Plum Health DPC Mentioned in Business Insider

This week, I was delighted to see Plum Health DPC mentioned in two different publications. The first was an excellent, comprehensive piece on Direct Primary Care in Business Insider by Lydia Ramsey.

Ms. Ramsey and I have spoken over the phone about the Direct Primary Care movement, and she asked several insightful questions about our practice in Detroit, Michigan. She has spoken with roughly 16 other DPC doctors and synthesized a great summary of the movement in her article.

I loved the chart she used to compare and contrast traditional Fee-For-Service medicine with Direct Primary Care services:

Direct Primary Care vs Traditional Doctor's Visits.jpg

Next up, we were mentioned in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel article on Direct Primary Care written by Ron Hurtibise. The article discusses Direct Primary Care and the efforts in the Florida Legislature to make DPC 'legal' in that state. 

Fortunately, in Michigan, Direct Primary Care has been 'legalized' via the efforts of State Senator Patrick Colbeck and his Senate Bill No. 1033. I have placed legal and legalized in quotations above because practicing Direct Primary Care or retainer-based medicine is not illegal, but having laws on the books like Senate Bill No. 1033 in Michigan and the proposed HB 37 in Florida removes any potential legal challenges and allows doctors who want to practice DPC medicine a clear path.

And we need more doctors having a clear path to the type of medical practice that they can enjoy and sustain for the long term. We need more doctors practicing primary care medicine. One of the arguments against DPC is that the panel size is smaller in the typical DPC practice as compared to the traditional Fee-for-Service practice. In the Sun-Sentinel article, a part of my LinkedIn article was quoted:

"As to the charge that Direct Primary Care contributes to the shortage of primary care doctors, Paul Thomas, a doctor with Plum Health DPC, wrote in an essay published on LinkedIn.com last year that the model might actually encourage more medical students to become primary care doctors, rather than pursue higher-paying specialty fields.

"A Direct Primary Care practice with 500 members can provide a primary care provider with more income than some earn with 3,500 patients at a fee-for-service practice, Thomas wrote. And the increased time for personal interaction eliminates “role strain” and allows the provider to address patients as whole people, he said.

I believe that Direct Primary Care practices provide physicians and patients with a better primary care experience, and will allow doctors to practice for longer periods of time without retiring early or leaving the field completely because of burnout. I'm happy to see the DPC movement spreading across the country, and I'm happy to be quoted in these two publications.

Thanks for reading!

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Guy Gordon Discusses Direct Primary Care on WJR

Today, Guy Gordon and Senator Patrick Colbeck discussed Direct Primary Care and the potential impact that it can have on the health and wellness of Michigan residents as well as the sustainability of the Michigan economy. The discussion was held on WJR News Radio (AM 760).

My name is Paul Thomas, M.D. and I am a family medicine doctor practicing in Southwest Detroit. I believe that healthcare should be affordable and accessible for everyone. I also believe that we can achieve this goal through direct primary care medicine.

It is a dream of mine to see and help more family doctors and primary care physicians transition from the fee-for-service model of healthcare to the direct primary care model. This will allow more doctors to deliver compassionate, truly patient-centered care with transparent pricing in our great state of Michigan. 

To this end, I will be speaking at the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians statewide conference in mid July in Kalamazoo, Michigan about this very topic.

Thanks so much for reading and watching, and have a wonderful day!

– Dr. Paul Thomas, M.D.

Most Visited Family Medicine Physician in Detroit

In February, HealthGrades sent us a note informing us that we had one of the most visited Family Medicine Physician pages on their website. 

It was really cool to see that we were in the 97th percentile nationally and the 95th percentile in Detroit, Michigan for page views on HealthGrades in 2017. I think this is due to our services at Plum Health DPC being so highly rated on the HealthGrades website. As of this post, we have 54 Five Star reviews on HealthGrades! 

Because of these rankings, our service is pushed to the top of the HealthGrades algorithm, and that's probably why we have so many page views. 

Thanks for reading!

