An Interview with Dr. Amy Roberts, a physician with Ms.Medicine
In this episode of the show, I am interviewing Dr. Amy Roberts, a board-certified family medicine physician at Ms.Medicine. Ms.Medicine is a concierge practice focused on women and prides itself on ensuring that each client receives exceptional care and impeccable service.
Ms.Medicine is female-founded and focused. Until now, women have lacked exposure to what they are missing in healthcare. The doctors at Ms. Medicine work to empower patients by connecting them with expert providers who have advanced knowledge in neglected areas: menopause, sexual health, breast cancer risk, heart health, bone health, pelvic floor conditions, genetics, cancer survivorship, and sleep + nutrition.
Hey everyone, its Dr. Greg, owner and physical therapist at Judice Sports and Rehab. On this
episode of the show, I’m interviewing Dr. Amy Roberts, a board certified family physician in St.
Louis, who has recently joined a growing effort toward concierge medicine with her new practice
that recently opened this past October in town and country. Dr. Robertson, her team has a focus
on women and providing customized health plans and advocacy along with exceptional care.
Today we have Dr. Amy Roberts. Welcome.
Well, thank you very much. I’m very happy to be here.
Happy to have you. Thanks for being here. Let’s introduce you to the listeners. Let me have
you. Tell us a little bit about you and your background.
Well, my name is Amy Roberts and I opened a practice and Lamp and Lantern Village. It’s right
in Town and Country. A little bit about me. I graduated from undergrad at Purdue University and
I majored in Biology and Spanish. And then we call it our family friendly rivalry because I did my
medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine. Gotcha. And then I went on and did my
residency. So I’m board certified in family medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis,
Okay, so kind of Indiana. Through and through there, Indiana. Yes. There you go. So what got
you to St. Louis?
Well, everyone that is from the St. Louis area, often I hear comes back and that’s what brought
me here. My husband actually is from the St. Louis area, okay, is a neurologist, so we met
actually medical school, okay. And then after a time decided to come back closer to family. So
he came from this area, and that’s what brought us back here about four years ago. Okay. And
subsequently, my family has moved here actually also So
okay, so everybody, you’re now official psychosocial. Yeah. Very cool. So tell me more about
how you got into medicine in general. A lot of times I hear like, Oh, my parents were doctors or,
you know, I had this issue as a kid. So I’d love to kind of hear your story about how you got into
There is really no one that was involved in health care in my family. My father was in corporate
America, human resources and my mother’s a librarian, okay. I actually originally got interested
in more veterinary medicine and kind of ultimately where I led towards Purdue thinking that and
then at some point verged, or went on and became more interested in human medicine. Sure,
so and ultimately pursued that. Okay, and have loved it.
So now I gotta ask, Are you a if you’re were pursuing veterinary medicine at one point, are you
obviously an animal lover? I bet you have you have pets?
We do. So let’s hear about it. We have a actually, it’s a hypoallergenic cat. Okay. The poly it’s a
Siberian Forest Cat because we do have cat allergies. So that’s why we ended up doing and
actually, it is true in the description. So far, no one has had any significant reaction because
they don’t have the protein in their saliva that’s addressable. That causes a large number of cat
allergies. Okay, so it’s not absolute to some people but very tolerable. And she has a dog like
personality. There is a wonderful family member, we have a fish named Blue. Okay. And then
we actually have puppies that we just got, okay. They are keeping us busy and
absolutely, yeah, that’s awesome. What kind of dog Samoyed
depending on how you say it or Sam Boyd, and whose name is River and then Shetland Sheep
Dog, Bear. His name is Finn.
Okay, awesome. Yeah, we’ve got three dogs at home. When we travel, they go with us
everywhere. So it’s it’s always fun, keeps things interesting.
