“I have bucked against our present healthcare system for years because it is broken. Patients are rushed through like cattle and you never truly get to know them. I also know what it is like to be devalued as a doctor because I was ’employed’ and was thought to be easily replaced. By devaluing me, my employers also devalued my patients. I have pushed back by blogging about it, lecturing on it and even getting in trouble for it. Because of the burden placed on us by insurance companies, the government and the hospital administrators has gotten so overwhelming, physicians have become robodocs who just click buttons. More and more are now treating numbers and not patients. And I was becoming one of them. I knew that to become the old-fashioned doctor that I looked up to as a kid I needed to break free of the shackles placed upon me by those who have no business being involved. Therefore, I have, in deference to the great Mahatma Gandhi, decided to ‘become the change I wanted to see in the healthcare system’. The ONLY way to do that was have the patient as my only employer. The ONLY way to do that was to form my own Direct Family Practice clinic. Now I am beholden to the patients and no one else. My promise is to give them the time and attention they need. My job is to give patients more value than what they are paying to me in order to prove my worth to them and keep them healthy and satisfied. That is authentic medicine.”
Dr. Farrago received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Virginia in 1987, his Masters of Education degree in the area of Exercise Science from the University of Houston in 1990, and his Medical Degree from the University of Texas at Houston in 1994. His residency training occurred way up north at the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine. In his final year, he was elected Chief Resident by his peers.
For fifteen years Dr Farrago practiced family medicine in Auburn, Maine with over 75,000 patient visits during that time. He moved to Forest, Va. with his family in 2012. His connection to this area is through his wife Debra, who grew up here and whose mother, father and brother still love here. Dr. Farrago opened up the MedExpress on Timberlake in 2012 then worked one year as an independent contractor helping out Central Virginia Family Practice wherever they needed him (New London, Rustburg, Staunton River).
- Family Medicine – Dr. Farrago is board certified in family medicine. In fact, he has recertified twice since initially passing his boards in 1997.
- Nutrition/exercise – Prior to becoming a physician, Dr. Farrago was involved in sports medicine training of professional boxers in the late 1980s. Under the tutelage of fitness guru, Mackie Shilstone, he worked with countless fighters including five different world champions. He also received his Master’s Degree in Education under the area of Exercise Science and to this day very much uses this knowledge to help with his patients.
- Osteopathic Manipulation – Though not a DO, Dr. Farrago learned and excelled at OMT (Osteopathic Manipulation Treatment) in residency while taking extra courses from osteopathic physicians there. Since that time he has performed this treatment over 15,000 time and often gets patients referred to him for this therapy. Some of those referring to him have been DOs!
- Inventor – Dr. Farrago invented the Knee Saver, a padding that relieves knee stress in baseball catchers, while he was in medical school. He received the patent in 1991 and after years of persistence (and even more rejections), Dr. Farrago was able to make this product a staple of the game. The original Knee Saver is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame’s traveling exhibit (Baseball As America) under its Ingenuity and Innovation section. The Knee Saver, and its knock-offs, are worn by many major league baseball catchers today. Dr. Farrago is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet, worn by people for migraines, heat recovery and head injuries. At this time over half of MLB teams have the CryoHelmet available with the NFL expected to follow.
- National Speaker – Dr. Farrago lectures worldwide about the present crisis in our healthcare system and the affect it has on the doctor-patient relationship. He entertains audiences with tons of laughs but he also shares strategies on how to deal with change in the healthcare system and how to survive the turmoil ahead. Dr. Farrago has risen to national prominence in the lecture circuit by providing a humorous outlet for physicians while fighting back against the medical axis of evil (pharma, lawyers, insurance).
- Writer – Dr. Farrago created the Placebo Journal in 2001 and ran it until 2011. The purpose of this bi-monthly journal was to empower those in the healthcare field through the power of laughter. In 2005, the Placebo Journal caught the eye of Broadway Books. Dr. Doug compiled some of the Placebo Journal’s best true stories of medicine along with a healthy dose of fake drug ads and x-rays to create the Placebo Chronicles. Dr. Farrago also shares his unique insights about current issues in healthcare system in his blog Authentic Medicine whose mission has been to rediscover how much the art of medicine means and allows doctors to reconnect to their roots once again. Dr. Farrago uses this medium to fight back back against those things that are taking doctors away from the direct care of patients. Dr. Farrago is part of the movement trying to take back the healthcare system from those who are ruining it. Dr. Farrago also has authored a recent book on how to start a DPC practice.
- Awards – click here for a list of awards for Dr. Farrago
Summary: Dr. Doug Farrago places a high value on building relationships with his patients for the benefit of their health. Limiting the size of his practice makes it possible for him to offer every patient attentive, personalized care.