About DirectMed DPC
Imagine having a deep relationship with your primary care physician:
A doctor who knows your health history and goals as well as they know their own.
A doctor who asks questions and truly listens during your hour-long visits.
A doctor who validates and affirms.
A doctor who is your confidante, coach, and collaborator in health.
This is what DirectMed DPC physicians Dr. Ikbal, Dr. Metz, Dr. Lessing, Dr. Keller, Dr. Just, Dr. Simmons and Dr. Sosa can offer to their patients due to the unique continuity of care inherent in the direct primary care model.
Our physician’s have also trained with the Institute for Functional Medicine, which is a tremendous value we include in our membership fee for our patients.
Read on to learn more about the DirectMed DPC doctors. If you’re ready to book your free meet and greet, click here.
Dr. Katriny Ikbal
Founder & Family Medicine Physician
Like most physicians, DirectMed DPC founder and Board Certified Family Physician Dr. Katriny Ikbal went into medicine to help people. She got her start working in urgent care, and was quickly disillusioned with the way the healthcare system prioritized insurance companies over patients and providers. After one too many times feeling frustrated and helpless as she tried to comfort a crying patient within the confines of a seven minute visit – and with her hand literally on the door as 10 other patients waited for her – Dr. Ikbal knew there had to be a better way. She also knew practicing good medicine required an investment in the patient-physician relationship, and that wasn’t possible in the insurance-based model she had become trapped working within.
The direct primary care model was just the solution Dr. Ikbal was looking for. Direct primary care returns health care to its roots of patient-centered care. At DirectMed DPC, Dr. Ikbal is able to practice medicine as it should be practiced: in collaboration with the patient to achieve better health outcomes, and at a lower cost to both patient and physician. She is so grateful to be practicing within a direct primary care model, and truly feels like she is able to provide her patients with exceptional care to optimize long-term health.
Before founding DirectMed DPC, Dr. Ikbal received her undergraduate degree in Nutrition from the University of Texas at Austin and attended Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ for medical school. She then trained here in Austin at the UT Southwestern Family Medicine residency program. When Dr. Ikbal is not serving her patients, she loves spending time with her family and two rescue dogs, traveling, watching movies, baking, and doing yoga.
Dr. Shirley Metz
Family Medicine Physician
Shirley Metz, DO has been a Family Medicine physician since 2003. She completed her training in 2006 with the Scripps Family Medicine Residency Program in Chula Vista. Her final year she was co-chief resident of her class.
She completed her college education at UC San Diego and graduated with a BS in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. For 2 years, she worked at a Biotech company as a chemist before attending medical school at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA. Her training as an Osteopathic Physician has helped create a unique perspective of how she practices medicine that focuses on treating the whole person. Taking a step back and looking at the whole picture to get at the root causes, rather than the reactive treatments that mainstream medicine provides. As an osteopath, additional training of the musculoskeletal system adds to the ability to diagnose and potentially treat injuries with hands on treatment.
She began her career at Sharp Rees-Stealy medical group – one of the largest employers in San Diego and provided care for her patients for 13 years before moving to Austin in 2018. After visiting friends, attending the Formula 1 races, and sampling amazing cuisine, they decided to take the leap and move to Austin. Her 3 children, husband, and dog Rocky continue to love Austin and its great community. It didn’t take long for “y’all” to be a part of their new vocabulary. And yes, we do miss the weather.
The desire to become a doctor started at age 7 after meeting her grandmother for the first time. Her grandmother was homebound and unable to stand or walk without assistance. Since then, Dr. Metz knew she wanted to be a doctor as her way to help others. She continues to love her profession because of the connections she creates and enjoys learning more ways to provide the best care to her patients.
Dr. Metz stresses the importance of a partnership with shared decision-making and focuses on strengthening foundations for a healthy lifestyle. Prescribing medications is inevitable, but not always the best initial course of action. Vitamins and supplement recommendations are common in her practice, but advises that supplements are to SUPPLEMENT a healthy lifestyle-not replace it. Her interests in health are to help others live their best lives as long as possible and prevent chronic disease.
To balance work and family, she enjoys her new found love of pickleball. She also enjoys weight lifting, travel/cuisine, fashion, and previously competed in ballroom dancing.
Dr. Suzy Lessing
Internal Medicine Physician
Dr. Suzy Lessing was born in Phoenix, Arizona and completed college and medical school at the University of Arizona in Tucson (Bear Down!). She completed her Internal Medicine residency at the University of Colorado and has over a decade of experience in a variety of different primary care settings. She spent her early career in Denver serving patients and training medical students and residents. She then moved to South Carolina for two years and practiced at Brio Internal Medicine. Dr. Lessing and her family relocated to Austin in 2019 to be closer to family, breakfast tacos and the wonderful people of Austin.