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Plum Health Featured on the Detroit Rising Podcast

This week, Plum Health DPC was featured in Crain's Detroit Business in an article by Senior Reporter Chad Livengood. There is an accompanying audio recording of the interview, here

The Detroit Rising Podcast focuses on business and commerce and the intersection of Public Policy in Detroit. It was a pleasure to be featured on the podcast and on the Crain's Detroit website. Additionally, Chad Livengood brings excellent insights along with his investigative reporting. 

In the audio segment, Mr. Livengood states, "one of the biggest challenges to rebuilding Detroit is getting service-based businesses to set up shop after decades of disinvestment." And, Plum Health DPC is one of those service-based businesses, and it was exciting to discuss how we're making health care more affordable and accessible in Detroit.

During the interview, we talk about the Direct Primary Care business model, the availability of primary care physicians in Detroit, and what the City of Detroit is doing to improve the quality of life in the city. 

Thanks for reading and listening, and have a wonderful day,

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

2018 Plum Health Direct Primary Care Crains Detroit Business Chad Livengood.png

A screenshot from the Crain's Detroit webpage featuring our interview.

 On February 20th, we were featured on the front page of the Crain's Detroit Business webpage, you just might have to squint to see us!

On February 20th, we were featured on the front page of the Crain's Detroit Business webpage, you just might have to squint to see us!

Family Doctor Accepting New Patients in Detroit Michigan

During the busy days and weeks of the year, sometimes we forget to make one thing clear - we are a family medicine service in Detroit, Michigan and we are accepting new patients in our family medicine clinic. 

Family Doctor Accepting New Patients in Detroit Michigan

My name is Dr. Paul Thomas and Plum Health DPC is a family medicine clinic in Southwest Detroit and we are accepting new patients. As a family medicine doctor, I take care of patients of all ages and stages. This means that I can take care of children or pediatric patients as well as adults.

What We Treat

We treat a broad range of conditions, from the acute care concerns like sore throats to coughs and colds as well as influenza. We also treat high blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Additionally, we perform procedures like Pap tests, skin lesion removal and biopsies, as well as rapid strep test, rapid influenza testing, and rapid mono testing.

Why We Are Different

We are different because we're available, affordable, and accessible. Our service is just a click away, so don't hesitate to send us a note here or through any of our other social media channels.

Thank you so much for reading and watching, and have a wonderful day!

– Dr. Paul Thomas, M.D.

Detroit Medical Students Run a Free Medical Clinic

For the last 6 years I've been volunteering at a free medical clinic on Detroit's East Side called the Robert R. Frank Student Run Free Clinic or the SRFC. The SRFC services Detroit residents who are uninsured, and as their name implies, it is run by medical students.

Last night we had a stakeholders meeting and I am continually impressed by these medical students and their diligence, commitment, and compassion. 

If you'd like to help these students serve more uninsured Detroit citizens, you can donate here, participate in their upcoming 5K, or participate in their upcoming Golf Outing (date TBD)

Heart Health in Detroit Video

Because it's February and it's heart health month, I shot a short video about high blood pressure, changes in blood pressure thresholds, and what you can do to keep your heart healthy!

Heart Health on SEEN Magazine

Today is Valentine's Day and it's a great time to talk about heart health aka cardiovascular health. We were invited to write a blog post for Detroit's SEEN Magazine and it is now live and currently on their front page! Head over to their website to read the full article, here.

Thanks for reading,

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

2018.02.14 Detroit SEEN Heart Healthy.png

Morris S. Brent Lectureship at Wayne State Medical School

I'm excited to announce that I will be giving a lecture to my medical colleagues at Wayne State University School of Medicine's Sesquicentennial Celebration. A part of that Sesquicentennial Celebration is the Medical Alumni Reunion Weekend, which features the Dr. Morris S. Brent Lectureship. 

