Recently, we sat down with Dr. Briana Cranmer, a primary care provider with the Municipality of Anchorage, to get her take on what it's like being a Vera provider.
Her warmth and wisdom about caring for patients is inspiring, and we hope you enjoy her insights as much as we did.
Why did you decide to go into medicine?
Dr. Cranmer: I love medicine. I enjoy everything about it — the puzzle pieces, the ability to catch things early, the ability to treat someone quickly, and the challenge of figuring out problems. I like helping people. And I love being a doctor. I love being able to see a child. I love being able to see an adolescent. I love being able to see a 65-year-old.
I love all the variety, particularly in primary care and family medicine. I get to do all of that. And the more I learn, the more I can do for my patients. That’s what’s gratifying to me — doing more for each patient and each visit.
With Vera, are you able to do all the things that led you to medicine?
Dr. Cranmer: Yes! I have access to a full spectrum of patients. The young and the old. And I have the resources I need to serve and treat my patients. That's what makes it so much better for me as a provider. Because I can do all my primary care. I can order labs without having to worry about what the burden on the patient is going to be or what the burden on the insurance is going to be. I can make sure patients get their vaccinations updated. I don't feel limited.
In some of the clinics where I've worked, I’ve had to send patients out to get a test or labs done. And I was never sure if the patient would go or even come back for results.
What are some other ways being a Vera provider is different than in your previous experiences?
Dr. Cranmer: Vera offers so many resources. That's what draws people in. It's the on-site lab, on-site medications, health coaching. They're supported in whatever they need with little or no co-pays.
There are a lot of barriers these days in healthcare. And Vera removes them. It’s not just about operating a clinic, but an extreme focus on the patient.
I went into primary care because we’re the first line to catching things. We're the first line to starting the workup. We're the first line where people go.
That's why Vera is amazing, because they recognize that, and emphasize the preventive aspect. So we’re set up to target the main health concerns people face, and to effectively encourage people to come in and be seen so we can be proactive and catch things early.
But I also love how Vera also provides resources and training to help our care team work more effectively together and build strong partnering relationships with each other. Being happier at work makes everything better. Vera is also really focused on their own employees, making sure we’re happy, healthy, and supported. That’s just not the case these days in most healthcare systems.
What do your patients like best about the clinic experience with Vera?
Dr. Cranmer: They love the amount of time I can spend with them. I get half an hour to an hour with each patient. This is so valuable. And so much better than a typical 15-minute appointment where patients feel rushed or leave without having all their questions answered.
Vera is very strong about protecting time for providers, staff, and patients.
Patients come in, get diagnosed, and can get medication right there. They don’t have to wait to be seen and taken care of.
Most of our patients come in with little or no co-pay. That's pretty much unheard of. And our patients have quick access. Most of the time, we can see a patient on the same day without burdening providers. And still give them the time they need.
This is huge. People don't have money to just throw around. And when they know they can come in for cheaper than anywhere else, it encourages them to be seen. It makes it a lot easier for them.
I think our patients see the clinic, and all of us, like a community.
What would you say to another provider who is interested in joining the Vera team?
Dr. Cranmer: Vera allows me to be the doctor I want to be. They remove the barriers I run into so I can provide patients with the best, most effective care. I don’t have to worry about patients having to make a decision between putting food on their table or taking care of their health.
I have the freedom to do full spectrum medicine. And I also have the time. That means I can really make a difference in someone's life without making them feel like they’re just a number. With Vera, patients aren't numbers. They aren't dollar signs. They’re people. And so, I can do my job better, which is to help people.
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