Grounded Serpent Family Practice

A Direct Primary Care Micro Clinic

"Providing whole-person, outside-the-box care"

Grounded Serpent is set to open in October 2023

Meet the Doc

Hello! I'm Dr. Katie Brown, the founder and physician of Grounded Serpent Family Practice. I do things a little different from most doctors.

Let me give you a tour...

Grounded Serpent isn't your typical clinic

We do not bill insurance and instead offer a monthly fee of around $100. This fee covers all of your visits and procedures (excluding supplies).

This innovative model is known as Direct Primary Care (or DPC for short).

Grounded Serpent is also a "micro clinic," which means I keep overhead costs as low as possible to pass the savings on to you. For instance, I don't have any additional staff or a physical location for my practice yet. Instead, I make house calls, or we'll have your appointment over the phone or video visit, depending on the situation. While my practice may evolve in the future, I will always limit the number of patients I see so that I can provide exceptional care to each one.

As my patient, you will schedule your own appointments. You will decide how much time you would like to spend with me, anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours. Appointments will never be rushed and you won't need to waste time sitting in a waiting room.

What is Direct Primary Care?

Direct Primary Care (DPC) is an innovative, membership-style model that allows you to have a direct relationship with your doctor. For an affordable monthly fee, you can receive concierge-level healthcare tailored to your individual needs at no extra cost, including:

  • Unlimited, relaxed visits in the comfort of your own home

  • Same-day or next-day sick visits

  • Email, text or call Dr. Brown for questions between visits

  • Weekend and after-hours appointment times with the goal of minimizing the time you have to take off work for doctor's appointments

DPC takes medical insurance out of your primary medical care. Therefore, insurance companies no longer decide what care you receive - you and your doctor do. Medical insurance is still very important to have for major expenses like specialty care, emergency treatment and hospitalizations.

Why A Membership Model?
Why not just pay per visit?

By receiving monthly payments from the entire patient panel, I'm able to limit the number of patients I care for, resulting in a small and personalized patient panel. In contrast, the average family physician juggles a whopping 2,400 patients at any given time. This high volume forces them to keep appointments brief and their schedules packed to cover costs. Meanwhile, you can access your doctor when you want, how you want, and you know you won't be surprised by unexpected bills.

Now that you know about my practice...

Let me tell you a bit more about myself.

My interest in medicine started when I was a senior in high school and I heard Patch Adams speak at a local college. I've always been fascinated by the personal side of medicine, and Patch's message about the importance of the physician-patient relationship deeply resonated with me.

During my first year of medical school, I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, which gave me a unique perspective on the limitations of the mainstream medical system. It took me 7 years to recover, during which I became interested in treating others with the condition. I've learned that in some cases, the traditional medical model doesn't always have answers, and that's where creativity and exploration of alternative modalities come in.

One area that particularly interests me is mind-body medicine. It was through this approach that I was able to recover, and I'm passionate about exploring and sharing these techniques with my patients. I believe in empowering patients to take control of their health and well-being, and I'm excited to work with you towards that goal.

When I'm not working, you can find me spending time with my husband, reading books or spending time outdoors.

  • I earned my M.D. from Indiana University School of Medicine

  • I completed my family medicine residency in Urbana, IL in 2023

  • I specialize in treating chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and long COVID.

linear leaf plants near white wall
linear leaf plants near white wall

The Meaning of The Name

The name "Grounded Serpent" seems to take people by surprise when they hear it. Snakes, it seems, are generally regarded with fear and it appears strange to have them associated with medicine, but the rod of Asclepius, a rough staff entwined with a serpent, has been a symbol of healing for thousands of years.

The snake, uniquely, spends its entire life in full contact with the ground. To the Greeks, the Earth was the source of life. From her comes all living things, even our own bodies. If anyone wanted to know how to heal, they needed the Earth's knowledge. And what creature could have more of this knowledge than the creature who lived closest to her?

Perhaps that's why the snake was the constant companion of Asclepius, the god of Medicine, and his wife, Hygeia, the personification of Health. Hygeia is often depicted feeding the snake, nourishing it. From that archetypal image, I have come to see the snake as a metaphor for our physical bodies, which are a part of the Earth and possess innate wisdom and potential for healing. In order to regain health, we must reconnect with our body.

Too often, we are dissociated from our physical selves, ignoring signals of thirst, hunger, or fatigue. We may develop this dissociation as a defense mechanism when our culture tells us that our needs are not important and that having needs is weak or selfish.

The best thing we can do for our health is to return to the wisdom of the serpent. How can we heal that which we do not honor and respect? Our body is not something to be conquered, used, and feared but rather loved and partnered with. In partnering with our body, we can learn to honor its wisdom and trust its ability to guide us on the path to health.

Statue of Asclepius leaning on a rod entwined with a serpent
Statue of Asclepius leaning on a rod entwined with a serpent
A statue of Hygeia feeding a snake out of a bowl
A statue of Hygeia feeding a snake out of a bowl

Statement of Inclusivity

Grounded Serpent embraces people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, family structures, religions, sizes, abilities and political affiliations. We strive to provide quality medical care that is culturally sensitive, individualized and respectful of the diversity of the human experience.

We acknowledge that structural racism and fear of the "other" are public health issues. We therefore vow to speak out against all forms of discrimination and bias in our society. We stand in solidarity with the First Nations peoples, the Black community, the LGBTQ+ community, the homeless community, the incarcerated community, the disabled community, the plus-sized community, the spoonie community and all other people who may face discrimination or have trouble obtaining quality healthcare in our society.

Our Guiding Values

Grounded Serpent seeks to restore the doctor-patient relationship in order to foster an environment of trust, connection and compassion in which the patient may be most effectively supported in the pursuit of their health goals. We strive to accomplish this through our five guiding values:

  • INTEGRITY: The doctor-patient relationship is a sacred responsibility. Therefore, the physician is held to the highest standards of justice, honesty and humility.

  • KNOWLEDGE: We strive to keep abreast of the latest research and recommendations so that we can provide the highest quality, evidence-based care.

  • WISDOM: All medical decisions are made in light of the individual patient and their goals. The patient will be empowered with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their care.

  • CREATIVITY: We utilize the full spectrum of healing arts, emphasizing the treatments most likely to support the mind-body in its own healing.

  • INTERDEPENDENCE: We operate from the assumption that everything is interconnected and respect for the Whole is necessary for healing. No imbalance can be corrected until the context that fostered it has been fully witnessed and understood.