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Hidden Gems: Meet Azra Hussaini of The Doc’s Here

Today we’d like to introduce you to Azra Hussaini.

Hi Azra, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Our story began one day sitting at the kitchen table wondering what it would be like to see patients giving them as much time as they and the family wanted and to give medical care the way it ought to be. Being raised and trained in Pakistan as a physician, this is the norm; to integrate family within a patient’s and physician relationship.

Just like that, we decided the name of our medical practice to say, “literally, the doctor is here.”

At your service and to help you!

At the core of the practice was the idea “ no patient left behind and no one refused because of their health insurance status or ability to pay.”

Access to health care is a birthright and should be that way.

It’s a shame that while the US is the leader in medical advances – an astounding percentage of population shuns doctor visits and puts their health in jeopardy due to the intimidating nature of current health care setup.

We decided we are going to attempt to change this state of affairs one doctor and one medical practice at a time.

With zero start-up money and only using household expenses running income and an old Subaru Outback, company was set up; we could not and still can’t afford an office, equipment, staff, etc.

Relying only on my car, medical experience and a stethoscope, website was established; friends and family told to spread the word whom we initially saw as patients.

One review and one patient at a time, the practice was growing.

We saw mostly patients for free in the first year.

With tax return money the next year due to the losses incurred, we hired experienced website design, SEO and better EMR services.

This leads to a wider audience.

With each patient experience, we strove to do even better next time.

Now, we are a reality – something that we wished for years and thinking, it’s not possible to be so idealistic.

Where there is will and dreams, there is a way.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Setting up a medical practice, especially with our philosophy will never be smooth. We were discouraged by our colleagues that we didn’t have a physical office, didn’t enroll with leading health insurance companies except Medicare or that Medicare doesn’t pay that much or simply that this wishful thinking and going against the system will never work; or that 50% of businesses fail within first five years; or to survive Covid with this type of practice will never work.

Visited many practices, gave them visiting cards to send patients and our colleagues were reluctant because cash only practices are difficult to maintain.

Some of the colleagues didn’t want to partner which was our initial planning, which is when we decided to go solo.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about The Doc’s Here LLC?
This medical practice is rooted in providing medical care to every person who wants it and seeks it. We will never refuse a patient because of their inability to pay.

We focus on equity, inclusion of all patient groups and provision of care for stigmatized conditions like mental health and to serve groups that are often ignored.

We are a mobile physician service – we go to the patient when they want.

We specialize in seeing home bound patients whether due to dementia, physical disabilities, have young children, don’t have a car, don’t have money, don’t know who to ask for help or unable to leave the house due to anxiety.

We will see anyone even if there is no physical or medical reason; perhaps the patient is just heartbroken and needs some encouragement or reassurance due to a temporary situation.

This medical practice provides MD driven talk therapy.

We are different from other medical practices as we focus on wholesome care for the patient.

We are also a concierge service and see affluent patients who have difficulty taking time out for doctor’s visits due to their work or other obligations.

We give individualized and custom attention to each of their groups of patients which makes us unique in serving a wide socioeconomic spectrum.

We want other medical practices to follow our example and stand up to barriers to health care by denouncing draconian rules of health insurance companies that habitually deny essential services and medications to critically ill patients.

That is why we are a cash only practice and each patient is free to pay either nothing or full fee.

Our website also provides a lot of education about various health concerns e.g., high BP or depression, and in an effort to make accessible the information so patients can make an informed choice, we also are particular that our website is compliant with the AAA (highest level) of WCAG 2.1 standards.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
My daughter Alizay had been the foundation to give me courage, stamina and energy to start this type of medical practice model and keep going. She has designed the website, logo and does all administrative work for the practice. She also comes with me on some visits. My son believes in my idealistic approach and tells me I am not crazy or unrealistic.

My friends/ family from Pakistan tell me that I am not just any physician from Third World; they tell me I stand equal to physicians of Johns Hopkins or even better for doing this. My tax CPA says I will be able to bring this change because he believes my practice is onto something big.

Patient Pop and AthenaOne EMR has been instrumental in revamping my website and believing in my ideas reflected in the text of the web page; giving critical discounts; endless meetings and access to all levels of technical help.

I give hours to a local urgent care AllCare whose owner George has supported me via lending order sets and templates from their EMR free of cost and allowing me to spend more time charting so as to spend more time talking to the patient than on laptop which has really refined my bedside manners.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Alizay Jalisi

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