Dr. Lessing enjoys taking the time to get to know each of her patients and helping to discuss prevention strategies and treatment plans that work best for each individual. She firmly believes that food and exercise are medicine and is driven to provide her patients with the knowledge and tools to be in the best possible health. As an internal medicine physician, Dr Lessing enjoys providing the full spectrum of care to adults. This ranges from acute care and preventative medicine to treatment of medically complex adults and the elderly. Dr. Lessing is experienced in providing gender affirming hormone therapy and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention. Dr. Lessing is well-versed and passionate about treating common mental health disorders.
In her spare time, Dr. Lessing spends time with her two sons, Henry and Gus, and her husband, Collin. They enjoy spending time outside, playing at the park, building lego creations, and cooking plant based meals. She loves to run, lift weights, read books and eat at the fabulous restaurants this area has to offer.
Dr. Katie Keller
Family Medicine Physician
Dr. Katie Keller is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician, and has been practicing holistic primary care in Austin, Texas for nearly a decade. Dr. Keller loves primary care for its whole person approach. She chose osteopathic medical school for its inherent philosophy that the body has the ability to heal itself, when given the right conditions. She believes that nutrition, movement, stress management, and mindfulness make up the foundation of healing.
Within her practice at DirectMed DPC, Dr. Keller loves working with her patients to meet their holistic health goals, whether that’s identifying the cause of an acute issue or coming up with a wellness plan for long-term disease prevention. She has continued her training with the Institute for Functional Medicine, and loves functional medicine for what its personalized and whole-person approach can offer her patients. Dr. Keller works in collaboration with her patients to meet whatever their health goals may be, and is particularly experienced with natural thyroid management and bio-identical hormone therapy.
Dr. Keller grew up in the Midwest and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Western Michigan University. Gradually making her way south, she attended Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, and then completed her residency at Bay Area Medical Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dr. Keller now lives in Austin with her husband, daughter, and fluffy German shepherd. When she’s not caring for her patients, Dr. Keller enjoys cooking, running the trails, dancing, yoga, and live music.
Dr. Beth Just
Dr. Beth Just was born and raised in chilly rural Minnesota. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a double major in biology and psychology, she proceeded to Mayo Clinic Medical School. This proved to be both an exceptional education and also shaped her professional philosophy for patient-centered care. Her residency at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle (now Kaiser Permanente) was within a unique care model that underlined the importance of using evidence-based medicine to avoid excess testing, over-treatment, and expensive medical costs typical of American healthcare. Dr. Just is also a strong advocate for patient education and has a history of formal teaching: as a medical school teaching assistant; a curriculum chief resident; supervising and teaching residents obstetrics during labor, delivery, and subsequent post-partum/newborn care at University of Washington Valley Medical Center; and most recently throughout her six years in Austin as an Affiliate Faculty precepting UT Dell Medical School students for their primary care clerkship.
Dr. Just feels blessed to care for patients of all ages from newborns to the elderly. She believes that the best outcomes occur when a comprehensive, holistic, and personalized approach is taken. In addition to providing preventative care, acute illness treatment, and chronic disease management, she enjoys a variety of specific interests:
· Women’s health: placement of contraceptive devices, treatment of abnormal periods and menopause symptoms
· LGBTQ+: gender-affirming care (including hormone therapy) and PrEP
· Mental health: treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and ADHD
· Complex care coordination for patients with multiple conditions (including in combination with autoimmune disease, rare disorders, chronic fatigue, or fibromyalgia)
· Procedures: skin lesions, joint injections, and infant tongue-tie treatment
After meeting her husband Thomas in Seattle, he brought her back to his beloved UT Longhorn’s territory as soon as he could! They enjoy the increased sunshine here along with their two energetic puppies, Ulysses the beagle and Athena the German Shepherd.
Dr. Travis Simmons
Dr. Travis Simmons is a Board Certified Family Physician with additional training in Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine. He was born in Texas, grew up in northern New Mexico, then obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology from Texas A&M University (whoop!) and met his wife, Sarah. Dr. Simmons attended medical school in San Antonio at the UT Health Science Center. He knew from the outset of medical school that he wanted to be a primary care family doctor.
As a primary care doctor his passion is helping people find the path to physical and mental health and wellness that works for each unique person. He pursued additional education in integrative medicine through the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, and functional medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine, which equipped him with perspectives/tools not taught in traditional medical training.
