Member of the Month: Anthony Lyssy, DO
Direct primary care doc helps patients focus on prevention
After completing medical school at UNTHSC in Fort Worth and completing a residency at Methodist in Dallas, native Texan Anthony Lyssy, DO, founded Diamond Physicians in Dallas with James Pinckney, MD. The direct primary care practice even opened its first franchise location in Frisco this past May. His desire to branch out to a new practice model type stems from his early interest in prevention, nutrition, and fitness, Lyssy says.
“I have a passion for healthy living and feel that educating patients on the correct ways to accomplish this lifestyle is paramount to disease prevention,” says Lyssy. “In founding Diamond Physicians, my partner Dr. Pinckney and I have been able to provide exceptional patient care in a membership-based practice without the insurance restrictions in place for traditional insurance based practices.”
To learn more about Diamond Physicians and the direct primary care model, watch this video from TAFP’s Embracing Change series.
Why did you choose family medicine, and what’s your favorite aspect of it? Were you inspired by anyone?
It was important for me to be on the front lines of health care. During my medical training, I discovered that developing strong personal relationships with my patients enabled them to place their full trust in my medical recommendations, resulting in better outcomes and overall improved wellness. I enjoy becoming part of their family as a trusted advocate for their health care matters. At Diamond Physicians, I encourage my patients to keep in touch regularly via calls, emails, electronic messaging, and in office visits so I can stay apprised on their general wellness and family lives. I thoroughly enjoy watching my patients thrive in the wellness oriented environment that we offer.
How would you define the mission of your practice?
Our goal is to provide affordable private health care services to those patients looking to invest in their health with a proactive approach to wellness! We also take pride in furthering the direct primary care movement across the country that is changing the face of family medicine.
How did you get into the direct primary care type of practice?
During training, I saw firsthand the trouble on the horizon for primary care providers practicing in a traditional insurance-based model. I wanted no part of that inefficient medical world. I knew that in order to provide my patients with the level of service I strive for, I would need to develop a practice model that would allow me to go above and beyond the standard of care. A DPC practice allows me to spend hours with patients rather than minutes. I can focus on being proactive rather than reactive with my approach to health care. I knew that by focusing on quality over quantity and attacking the issues that plague our country with a truly preventive approach, I would be able to change lives. Unfortunately, 65 percent of Americans are classified as overweight or obese. By 2020, 50 percent of all adult Americans will be insulin resistant or pre-diabetic. In this country, 75 percent of health care dollars are spent on chronic disease and half of those diseases are preventable! We aren’t spending enough time on educating patients the right ways to do things. Only telling our patients to eat right and exercise unfortunately just doesn’t cut it.
We as physicians need to be able to explain disease process and why the things we typically do or don’t do can lead to development of the extensive amount of chronic, or preventable, disease in this country. I am a firm believer in the idea that physicians need to practice what they preach. A wellness provider needs to educate themselves on the most efficient types of exercise and lifestyle modification with diet, stress management, and recovery. Ultimately this will allow for optimization of health for each individual patient according to their lifestyles and risk. Being familiar with these practices, passionate about these fundamentals, and communicating with clients consistently with electronic communication is the only way to begin to effectively change the ways in which our patients live. At Diamond Physicians, I am able to do all of these things and my patients reap the benefits! It’s more than rewarding as a physician to be able to help elevate a patient’s health to a level they have never dreamed.
It is important for me to be a member of AAFP and TAFP because:
As a member physician of TAFP and AAFP, I find the resources I need for practice management, patient care, continuing medical education, and medical policy support. Having such powerful and supportive academies working on behalf of your best interest as a physician gives you exceptional peace of mind, knowing you aren’t going at it alone!
How can we attract more medical students to family medicine?
We need to show our student doctors the positive sides of family medicine such as the ability to pick up on disease early and reverse it, the ability to make true connections with patients, and the myriad variations in the type of practice that family medicine allows. We need to show students that many brilliant, forward thinking physicians have paved the way for a broad new frontier in family medicine with the evolution of direct primary care. A better lifestyle, better reimbursement, closer relationships with patients, and improved patient wellness are all benefits of this new type of practice. Students need exposure to these practices early and often in order to realize that specializing isn’t the only way to go!
If you weren’t a doctor what would you be doing with your career?
I would likely be involved in the golf industry somehow or involved with nutrition and fitness.
How do you spend your free time?
Outside of spending quality time with my family, I am an avid golfer and a lover of all sports. I am a passionate follower of Longhorn athletics as well as all Dallas professional teams. My days don’t begin until I have completed yoga, running, or a workout early in the morning. I also enjoy staying up to date on the latest medical research in areas of wellness and prevention. I am blessed with a gorgeous wife who is incredibly supportive of my medical career and 3 beautiful and busy children, Jack (4), Katherine (3), and Mary Ann (9 months).
TAFP’s Member of the Month program highlights Texas family physicians in TAFP News Now and on the TAFP website. We feature a biography and a Q&A with a different TAFP member each month and his or her unique approach to family medicine. If you know an outstanding family physician colleague who you think should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you’d like to tell your own story, nominate yourself or your colleague by contacting TAFP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (512) 329-8666. View past Members of the Month here.