On this episode of the podcast, James sits down with Dr. Andrea McSwain, an osteopathic physician. She started her functional medicine journey with the Practice Accelerator and has now expanded her clinical influence throughout Michigan with four practices. Dr. McSwain discusses how she decided early on in medical school that she wanted to transition into functional medicine and really focus on patient needs. If you are someone who is interested in the Practice Accelerator and want to learn about how this program can be a catalyst for building the practice of your dreams, then you won’t want to miss this episode!

Highlights include:

  • What it takes to build your practice from a “side hustle” into multiple locations
  • Marketing insight that any practitioner can implement, including a guide to Facebook Live
  • Dr. McSwain’s plan to improve longevity in Michiganders, and how you can set bold, audacious goals for your practice (and achieve them)
  • And so much more!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Success Leaves Clues: Building a Multi-Location Clinic

James Maskell: Welcome to the Evolution of Medicine podcast, the place health professionals come to hear from innovators and agitators leading the charge. We cover the latest clinical breakthroughs in health technology, as well as practical tools to help you transform your practice and the health of your community. This podcast is brought to you by the Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center, who provide a range of options to help you deliver successful, effective, functional, and integrative medicine. To find out more and to get started, go to goevomed.com/lmrc. That’s goevomed.com/lmrc.

Hello and welcome to the podcast. This week, we feature Dr. Andrea McSwain. She is an osteopathic physician from Michigan, and over the last few years has gone from being employed to starting a functional medicine practice, transitioning to holistic medicine, and now has four centers all across Michigan. She is a member of our Practice Accelerator. This series is called success leaves clues because we’re interviewing those doctors that have really made an impact in their local communities and how they’ve got from where they are to where they go. There’s so much in this podcast that you’re going to love, really about how to shift the paradigm and the responsibility for shifting the paradigm, stepping into clinician entrepreneurship, some of the things that she learned along the way about empowering others, and trusting others, and building a team. Really, really powerful for any physician who wants to take their impact from one practice outwards. Dr. Andrea McSwain, ladies and gentlemen, enjoy. So a warm welcome to the podcast, Dr. Andrea McSwain, welcome.

Andrea McSwain: Thank you. So excited to be here.

James Maskell: Really excited to have you for the first time, actually, on our channels here. And I know we met in person at a conference in Chicago back in 2017, and you’ve been part of the Practice Accelerator for a few years. Every doctor that makes it into functional medicine has their unique story of how they ended up practicing in this way. So let’s just start there.

Andrea McSwain: So my background in functional medicine came actually before medical school, which was really understanding holistic medicine for my mother’s group. She was a registered nurse with Hospice of the Valley. And I was asked to help with one of their international conferences for the Nurse Healers Association. And that brought me right into all of these wonderful women in their sixties and seventies, who led this international conference on nurse healers. And at that time I was actually a nursing student, and I left nursing school because I felt like they were eating their young. I felt like there was something really wrong with the system and I didn’t want to be part of that. So I ended up going into nonprofit management and philanthropy, and I worked first for the opera and then the Girl Scouts, and then ran a capital campaign in my church.

And when I did that, I was also applying for medical schools. So when I went into med school, I kept gaining all the standard training and just thinking about the patient experience. And then I wanted to be a surgeon. I knew that. And then I met a 14-year-old girl in Detroit who was part of a foster family. And she sucked me right in. And I knew obstetrics and gynecology was where I could serve women, because I honestly believe that women are the center of the universe when it comes to making the world better. So it wasn’t very hard to get into OBGYN in that regard. But when I went into OBGYN residency, it wasn’t about the woman, it was about my program director and it was about pleasing other people. And that made no sense to me. Actually being raised in the Girl Scouts, I was very much about grassroots and I wasn’t interested in pleasing an administrator. I was very interested in making sure the patient was cared for.

