By Melissa Major, NP

Our original intent in opening a direct primary care (DPC) practice was to provide affordable healthcare for the uninsured. Although we have met this need for many patients, most people come to us carrying medical insurance. These people were not looking for an alternative to insurance. Instead, they sought access to care.

One patient, when asked why she was not using an in-network provider, offered, “My doctor’s nurse flat out told me they don’t take care of sick people anymore.” She is referring to the common practice of passing acute care needs on to the closest urgent care facility due to a lack of primary care availability. Another patient found us online after her doctor retired. After waiting three months to see her newly assigned doctor, she was met in the exam room by a mid-level from the practice, reporting that the doctor would likely see her next time.

Then there’s the patient who just needed someone to “hear her out,” detailing a series of unexplainable symptoms she has been having for nearly six years that had led to multiple specialists and thousands of dollars (mostly in duplication of services) with still no clear diagnosis. Frustrated and “having lost all faith in healthcare,” she decided to try DPC. Sitting with her in my office recently, I asked if she was happy with her direct care experience, even though we had yet to reach a conclusive diagnosis. She replied, “I have realized my frustration was never about needing a concrete diagnosis. It was simply the need to feel heard. And I know you hear me.” As we near the end of our first year, two things have become clear: Good medical insurance does not equate to good medical care, and patients need to feel heard.

At MBody Healthcare, our approach to patient care begins with listening. We have designed an environment that is welcoming and feels like home. There are no lab coats or other emblems you may initially think of when a doctor’s office comes to mind. We will likely be casually dressed in t-shirts and jeans when you arrive. Although unconventional, this is simply an outward expression of who we are and by no means an indication of us not taking your healthcare needs seriously.

We encourage the same from you. Come as you are. We prefer people to be honest, upfront, and comfortable with making all their needs known. This fosters connection and provides a fantastic catalyst for positive outcomes. We are imperfect humans who may not necessarily fit the stereotype of “doctor,” but we know medicine and are passionate about reaching those who need us. We truly believe that in order to see quicker results with longer lasting changes, medical providers must be more closely connected to those they are trying to help.

MBody Healthcare
10414 Jackson Oaks Way
Knoxville, TN 37922