I love what I do. I always have and I always will. Medicine is, first and foremost, a human endeavor, a relationship. It’s my opportunity to serve as witness to people’s lives, a trust I take very seriously.
On the other hand, I try not to take myself too seriously. My all-time favorite compliment was from a young mother of two who said, “Gee, Dr Annis! You’re not like a real doctor at all!” She was new to the practice, and we had just spent an hour talking about her health, her struggles and her joys. She was trying to tell me that she wasn’t used to the kind of attention I had provided. I’ve never been so proud.
More and more, I hear my patients telling me that they can find all the information they want. What they need is a mixture of wise counsel and accountable coaching. It’s a privilege to fill that role. It’s more than a co-pay, a premium, or a health plan. It’s so much more than a job.
These days, I conduct business at Unorthodoc, the Direct Primary Care practice I founded in June 2015. Unorthodoc began as an offshoot of Carrboro Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, PA, (a practice I had worked with for 16 years) because of my desire to provide a simpler, more direct, more personal approach for primary care.
While this has also been the goal of Carrboro Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, insurance created consistent health care barriers for my patients. I knew that there had to be a better way. So I launched Unorthodoc, a practice that operates without the constraints of insurance, in order to give my patients what they deserve –affordable, relationship-driven primary health care.
A final thought … Just as I try to make sure my advice isn’t tainted by the greed of an outside entity, I keep a careful eye on my own motives. My advice is based on the truth as I know it, not on whether or not you will like me or continue to pay me (though I always hope you will do both). Some people seek this model thinking that paying me directly equals getting everything they want, regardless of its wisdom. I don’t confuse my oath with my income. I have a professional responsibility to provide you the best advice I have access to and let you decide if you want to follow it. To quote a wise colleague, “I’m a doctor, not a butler.”
- Physician Assistant program, Medical College of Georgia
- Medical School, Medical College of Georgia
- Duke University Medical Center, Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency
- Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
- Licensed as an MD in North Carolina
- Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Member of the American College of Physicians
- Member of the North Carolina Medical Society