And so when I didn’t see that, and I really struggled, I actually called on one of my mentors, Dr. Gladys McGarry, who co-founded the American Holistic Medical Association. And we were just honored to know her in our family because we live near Scottsdale. And I called her, and she said, “Get through this and then make the world right.” And then I went to OBGYN, and again, the same thing, we were honestly doing things that were not in support of the long-term health of the woman. And I just really struggled with that. And I had to leave conventional OBGYN, I was employed in the hospital level and I had to find my own path. And all this time I was doing manipulation on my patients and hormone therapy, and I was working to avoid surgery. And I was being chastised by my employer for these ideals because that’s not highly profitable.

And I remember one of our professors in the university of med school saying, “You’re going to do things that don’t make the world money because you’re doing things that solve problems. And when you make problems go away, that’s not highly profitable situation. You’re not turning the patient into a cash cow. You’re solving a problem and helping them get better for the long-term and keeping their morbidity curve down for years and decades to come.” And I was very deeply committed to that purpose, and so when I’m seeing women who weren’t getting that care, and then I looked around and men weren’t either. In residency and med school, and then after med school or after residency, when I was an OBGYN, I didn’t really think that much about men. And then all of a sudden I’m seeing my friends’ fathers being marginalized in healthcare and my friends being marginalized who are men. And I’m like, “Oh man, now I got to work with men?” So it was like, “Okay.” So I had my transition job for a few years, and all the while gathering more tools and learning, and functional medicine came into that.

But I often see functional medicine as a component and a very invaluable component in that training and that connection with the community, the functional medicine community. But then I was also using osteopathic manipulation and cranial manipulation, and one of my mentors like, “Give up all this functional medicine stuff.” I’m like, “Are you kidding me? Structural alignment fits within functional medicine. It’s not the other way around. Osteopathic manipulation fits within structural alignment.” But I have to look at the person from an inflammation situation, a defense and repair, a GI/gut and absorption. I have to look at elimination factors. So I’m an osteopath who uses manipulation inside of the paradigm of functional medicine. And that really fit because I could incorporate physical medicine, which is in paramount in my practice to all the other components of the biochemistry of the body lifestyle medicine. And I guess that brings me to opening a practice and knowing I had to serve Michigan, which is very underserved as an entire state. And now we are fast-forward to four locations.

James Maskell: Yeah. Well, I’d love to jump into that story a little bit as we move forward here. But just to come back to the clinical side of things, when I first saw the functional medicine operating system up on a slide at the Integrative Health Symposium, what resonated with me is that, one, there was like an all-encompassing system where we could have like a common language. But also from what you said just there, like one of the seven spokes on the matrix is the physical side of it, right, and is that part of it. And I just felt like, does every patient need structural alignment? Probably they need some support, but there are some patients where it’s really going to stick out from the in-taking that this is their core problem. And it seems to me like a DO like yourself with those manipulation skills, this is actually a key part in contextualizing where that care should be used most effectively.

Andrea McSwain: I would agree. I just saw a young woman who had a GI infection from being in the Peace Corps and also broken her elbow, which became important because she couldn’t get better, she couldn’t drain her lymphatics. And she was actually discharged from U of M GI saying, “The problem is in your head.” Well, in our second visit, I figured out the problem, which was she was locked in her lower thoracic. So by able to mobilizing that waste away from her GI track, she could actually then move the infection out by allowing the waste to leave and better supporting that flow of the immune system coming in, attacking what’s in her gut and then allowing that flow and excretion out.

James Maskell: That’s amazing. Yeah. And I’m sure there’s so many examples like that, where just you really have to bring a level of thinking into the care. And I think that’s a key part. I love the story you told about your mentor, because we actually featured her on the podcast, I think, a number of years ago. And I have my own story about learning from the very early parts of this movement. And you’ve chosen to call your clinic Holistic Medicine, so was that a throwback to that? And what does holistic medicine mean to you?

Andrea McSwain: So it was originally the Michigan Center for Functional Medicine because it was really me, and then when we added our integrative cardiologist, and then I added and built the team with the naturopathic physicians, they wanted to find a word that fit everybody. So there is kind of this, it’s interesting, I was telling one of our employee that said, “It’s kind of in between a Granny apple and Fuji apple, and a Macintosh apple.” It’s really an apple to the rest of the world, but when you get into these subtleties, we really wanted to make sure that our staff felt that they were really offering something that resonated with them.

