Known as “America’s Favorite Doctor,” board-certified Family Medicine Physician Laura Purdy is changing how the world does healthcare, pioneering a new age of advanced telehealth technology that empowers everyone, everywhere to access the more affordable, high-quality care they deserve. Part of an elite 1% of physicians licensed in all 50 U.S. states, including D.C., Dr. Purdy models the extensive reach of telehealth by overseeing a panel of more than 25,000 patients across the country. She also offers her decades of expertise as a trusted advisor to hundreds of telehealth startups – some of the largest in the nation – helping to extend a stronger network of providers that can serve the varying needs of patients of all ages and from all walks of life.
A gifted musician, Dr. Purdy left behind an established and lucrative career as a professional concert pianist to pursue a deeply rooted desire to serve more people through the field of medicine. After earning her B.A. in Psychology and graduating Magna Cum Laude from Indiana’s Ball State University, she attended medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences located in Bethesda, Maryland. Following her residency in family medicine at Georgia’s Martin Army Hospital, Dr. Purdy served for 14 years as a U.S. Army physician, providing care for men and women around the nation undergoing basic training, airborne school, ranger school, and on posted duty.
Dr. Purdy then relocated to North Carolina to serve as a Battalion Surgeon, where she encountered telehealth for the first time as a means of providing care to special operations combat medics deployed to Africa. Her next role as Meds-Peds Hospitalist took her to Fort Campbell, Kentucky’s Army Hospital, where she relied on her many years of experience to oversee Internal Medicine and Pediatric care for hundreds of patients across every demographic. During her time in military service, Dr. Purdy proved instrumental in implementing and running the Army’s comprehensive telemedicine networks, building on her previous expertise in virtual methods of care.
With an in-depth background serving a wide variety of patients and care needs, both in person and through the power of new telehealth technology, Dr. Purdy has since become the industry’s foremost advocate and engineer. As the Medical Director for MDLIVE, she played a key role in bringing vital telehealth treatment to COVID-19 patients and those behind the lines of the Ukraine war, modeling the far-reaching capabilities of virtual care platforms. Her mastery of cutting-edge virtual options, vast experience in medicine, and vision for a more equitable healthcare system uniquely position her to lead the charge in initiating a bright future of more accessible, affordable care for all. She does so, in part, by serving as the sought-after digital medicine expert behind hundreds of leading telehealth providers, including Hims and Hers, Wisp, OpenLoop, and MDintegrations – a telehealth company designed to deliver care for health tech startups across North America.
Today, “America’s Favorite Doctor” continues to herald the era of “concierge medicine” with targeted outreach events and speaking engagements, in addition to the September 2023 grand opening of her much-anticipated AFD medical spa. As most U.S. states begin to embrace telehealth in some form, Dr. Purdy persists in leading the way, fighting for change within a notoriously complex and heavily regulated medical industry. The path to progress is an uphill battle, yet the disciplined military veteran, former musician, and energetic mom of four maintains positive momentum with a singular focus on her ambitious mission to improve lives worldwide.
“Anything worth doing is not without its opposition and challenges,” shares Dr. Purdy. “The road to changing minds and established systems is difficult but so worthwhile – the idea that we could see a shift toward improved healthcare for all within my lifetime is extraordinary!”
Since the 2020 pandemic introduced a need for distance care during quarantine and isolation, the U.S. has dramatically increased engagement with telehealth options. Last November, one study revealed that over 90% of Americans used telehealth services in 2022 and nearly all of them (90%) enjoyed the experience. Almost 80% of U.S. hospitals currently connect with patients and consulting practitioners using the latest in video technology. For Dr. Purdy, these statistics are an encouraging reminder of where healthcare is headed, showcasing the many ways that virtual methods can support both a high-quality patient experience and practitioner mental wellness through improved work-life balance.
This year, Dr. Purdy continues to trailblaze in the field of telehealth by working to establish a nationwide virtual primary care clinic that includes Nurse Practitioners that are also widely licensed. She also recently announced an exciting partnership with AURIA breast health assessment technology to reach more women and save more lives with non-invasive home breast cancer screening tests. In August, she is slated to speak at a Veterans’ conference in Washington, D.C. Maintaining her deep connection to music and the arts, she is a proud sponsor for the upcoming Dancers are Born project in Los Angeles. As a powerful influencer in her field, she plans to make an appearance at the MedFluencers conference, in addition to galvanizing the support of other inspirational women at December’s Women in Entertainment Luncheon.
While recent progress in virtual health and wellness is extremely promising, there is much work left to do in order to navigate complicated regulatory frameworks governing individual state telehealth practices. Having already overcome countless challenges and obstacles, including opposition from established leadership and body-shaming efforts by her critics, Dr. Purdy maintains her steadfast commitment to evolving a status quo that leaves many around the globe without reliable access to quality care. She remains driven by the original passion for service that led her to medicine, along with a desire to create a better future for her own children and patients. Her advice to anyone courageous enough to follow in her footsteps:
Focus on the good. Attempting to implement any change is difficult, especially when the shift is national or global. With a million reasons not to move forward, Dr. Purdy gains courage by envisioning the empowering future of more affordable, accessible healthcare that could promote a world of good for so many people.
Invest in your own well-being. When her to-do list is miles long, Dr. Purdy maintains space in her schedule for family and self. Changing the face of healthcare is a long game. The only way to endure is to take good care of herself so that she can take good care of others. Exercise, a well-honed skincare routine, rest, and time with her kids are non-negotiables.
Lean on community support. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go farther, go with companions” (African proverb). Dr. Purdy relies on a network of partners, as well as close friends and family, to provide support when she needs it most.
Remember your “why.” Change is rarely comfortable, and not everyone will be on board with a new way of doing medicine. In the face of strong opposition and setbacks, Dr. Purdy draws strength from the patients and people she serves. The hope of improving millions of lives – including those of her kids and the next generation – remains her greatest reason for staying in the game.
“After decades in primary care medicine, I see patients and doctors alike who are suffering because the healthcare system is broken,” shares Dr. Purdy. “With the latest tech advancements, we can address so many of the current challenges – it’s just a matter of fighting for the system we want to see.”
Just as mobile banking apps revolutionized the way millions of people approach their finances, Dr. Purdy believes in the power of technological innovation to reshape the way people view and access healthcare. In the same way that she served her country as a military physician, she seeks to continue her service to the nation by providing a unique combination of virtual wellness and medical expertise to entrepreneurs and innovators ready to launch the promising future of digital medicine. In a variety of senior leadership roles, including advisor and medical director, Dr. Purdy strengthens healthcare enterprises looking to address systemic challenges like cost transparency, equitable availability of care, insurance regulation reform, and more.
At a crucial tipping point when women are beginning to slightly outnumber men (by 0.5%) in the medical field, Dr. Purdy shines as an irreplaceable role model and powerful example of limitless female potential. Viewing her gender as an asset on the journey, she embraces a unique perspective on the many sides of healthcare – as a patient, doctor, mother, innovator, business owner, and more – while perfectly poised to challenge traditional perceptions of women in medicine. With creativity, courage, and a proactive problem-solving approach, her relentlessly positive outlook and pioneering spirit are transforming the world of medicine for a world in need.