I still have my giving back to the community day.” -Dr. Becky Lynn

If you like this episode, you may enjoy: Physician Burnout: Proactive Steps You Can Take Today

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