“People think physicians just practice medicine, just see patients, but there’s so much more,” says Andrea Klemes, D.O. As chief medical officer at MDVIP, a nationwide network of doctors that applies a startup ethos to primary medical care, she is discovering firsthand how innovation is opening up new opportunities in the healthcare industry.
“Science was always one of my likes,” she says. “I’m not saying I wanted to be a doctor from the time I was a little girl, but sometime around high school I knew that science would be my career.”
“After studying biology as an undergraduate, she applied to NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, primarily because she liked its patient-first approach. “Osteopathic medicine gives you more of that holistic approach, one that values everyday wellness.” It also set her apart from her peers who attended allopathic programs. “I got such a good education that I was ahead of the other residents,” she adds.
“After graduating from NYIT and doing a residency in New York and a fellowship in Georgia, Klemes launched a private endocrinology practice in Tallahassee, Fla. There she worked closely with her patients—primarily individuals with diabetes—to improve their wellness and outcomes. “You need to really spend time with patients,” she explains, “to learn about their lifestyles, their stresses, all the factors that affect their health.”
Klemes brings her commitment to patient care with her wherever she goes. After launching her practice, she moved to Procter & Gamble, where she researched personal health care, women’s health, and digestive wellness. A decade later, she joined MDVIP where she is now the Chief Medical Officer. The company’s policy of capping the number of patients in any given practice particularly interested her. By limiting patient numbers, she explains, doctors spend more time on annual physicals and screening tests that can detect and prevent future health issues. Klemes has been instrumental in the adoption of the Electronic Health Record use in MDVIP-affiliated practices and the creation of the data warehouse. She also oversees MDVIP’s outcomes data and research, including hospital utilization and readmission statistics, quality of disease management in the MDVIP network, and the ability to identify high-risk patients and intervene early.
“Klemes sees her current role as a natural outgrowth of her desire to improve people’s lives. “The MDVIP platform allows me to help more people and educate more physicians than I ever could as an individual practicing physician,” she says. “As science evolves and we develop new tests and new technology, there is so much we can contribute to preventive care and disease prevention. It’s an exciting time to be in the industry.”