 Image taken from Wayne State University's website, https://alumni.med.wayne.edu/mard

Image taken from Wayne State University's website, https://alumni.med.wayne.edu/mard

My topic is "WSU SOM - 150 Years of Medical Excellence & Innovation" and I'm proud of the rich history of Wayne State. A few notable facts: 

  • What is now WSU SOM was originally founded as the Detroit Medical College by five US Civil War Veterans in 1868, thus 2018 is the year of the Sesquicentennial Celebration
  • WSU SOM is the birthplace of the mechanical heart pump used in the world's first successful open heart surgery in 1952; it was a collaboration between General Motors and Forest Dodrill, MD
  • In 2015, WSU SOM remains on the forefront of medical research as they opened the Integrative Biosciences Center, which aims to study and eliminate the health disparities affecting Detroit's residents.

After the break, there is a description of the Morris S. Brent Lectureship series in greater detail. Thanks for reading, and have a great day,

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

2018 Morris S Brent Lectureship.png

The Dr. Morris S. Brent Lectureship was established at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1989 by Brent General Hospital in honor of the late Morris S. Brent, M.D., to provide quality lecturers for continuing medical education during Medical Alumni Reunion Day. Dr. Brent, grew up in Detroit, attended Cass Technical High School and received two degrees from Wayne State University, a bachelor's degree in 1927 and a medical degree in 1931. He spent much of his career in general practice, specializing in surgery and obstetrics. In 1942, he founded Brent General Hospital, a non-profit corporation, and served as its administrator until his retirement. He married Anne, a dental hygienist, and they had two sons, Burton Brent, a graduate of Chicago Medical School, and Robert Brent, a graduate of the WSU School of Medicine (Class of 1960).

The Dr. Morris S. Brent Lectureship will take place in the Richard J. Mazurek, M.D., Medical Education Commons Margherio Family Conference Center. This year's program provides continuing medical education credits and feature presenters from our own Wayne State family of physicians who will speak on a variety of interesting topics.
 

Be Safe When you Celebrate

Note: this is sponsored content. If you'd like to sponsor content on our blog, leave us a note, here.

Drunk driving is an action that comes with plenty of potential repercussions. From injury to suspended licenses and financial chaos, the aftermath of drunk driving can be catastrophic. It's a decision that not only directly affects you, but your loved ones, and anyone who happens to be around you on the road. 

Did you know that thirty percent of all fatal Michigan automobile crashes in 2015 involved at least one person who was under the influence? The good news is that drunk driving has generally been on the decline in the past five years. This is most likely due to the popularity of ride share services and professional transportation.

It seems that most people are aware of the negative effects of drunk driving and the consequences that come along with it. Then, why is it still an issue? There are a lot of factors that go into any given decision, but transportation accessibility seems to be the missing link here. However, with ride share services and professional car rentals becoming more affordable and accessible, drunk driving has the potential to continue to decrease dramatically. 

It's simple. The best way to protect yourself and others is to think about your method of transportation when you know you'll be drinking. You should always know your limits and commit to your safety when drinking! Preparing and organizing a plan for safe transportation doesn't have to be a complex process, either. 

It's easier than ever to order a ride share service from your phone when you're in a pinch. Limousines and party buses are another avenue to consider if you'll be in a group setting for a Detroit event or celebration with friends. Splitting the overall cost of a limo or party bus is the perfect way to make safe transportation affordable for everybody involved, and you'll be able to enjoy modern features like stream ready stereo systems and television screens.

In the end, safety should always be your main concern. If you're looking for a ride, check out this Detroit Limo Information.

Plum Health on Jibs Podcast

This week Plum Health DPC was featured on Jibs Podcast, hosted by Jibran Ahmed. On the podcast he will be interviewing movers and shakers in the Detroit community and discussing topics that can move the city forward. 

From Jibran: "I'm hoping to create a platform that showcases the entrepreneurs, creatives, and hustlers that are moving Detroit forward. In order to make Detroit the city of the future, it's important to share with the world that this city embodies gusto, grit, and innovation."

During our conversation we talked about Plum Health and it's origin story. We also talk about why it's important for business people to build relationships in the community and how those early relationships can translate into a prosperous business.