They are they’re part of the family. And I’m a big proponent of just animal therapy. They get you
up. Exactly. You’re busy and active in a good way. That’s right. That’s right. You got that 6am alarm clock every day. Very cool. So obviously, you
medicine. So why family practice? Yeah, so
it’s done for my love of travel and culture. And I was very interested in kind of public health,
preventative medicine, and just travel medicine in general. So I thought family medicine would
be a good kind of jumping point based on that. Being able to if I did travel, sometimes life takes
you down different paths. And when you have children, obviously it’s less apt to travel Sure, but
able to pursue it and still apply it here in the States. So and then my current practice because
there’s so much to learn about both the from the pediatrics as well as the adult health care. I
focus in actually even now on adults. Okay. So largely 18 and up though I am board certified to
got it. Okay. Very cool. So I gotta ask more about this travel medicine. So was that something
that you did early on in your your career? Yes. Okay. So Tell me Tell me, what’s your story
maybe because I know that there’s a lot of different options. I’ve got a, a friend and colleague
who’s a ophthalmologist at Oklahoma, and they do an Asian trip or African trip every couple of
years to where they’re, you know, gone for a couple of weeks as more like a mission trip. But
tell me more about kind of what your experiences were. Yeah, I’ve worked
in clinics in Mexico, and in Guatemala, and actually, even in med school, we were fortunate to
the opportunity to be able to kind of study abroad and I was based in Argentina with my with a
Spanish degree. And that’s been a huge asset, even here in the states with the just the ability to
communicate, you know, from the Spanish component to and then also the love of travel that
way, and then now it’s something that’s great that I can apply, when I have patients that want to
go and travel places to be able to help give them guidance on recommended vaccines, or
preventative treatments, or just things they should kind of plan or prepare for. Prepare for. So
because you’ve got that travel experience in the background, and I laughingly say I can live
vicariously through all exactly what I kicked myself at times, right. It’s wonderful. It’s a win win.
Very cool. So is that a passion of yours for the future? Being able to get back to that?
Oh, yeah, I’d like to travel and would like to continue. And obviously, the past couple years, I
think has put a damper, unfortunately, but it is it starts hopefully one day it will get better and
better and be able to do so. But yeah. So now we’ve been doing more of camping and traveling
and our family, which has been great to isolated travel, we have different facet of exactly
wilderness type Raddison, right,
a different type of deal, for sure. Very cool. So tell me more about your interest in public health
and prevention, because that is something that I am passionate about, but don’t have a whole
lot of education background in. So I’d kind of like to hear kind of what your experience and
perspective is there.
Yeah, there’s different facets that you can use when you look at kind of public and preventative
health. And as a primary care doctor. Obviously, it’s a huge thing we incorporate on a daily
basis. You know, with each decade in life, there’s kind of new screening recommendations and
things that we can do proactively to try and stay healthy and healthy and be able to take time
and educate people on what’s out there. And then also early intervention if someone is injured,
you know, promoting physical therapy early, which can make a big difference on not just short
term, but long term outcomes. So those are all preventative measures that we can apply on a
daily basis, and make a big impact in our overall health care.
And I know when you were walking in today, we were in Dr. Jen’s office, and we were just briefly
the show recently is how much of a lack of education or lack of knowledge there is when it
comes to specific women’s needs. So that’s, you know, when it comes to the public health side
of things, I feel like even something as simple as this podcast being that it’s an education based,
you know, avenue to helping people. It’s important. Every time you can educate someone, it’s a
it’s a positive thing.
It is and a lot of women do, to some degree suffer in silence, you know, with changes that
happen in our body over time, whether it’s perimenopause to menopause, or obviously, looking
at the female anatomy that overtime can cause issues. And there are things that we can do to
help it to make our quality of lives better. And that’s kind of again, delving in and conversation
when patients come in and express that I’m noticing increased urinary incontinence, or I’m
having the symptom, you know, looking at all these different tools and resources that can that
can be utilized to help them get to a better place.
Yeah, it’s all it all goes together, right? It all has to help the big picture, but also each individual.
So it’s it’s hard to balance that. But I think it’s, that’s where you and I have that ability to educate
the masses, but help each person individually.
Yes, it’s crucial. And then working with Ms Medicine, Dr. Lisa Larkin, who’s just an inspirational
person as a physician based in Cincinnati, who has her own practice and has a huge interest in
focus in women’s health care. And she opened a consulting company to help Doc’s open their
own practices. So she’s been a great resource for me to help not have been owned by own
business before, but has really driven that, that passion for learning and all these different
resources and tools that are out there to help women in situations that they didn’t even know
maybe there were resources to help in finding a specialist such as a physical therapist that can
provide that focus and pelvic floor disorders and other things that can really help over time.
Absolutely. Yeah. So let’s talk a bit more about your practice. And you were mentioning earlier
that kind of your focus is the 18 and up. So I’d love to hear more about what inspired you to
Start your own practice, you know, tell me more about this mis medicine consulting thing that
you’re going through. Just tell us about your business.
