Guest: Dr. Joseph Barry
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Dr. Barry received his medical degree from the Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. He is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. He believes you must treat the whole person and not just the presenting problem. He believes there is a real and important connection between your brain, your body and your spiritual self.
Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, Dr. Joseph Barry, MD discusses the types of services offered with a personalized care program.
Health Professional Radio – Personalized Care Services
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio, thank you so much for listening today. I’m your host Neal Howard and in studio today with us is Dr. Joseph T. Barry – received his medical degree from the Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn New York. And completed his 3 year Internal Medicine Residency program in Boston at St. Elizabeth Hospital in 1987. He is board certified in both Internal Medicine and in Geriatrics and he believes that you must treat the entire person and not just their presenting problem. He is a practitioner of personalized care or as some term it “concierge medicine.” How are you doing today Dr. Barry?
Dr. Joseph Barry: I’m doing fantastic, thank you Neal.
N: Thank you so much for joining us today. Concierge or personalized care, could you tell our listeners exactly what is personalized care and how it differs from traditional medicine?
B: Well personalized care is basically “time management.” And like you sign up for a personalized care medicine or a concierge practice, you’re going to be giving access to your doctor in terms of time – time to discuss your problems, times to review all your meds, times to make sure that all the preventive stuff have been taken care of.
N: Uh huh.
B: Most doctor visits are 10-15 minutes. What is it – is it a sore throat, is it cholesterol, is it blood pressure, let’s just get the problem in and out, hopefully the patient won’t raise any other issues. It will be a quick visit, I still got to go through all the simple stuff at the lab, I’ve got to do all the stuff for billing, I’ve got to do all the stuff to the insurance companies, I’ve got to do all these other pieces of paperwork just to try and get paid a smaller and smaller fraction from what was I was paid last year. And I think that just got to be very frustrating for doctors and beat the light. And so when I divorced that model and I said I wanted to do something different. And I turned to this company, they said “If you charge a little extra, you can have the time to spend with people to try and really make a difference in the bottom line of their health.” By giving them time to focus on what’s important which is their “lifestyle.” If you could get someone to eat better, to get someone to exercise more, that’s far more healthy for them than any pills you could possibly give them. And study after study has shown that lifestyle modification, which we doctors only give lip service to, literally and medically modify your risk for heart attack, cancers, stroke, depression and anxiety.
N: Do you find yourself prescribing much less medication or were you someone who didn’t believe in that much medication to begin with?
B: I’m not a big believer in pills, but I prescribe about as much and I think most doctors will… If you’re a diabetic, you take a couple of diabetic pills, a cholesterol pill, a pill to protect your kidneys etc. Most with heart disease take 2 or 3 or 4 pills. But again I try and tell them, “These pills, if you look at studies these pills are nowhere near as important as trying to get more exercise or as trying to get a better diet.” And most doctors only have a minute or two to discuss that, at all day. Honestly if you’re gonna find out what you had for dinner last night – how much food, how much vegetable, how much meat, are you aware of the new diet guidelines that say “that fat in your diet isn’t bad.” What does your other doctors saying about your weight and can we do something about it? Do you want to do something about it? Part of this thing is … I would like to use a term called “mindful medicine.” I tell my patients to get up every morning and put themselves in charge of their health. It’s not what’s gonna happen today, it’s “I’m in charge of my weight. I’m in charge of my blood pressure, and I get to determine what happens today.”
N: Oh okay. Now is this a new concept? Or is it a product of the Affordable Care Act? Or is this something that has been in the works for several years now and just coming to fruition?
B: This was kind of started way before the Affordable Care Act.
N: Uh huh.
B: And it’s very common in bigger city down South like in places in Florida, places in DC.
N: Uh huh.
B: South Carolina, North Carolina. When more and more doctors have said “I can’t practice this way. I can’t give that amount of care, if I’m seeing people every 10-15 minutes.” And I think the combination of patient dissatisfaction and position unhappiness is what got signatureMD or all concierge practices is going.
N: Okay. Well let’s talk about signatureMD, you are a practitioner at signatureMD. Exactly what is signatureMD and what are the services that you offer?
B: Well signatureMD is a holding company, it’s kind of back office for doctors to help us stir from the old practice of medicine to this more aggressive, more personalized care medicine with more emphasis on prevention. So they help me with the book keeping, they help me with the billing, they help me with setting up the practice. And then they said “Go ahead be a doctor, we want nothing to do on that part. You’d be the doctor and we’ll take care of all the back office stuff.” And that’s allowed me to have to do things that I would … necessarily in my written contract with my patients. My written contracts says “I’ll be there for you when you need me. You can call me the same day or next day,” … and all that stuff. But what I’ve done is gone beyond that because I think this is a lifestyle thing. So I take walks with my patients with the local…park. This weekend we can we took a bus trip to the casino, people were saying “It’s not that very healthy.” And I say “It’s not about the activity, it’s about having an activity, about people getting together and the camaraderie and the socialization because mental health is as important as physical health.
N: Absolutely. As important as spiritual health.
N: Now as we wrap up, let our listeners know where they can find more information about the signatureMD. And how can they get involved as you have?
B: Well you can have obviously look up signatureMD on the internet and it will give you a list of the doctors that might be in your near area. It’s gonna keep growing and growing over time, it’s not gonna get smaller. In my area in upstate New York… they can always look for me on Facebook, the Dr. Jo Barry.
N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. It’s been a pleasure talking in studio today with Dr. Joseph Barry. His interests include chess, reading, old movies, he hikes as well as having a long standing interest in the martial arts, a husband and father of two kids living in Lafayette. And he’s a proud member of the Optimist club as well. And we’ve been here talking about some of the types of services offered with a personalized care program as Dr. Joseph Barry conducts there in New York. It’s been great having you here with us today Dr. Barry.
B: Thank you for the invite.
N: Thank you so much. Transcript and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.com and you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.