Dr. Cindy: Bilingual Latina Doctor Launches Medical Clinic
Texas has been labeled the uninsured capital of the United States, and with over 2.7 million Latinos in Houston, the need for affordable access to a board-certified physician is great.
While there is a need for Latinos to access healthcare, the medical community has not been developing enough bilingual and bicultural doctors. The majority of medical schools now offer “medical Spanish” elective courses for medical students, but the demographics of these future doctors have not changed. Only about 3% of all doctors are Latina and not all of those Latinas are bilingual or bicultural.
As a Spanish speaking doctor , Dr. Cindy opened her clinic to address the problem.
“As a child, I had to help translate for my family at the doctor’s office. I saw firsthand how difficult it was for us to access healthcare. Since I was five, I wanted to take care of patients the way I would take care of my abuela,” said Dr. Cindy.
Most of the questions Dr. Cindy gets about her new clinic are about the DPC healthcare model. The majority of her patients have never heard of it.
A DPC clinic, like Dr. Cindy’s, is an independent small business that works for the patients. This direct relationship means DPCs are not part of insurance networks. Patients pay a monthly or yearly membership which includes all their primary care, urgent care and minor emergencies. DPC doctors typically have between 500 – 700 patients compared to a typical medical practice where doctors can have 2,000 patients. The lighter patient load means DPC doctors have more time to spend with their patients, can be more proactive with their treatment plans and are available 24/7 for their patients.
This type of service was typically associated with concierge medicine. A type of medical practice that caters to wealthy individuals that require their doctors to be a phone call away without a wait. The DPC model has taken the same concept and service and made it available to the general public.
Dr. Cindy believes DPC will greatly help Houston’s Latino community.
“The cost to become a member is budget friendly for Latino families, and because we offer 24/7 access to healthcare working families are able to take care of their medical needs when it’s convenient for them,” said Dr. Cindy.
Most of Houston’s DPC clinics are located in the suburbs and target a different audience. Only the University of Houston Medical School is using the DPC model to target underserved communities. While the school made the announcement in July 2021, there is no firm opening date for their clinic. They decided to open their clinic after a sizable donation, and will pilot the program first before expanding.
Dr. Cindy has doubled down on the concept and the community.
“I’m committed to serving the medical needs of the Latino community. I want a future where quality healthcare isn’t a privilege and my community isn’t dependent on the purse strings of insurance or government,” said Dr. Cindy.