Oh, and it’s been a great experience. Over time, I started looking at ways to maybe have a more
patient centric model, where you can actually have some autonomy and control over how your
practices run, but also have the ability to spend time with each person coming in to get to know
them, to be able to spend time not only with prevented recommendations for where they’re at in
life, but also delving more into if they have specific issues, concerns, symptoms, sometimes
things they think, is this normal, or is it not normal, and they just wouldn’t even bring up in
conversation. And this model, it’s more of a direct primary care model is been a model that’s
been around for a long time, but it’s very much growing in popularity, again, especially in
primary care. Because it gives us the ability to provide that that care and quality of care and
time with our patients. So after talking to physicians who have done it, and patients actually who
have gone to direct primary care Doc’s that just was a universal positive experience that they
both had had. So I decided to take that leap of faith and open my own practice. So we opened
October 4 of last year. Okay. And it has been just a wonderful experience overall, you know, in
terms of reinforcing you know, why we do this, and, and ultimately the love for medicine and
being able to focus on that again, too.
Got it. So I’ve had quite a few DPC Doc’s on the show. And and I would say universally, it’s
that are transitioning to this DPC model had less than a perfect experience in their previous
career, or previous part of their career, right, you’re still physician, right? It’s still the same
career, but maybe give us some of your experiences working at other places, other locations.
Yeah. And so and there’s a lot of wonderful things to be, you know, being employed by a bigger
system. But you are just a small entity in that bigger system, and especially in primary care. You
know, we’re not probably huge income generators for the bigger, bigger picture of things. And
so they often try to move towards a volume centric or cost centric model, where you end up
seeing more patients and shorter time. Often, you know, you’re not having the phones
answered in your office, they have outsource that, or they’re at a different location. And so
sometimes there’s a lag in communication, if someone has something unexpected that comes
up, which that inevitably happens, and they need to get in to be seen, and there was just a
delay before it would get to you. And then even when it did you think, Okay, where do I try and
build time in the schedule to see this person, when you have back to back, you know, 15 minute
appointments, the average time a patient spends with their primary care doctor is just seven
minutes. And that is just not enough time at all to even I mean, barely just say hello and get to
know someone, let alone delve into all the prevention recommendations, or if there are
concerns that they have and want to bring up. And so that’s, that’s where ultimately, and they
have a lot larger patient panel, it’s not uncommon in the bigger systems to have, you know,
2,300 patients in your patient panel. Most direct primary care offices, they cap it 600, most
honestly have even less than that, I’d say probably closer to, you know, anywhere from 300 to
450 patients, because you gauge short, how complex are your patients and the needs. And so
sometimes you can have maybe a little bit more, but you want to be able to be there and be
accessible for those people that you commit it to be able to take care of when they need it.
And you can be the judge of that. Yes, you’re in charge. Yes, exactly. Instead of, okay, you’ve
got another 200 people that are on your panel this this month? Yeah, yes, it gets a little hairy.
Imagine it was
hard and you struggle with, you know, trying to maintain that quality of care. There’s a point that
it just felt like it wasn’t sustainable. Sure. So ultimately saying, Okay, how can we do something
better? And someone if there’s something that you think, okay, it’s not working? Or how can we
make a positive change? You know, and so ultimately came to the point of saying, let’s try
something a little different. And so what brought me to try this and something totally out of my
comfort zone, right to do, but that’s a good thing that has had a wonderful team and a lot of
great people that have been out there to support and help educate me and just been able to
learn a lot. It’s been a great personal growth in itself, too.
Very cool. Very cool. So tell us about kind of the day to day of your business when someone
comes to see you. How long do they get with you? How long does it take for them to get an
appointment with you? How do they schedule I’d love to kind of hear more of the patient
experience when they first are introduced to you.
So When people can come in, and especially if they haven’t seen me or met me before, or our
team to do a free meet and greet, we call them or they can come and get to know us. And a lot
of people have more questions, just how does this direct primary care model work, so we can
make sure they’re as comfortable as possible and understand that and the goal is, it’s a very
simple, straightforward model. So there’s not confusion, there’s not hidden fees. So that that’s
women in my practice. And so when they come in, I call it kind of the full shebang, you know,
where we basically really take time to kind of delve into their past medical history, their family
history, where they’re at from preventative recommendations, and then they go over their
concerns, and we make kind of a to do list, you know, where not to overwhelm someone, but
where we kind of say, Okay, this is maybe what are some things and we kind of just start
moving forward. And based on that we make kind of a starting point plan. You know, and some
people are healthy, and they just come in once a year. And we can really spend time with
education and preventative things. But inevitably, when, again, something unexpected happens.
