Passion for care: Direct primary care doctor joins Silverton team

July 2018 Posted in Community, Your Health
Doctor Tomas Gigena and Doctor Rob Rosborough at Township Health DPC.jpg 2 (3)

Dr. Tomas Gigena and Dr. Rob Rosborough at Township Health DPC. Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

Dr. Tomas Gigena is stepping into a new career that taps into his Argentinian roots.

“I grew up in a small town like Silverton,” Tomas said. In that town the doctor not only visited patients’ homes, he knew the name of every family member – even
the pets.

That level of care and attention inspired the young Gigena – who later attended Cordoba University – but it hasn’t always been easy to achieve given the requirements of today’s healthcare system.

“There’s a tremendous amount of burdened  doctors and frustrated doctors,” Gigena said.

Although Gigena – who has spent the past eight years employed at Silverton Health in Woodburn – was happy in his work, he wasn’t entirely fulfilled.

“They treated me very nice. It’s just – in the hospitals you’re pretty restricted.”

One of the limitations Gigena chaffed against was his inability to practice integrative medicine, which he studied during his residency in Cleveland, Ohio.

“Integrative medicine is more the natural root cause approach with the complement of conventional medicine,” he said. “Conventional medicine is more a controlling of symptoms.”

Some of the holistic approaches Gigena is trained to use include nutrition, stress management and the use of infrared to help patients detoxify, oxygenate and heal.

“It’s my passion,” Gigena confessed. “I can finally become the physician that
I dreamed to be at one time.”

Gigena’s journey into the DPC realm began during his friendship with Dr. Rob Rosborough – the founder of Township Health DPC in Silverton.

“I saw him so happy,” Gigena laughed. “He told me about this DPC wonderful model. It is made for me – and specifically my patients.”

Gigena began looking into the DPC model in September when he attended an annual conference of practitioners in Orlando. It was love at first sight and in May he moved into Rosborough’s newly expanded office.

“I’m just starting out but I’m super happy building my practice,” Gigena said. “I have a deal with my wife – it’s this or become a fishing guide.”

“We’re the fastest growing primary care practice in the country,” Rosborough said. “I think what’s happening nationally with the [insurance] mandate going away next year – there’s going to be a real need.”

A third of Rosborough’s patients are already uninsured, he said, but with DPC that is a non-issue because all in-office procedures – including wellness care, acute care, chronic disease management and procedures like laceration repair – are included under one monthly fee.

The model – with rates of $70 per adult, $10 per child and $160 per family – works because of the low material cost of primary care and no insurance billing.

“The cost of primary care is time and education of patients,” Gigena said. “The material is relatively inexpensive.”

“There’s lots of money being made by insurance companies,” Rosborough added. “You cut out the middle man and it saves so much money.”

But money isn’t the only reason the two think DPC is the best way to practice – for them, time is the real savings.

“The greatest gift we have to give is time,” Rosborough said. “Before we were only able to focus on one or two symptoms.”

“I was talking more to my computer,” Gigena agreed. “It was always a frustration between time and access.”

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