Dr. Brendan Michel is the first to admit that he’s a bit of an anomaly. But for this Vohra Physician based in Winston-Salem, NC, he uses it to his advantage. After all, he’s applied his knowledge in both surgery and internal medicine to build the wound care practice that works for him.
Location Aligned with Availability
The first time Dr. Michel applied to Vohra there weren’t any openings in his area, so he continued running his family practice. But becoming a Vohra Physician was still on his to-do list. He kept his eye on new openings in his area and applied a second time when Vohra was looking for his skills in North Carolina. After a short interview process, he began his new career with Vohra.
Wound Care & Overall Health: Connecting the Dots
During his daily rounds, Dr. Michel says his primary job is to address wounds in relation to a patient’s overall health since the two are inextricably linked. He says it involves striking a balance between understanding internal medicine and the surgical aspects of performing typical on-site procedures like debridement, cauterization and biopsies.
“Wounds are often secondary to other medical conditions. Their behavior is related to how other conditions are doing.”
- Dr. Brendan Michel, MD, Family Medicine Specialist and Vohra Wound Physician
Wounds & Their Many Causes
Dr. Michel has observed that patients needing wound care may not be the most obvious. Common conditions like congestive heart failure causes weight gain, swelling and venous ulcers. Many people know that wounds on the feet are typical for diabetics, but Dr. Michel says you might also discover an abscess on the back. This is a signal that the overall diabetes regimen isn’t working. He also finds many cancer patients with wounds on their legs, so having a holistic view of the patient’s condition is vital for wound care.
His Practice, His Way
One of the aspects every Vohra Physician enjoys is the autonomy of their own practice. On this point, Dr. Michel couldn’t agree more. He’s built his practice by forging relationships within organizations that have introduced him to other facilities. Dr. Michel says some organizations like having the same doctor in all their facilities in an area because it standardizes the care.
Admittedly, he’s chosen a considerable patient load. He visits 19 facilities every week, working non-stop each day, except when traveling to the next location. He also sees a number of patients after they are discharged via Vohra@Home, Vohra’s telemedicine program, to ensure continuity of care.
“I choose to do things this way. I like to have a big practice. And the health systems like to see the same physician in all of their facilities.”
Vohra Fellowship and EMR
While Dr. Michel hasn’t finished his Vohra Fellowship yet, he says what he’s learned from a medical legal standpoint has been very helpful. And Vohra’s proprietary EMR plays a big role. When he had his family practice, he’d have to finish up his notes at night. Now, with Vohra’s EMR, it takes just a few minutes for each patient and he finishes at the bedside.
“Definitely one of the best EMR’s I’ve used
in terms of documentation time.”
He described a recent experience with the state health department. They called to ask questions related to the wounds of three patients. “We went over the notes together, because sometimes they’re very dense. I pointed things out and cleared up the situation. That was because there was good documentation.”
“To be an effective physician you need to know how to properly document a wound in addition to treating it.”
Career Goals: Achieved
When asked about his career goals, Dr. Michel’s answer is brief. “I actually hit where I want to be a while ago.” The large size of his practice is the main reason. But he does admit that his travel time takes a chunk out of each day since he works in three cities. Musing on what he sees himself doing in the future, he thinks training physicians in wound care might be a possibility.
“I’m working less hours and making the same salary
I would in practice. I don’t have to be on call on weekends.”
Weekends are for Wheels
When not seeing patients in his wound care practice, Dr. Michel uses his never-on-call schedule to run a motorcycle and auto repair shop. He buys, sells and repairs, and if he needs to be airborne, he has his private pilot’s license too. All of this would be hard to juggle with an on-call schedule. Fortunately with Vohra, he’s able to do it all. And for Dr. Michel, that’s a beautiful thing.