It has become clear to him the trend in healthcare is constantly toward higher costs, lower quality, more fragmentation of care (excessive referrals), and less time with patients. He joined DirectMed DPC to combat this disturbing trend, because he believes that the direct primary care model allows him real time and relationship with patients that naturally leads to higher quality care.
Outside of medicine, his priority is his wife, son, family, and friends. He loves cooking, meditation, audiobooks, and any activity that immerses him in the natural world, especially gardening and fermenting foods.
Dr. Janell Sosa
Dr. Janell Sosa is a Board Certified Family Physician who has been practicing in New Braunfels since 2018. She was born and raised in
Fredericksburg, then received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Texas State University. It was at Texas State that she met her husband,
Shane, whom she married in 2012.
Dr. Sosa first learned about Direct Primary Care in her fourth year of medical school and knew it was ultimately how she wanted to practice
medicine. After completing residency at The University of Oklahoma, the pressure to start paying back those crushing student loans was high. She decided to put off the dream of practicing DPC for a few years for what she thought was a more “stable” career move. After a few years, however, it became clear that the mainstream model for practicing primary care was just not how she wanted to spend her career. She found that the traditional model of fifteen minute visits, seeing 18-24 patients per day, was just not allowing her to deliver the high quality personalized care that she knew her patients deserved. It was then that she reached out to the wonderful team at DirectMed DPC and together they found a way to make her dream from so many years ago into a reality.
Dr. Sosa enjoys getting to know her patients as individuals, and becoming part of their path to healthier lives. She takes care of people of all
ages, from newborns on up. In addition to the standard scope of Family Medicine practice, Dr. Sosa also has interest and experience in
women’s health, common mental health issues and she also performs a range of small procedures in the office (laceration repairs, skin biopsies,
mole removal, etc).
Outside the office, Dr. Sosa likes spending time outdoors with her husband and their two sons Noah and Owen. As a family they love
spending time at the river, going on hiking trails, and spending time with extended family who also reside in New Braunfels.
Neer, besides being Dr. Ikbal’s husband, helps advise on the business side of things. He’s an engineer by trade, but an entrepreneur at heart. He also comes from a long line of physicians, so he understands Dr. Ikbal’s desire to get family medicine back to what it used to be—real patient-doctor relationships. In 2020, Neer also invested in Virtuous Benefits which is a boutique health insurance agency that helps teach employers a powerful, long-term strategy of how to break free from the broken health insurance system.
Patient Care Navigator
Raiza has had a knack for innovation and initiative her whole life. Inspired by her desire to help out others, she ventured to telemedicine and decided that it is time to level up. From being a clinical nurse, she became a clinical care support staff and assisted visiting doctors in the care of patients.
Being a clinical care support staff to these doctors in this kind of setup made her exceptional in the following aspects multitasking, communication, flexibility, and new learnings. Her keen attention to detail is also outstanding. Receiving verbal orders and relaying them to parties concerned is one of her best tools along with supervising a small group of clinical care support staff who have that same responsibility as hers for other providers.
This is her secret. In the face of adversity, she is known to strategize and give her best. Her experience as a nurse in the clinical setting and as virtual clinical support has made her equipped in dealing with patients with vigor and utmost professionalism in order to get the task done. She is more than ready to become your virtual assistant.
Patient Care Navigator
Jann is a licensed Nurse and a Certified Medical Virtual Assistant in the Philippines. He used to work for a US Healthcare Insurance Company as an Inpatient Care Coordinator, mainly responsible for updating the inpatient status of covered individuals. He was assigned several facilities where he made daily outbound calls. In the same company, he was a Hierarchal Category Coding coder for four (4) years, including one (1) year in supervisory.
Jann currently holds an Equity Salesman license in the Capital Markets industry. That undeniably makes him a versatile individual because he was able to rise to the occasion given his tertiary education background. Jann loves performing administrative tasks required within DirectMed DPC to ensure that our patients have the best experience and service as related to their care. He believes that his expertise and experiences from his previous employers will help improve, not only the work-life balance of our patients, but also the quality of services as a whole.
Jann is naturally helpful and is always eager to go the extra mile. He treats the people around him like his own family. With that kind of mindset he has, success is no doubt within easy reach.
More About Direct Primary Care
Direct Primary Care is an innovative primary care model being embraced by patients, physicians, employers, payers and policymakers across the United States. The defining element of DPC is an enduring and trusting relationship between a patient and his or her primary care doctor. In DPC unwanted service incentives are replaced with a simple flat monthly or annual fee. This empowers the doctor/patient relationship and is the key to achieving superior health outcomes, lower costs and an enhanced patient experience.https://www.dpcare.org/