The beauty, or the real benefit to this type of model is we are available, we can see someone
the same day or next day. You know, they have actually my direct cell phone number. So
sometimes if they’re just not sure if something can wait, they can actually call and talk directly.
You know, we can flip to a quick video visit right then if we need to. Or sometimes sometimes
there’s no replacement for being in person, and then we’ll have them come in. So that’s been
flexible and accessible. Very much. So yeah, yeah, that’s important. I mean, I think have a
guess it was about nine or so months ago, I was in Mississippi for my mom’s birthday. And I had
this weird infection on my thumb. And it was like, Well, I don’t want to go to Urgent Care. Right.
But I don’t have access to a doctor at home. And, you know, I’m in a different state. It just was a
whole odd situation. But I have a DPC doc myself. And it was a text message, you know, text
message,a trip to Walgreens 10 minutes later, the problem is, on this way to being solved. Yes.
That’s so much nicer. Yeah, you know, it’s just much more efficient and much more. Honestly,
it’s, you see monthly subscription, right, when it comes to medicine might seem like, well, that’s
weird. I don’t need that. But the access makes it totally worth it.
Yeah. And it could save the cost of going to an urgent visit center other things. So sometimes
there are ways to offset that cost, but just to have that earlier intervention that can make a big
difference, and that the long term outcome is priceless.
Absolutely. Totally worth it. So I want to hear kind of about your I wrote down just kind of what is
your passion? Right. So do you have like a specific thing that you love most about your
business or about medicine in general? I know we’ve kind of talked about the DPC model and
that’s providing that quality of care is a passion, of course. But is there something else that is
kind of like that driving thing for you?
Oh, I think is physician we have such a unique privilege to be able to get to know people and in
a capacity or a way that’s different from someone you might just know in a social component.
And I love that I love to get to know people and their backgrounds and what drives them and
learning about their professions and passions because you grow just by their knowledge that
they impart and share with you. I’ve been able to incorporate some of my passions, which I
mentioned, I love to travel. And so that’s been neat when people do travel to be able to be there
for them and look at different resources and help come up with custom plans keep them healthy
so they can enjoy their experiences. But also over time, as you talk to people you can explore
and learn about new things and hobbies.
STL Active is supported by RangeMaster. The makers are the very best shoulder pulley in the
world. Most people who have gone through therapy for shoulder issues have used a shoulder
pulley in the clinic. But let me tell you not all pulleys are created equal RangeMaster pullies use
longer than the typical pulley shop range master shoulder police and other rangemaster rehab
products using the link in the description. Now back to our regular scheduled program.
I like to garden I don’t say the Chronicle Gardens is my happy place here in St. Louis. It’s so
beautiful but I’ve dabbled in grow a lot of citrus trees. So for years we did not have to buy
lemons outside the store because they can grow in the Midwest. We just bring them in in the
winter back my hubby just got built me a mini greenhouse because he was laughing that our
house became such a jungle in the winter months.
needed to have someplace Exactly. So
yeah, but it’s fun that you can explore topics as you talk to people and find common And then
learn from them over time to which is wonderful.
Right? Yeah, I think that’s definitely the, the best part for me as a clinician is getting to know the
people, right. And it’s not just, it’s not just getting to know their injury, or getting to know their
pain, it’s getting to know them as a person. And once you know them as a person, you know
what they’re wanting from their care, right? Because maybe they they say, Oh, my, my knee
hurts. And I don’t want to, you know, I don’t want to have any surgery. Well, that’s like, a base
level goal. But when it comes down to it, they just have, they just had a grandkid. And they want
to be able to get up and down off the floor easier. They want to be able to make sure that they
play and do soccer and baseball and whatever, as the kid grows up. So it’s getting to know that
full story of the person. I think that’s crucial. So I totally get where you’re coming from with that.
It is something you can kind of help better customize their care and ultimately have the to reach
their specific end goals and get them back to a better place.
Exactly. It’s not a cookie cutter approach where knee pain is knee pain, correct? It is not right.