We dove into the difference between Direct Primary Care and traditional or fee-for-service medical practice and discussed why more doctors aren't practicing in the DPC model of care. We also highlight the many community resources in the Detroit ecosystem that enable businesses in the City and region to thrive. 

Thanks for reading and watching!

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Paul Thomas MD TEDxDetroit Video

THE DAY HAS FINALLY ARRIVED! Our talk at TEDxDetroit has been posted on YouTube! Check it out here: 

In case you missed the original blog post after the TEDxDetroit event, check out my thoughts on speaking during the event, here

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Detroit Businesses are Humming in the Motor City, via Inc.com

This week, Inc.com released a video in collaboration with Fiverr. It featured Detroit businesses, including Shinola, Excelerate America, and Plum Health DPC! They had this to say about the video:

Detroit's entrepreneurial scene is exploding with companies who are growing for good. Which is why this rejuvenating city was the perfect stop on our Doers Across America tour. The energy, vibrancy, and warmth was always present when meeting the incredible Detroit entrepreneurial community. There was so much to celebrate and learn from these resilient doers, and by the end of our time there, it was clear why Detroit is the embodiment of the “comeback kid.” 

You can find the full video, here, or in the YouTube link below:

Yes! Detroit's entrepreneurial scene is thriving and I was happy to be a part of this feature! The crew did a marvelous job filming and editing this piece on a tight time schedule - they brought a high degree of professionalism and the video is informative and interesting.

It's an exciting time to be an entrepreneur in Detroit - there is indeed a ton of energy, excitement and attention paid to this community of growing businesses. However, I would like to acknowledge all of those that make up the Detroit small business ecosystem that weren't featured in this video. I know that I would not be successful were it not for the thriving scene that I have immersed myself in. 

I'm hinting at a greater point here, which is best illustrated in an article by Ron Fournier, published in Crain's Detroit Business from October 2017: "Amid Detroit's post-bankruptcy resurgence, the money and attention heaped upon startups in downtown and Midtown threatens to overshadow long-running businesses in Detroit's neighborhoods. That startups are often run by young, white Detroit transplants arriving at the crest of an economic wave and "been-ups" are often owned by minorities who struggled through the worst of times feeds a "two-Detroits" narrative."

So, to all of those 'start-ups' and 'been-ups' in the community, thank you! Let's keep working together to make Detroit beautiful and prosperous!

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

 One of the screen shots from the Inc.com and Fiverr video featuring Plum Health DPC

One of the screen shots from the Inc.com and Fiverr video featuring Plum Health DPC

 Another still shot from the Fiverr and Inc.com collaboration video!

Another still shot from the Fiverr and Inc.com collaboration video!

Last Day For Open Enrollment

Hello all! It's December 15th and the last day to sign up for health insurance. Health insurance is different from Health Care. What I provide at Plum Health DPC is health care - visits with the doctor, wholesale medications, at-cost labs, convenience, etc...

But you also need health insurance - this is a financial tool to protect you from bankruptcy in case of major accidents, illnesses, or injuries. If you have cancer, a heart attack, a stroke or are involved in an auto accident, you need health insurance to cover these costs.

The best way to get health insurance? Go to HealthCare.gov and choose a plan that's right for you. 

Thanks for your time, thanks for reading and watching! And, sincerely, if you need help with this, give me a call!

- Dr. Paul 313.444.5630

These Mobile Businesses are Changing the Game in Detroit

Running a successful business is tough. Running a successful mobile business can be even more difficult! This week, I participated in a panel discussion that took a deep dive into what it takes to run a successful mobile business in Detroit.

The panel was a part of Build Institute's Open City series, and featured four business owners: Lisa Waud of Pot and Box, Alleah Webb of Drifter Coffee, Ebony Rutherford of Trish's Garage, and Paul Thomas, MD (that's me!) of Plum Health DPC. The panel was expertly moderated by Sarah Donnelly of TechTown Detroit

 Build Institute's Open City Panel, featuring Ebony Rutherford, Alleah Webb, Paul Thomas MD, and Lisa Waud. The panel was moderated by Sarah Donnelly. The event was hosted by Build Institute's Christianne Malone.