But I’ve always felt like medicine is a ministry, and I think in other countries they talk about the ministry of medicine. And I’ve always felt that that kind of holistic, that kind of connection of the mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing ties in with the spiritual. Another thing is I’m reading this book right now on meditation, and so oftentimes we’re taught to leave our bodies, and I very much believe that we’re meant to be on our bodies. Or the earth is a place for us to find joy in our physical being. And that’s how I connect that idea of holistic, because I ought to think times people think that they need to leave their body to find peace, and I very much work with my patients to come into their body and find peace. So that’s how I view holistic medicine.

James Maskell: Absolutely. Yeah. That’s really insightful, and I appreciate you sharing that. And I think that is a huge part of people being disconnected is a huge part of that. I didn’t prepare you that I was going to ask you about this, but you look so much healthier today than I’ve ever seen you. We reconnected. Has this been a journey for you as well?

Andrea McSwain: Well, I’m definitely one of the main patients in our practice. I enjoy our supplements, our private label. Today I had an extraction facial with dermaplaning, and then I also was on the EMSculpt getting my 20,000 squats in through the medical gym. I do. I love the glow of working on my skin is the largest organ of defense, I mean a large organ, period. And then I’m obviously very passionate about the work. So I think that I smile for that. So I do, I feel actually 43 looks better on me than 35, definitely than 32, or definitely being a resident and being a OBGYN attending.

James Maskell: Amazing. Yeah. Well, look, it’s proof in the pudding and you really see, when you walk into a practice and everyone looks healthy. When I was a sales rep early in my career I could almost tell how well the practice was going by looking at the people there. People were bright and shining, and there’s like lights in their eyes, you’re like, “Hey, something special is happening here.” And just having met with all your team last week, I would say you’ve really got…through Zoom. So let’s jump into, this podcast series is called Success Leaves Clues. And ultimately this journey that you’ve been on, to really work out how to do private practice and doing it in a way that’s healthy and valuable. And also, I guess I would imagine that part of you wanted to prove that this kind of medicine could be profitable because ultimately early in your days when you were being told that it was all about the profit of the system, I feel like you kind of rejected that. So to be able to prove that holistic medicine can be healthy, and profitable, and be successful has been part of that journey.

Andrea McSwain: Right, very much so. Because you can’t be here, so that was it. Like it’s always about the patient, right? So it’s mission first and money second. But you can’t have a mission if you don’t have the money. And so that just became very clear to me. And actually, I definitely felt like for a few years, I spent a little time failing in the business. I had another job, I could kind of rent a place and not really be there that much, and just work some things out in my head. But all that went away the moment I hired a part-time worker as an office manager. I had to then feed her and her family. And it wasn’t a hobby at that point, then it really meant something to make sure that the money was there, that the infrastructure was there and that I could move forward with this. And it really started becoming, how can I build a stable place for the community and including my staff, and including myself?

And that’s when the profit became very necessary. Because I think a lot of physicians, they do it so much from their heart, and I do it from my heart clearly, but again, I was seeing people fold. I was seeing other practices fold in the community and I was also seeing really good practitioners retire, and retire without a lineage. And I started getting angry about this idea because it’s not enough for me, I’m only going to be in this 20-something years. I have to create something that then can be supporting the community for the long haul. When we look at healthy at 100 for a patient, how in the world are we going to get a 40-year-old healthy at 100 when I’m going to retire when they’re 60, right? Or I’m going to 60, 70, I’m never going to really retire, we know that’s definitely not true that I’m going to retire. But how can other people who are not able to stay in their business, and they get someone starting to get better, and that patient is relying on that practitioner and then they have to fold because the business closes down.

And I was like, “I am not going to do that. I am not going to come here and be not supportive enough of the mission by not supporting the money. And on the other hand, I am not going to make it impossible for people to come see me.” So I also said, “My prices are very fair. I keep a cash pay. But I don’t keep a cash pay that’s restrictive. So people can come to me.” I’m like two-thirds the price of actually our average in the state. So my hourly rate, I kept it reasonable, but I kept it at a good price. So I started at $250 an hour, now I’m at $300 an hour. My initial is $500 an hour for a 75-minute visit. Other people in town, they’re $450 an hour and they don’t spend the whole time with the patient. I’m very engaged with the patient. But it leads you to a million-and-a-half dollar practice in two-and-a-half years by having people who can afford to come in and pay you.

