In 2011, Christina and I sold everything we had and moved to Ethiopia. It had always been our dream to go and serve in one of the poorest areas in the world. I had worked for several years as an ER doc in Austin and loved it, but we were wanting to do something beyond that. So, for nearly four years we lived on another continent, and that experience changed us forever.
In Africa, we were first hand witnesses of suffering on a new level. The lack of resources means that millions of children and young people die needlessly. I was the Chief Medical Officer for a 150 bed teaching hospital in the southern region. We saw patients referred to us from all over the Horn of Africa from Somalia to Sudan. Sometimes their conditions were too advanced for us to help. Other times, we were able to provide life-restoring surgeries and care.
The time in Africa made me appreciate the vast resources of the Western medical system. In the US, we have the best cancer survival rate in the world. In some countries in Europe, the life expectancy is up to 90 years old. We are truly advancing care in incredible ways.
But we are also wasteful of our resources. Working in the ER in America, I saw how the Emergency Room – the most expensive place for care in the world – had become used to treat minor illnesses and injuries simply because the access to care in other ways was limited. I saw how doctors trying to avoid frivolous lawsuits racked up a battery of unnecessary tests in order to protect themselves, not the patient.
When we returned to Austin in 2015,
we vowed to do it a different way.
I thought about how for years, friends and family would call me and ask for my help. “Could you take a look at my son who has an ear infection?” “Could you stitch up the cut on my arm so I don’t have to go to the ER?” I thought to myself , “Why not make this kind of convenient care available for everyone?” I wanted to make it easier to get a medical opinion and simple urgent care. I wanted others in the community to have the access that my friends had. And best of all, I would come to them so they wouldn’t have to wait in a busy waiting room.
Technology allowed this to be a reality. With 80% of people using the internet on their smart phone, why couldn?t they contact a doctor that way? From the beginning, Remedy has been about simplifying the pathway to excellent healthcare. With smart phone in hand, anyone can request a medical provider to come to them. My hope is that Remedy will be a game-changer for healthcare. The care you want has arrived.
Dr. Jeremy Gabrysch