Interview with Mike Uselton
- Why and when did you choose to become a doctor?
I really knew early on – I was cognizant of it by the fifth grade. When I was growing up, even when I was not particularly ill, we went to our family doctor, and looking up to him, I determined that it was what I wanted to do. I never really wavered. I never wanted to become a firefighter or choose any other career.
- What is your field of specialty, and what is it that you like the most about it?
Once you finish medical school, you have to determine what you want to do for the rest of your life and what you will specialize in. For example, if you’re going to be an ophthalmologist, a radiologist, a surgeon, or go into primary care, etc. After exploring my way through those other specialties, I recognized that the reason why I went to medical school was to be in primary care. So I selected primary practice back when it wasn’t a school, and it’s pretty cool now. I am really happy with the decision I made.
- Can you tell us three reasons why everyone should have a family doctor?
First, it’s good to stay healthy. The great thing about family practice is that is about family. I take care of many generations in the same family, sometimes at the same time. We know your entire lineage, we know what’s going on at home, and we understand more than just the medical condition. Second, I think people must stay on top of risk management. A lot of the things that we end up succumbing to, we can identify earlier, and in some cases, we can prevent. That’s why it is so important to get that regular check up and recommended screenings. Finally, who doesn’t want to have a family physician? A family physician is someone that you can develop a long-term relationship with. Someone that you can trust and lean on in good times and bad times. I believe it is a tremendously valuable relationship that we all should have.
- How’s a typical day for you, and how do you combine your work with your family?
I run an organization as well, so I’m pretty busy from the time I roll out of bed until I go back to bed. However, I’m one of the older partners now at my practice, and that means I don’t have evening calls and don’t work weekends so I can balance my work & personal life nicely. My kids are grown up now, so my wife and I get to enjoy evenings and weekends together.
- Covid19 has accelerated telemedicine. I hear that you are practicing it. How’s telemedicine working for patients and doctors?
At the start of this pandemic, we needed telemedicine because nobody understood this virus and nobody understood how to protect one another from it. So we certainly didn’t know how to run a practice effectively and safely in that setting. When the pandemic hit, we instantly went to a telemedicine profile. We didn’t have any telemedicine presence at that point, so within 48 hours, we swapped from being out of business to treating everybody virtually. Now that we understand the virus and understand safety protocols, we are moving more of our business back into the office. I will say closer to 60% in the office and 40% out. Our whole idea is to make sure that we are screening people effectively, taking care of safety, and not risking anybody in the office.
Telemedicine is interesting, a little bit uncomfortable, but I always tell my medical students, “You do not get up until you’ve got your answers. Keep the patients talking. They will tell you what they have.” We can often get you to a suitable, safe and comfortable answer or at least take you to the next step safely via telemedicine. I think we probably will extend this practice moving forward.
- How has your new home helped you practice telemedicine this year? Do you have a separate workspace and where is this located in your home?
Most of the telehealth I do is from the office, but if I’m at home doing telehealth, I do it downstairs in one of the extra bedrooms we have. The best part is that whenever I need a break, I just close the computer and walk upstairs into our “dream house”, as my wife calls it.
- This year, you went through selling and purchasing of a new home. Can you share with us a little bit about your experience with Torelli Properties and Denise Johnson?
We have known Denise for probably 15 years or more because our daughters grew up together. She started to represent us when we sold our first house in the suburbs in Colleyville, and we decided to move to a condominium in the city to have more fun. We did that; we moved to the condo, and after some time, we said, “Well… this has been fun, but we may want a bigger house.” We told Denise, and we started looking again. She found the new house pretty quickly and got our condominium on the market just before the pandemic hit, and somehow or another, we managed to get both closed quickly. Denise was awesome all the way through – you can’t have a better advocate. It would have been a very long road without her.
- Our motto is Love Where You Are, and we would like to know what is it that you love about where you are right now?
I mentioned that we moved from our condominium in Fort Worth because we weren’t able to walk everywhere, and we now have the beauty of both worlds. We have a beautiful house that is within walking distance from TCU and all the activities that go on there and remarkably easy access to the park system, trails and the Colonial area, so like I said, this is the best of both worlds. We have the big house, and we have the big city experience! We love Fort Worth, and that’s why we moved here. We love where we are, and we love the opportunities that it opens up to us. Our new home is closer to work, closer to family and it is just perfect for us.