James Maskell: Yeah, absolutely. I’d love to just dive into that. And let’s, I want to just go back to this phase where you had, where it was a side hustle, because I think one of the things that we’ve seen in the Practice Accelerator time and time again, is like, “Hey, before you quit your job just realize there are things that you’re going to have to work out that you don’t have to work out when your insurance, as an example. Like where are the patients going to come from?

And I think that what you identified there is a key thing that we’ve seen for practitioners to be successful is while you’re in the learning phase of being an individual practice, have some other way of supporting yourself in that journey. Because I think that leads to a situation where you have some foundation to make really good decisions, because I’ve seen a lot of doctors make really bad decisions when everything’s on the line, they’ve quit cold turkey and they have to make it work. And you want to be making your best decisions at that time. So I really appreciate that. And then obviously, then going from micro-practice to having a first person in there, what was the impact that you saw when someone else was doing the work that you had been doing up until that point?

Andrea McSwain: They really allowed the phones to be answered in a timely manner for there to be consistency for the patients to believe that they’d be getting a call back in a timely manner that wouldn’t necessarily have to be on me. So this person was available to answer the phones because I was off being a clinician somewhere else. And that just allowed for 15 or 20 hours a week of coverage, so if someone had a supplement question, they could call. But they didn’t necessarily have to call me, and then I didn’t have to…I could focus on making my living happen over here, but then she could focus on just some of those simple follow-through things, making sure the patient knew that they were going to get the question answered or get them on the books scheduled, understand a problem with our electronic medical records and how to solve that. So there’s just that base of making the flow of the office happen. And I started giving her that.

James Maskell: Have you seen, has that expanded over time into more of like an integrator role where you have someone who’s being, sort of executing into your vision?

Andrea McSwain: So when I went from one person, then I started adding a VA that had more of a marketing perspective and was getting some flyers together or making our website look nicer or kind of refining, adding our logo. And then I also… So I am not exactly answering your question because it’s very difficult to kind of break that down to go from, we went from four to five people, to 15 people, to 28 people in a year. So I never really had that time where I was like growing the staff like one person at a time. We added three people last week. So I don’t grow that way, right? But I can appreciate if someone else does. I don’t think I can answer that question very well. But what I can answer is some fundamentals about staffing, which is we had a per diem phlebotomist from day one.

And that was fundamentally important. Even before I had the part-time office assistant or office manager, I had a phlebotomist. She’s a great stick. She’s a lovely person. And she could do my specialty labs per diem because she already had another job. And she could just come in, phlebotomy, get my labs drawn. At that time, Boston Heart and Genova paid them directly, so I didn’t even have to pay her, and then she could get my stuff done. So that phlebotomist was incredible. My labs came out a success. I have excellent rate of return on my labs, greater than 95% since the beginning. So I just started kind of finding where the holes were and knowing where there would be success. So social media was something. But I took that on myself primarily by doing a Facebook Live every Thursday at 5:30, and really kept that up all the way through COVID.

So I did about 100. So people were actually getting me on their feed, they would see me or they’d hear about me and then I’d be on their feed. And so they’d see me in a few different places. So that idea about the seven to 10 points of contact is really critical. And having them hear my voice and see my face and talk about something that nobody else talks about, that isn’t really hard for me to talk about but it’s really unusual for them to hear. But really helping them see that they’re seeing medicine in this little box or their doctors are, but I see it in my own paradigm box, which is much, much larger, and included them.

James Maskell: Yeah. Look, I just want to thank you and acknowledge you for doing that because ultimately I just feel like 2020 was an incredible opportunity for everyone in the functional medicine space to share everything that they knew about immune resilience that medicine knows absolutely nothing about. And if there was ever a time where you could have distinguished yourself from the rest of the medical system by talking about the most simple things, like never mind vitamin C, and vitamin D, and zinc, but also things like leaky gut. Look, if 80% of the immune system is in the gut, let’s talk about that. Like it couldn’t be a more critical topic.
Andrea McSwain: Right.