Build Institute's Open City Panel, featuring Ebony Rutherford, Alleah Webb, Paul Thomas MD, and Lisa Waud. The panel was moderated by Sarah Donnelly. The event was hosted by Build Institute's Christianne Malone.

2017 Build Institute Ebony.png

Ebony Rutherford of Trish's Garage talked about the choosing the right events to attend, citing that it's easy to lose money by purchasing table space at a poorly attended event. However, turning lemons into lemonade, she would take that time at a slower event to work on her social media production and marketing.

Alleah Webb of Drifter Coffee has built a successful business around an Instagram-able/Pinterest-able mobile coffee house. Her business is among the most unique in Detroit, creating a mobile coffee experience for her audience.

2017 Build Institute Alleah.png

Alleah often participates in public events, like Noel Night, Open Streets Detroit, and MoPop Detroit, and she has also found success by catering to private events, like weddings. This all makes for an interesting story, and Drifter Coffee has gotten some great traditional media exposure, as in this Hour Detroit article

Lisa Waud of Pot and Box also created a ton of buzz from not only having a mobile flower shop, but also by creating The Flower House Detroit. In the panel, she talked about the pros and cons of operating out of a truck that can have adverse effects on their inventory. For example, when it's 90 degrees outside, the flowers can wilt in less than 3 hours if they are in the truck

2017 Build Institute Lisa Waud.png

As a business person conscious of profit and loss, she is considering the costs and benefits of continuing the flower truck operation. It's expensive to have insurance for a mobile business and it takes a lot of energy and staffing costs to operate successfully. 

 Build Institute's Open City Detroit event, held at the  Atwater Brewery , 237 Joseph Campau Ave, Detroit, MI.

Build Institute's Open City Detroit event, held at the Atwater Brewery, 237 Joseph Campau Ave, Detroit, MI.

This was an important point in the conversation! Is a pop-up business/mobile business the end goal or a means to an end? Sometimes, a mobile or pop-up business can lead to a permanent brick-and-mortar establishment. On the other hand, some entrepreneurs prefer the mobile/pop-up business model as it can greatly reduce overhead costs. 

For me, having a mobile offering in the first few months of our operation of Plum Health allowed us to operate with a low overhead while building momentum. The goal was to engage enough customers to justify leasing out an office space. Once we had enough momentum, we were able to lease out our office and build from there. 

At Plum Health, we still offer house calls to our members, but now there is an added cost to these house calls, whereas house calls were standard in the first 2 months of operation. 

All in all, this was a great panel, and I learned a great deal from my fellow panelists and from the moderator, Sarah Donnelly. To the folks at Build Institute, thanks for the invite! And I'm looking forward to the next season of Open City!

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

The Radically Accessible Doctor in Detroit

This week, we took on a new patient on a Sunday evening. They had developed a pretty serious abscess in their armpit over the Thanksgiving weekend. On their drive home, they realized that they should probably have it looked at. By searching Google, they found our clinic!

 Our new patient searched "Doctor Open Today", that's when they found Plum Health DPC!

Our new patient searched "Doctor Open Today", that's when they found Plum Health DPC!

Because it was a Sunday evening, they knew that it would be difficult to find an available doctor in Detroit. They searched "Doctor Open Today" and fortunately found our Plum Health clinic. 

I believe that health care should be affordable and accessible. Because of that belief, I am radically accessible for the patients in my care. 

So, that patient called around 2:30 pm on Sunday, and I was able to see them at 4:20 pm. We drained the abscess and started the appropriate antibiotic, dispensed from our in-clinic/on-site pharmacy. They had a follow up appointment during regular business hours on Tuesday, and was feeling much better!

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Paul Thomas MD on Small Talk with Mark S. Lee

This weekend I was featured on Small Talk with Mark S. Lee. The radio broadcast airs on CBS Radio in Detroit! I was last on Small Talk in March 2017, and since that time, Plum Health DPC has grown in size and I've been asked to participate in some speaking and community events. 