Very cool. So I got to ask, when it comes to the gardening side of things is like that’s your, that’s
your baby is the citrus side? Or do you have other other passions,
I like all types of gardening, I’m hoping to have a little more time to be able to show off that we
planted since we had been here in St. Louis, our first vegetable gardens, it’s such a great place
to grow things. So and I just like being outside. So it’s fun way to get out and engage and
very cool. What are the what are the little tiny trees? Is that bonds? I’m
site tree? Yeah,
I had a client that was talking about growing and, you know, purchasing and collecting bonsai
trees. And, you know, they’re hundreds of years old, some of them and it’s, it’s fascinating, was
just kind of hearing about her journey with doing that. And it was kind of funny.
It is it keeps people engaged when you have hobbies like that, right? Kind of a positive
distractor, which sometimes that’s nice for everyone to take time to be able to do that.
Very cool. So is that something that you’ve always been interested in the the gardening and
kind of more nature hobby hobbyist? Because like St. Louis, from Indiana, is that is it a different
thing here? Or is that something you’ve always been interested in?
No, I’ve been interested in it for years, we moved a lot growing up. So I was born in Chicago,
and we lived in Michigan and in the south. And so you know, seeing the different environments,
and just in general enjoying doing outdoor things hiking, our family likes to camp, which is a
great way just to interact. And so that’s always been a good experience. And then I found just
again, with gardening, it’s been just, it’s sometimes it’s a good stress relief to go out and even
meditate. Exactly. Yeah, absolutely. Alright, so changing gears here a little bit. One of the things
that I was asking you before we started recording was what have you learned this year, and you
mentioned that not giving up on your dreams was like the biggest thing that you took away over
the last year? So I’d kind of like to hear what prompted that answer.
Yeah, you know, sometimes you go down a path in life and you know, you are so focused on
you know, what you thought was be when you look at the bigger picture, there can be different
avenues or routes to ultimately get to your goal. And I never would have dreamed of owning my
own practice. It’s just something that, you know, I always had been employed by an employer
and kind of witches, again, a traditional, it’s a common model, and it works well. But this has just
allowed so much more autonomy and flexibility and allowed me to pursue kind of more of my
own individual passions, and refocus on my love of just healthcare in general, you know, the art
of medicine and being able to spend time with that. So it’s been just a huge growth, you know,
this journey of being able to learn how do you do it and all the different steps involved and kind
of used a whole different side of my brain from the business aspect and actually probably gave
me a much better understanding of, of how, just in general things work out there, which, you
know, the more you learn, the more you can maintain empathy and, you know, other people’s
experiences and stressors and things and so it’s been a good, good experience with that.
Yeah. Now you were saying earlier, like, the personal growth, that’s, that’s included with that. It’s
not just the professional growth, right? You’ve had to learn new things and take a different risk.
And as a business owner, I know exactly what you’re going through for the first six months of a
business. It’s not the easiest six months of your life, that’s for sure. But that’s awesome. So what
was the what was kind of that last straw that made you say, Alright, I gotta go do this. I gotta
take this risk. I gotta go. go start my own thing, was there a moment or was there is just kind of
a slow build over time, it was
a slow build over several years, you know, just coming back that there’s a point where that that
working those long hour days and not being present when I had two elementary kids and and
ultimately just really wanting to maintain a quality of care for my patients. And so that ultimately
said, Okay, how can we do things better? And so that’s what led to this this type of exploring
this other model of healthcare.
Very cool. So I know, it’s still fairly new. But what is the next step for you in your business? Is
there plans for expansion or growing kind of I would love to hear what you expect the next three
or so years to be?
That is a good question. Because there’s a lot of unknown, right? Oh, it’s been just such a good
experience. Now, you know, as we’re kind of growing as a practice. And then I think over time,
it’s kind of, I always like positive feedback from patients, if there’s things that they say, Hey, I
would like you to offer this service or different things that we can do and grow. And then
continuing just to be accessible, and provide that quality of care. It’s also been great to be able
to stay current and proactive with what’s out there. For example, this month, we’re offering the
gallery blood testing, I don’t know if your you’ve heard of that. It’s a it’s a it’s a blood test. But it’s
a point and cure screening for over 50 different types of cancers. And it’s been something that
they studied, and it’s now it’s gone through kind of testing, and it’s evidence based medicine and
some of the cancers it’s detecting are things we’ve really haven’t had the capacity to to screen
for pancreatic, ovarian, because it’s looking for more rapid growing cancers. And so just
we’re starting to offer it in our practice, actually, this month. I know several other big hospital
systems are the countries are off the country are offering it also. But those are things of being
able to keep current with what’s out there. And
rather than doing the same thing every day, you’re able to stay more current with research and
offer the latest and greatest things for your client
exactly. And then implement it. And this is something that’s actually even going to be available,
because you know, depending on how quick other practices have this and available, even open
to non patients that want to do just a one time consults and do it and then we would partner with
their current physician to have accessibility to this testing. Like all new things, this one is one
that insurance has not yet approved. So that’s always but a lot of times colo guard may be kind
of a similar precursor has been out which I think a lot of people have learned about and are
familiar to colon cancer screening. So it kind of has a similar premise to it. So the hope is just
like color guard generally is widely covered by insurance now that over the coming years that
this would be also okay, but just looking at and what’s it called again, it’s called Gallery, and it’s
STL Active is supported by Lydexar. Lydexar is a physician formulated St. Louis based CBD
company. They have a huge variety of CBD products, including isolates, tinctures, gummies,
and my personal favorites, CBD gel and CBD Epsom salts. I personally use these at home and
in the clinic, go to lydxar.com to shop all of these great, great products, our listeners can use
code JSR5 at checkout for a special discount.
