Alumni Profile/Michael Briley, MSN ‘94, DNP, APN, Julia Hereford Society President
When people ask me about the practice I started more than 17 years ago, I tell them it’s more than a business. It’s a philosophy. I believe that wellness and preventions of problems are the keys to a better, richer life. This philosophy is fundamental to all aspects of my practice and reflects the strong foundation that was formed during my time at Vanderbilt.
Traditional, organized medicine has often relegated primary care to an undescribed, but necessary role in our society, focusing instead on subspecialties. Today’s shortage of primary care physician providers serves as a blatant example of this. For this reason, along with encouragement from Dean Colleen Conway-Welch, I forged ahead with this practice model for my own business. Primary Care Specialists-South is in Jackson, Tenn., a town of about 100,000 residents which is also a magnet for many who live in neighboring counties.
Ours is a 10,000 patient-encounter-per-year practice with a sleep lab, physical therapy area, clinical psychology expertise and one of two digital X-ray systems in the area. We are located beside other retailers, including a pharmacy which complements our practice and gives patients a convenient option for any medications. And yes, in addition to seeing patients at our bricks and mortar facility, we are the only practice in town that still does regular house calls. Sometimes in lieu of money, we are paid in the form of chickens and quilts!
Without a doubt, our greatest successes are those individuals who have chosen to take control of their health and had the courage to seek our office as their partner to make their lives better. There is no greater honor or joy for us than to have the confidence of those in need. Then again, quality outcomes are certain to follow when a solid Vanderbilt education is coupled with the spirit to make a difference in the world.
We are unlike any other practice in our area, and our clients appreciate it. Our goal of health and wellness is infused in everything we do. With our location, our staff, our providers and even our office décor, we have tried to create a culture of compassion, caring and patient empowerment. I am also very proud to have recently adopted a cutting edge new model of cardiovascular disease prevention by joining forces with Alex Walker, (MSN’03) of Walker Clinic, who provides for my patients advanced testing and individualized strategies to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Mark Twain said, “The worst things that happened to me are those that never did.” I agree. It is challenging to build and sustain a practice. But, if I didn’t take the chance, it would have kept me from helping make a difference in other’s lives. I took the risk and keep moving forward as a proud alumnus and an advocate for the advanced practice nursing model of care.