In this episode of Small Talk with Mark S Lee, we talk about the TEDxDetroit event that was held on November 9th 2017. We highlight a few of the key points that I spoke about during that event. Foremost, I believe that health care should be affordable and accessible for everyone. Second, we talk about how doctors can be overloaded by their patients' concerns, and those concerns can slip through their fingers, like grains of sand. 

We also give an overview of Direct Primary Care and how you can find a Direct Primary Care doctor near you by using the DPC Mapper online

Mark asks what's wrong with our current system? And I respond by saying that the prices in the health care ecosystem are inflated, which makes health care unaffordable for many people. 

To illustrate, I make an analogy about Health Insurance vs. Auto Insurance. If we used our Auto Insurance policies to pay for tire rotations, oil changes or gasoline, those prices would be significantly inflated. However, that's exactly what we do with our Health Insurance policies. 

It's always enjoyable being on Small Talk with Mark S. Lee, and this time was a unique experience as the Honorable Former Mayor Dave Bing was interviewed just prior to my time slot! Not only is Dave Bing a former mayor, but he's also in the NBA Hall of Fame. He continues to be an example of great leadership as he continues his work with the Bing Youth Institute, so it was an honor to be a part of the show with him.

Thanks for reading and thanks for watching!

Sincerely,

Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC

Paul Thomas MD at TEDxDetroit

This week I was invited to speak at TEDxDetroit! It was held on Thursday evening at the Charles H. Wright Museum for African American History and it was an amazing event. For those of you who don't know, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. 

From their website, TED is a nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 110 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

TEDxDetroit is one of those independently-organized events that brought together thought leaders in Detroit and Southeast Michigan. The topic: ideas worth spreading. 

It was an honor to be selected and an honor to share the stage with innovators like Kimberly Dowdell of Century Partners, Jon Rimanelli of AirSpaceX, and Marlin Williams of SistersCode

About Being Selected

I attended last year's TEDxDetroit event at the Fox Theater and I signed up for their mailing list, followed them on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. The 2016 event was inspiring and I knew that I'd want to take part in future events. When the call for presentation proposals came out through their email and social media channels, I jumped at the chance to sign up!

I believe that health care should be affordable and accessible for everyone, and I believe that idea is worth spreading. About 2 weeks after applying, I heard back! I was floored that I had been selected as a presenter for the 2017 event!

The Preparation

I started to prepare almost as soon as I found out that I had been selected. I had been wanting to read the book Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo for a while, and this was the impetus to do it! It took me about 4 days, but I went through the book once, and then re-read the first half before the event. 

There are basically 9 key points to giving an excellent TED talk, according to the author Carmine Gallo. Three that resonated with me are as follows: share your passion, tell a story, and lighten up! 

As you may know, I am passionate about Detroit, health care and family medicine and I needed to tap into that passion to deliver an excellent TED talk. I also had to find a way to weave the facts and figures that are pertinent to primary care medicine into a story about primary care medicine. Finally, I had to keep it light! I injected some humor about my childhood and my desires to become a doctor as I grew up!

It took me about 5 days to work up the chutzpah to write the first draft, 2 days to write it, and then 1 day to craft the accompanying power point presentation. 

After all that was done, I gave the presentation to a receptive audience online. I recorded myself giving the presentation with accompanying slides and then uploaded that presentation to a community of 1,000 Direct Primary Care doctors on Facebook.

They liked it. It was obvious that my passion was coming across strongly, and I had a clear thesis: Health care should be affordable and accessible for everyone.

2017 Paul Thomas MD TEDxDetroit Health Care.jpg

However, the story telling element was not as strong as it could have been and it was almost depressing! One of my colleagues told me that I should tell a few more jokes and another told me to strengthen the story. 

