Physician Spotlight: Meet David McCay, MD, with Paladina Health

Physician _McCayFast Facts

Hometown – Louisville, Kentucky

Family – Wife – Emily; Daughter – Camille

Hobbies – Running, reading, sports, hiking and camping

Education – BS – Centre College; MD – University of Louisville, Residency – St. Louis University

Motto – Pursue your dream.

Dream job – Chef or professional poker player.

Why did you become a doctor?

I was drawn to medicine because it allowed me to apply science to directly help people. I also like the problem solving involved, especially when the patient participates collaboratively.

Why did you choose this particular specialty?

I knew I wanted to do primary care. Internal Medicine/Pediatrics and its more rigorous training allowed me to become board certified to treat both children and adults.

Is it different than what you thought? How?

There is a lot about primary care that you don’t learn during school or residency. I never imagined how much I would have to be a salesman to convince my patients to do preventative care.

I also realize how hard it is to motivate a patient to change for better health and wellness.

What is the biggest misconception about your field?

Medical providers get just as frustrated by healthcare costs and economics as do patients. The rules are often just as baffling and out of the doctor’s control as for the patient.

What is the one thing you wish patients knew and/or understood about doctors?

Most of what we recommend is done with the patient’s best interest in mind. Often those recommendations are based on research and the input of expert panels. I am amazed how frequently patients don’t take my recommendations based on hearsay or something read online.

What is your opinion of managed care and how will this affect you and your practice?

Medical costs are exorbitant and we are really not achieving good health for the money spent. Managing care to reduce cost and improve outcomes is the right thing to do. However, the increasing burden imposed on physicians to accomplish that is a large reason why I recently changed to an employer based direct primary care practice.

What’s one thing your colleagues would be surprised to learn about you? ? Despite my longer hair and beard, I previously served 14 years combined Active Duty and Reserves in the Army.

What’s the best advice you ever received? Who gave it to you?

I don’t remember his name, but an Army Major who gave lectures when I was in one of my Army officer training courses talked about going about your day and your life such that as long as you could lay down your head on the pillow at night and feel you did your best, then that’s all you can do.

Who are your heroes in healthcare?

Family members who care for their loved ones who have advanced medical or personal needs. It’s a full time, often thankless, volunteer job.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My wife-for balancing owning and operating a small business while managing most of our family life since I am more often away at work.

What’s the last good book you read? ?I recently reread, “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss.

Favorite daytime beverage? Water

How do you go the Extra Mile, above and beyond their daily tasks to improve patient care, community health or hospital operations? The “Extra Mile” for me most often involves taking a little extra time with each patient or family encounter to communicate and educate. Those few extra minutes have a large impact over time.