James Maskell: So I want to acknowledge you for doing it. And also just the fact that, obviously in the Accelerator, and listening to Uli, and obviously what we’ve talked about, about throughout the years, how many touch points that people need to go? I trust this woman. I want this woman to be my doctor. And showing up every week consistently getting on video and doing it, I just yeah, acknowledge you for doing it. Because I think the opportunity has been there and still is that, right, for every doctor, practitioner, nutritionist, anyone in the space to differentiate themselves. And there’s been so much literature that’s come out over the year to back us up, and yet I feel like most clinicians haven’t really taken as best advantage of it. Why did you decide to do Facebook Live, and what were some of the highlights of that year online?

Andrea McSwain: Well, it was free. It was free and people could share it if they wanted to. That was it. I knew I could do it and it had no cost, and I could save the videos or share the videos or reference the videos to people when they came into my office to find out more information about me, or they could send it to someone that they knew who might be interested in my care. But there was really no Instagram when I started on Facebook Lives, it was just a whole different thing, it wasn’t purchased by Facebook at that time. And I can just talk. So I just pick a topic.

James Maskell: Yeah, that’s really cool.

Andrea McSwain: Because I kind of know more than other people about these things.

James Maskell: Yeah, it’s simple. And being everywhere where you want to be, to especially people. And the beauty, obviously with social media is that the people watching are probably in Michigan, and their friends are probably in Michigan.

Andrea McSwain: Right.

James Maskell: And so very in short order, you can start to do it with consistency. So just on the topic of the accelerator, are there other things that you’ve learned along the way that have helped you get to this point of having now full clinics? You said something the other day that everyone in Michigan is within, what, 90-minute drive of one of your clinics, is that right?

Andrea McSwain: Right. You could argue the very west tip of the upper peninsula we don’t have that well of approach, but that’s probably about 45 people. So there’s 45 people in Michigan who are not 90 minutes from our office or within 90 minutes of. So I do want to say one thing though that Facebook, is I shared it to two groups. I shared it to our local kind of 517, which is our zip code number. And I also shared it to Not Your Mother’s Networking Group, which had like 15,000 people. So I made sure every week I shared that to two groups and the admins just let my video come in. So I do want to make sure that that’s how I really grew to just two groups, I just picked two groups. And that kind of lends itself into that question about the Practice Accelerator.

So the Practice Accelerator, it told me a few things, one, I remember specifically a lot of times hearing like, be the hormone doctor, like, “You’re an OBGYN. Be the hormone doctor.” And I was like, “I can appreciate that.” But what I really felt connected to even more was structural alignment. And so I started kind of as a structural alignment doctor, and I know that’s a really important place to start because you need to bring people in. But what I struggled with was transitioning away from the structural alignment doctor to be the doctor, right? So sometimes my patients say, “Well, you’re helping adjust me, but now you’re telling me to buy turmeric.” And I’m like, “Well, that’s because you need to reduce your inflammation.”

And they really couldn’t make that bridge necessarily. So as soon as I had any base at all, right away I started talking to them about other dynamics of what I was offering. And that became really important as I added ozone IV therapy, and nutrient therapy IV. I want to tell you about this as well. So I could expand their therapeutic options. So, to the point about the Practice Accelerator, it was to come in and be that thing, but don’t just be that thing and only provide one treatment option. And I think that is a lot of times people talk about oral supplementation, and I think that’s great, but as doctors we have so much potential to do so many other things. And so once I became structural alignment, and then I added supplements related to pain management or inflammation reduction, and then I started talking about protein support, and then I started just growing my offerings to them, and then actually showcasing my offerings.

James Maskell: Yeah. I think that’s such a huge point. Really the point niching for a functional medicine doctor is really like, how do you get the first…Right? That’s the real thing is like someone has to know in your community that you can help them with some problem that they have. But once you get to know them and once they see and feel you, and even once they click on your Facebook page like button and see—

Andrea McSwain: Right.