Anything that if you can have early intervention, it can really change the outcome to something
that is not just treatable but curable. And recognizing that early intervention and going back to
that preventative type measure. So
yeah, and I mean, in a perfect world, everything would be preventative medicine. Correct. Right.
And and that’s challenging for me as a PT, we’re typically Oh, after an injury or after a surgery,
or it’s always after something happens. And you know, there’s been a big push, and it’s hard to
change people’s perspective of an entire profession, but there’s been a push recently to, you
know, have PT be on the same, same realm is like a dentist, right? You go to the dentist twice a
year to get your teeth clean. Why don’t you go to the PT twice a year to get your movement
There could be a huge especially out there, right
huge ability to to prevent an injury to meet, you know, keep that arthritic knee from getting worse
or keep that stiff shoulder from becoming a frozen shoulder, right. There’s so many things that
could be done in one or two visits as a preventative measure that are going to take, you know, a
dozen or more visits later,
after the injuries already. Exactly. Exactly. So it goes back to early intervention, low back pain, if
you can kind of work on the core and be proactive with their cases or it could definitely,
hopefully limit or, again, prevent something from happening,
right. It’s just hard to change the perspective for the you know, for what The populace thinks of
therapy they think of you as after surgery. So it’s it’s an education piece again, but that is
something that we offer, but it’s just not something that we get, you know, people take up on
very, very often.
I think in healthcare, there’s been a shift because it used to be you didn’t go see the doc, unless
catastrophic. But now there’s been a huge shift, I think more and more people are coming in
from preventative services and seeing the benefit of that and looking at the again, the longer
term outcomes. So
Right. Absolutely. Someday, yeah, more than norm. So I’ve heard you say a couple times that
you’ve got a team that’s working with you, and you’ve said, our practice. So I’d love to kind of
hear who else is part of this with you? Oh, yeah.
So Margie Huffman is a nurse that is in our office. And she has been a wonderful asset with her
background. And we have a lab in house so which is nice. So people come in, and they’re
welcome to go to any lab if there’s ever one preferred, but we can drop blood right in our office
and have that clinical capacity. And then Miss medicine has also served as a team to help we
have like an electronic health record and helping with and all that things. And yes, the learning
the business aspects have been a great resource from that too. And then just people out in the
community, I’m sure heard of like a joined a BNI. Group. Okay. And it’s been wonderful one
networking and just learning about what people do, but also, they’ve been great resources to
just especially new business owner of how do you get your small business kind of up and
I’m a BNI member as well. Are you? Yeah. How long have you been in?
So just just since we started, so I think it was official in November. Okay. So
very cool. Which chapter? Yeah,
Okay. Very good. All right. We’ll have to chat more about that after here. Very cool. So we’ve
kind of already talked a little bit about you and kind of what your interests outside of medicine
are. But I guess I’d like to hear more about the struggles that you’ve had in either starting the
business or within medicine in general, recently. As a business owner, myself, there’s always
something right, there’s always some problem that you’re trying to you’re trying to put out. Right.
So right now we’re, we had a rough couple of months with this omachron variant. We’ve had
more cancellations in the last six weeks than we had in the entirety of 2020 and 2021. That’s
just the way it is, can’t really change it. So I’m just curious kind of what what struggles you’re
dealing with right now, as a business owner?
