Entrepreneurs of Waco: Uncommon Healthcare
(Note: This post is part of a series called “Entrepreneurs of Waco.” The series is collaboration between the McLennan Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Professional Writing program at Baylor University, and Act Locally Waco. The McLennan Small Business Development Center offers technical assistance, business mentoring, training, and resources for all stages of small business. For more information, visit their website: www.mccsbdc.com. To see all the posts in this series, click here: Entrepreneurs of Waco. – ABT)
By Kellie Fawcett
As you enter the Uncommon Healthcare office you don’t see tile floors or fluorescent lights. There aren’t dozens of people in the waiting room sniffling while they flip through year-old lifestyle magazines. There isn’t a TV playing cooking show reruns. The carpeted waiting area includes plush chairs and a soothing water feature. Complimentary drinks are available. In fact, if anyone is in the waiting area, it is because he or she has arrived early. When Dr. Macik schedules your appointment for 10:30, she’ll be with you at 10:30.
Dr. Felicia Macik, the founder, owner, and physician at Uncommon Healthcare, is the only direct primary care family physician between Austin and Dallas. When she greets her patients, she is not in a hurry. She greets each one with a smile and usually a hug. She is in casual clothes, not scrubs. The only way you would know she is a doctor is the stethoscope draped around her neck.
Aside from being owner, founder, and physician at Uncommon Healthcare, she is also the accountant, manager and marketer. None-the-less, when you meet with Dr. Macik in her office she sits next to you, ignoring the office chair she has at her desk. In doing so she lets you in on her secret to success: relationships.
Dr. Macik used to work for a hospital system but left employed practice after 17 years.” She had expectations of herself as a physician, the hospital system had expectations of her as an employee, and the insurance companies had their own expectations set by government regulation. This presented an obvious problem. Her solution: to pursue a new career path that she discovered via talk radio.
“My husband actually discovered it,” she says chuckling, “I was miserable in the system and was trying to figure out if I was going to leave medicine. I really thought, ‘If I can’t find another way to do this I’m not going to be a physician any more. I don’t want to continue to do this for the rest of my career.’ My husband was listening to talk radio and some physicians came on. They were leaders in the nation in direct care and were talking about their model of practice and how physicians were looking into this. So he came home and said, ‘Felicia, oh my gosh, you have got to listen to this and check this out. This is so who you are, this is exactly what you need to do.’ And so that was on a Friday afternoon and I will never forget, I went home and the entire weekend listened to podcasts about direct care and listened to those guys.”
This was a week before her sons’ spring break. She sat the family down and asked them to forgo their previously planned ski trip in order to road trip to Wichita, Kansas, to meet with the direct care physicians from the radio.
After meeting with six other well-known primary care physicians, interviewing their patients, and extensively researching direct primary care, Dr. Macik learned that roughly half of direct primary practices fail the first year. “So going into it I knew that was the case and that was a risk for me and my husband also knew. But, I also knew that this is who I am as a doctor.”
Dr. Macik feels strongly that healthcare should not be a source of physical or financial stress. Earlier this year she partnered with another entrepreneur to establish a pharmacy program to help her patients receive prescription medication at wholesale prices. “I have a patient who is a small business person. She just launched a business and her son developed a seizure disorder and the medication was so expensive that they literally could not afford it. We put them on the pharmacy program and now they’re only paying $47 per month for the medicine that was going to be right around $300 per month retail. So yeah, its life changing…”
At Uncommon Healthcare patients pay a monthly fee to receive high quality care tailored to each specific patient. Patients don’t go through insurance companies or hospital hierarchy. They are promised at least 30 minutes of personal questions and care each time they see Dr. Macik. Hospitals discourage their doctors from spending more than 10 minutes at a time with a single patient.
Dr. Macik makes herself available 24/7 through an after-hours phone number that allows patients to text pictures or Skype her if there’s an emergency. “I had a patient that had an abscess and she sent me pictures of it on my phone and those pictures dropped right into her chart so it’s all integrated. It prevented her from having to go to the emergency room because she was able to access me. We were off on Good Friday and I was kayak fishing with my son, and I was on my phone treating an abscess while we were kayak fishing because I can do that.”
Right now, Dr. Macik is living her dream. She has a loving and supportive family, she has started her own business, she is doing what she loves, and she’s succeeding in it. “It is still very stressful, but I know that if I stayed in the system it was never going to get better… this at least offers me the opportunity to ultimately have stability and to have satisfaction with what I am doing every day.” Success for Dr. Felicia Macik is not about cutting costs or maintaining a strict schedule, it’s about loving and serving her patients.
The entrepreneur… After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Tarleton State University with a BS in Biology, Dr. Felecia Macik attended medical school at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth. She completed family medicine residency training at UTMB Conroe and then a women’s health fellowship at the University of Tennessee at Memphis. She previously served on the faculty of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and as the Assistant Program Director of Texas A&M’s Brazos Family Medicine residency training program. Dr. Macik has received numerous awards including being twice named Faculty of the Year and being honored with the Waco Tribune Herald’s Reader’s Choice Award for primary care physicians. She has a passion for patient care and has enjoyed serving the patients of this area for over 10 years. Uncommon Healthcare, 1000 State Hwy 6, Suite 100 Waco Texas 76712, 254-339-1360, www.uncommonhealthcare.com.
The writer…Kellie Fawcett graduated from Baylor in 2016 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. She is from Brentwood, Tennessee. While at Baylor she participated in Baylor Buddies and Baylor women’s Lacrosse.
The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.