Natalia Southerland, MD offers a direct primary care system with a membership system, providing an affordable monthly fee for unlimited visits with no extra co-pays and discounted lab testing.

Southerland’s, a Waxahachie-based practice, focuses on health coaching and preventing chronic disease with an emphasis on obesity and diabetes.

“Health coaching is a little bit different than talking to a patient in the office. Being in this system [direct primary care] provides me the amount of time I need to sit down and talk to people and coach with them,” Southerland explained.

On average she spends 30 minutes to an hour discussing what’s preventing a patient from meeting his or her goal. She will then construct a health plan and conduct motivational interviewing. With having the membership system, it allows her to carefully evaluate her patients on a regular basis.

Right now, memberships for an adult that is 19 years old and older cost $85 and children from ages five and up are $40 a month. Visits also include in-office tests and time spent outside of the office, maybe shopping at the grocery store.

“Direct primary care is not an insurance plan. If you have insurance, I can still see you,” Southerland emphasized.

Functioning as an independent doctor, using the direct primary car system releases the doctor from restricted time with the patient. Essentially, Southerland said she is “going back to the patient-doctor relationship.”

She can also administer flu and strep tests, urine pregnancy test, give simple stitches, earwax removal and joint injections.

Right now her short-term goal is to see 10 patients a day, but the ultimate goal is to have 300 memberships in her practice.

In April, Southerland is hosting a town hall-style meeting where she answers questions about her practice, explain how direct primary care applies to her practice and to see if audience members are a good fit.

Southerland is certified through the American Council in Exercise (ACE) with personal training and health coaching with an additional certification in weight management and functional medicine, which evaluates what a patient is capable of before exercising.

She’s also a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. She’s undergone training to become a lifestyle coach with the Diabetes Prevention Program, which is a year-long program for people who have pre-diabetes.

“My practice was established for that reason to be able to do the things with actual prevention, the coaching that will help people live and be able to maintain a healthier lifestyle instead of short-term fixes,” Southerland elaborated.

She was last in Waxahachie from 2010 — 2014 working at Baylor Family Medicine Ellis County in the local office and was a hospitalist at Baylor Scott and White – Waxahachie.

Southerland is located in Waxahachie at 206 YMCA Dr., suite 103. She can be reached at njsmd@brandnewmed.com or on her cell 469-420-0064.