Oh, I think for me, it’s maybe a little different. It’s a little bit of a lot of newness and learning, for
example, we’re entering the first tax season. So it’s trying to figure out what you need to do and
trying to make sure you have everything done correctly. We’ve been able to be flexible, actually,
because we do offer COVID testing in our office. So it’s been a huge resource. We’ve had
people if they’re not sure, and again, even open when it was really hard to the community that
they would just drive up and we’d go out to their car. So trying to offset if people didn’t have to
wait in lines, or offset the burden on the health care systems to the best of our ability to so but it
was having to do us creative problem solving of saying, Okay, we don’t want people walking
through this area, how do we keep everyone safe if they’re symptomatic. So that’s how we
figured out how we can safely do it and minimize exposure to the rest of the community, but
also take care of people that needed testing, and navigate that. So the drive up has worked
well, then we just go out to their car, and they call when they get there and we were able to test
them and then kind of do a treatment plan based on that. So thanks. We also have the capacity
it makes a big difference. Right? For some folks, that’s absolutely necessary. So yes, so yeah,
we’ve we’re dt, we’ve got a client right now who just doesn’t have a way to get here. And she
doesn’t quite qualify for like Medicare home health, right. So it’s kind of that weird in between, to
where we’re able to fill that need. And I’m sure that’s similar to what you guys are able to do as
So I think is you’re kind of saying it’s exactly it’s recognizing if there’s a problem or a barrier,
how can we problem solve to overcome that and still move forward? And so that’s been you
know, again, part of just the newness and growth but it keeps us thinking on our feet, which is a
Absolutely. Now in that lamp and lantern village, it’s really cool area is really nice real estate.
Parking is kind of odd, right? So how close are you guys to a lot because I know there’s some
spots where you have to walk quite aways to get in for the drive up. Is that pretty convenient for
him? Yeah, well, we’ve been having people kind of park far back in the parking lot, and then
they just tell us what they see and we go out to them. So there’s three parking lots. There’s one
we’re closest to the melting pot probably Okay, so there’s handicap spots. We actually even
have a wheelchair in our office just in case someone’s had a harder time coming in. So It’s not
too it’s a straight shot and there’s no stairs of people park. That and because we’re on the
courtyard side, which is quite lovely hearing when the weather is warmer the fountain sounds
and everything right? Absolutely. And we are happily eating our way around all the different
places and lamp and lantern village.
It is yeah, it’s such a cool area. There’s that. The brewery right next to ace and yeah, I’ve been
there a few times. So pretty cool area. It is. Yeah, very nice. But yeah, you know, there’s there’s
a lot of struggles that a business goes through when they’re new. Right? And it’s trying to find
out, like, what’s your niche? And who’s your market? And how to how do you put your name out
there and all that stuff. So you know, just as an aside, I’d love to be a resource for you if it would
help in any way, because I know new is challenging, so very much appreciate you. We’ll
certainly chat after. So again, changing gears here. And he kind of talked about adults, right?
Anybody 18 and over could be a good client. Is there a a perfect client for you? Is there like a
group of folks that you connect best with or that you feel like you can help the most? within your
practice right now?
That’s a good question. And I really hope our value is there for for everybody. It can be
someone that is just healthy, and has that value. They value the accessibility if something were
to happen, and then there’s certainly a convenience factor. Time is a precious commodity. And
honestly, a lot of adults take care of everyone everything else and they put themselves on the
backburner. So this practice is nice that we can try and accommodate them in their busy
schedules of when they have availability to be able to be there for them. Or also, again, when
the unexpected comes up. We’re also hopefully, again, I really want to be a great resource for
people that are struggling, you know that they they just don’t feel right. And they feel like they’re
not being heard, or you know that it’s again, limited with time that they’re not able to delve into
enough with what’s going on. Because sometimes things are multifactorial, and you really got to
delve in and you recognize, okay, what do we find what’s better, you keep looking at what’s left
until the goal is to get them back to a better place. And so because we have that ability to
commit the time and be there for them, someone that’s been struggling, and maybe not
be there as a resource. We also are very much people’s patients advocates, because
sometimes you need that someone that sees multiple specialists and you know, it’s sometimes
your left hand know what the right hand is doing. And kind of quarterback the whole exactly
about, okay, what medicines did they know that they were already on this medicine or helping
with that, or just again, being a resource of okay, this is where we need to get you and how do
we get you there? Based on what we find or what’s going on? Very cool.