James Maskell: …three of your videos they’re like, “Hang on a minute. This person’s a lot more well-rounded than I thought.” But it’s also like, how do you just get them in for the first time? So I love the way you share that. And I think it’s really valuable. Tell us a little bit about this journey from one practice to four, because I know that ultimately, I would love for this to happen to all of the clinics, not just in our Practice Accelerator, but successful functional medicine clinics. If you’ve done it successfully once, I feel like there should be this growth. And how did you decide that this was a journey you wanted to go on and on, and what’s the vision from here forward?

Andrea McSwain: Okay. Okay. So we’re going to summarize that, right, into just a few moments. You asked quite the question. So one to four. Okay. So it starts with the fact that I believe that I have to be a proponent of the…we have to change the paradigm of healthcare in our society. I am recognizing that I am only one person and only offer 15 hours for the clinic. So in order for the mission to activate the inheritability for each person to heal, I have to work with other clinicians and build a center of excellence for them and with them so that we can reach people. And not everybody resonates with me. I have to recognize that too. So I have to have other people in the staff that somebody else can resonate with, and I have to be okay with that.

And then the other principle there is I have to trust other clinicians to do an excellent job. Not perfect. I’m not perfect. It’s a practice. We have to recognize our own humanity. But I had a very nice conversation with a retired holistic dentist recently, and she said, “I don’t understand how you can have a practice three hours away and expect to be able to offer the same level of care that you provide.” And I said to her, I said, “I don’t understand why you spent 40 years making yourself amazing clinician and you never taught anybody else those skills. And so now when you retired, that’s dead.” And that is it. Michigan is very in need, it does not mean 15 hours a week. It is me, and the nurses, and of course the other physicians, and our staff, and our phlebotomist. We have to create a network that creates ability to heal, a web, an expansiveness in order to propel this mission beyond 15 hours of clinic a week.

So I accept the fact that not everybody’s going to do a perfect job. I know we encounter, we had a meeting before we talked today, and we talked about a lot of stuff that’s going on. But it’s always patient centered, always goes back to serving the mission. And we always do that. And so I have to have staff and clinical staff that can reach these communities and have a reference point. Our staff is getting trained like crazy. One of our naturopathic physicians the other day was like jumping up and down of the more training that she’s receiving, because now we’re in our own network. So now we can provide all this additional excellent training. We have weekly meetings for our esthetician in our medical spa for our clinicians. We’re meeting all the time with each other, we’re building together. So that’s why was one for what will be in the future? Michigan is at the 50 and 51st place for mortality for early death. They just don’t live a long time here because conditions are hard and they don’t have the services that they need. So Michigan is a great place to focus with 10 million people.

James Maskell: Yeah. It’s amazing. What you’re talking about really speaks to, I guess some of the initial vision, I guess, that I had for the functional forum meet groups, which is that there could be that kind of engagement. But obviously with you having that many clinicians amongst the four practices, you’ve now created your own structure internally where people learn from each other. Because I just feel like that peer to peer learning is so critical, and so much of medical education is so dogmatic and also just taught from the front, right, taught with slides from the front. And it’s actually, a lot of learning is really happening in this peer to peer environment because it’s practical and it’s applied. And in a certain way CMEs kind of stops that because it has to be like you have to submit the PowerPoint three months before.

So I’m really excited to hear about that. I would love to just, I guess before we end, and I’m super grateful for this time and for you to be sharing what you’ve shared. Just like stepping into being an entrepreneur and what that’s been like for you, because obviously that wasn’t really the plan when you were in medical school, and maybe it wasn’t even the plan when you started being your own practice, the micro practice. But now that you are an entrepreneur and you have four clinics, I’d just love to get your thoughts on what that journey has been like, and what the promise of entrepreneurship, clinician entrepreneurship specifically, holds for the transformation of the paradigm.

Andrea McSwain: Right. So when I think about entrepreneurship, obviously it wasn’t really in me to focus on that, and yet I think that clinicians are very bright people, and so that they very much have the power to do day in and day out stuff. But they also have to give it time. So usually on Fridays, I am the CEO of the company, on Monday, I’m the medical director, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I’m the clinician, and Friday, I’m the CEO. Because it needs time. There is a grooming process. But a lot of it is getting over the fact that we have been indoctrinated as clinicians to believe things that are not true, which is first of all, we know how to answer the phone. So we don’t need six people waiting to answer the phone, right? We know how to take out the trash, take out the trash.