So, for the talk, I inserted a joke about how I wanted to be a ninja turtle growing up. The joke was well captured by Twitter user @_AlexanderJohn:

2017 Dr. Paul Thomas TEDxDetroit.png

I also told some personal stories about my family and my grandfather and his experiences in the health care ecosystem. This gave my presentation an emotional component and allowed the audience to identify and empathize with the story that I was telling. It also allowed me to weave in some facts without overloading everyone with stats and data.

In short, the night before the TEDxDetroit presentation, I completely re-wrote my original draft. This was on Wednesday night - the presentation was on Thursday! I took a few hours to re-work my slide show to sync up with the new version.

I spent all day Thursday memorizing my presentation. By forcing myself to memorize the presentation, I forced myself to raise my game as a public speaker. You see, I've never given a presentation from total memory before. I've spoken during lectures from the heart and delivered content from memory that synced up with certain slides and I've given hour-long presentations like this.

But, having only 8 minutes, I didn't have any time to meander to get to the points I wanted to get to. My timing and pacing had to be perfect! Therefore, the presentation needed to be memorized.

The night of the event

The night of the event was nerve wracking! Around 3 pm, I gave my presentation to an empty house, and I totally bombed. I just didn't have the presentation memorized well enough. It was literally just the sound guy and a handful of other presenters, and I choked. 

So, from that dry run at 3 pm until showtime at 6 pm I rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed.

At showtime, I tried not to look at the packed house before I got on stage. It was a crazy experience looking up after taking the stage at a full house, everyone leaning forward in their chairs, quiet enough to hear a pin drop, waiting in anticipation for my words. 

That's when I said "Hello, my name is Paul Thomas, and I'm a family medicine doctor," and the momentum from that first line carried me through the rest of the talk. I knew my speech really well, probably not as well as I would have liked to, but well enough to say what I needed to say. 

I'm excited for the TED team to release the presentation on their website, and I'll keep you posted when they upload it - until then!

- Dr. Paul with Plum Health DPC

PS: stay tuned for the video from TED.com, follow me us on Twitter for the release! Button below:

Healthy Aging in Detroit

Let me tell you about one of my favorite things: educating people in the community about how they can be healthier. 

Today I was invited to the Earnest T Ford Recreation Center at 10 Pitkin Street in Highland Park to speak with a group of older men. They had questions and concerns about their health and their health care, and it was a pleasure speaking with them.

This group of senior citizens wanted to know how they could better their lives, and they peppered me with as many questions as they could think of, and I loved it. I love sharing my knowledge as a practicing family medicine doc with the people in my community. 

I especially enjoyed seeing the 'aha!' moments when things started to click with those men in my audience. We talked about high blood pressure, diabetes, erectile function and dysfunction, the aging brain, exercise, osteoporosis and bone health, and the connections between these conditions. Below are some pictures from the event!

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health in Detroit, MI

Health Fair with the Wayne State Physicians Assistants

Over the past 6 months I've been hosting and teaching Physician Assistant students from Wayne State University at the Plum Health office. I've also had a few residents rotate through and a few medical students visit the clinic, some from Wayne State and some from University of Michigan. 

As Plum Health is the only Direct Primary Care practice in Detroit and Wayne County, and only one of less than ten in the State of Michigan, I find that we attract PA students, medical students, residents, doctors and allied health professionals who are thinking differently about health care and it's delivery, especially in the context of health equity and health disparities. 

Anyways, I've loved having these students rotate through Plum Health! They bring a unique perspective, build genuine relationships with our members, and create an atmosphere of teaching and learning in the practice. This last point is important because I practice evidence-based medicine, and having a student helps to keep me up-to-date on the latest recommendations for evidence-based practice. 

So last weekend, we were able to host a health fair at the Plum Health office. "We" being myself and the Physician Assistant students at Wayne State. Their energy was boundless and they put a great deal of time and effort in creating fun health-focused stations that taught participants about being healthier.

All in all, it was a successful day! We reached out to new people in the community, and gave away free medical care. We caught a case of diabetes that was unknown prior to the fair and helped folks gauge their blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels (HDL, LDL, Total Cholesterol and Lipid Panel). 

Below are photos from the event! Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC in Detroit, Michigan