Yeah, you know, one thing that I’ve noticed in my practice is that often I’m not the first option,
right, they’ve been somewhere else didn’t quite get what they were looking for, it didn’t quite get
the, the one on one care that they wanted and felt like they needed to get where they wanted to
be. And you’ll probably find the same thing that you have been working with such and such and
not been able to figure out this thing, right, whatever that thing might be. So you’re going to end
up being second third option to handle those more chronic conditions. Because that’s, you are
able to give more time and figure it out where somebody else may not have that time and ability
to do that. Yeah. And those are those are fun. I mean, those are fun for me to say that, you
know, they weren’t able to get help it, you know, XYZ pt. And they weren’t able to get help at
ABC, PT. But they came to us and you know, we’re able to commit the time, it really is fulfilling
to know that you’re doing the right thing. Yeah. And can
see a positive impact and Exactly. And progressive improvement, which is always what we’re
looking for. Absolutely, absolutely.
All right. So with you guys being newer. You were telling me about this founding member
discount. I’d love to hear more about that, in case anybody is listening to the show and wants to
work with you. What would that look like?
Yeah, so one just as a new practice, but also trying to make things where it’s not as cost
prohibitive. I was paying our cell phone bill for our family plan. And the monthly fee is less than
that, at around $191 a month. Not having a big business background, how I have initially set up
is that people pay basically a flat fee, whether it’s biannual or annually, so I have kind of those
two options just trying to keep it more simple that start and it’s $1,150 by annually, or $2,300
annually. Because we work with insurance. So if people came in and we needed to do physical
therapy or an x ray or bloodwork, we would move forward and work with insurance just like
normal, and there would be no extra effort on the patient’s part. But I don’t contract to get ready
First by insurance, so we don’t deal with that. So I don’t legally have to charge copay. So that
can offset the cost. Some HSAs will allow people to pay the fees a lot will not. But most of them
will allow us to print the itemized copy of what the office visit would cost. And then they can
reimburse that. So there’s ways that we can offset the cost. We also have contracted directly
with, like LabCorp. Okay, and so I don’t know if any listeners out there have ever gotten those
surprise, unexpected lab bills. I know vitamin D is a, unfortunately, not an infrequent one. And it
can come back at $200 plus dollars, you know, just with what they get, because it for some
reason wasn’t covered. But we can offer the direct pricing. And I think, off the top of my head, I
want to say it’s like $26 or $28. So it’s significant price. So sometimes we can really help offset
the cost. Or people have high deductible plans. Especially if we can keep you from going into
urgent visit centers and keeping you healthy. It’s all those other surprise bills over time. And
again, looking at if you do the math, it’s around $191 ish a month. So hopefully relative in the
scheme of things that to looking at being cost prohibitive. Sure, but that’s where that founding
at $2,800. Okay, a year or higher. So ours it $2300 of just trying to come in and make it more
accessible early on. Yeah. Understood. Understood. So the difference between the concierge
versus DPC. So concierge is that, is that kind of more where you fit in? And I know that that’s,
but my understanding is basically DPC is flat fee. No insurance ever correct versus concierge is
flat fee plus insurance.
Correct. So I’m more technically under the DPC model by that definition. And I’m learning the
nuances myself, but there are some practices and concierge that charge a flat fee, but they also
still contract and get reimbursed by insurance. So then legally, they have to charge co pays.
And I didn’t want people to feel nickeled and dimed. And it was also just a little more
complicated. So what for a very simple clear cut model, where it’s just a flat fee. And so I don’t
ever get reimbursed by the insurance.
Got it. Very cool. And then if what people wanted to find you, how would they do that?
So we have a website, if you type in Amy Roberts, MD and Associates, and it’s linked with Ms
Medicine, you can request information, you can set up a free meet and greet. You can call us
anytime. And we would welcome that. And we answer our phones in our office. And it’s 636-
220-8040. And we would welcome and appreciate anyone that just wants to learn more about
Very cool. Anything else you want to add? I feel like we we kind of rushed through this. This was
quick, but we learned a lot. Oh, it’s anything else. You want to share a
great experience. And I’m very happy to learn and be able to meet you and learn more about
Absolutely. Yeah, we’ll definitely have to chat with me when we turn the recorder off here. Well,
if you don’t have anything else that a little more, we’ll go ahead and wrap it up.
Oh, that sounds great. All right. Well,
thanks again for being here. Dr. Amy Roberts. It was a pleasure having you
on Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure to be here.
Awesome. This has been STL Active!