We had the opportunity to sit down and interview Dr. Laura Purdy, MD, MBA. Known as ‘America’s Favorite Doctor’, she is licensed to practice in all 50 states. Dr. Purdy is a Physician Executive, Psychologist, Serial Entrepreneur, Digital Health Evangelist, Veteran, and Worldwide Philanthropist. 

Dr. Laura Purdy

Dr. Purdy’s in-depth digital health expertise comes from more than a decade spent providing and directing primary care for hundreds of thousands of patients of all ages, from all walks of life. Dr. Purdy’s interest in helping people drew her out of a lucrative professional career as a performing pianist to earn a BA in Psychology (Magna Cum Laude) from Ball State University and then attend medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Graduating  family medicine residency at Georgia’s Martin Army Hospital, she began 14 years of service as a US Army physician, caring for men and women from all over the country undergoing basic training, airborne school, ranger school, and soldiers on post. During that time, she delivered hundreds of babies and treated hundreds of soldiers on the ground. Not only does Dr. Purdy love her job, because she can truly go home knowing she made a difference in someone's life, her humble, whole hearted approach is gravitating, and her philanthropic initiatives hugely impact the lives of families internationally.

How would you describe yourself?

Compassionate, caring, absolutely non-judgmental, empathetic, an innovator, creative, artistic, loving, innovating, and not accepting of the status quo! 

Why tele-health?
So many reasons! Telehealth is more human-centered, allowing both patient and doctor to meet right where they are, enjoying more freedom and flexibility in their lives. The alternative is doctors who burn out trying to accomplish everything or patients sacrificing other important parts of their lives to commute to a doctor’s appointment. Telehealth is also cheaper, empowering physicians to reach patients nationwide at any time of the day or night; and it removes some of the biggest current obstacles to quality healthcare for all, such as insurance, companies, traffic, parking, and other physical constraints typically associated with traditional medicine.

How will this revolutionize healthcare? What do you see as a concern? How would we overcome it?
It will require hospitals and insurance companies to come up with more convenient models for providing patient care and meeting their needs. It also will allow room for cost transparency, rather than being stuck with a huge, confusing bill after you’ve received care. Of course, there are limitations. Sometimes, people do need to be seen in person. Also, insurance companies will need to be more willing to reimburse for virtual care… but we have really come a long way, and I feel very optimistic that the laws that are being written to better suit the technology being developed.

Did you always see yourself in the medical field?

I did not! I actually thought I was going to be a performance musician in the music entertainment industry! It’s funny how things change, but I think the desire to serve, care for others, give back to a greater cause, and put good into the world has always remained in my heart, no matter what industry I’ve worked in.

How do you find work/life balance?

Getting into telemedicine is the best thing I have done for my work life balance. I used to leave the house at 5AM, getting home after the kids went to bed every night. Now, I get up when I am rested, I spend time with the children until they leave, and I don’t start my workday until the whole family is situated and taken care of for the day. I have the opportunity to take breaks if I need to, and the simple act of working from home is HUGE for my personal work/life balance. I prioritize anything that has to do with the children, such as birthdays, performances, sick days, and school events (to the largest extent that I possibly can), because I do believe that my role as a parent is one of the most significant opportunities I will ever have.

What has been your biggest challenge along the way?

Working with the laws and keeping abreast of the changes in the Telehealth industry has been very challenging. Obtaining licenses in all 50 states (plus DC) means that I have 50 different sets of rules and regulations to abide by. On the other hand, change does not always occur if we don’t drive to change ourselves. So, while it has been challenging to learn how to abide by the laws and obey the various regulatory boards, I’m seeking to drive change and make progress forward in a way that still ensures high quality of care without compromising or accepting the status quo.

Most memorable experience?

The most memorable experience I’ve ever had was with a patient four or five years ago. He shared with me that both of his parents had recently died, and he had quit his job to take care of them. He had something simple like a sinus infection, but he did not have the time or the means to go see someone in person. I will never forget the heartbreak and grief in his voice as he talked about how he cared for both of his parents at the end of their lives, and it was truly an honor to be able to take care of him during his time of need. I have never forgotten how grateful that particular patient was, even now - almost half a decade later.

What are some brands you swear by?
I swear by topical tretinoin for anti-aging! Let’s face it: we aren’t getting any younger, and our faces can definitely give us away. Retinol is a great way to keep the skin healthy and at least slow down the inevitably ticking clock. 

I AM a huge fan of La Peony jumpsuits too, they are SO well made and essential for traveling as much as I do! 

Do you want your children to continue in the family business?

I’m laughing to myself, asking which business?! I am involved in so many business endeavors that I often tell people I am a businesswoman disguised as a doctor. My second oldest child is only seven, but she is very much interested in fashion, beauty, and aesthetics. She asked me recently if she could take over the med spa when I died. I told her that I hope she doesn’t wait that long to take over, but as soon as she’s ready, yes, it’s all yours! My oldest daughter has already said that she thinks when she’s 25, she can be my manager and help arrange my schedules and travel with me. So, I have no idea! My third oldest child is only five, but he is incredibly gifted at math, well beyond his years. I have a feeling that whatever business track he takes, it will be one that has nothing to do with mine, because I am the opposite of gifted math-wise. As for my two-year-old… only time will tell!

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

Oh goodness, I have absolutely no idea. One of the most fun things about my career is that I do not, have not, and will not ever try to pretend that I know how things will change. Being an innovator, a disruptor, and supporter/adviser to those who are directing the change of an industry such as healthcare is very exciting, but also incredibly unpredictable! I do believe that we will see nothing but continued growth, and I am intentionally trying not to predict exactly what I think those changes will be… I am open to whatever happens in the name of progress, as long as it ensures more access to quality care, more freely available and high-quality medical information for all; both are, unfortunately, very unequally disseminated at this time. I hope that my business continues to grow, bringing in more providers, more patients, and providing more care to everyone across the country. The specifics of that remain a fun and exciting mystery yet to be revealed!

What's the dream?

The dream is that every single person in the entire country will have equal access to high-quality digital healthcare that is fast, convenient, inexpensive, and does not sacrifice ease of use for quality.

Share something you want to share with our readers.

If you are reading this, this is your year! Now is the time for us to dig deep, look inside of our own hearts and find what areas we need to grow or change in the coming year so we can become the best version of ourselves. For you, it may mean trying to get some time back in your life by taking responsibility for your own self-care and wellness. Telemedicine is a great option to explore if you are looking to enjoy a healthier year and to be more conscious of your overall wellness.

Check out Dr. Purdy's Linkedin! 

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