Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Cudjoe.
Stephanie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am originally from Houston, Texas. I completed my undergraduate education at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, TX in 2001 then received my Doctorate in Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical School at Dallas. I then completed my Family Medicine Residency in Garland, Texas and joined a group practice in Frisco in 2008. After caring for patients for 8 and a half years, I recently opened my private practice, BloomMed in McKinney, TX, May 15, 2017.
I love science, teaching and helping others. While I thought I would spend my adult life teaching a science class or doing research in the biomedical sciences. I was placed in the pre-med program in college (though I don’t actually remember signing up for that!) and had a wonderful premed advisor that was passionate about science. I completed 2 summer internships at UT San Antonio assisting in animal research looking at the biochemical effects mood when my advisor suggested I work as an ER Technician my Junior Year. It was during that job that I decided I wanted to go to medical school.
Medical school at UTSW was a tough but amazing experience. I have never worked or played as hard! It challenged every notion I had about life, my own abilities and the potential of the healthcare system. I am grateful for the experience. I took it with me to Garland where I put all that I had learned into practice. Building enduring relationships with very sick patients reinforced my desire to pursue a career in Family Medicine, which I did in Frisco, TX.
I have developed wonderful relationships with patients over the last 10 years, but I realized I needed to practice medicine at a different pace and focus than what a bustling hospital – based practice could provide. The demands of insurance and government mandates on primary care physicians in the last 10 years have steadily increased our work hours long after the clinic doors have closed. I needed to find a way to provide the care I knew I could give (and my patients expected,) with a practice model that was personally sustainable.
Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think any road worth traveling should be smooth all the time. That makes for a boring, monotonous life with little opportunity for growth. Having said that, there were some spots along the way that more challenging than expected. Adjusting to married and parental life is not easy- especially with a full work schedule. I am a creature of habit and have been known to be a bit stubborn, but the ever-changing health care climate effectively broke that in me! I had to learn to roll with the punches and find the best perspective with every challenge. Whether it was figuring out a new EMR system or working out which parent was going to shift their schedule to watch a sick kid who has strep throat-again.
My husband, Anthony, became very sick just after my second daughter was born. At one point while he was in surgery, I thought I might lose him. But God is good and he made it through after 14 hours. It was a slow recovery for him and our relationship has been tried as any marriage has but it was through these experiences and the love and support of friends and family, we were able to prioritize the things that really matter in life and improve our communication with each other. Anthony is so supportive and caring. I am blessed to have him in my life.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with BloomMed – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
BloomMed is a Direct Primary Care practice, whose practice model is very different from the traditional Family Medicine practice. It emphasizes a transparent and simplified patient-physician relationship as the essential element in improving one’s health. Some people call it “membership medicine” but essentially, it works like an all -inclusive resort. There is a membership fee that takes care of all of the basic primary care services- annual physical, follow up appointments, acute appointments, minor procedures and even physical and routine follow up labs. There is no retainer fee, which is a defining characteristic of a concierge practice. While other DPC clinics are popping up, few offer home visits like BloomMed. I enjoy seeing my patients in their home. They are more relaxed because they did not have to fight traffic trying to get into the Doctor’s office then wait in a room full of other sick patients and kids running around!
This membership model is not yet a covered benefit with most insurance plans, so I don’t contract with any. This allows me to keep my overhead very low and charge lower prices that patients would pay to another practice out of pocket. Many patients have deductibles of over $4000/yr. The annual membership fee is $1500 at BloomMed if broken down into recurring payments or $1425 if paid up front. So most of my patients are actually saving money!
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
It is so funny- when anyone finds out I am from Houston, they invariably ask me, “which do you like better, Dallas or Houston?”, which I respond, ” I like both!”. DFW and Houston are both large metropolitan areas with lots of different cultures and diversity. I have seen the diversity increase exponentially in the last 10 years here in the DFW area. It actually resembles what I remember the suburbs of Houston to be when I grew up! I used to say “Houston has a lot of everybody”! There was no predominate culture; it is eclectic. I think McKinney has the potential to grow its diversity as well, being one of the fastest growing cities in the US.
I love that McKinney prides itself on its uniqueness and strives to maintain a small town feel, which is important because as more and more people come, the city will have the opportunity and challenge to show the new arrivals what McKinney is all about.
- Membership fees are age-based ranging from $50/mo for children under 12 to $125/mo for adults 18-64.
- Senior rate for those age 65+ is $100/mo.
- Address: 4510 Medical Center Drive
Suite 303, McKinney, TX 75069
- Website: www.bloom-med.com
- Phone: (972) 214 – 8579
- Email: Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BloomMedLLC/