These things, we know how to do things that, I can start IVs, start your IVs. Like take the skillset that you have and make it work to make money, to make services available to people. And don’t say, “Somebody else is going to do that. The nurse will call the patient, blah, blah, blah.” No. Not in the beginning, you do everything, right? But you don’t do everything for very long. And I think this is what entrepreneurs learn. And this is what I learned, obviously from the Practice Accelerator and then taking some other, it was kind of smattering of other courses is make sure as soon as you can get rid of something off of your plate that you are giving it to someone because then you can grow. And we have someone on my staff the other day, and I said to her, quite candidly, I said, “I’m going to hire more people. You can decide if they work for you or you work for them.”

And that’s just it, as a clinician, first of all, you’re totally committed to the patient and what they need. And then second of all, are you doing it in a way that is actually building a support so that you can offer more to more patients, or better care to your patients? Because you’re building a structure to support you. But a lot of times we’ve been told that we’re just part of the cogs. We’re just a cog in the wheel, right? Like, “Oh, the doctor doesn’t do that. The doctor doesn’t think about the communication infrastructure.” Like, well, why not? We’re really smart people. Why wouldn’t we be able to think about that? And I see that’s sometimes where doctors just say like, “I can’t get out of this paradigm that people are supposed to do things for me.” And it’s like, “Well, okay then.”

James Maskell: Yeah. Well, look, if the doctors start thinking, what are we going to do with all these pointless middle managers that are running everything? Yeah. It’s amazing. Look, I think it’s such a great story. And I think fulfilling the potential of clinician entrepreneurship with the practice and everything you’re doing is an incredible story. What I’m excited about is coming back in a couple years and doing another interview to see where, because I guess I just want to finish with the vision, like where do you see this going? And when you sit in that CEO chair on a Friday, and you take a moment to dream about what’s possible, where does your heart go?

Andrea McSwain: So we’ve grown very fast. And at the end of the day, my heart goes to the person who walks down the street who is pushing a cart, who’s pushing a grocery cart around. Or it goes to the person who’s hobbling because their foot is in a lot of pain. It goes to the underserved. It goes to the person who is extremely wealthy. I was raised…and Linda McCartney died and she died very, very young. How can one of the wealthiest women die so young? Because she had didn’t have great care, most likely, right? We can serve people and be in their world in a way that really matters.

So it’s not necessarily for me figuring out numbers, or I would say if anything that we work in a way that Michigan is really well-served in the next five to 10 years, I mean really getting amazing care that is helping them with their longevity. That maybe we can change the marker of longevity in Michigan for men and women, and maybe we can move up, start moving up that line. And that other people feel faith in themselves as clinicians to be able to do the work and take the risks that need to happen so that we can change a healthcare paradigm that’s been forced upon us and is really causing a lot more pain.

James Maskell: Beautiful. Doctor, thank you so much for being part of the Evolution of Medicine podcast. Thank you for being part of the Practice Accelerator and… be working closely with you in the next few years to help achieve that vision and beyond. And such a pleasure to have you here. If you want to find out more about Dr. Andrea McSwain and her practice, what’s the best website to find out about the practices?

Andrea McSwain: It’s MIHolisticMed.com with an H.

James Maskell: Right.

Andrea McSwain: So M-I-H-O-L-I-S-T-I-CMed.com.

James Maskell: Great. All right, great. Well, we’ll put all the details in the show notes, you can find out more about the practice there. We are enrolling for the Practice Accelerator this month, it only happens twice a year. So if you want to go to GoEvoMed.com/accelerator to find out more about that. Thanks so much for being here and part of the podcast, and we’ll see you next time.

Thanks for listening to the evolution of medicine podcast. Please share this with colleagues who need to hear it. Thanks so much to our sponsors, the Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center. This podcast is really possible because of them. Please visit goevomed.com/lmrc to find out more about their clinical tools like the group visit toolkit. That’s goevomed.com/lmrc. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll see you next time.


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