Dynamic duo

Double duty: How 2 Florida physicians are working together to give back in an underserved area

Jeremy Olloqui, DO, and Adam Beeble, DO, talk to The DO about working side-by-side in Ocala, Florida.

This month’s “DOs to Know” are two physicians who are dedicating their time to training the next generation of osteopathic medical students. Jeremy Olloqui, DO, a Cuban-American from Miami, is a graduate of Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Carolinas, and Adam Beeble, DO, is a Tampa, Florida, native and graduate of Nova Southeastern University Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM).

Both completed their internal medicine residency at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, Florida.

Learning of the health care shortages in underserved parts of Florida and wanting to make a difference, they both moved their families six hours north to Ocala, Florida. Dr. Olloqui and Dr. Beeble are currently hospitalists with Pioneer Medical Group at AdventHealth Ocala and core preceptors for Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM).

Join us as we have a much-needed conversation about the shortages of preceptors in osteopathic medicine and physicians who work with underserved populations.

Jeremy Olloqui, DO

You two are both friends, clinical preceptors and DOs. Take us back to the beginning. How did this friendship start?

Drs. Olloqui and Beeble: We met during our intern year of residency at Palmetto General. We all know that intern year in residency is wild. The more we got to know each other in our program, the more we started connecting. Having a family with infant boys around the same age definitely gave us a unique experience during our training years.

We both started to explore ventures outside of residency and worked at urgent care facilities. While working in urgent care, we discussed and compared different diagnoses/treatments and we coached each other through that journey. Then, after finishing residency, we both had the opportunity to do something special and work in a community that needed internal medicine doctors, which was Ocala, Florida.

Adam Beeble, DO

How did you two get involved with precepting medical students?

Drs. Olloqui and Beeble: We have to thank Advent Health Ocala and Pioneer Medical Group, because they played a major role. We both expressed initial interest in precepting. We recently finished residency and were used to working with interns, second-year residents and medical students. It was something that came very naturally, and we both like to educate.

Both of us saw it as an opportunity to not only train the next wave of physicians, but also take on a bigger role in the hospital. We started with osteopathic medical students from NSU-KPCOM and now we also are blessed to teach students from LMU-DCOM.

There is a shortage of clinical preceptors. How can we encourage more doctors to take on the role of precepting, especially in the DO world?

Dr. Olloqui: Getting doctors interested in precepting should really start in medical school. Teaching should be emphasized in the clinical years and residency. How important is “see one, do one, teach one?” It is one of those phrases we always use, but it’s one that really needs to start from the beginning, from medical school all the way to residency.

Another key player is the hospital. They have an opportunity to encourage and maintain a learning environment. One way is by continuing to offer precepting opportunities to physicians. Our medical students and our residents are going to want to start precepting when they have a good experience with their own preceptor and their own attending. 

What would also help physicians is continuing to maintain a strong network of physician support, where we can make sure that we offer the same education across the board and try to spark that interest.

Dr. Beeble: Stress levels have increased for medical professionals across the board in our post-COVID world, and pushing doctors to take on additional responsibilities in this new reality can be a big task. What we need to remember, as preceptors or potential preceptors, is that these students and residents are coming into their careers during one of the most medically fraught times in recent history.

We have a duty to pass on not only the general medical information we gleaned from our studies, but also what we’ve learned from our experience practicing during the height of the pandemic. Future physicians will benefit from training with those who worked through a medical disaster.

Both of you are from large metro areas in Florida, but now practice in a less populated area that is also underserved when it comes to health care. What are the benefits of working in an area like this? How do we attract more physicians to places that desperately need health care providers?

Dr. Olloqui: Working in underserved areas, the number one benefit is job satisfaction. I truly believe you just get a little bit more of it here. You really see people that need help. You really are one of their few options. The patients come to you and you’re able to positively impact their lives. In a less populated area, you can play a bigger role in the community as well. 

Dr. Beeble: I agree. Moving to Ocala was a great decision, not only for me, but for my family as well. A smaller community offers larger opportunities to build connections.

I have been fortunate to be able to meet many people who live and work in Ocala and have been able to make many more personal relationships than I believe would have been possible in a larger metro area. My family and I feel a real sense of community in Ocala. 

How has the COVID pandemic affected your precepting and how has it changed?

Dr. Olloqui: Again, let’s give Advent Health Ocala and Pioneer Medical Group credit where due, because we were one of few sites in the nation that was able to maintain our in-hospital education program with bedside patient contact for our medical students. We obviously had to adapt and ensure student safety, but we maintained a level of education that was very similar to how it was before COVID-19.

After COVID-19, what we have to remember is, number one, we learn that COVID affects multiple systems, right? This pandemic made your mindset a little bit different. You really had to concentrate on the whole body, which is what we do in osteopathic medicine, and I was able to teach this to my medical students.

The other important part of medicine that the aftermath of COVID brought light to was the mental state of our patients after this terrible pandemic. We have become more aware of that. Everyone had their own journey through COVID. It was difficult for everyone in their own individual way.

When you see patients, especially after COVID, they might not be in the same mental or emotional state they were in previously, and that might be another opportunity for you to help them.

Where do you both want to see internal medicine clinical training go from here?

Dr. Olloqui: We need to continue to embrace technology, but we cannot lose the bedside education with our students and with our physicians. You have to be able to physically see the patient, be able to examine the patient and be able to communicate. Those skills are some of the most important. We can continue using telehealth, as technology plays a role in medicine’s advancement.

We can embrace that new aspect of our trade and bring it into our daily lifestyle. For instance, right now, AdventHealth is using iPads for in-room patient care. Providers bring the tablet to the room and have real-time access to labs, scans and documents.

There’s a positive impact in the application of technology, but when it comes to the education portion, we cannot take the students out of the hospital, or away from the bedside. We have to have them right there, front and center. Communication with patients can be done in several ways, but bedside communication will always leave a lasting impression.

What advice do you have for incoming third-year osteopathic medical students about internal medicine rotations?

Dr. Beeble: The most important thing a third-year medical student can do, in my opinion, is soak up every aspect of their rotation, whether internal medicine is their endgame or not. The more you understand in the clinical setting, the better off you will be.

Do the work now so you will be better prepared for what’s down the road. If there’s anything we learned during the past few years, it’s that things can change quickly, and we need to be ready to evolve as well.  

Dr. Olloqui: One of the essentials is to have an open mind and an open heart. When you start your rotations, you’re coming out of the classroom, and you’re going to meet people from all walks of life. Just understand that these patients are coming to your hospital because you’re the one person who can help.

Understand that we have to take the whole patient into account. Medical students should know that I’m not looking for a diagnosis and treatment plan from them right now, as a third year. What I’m looking for is that they’re able to effectively communicate with the patient, make them feel that they were heard and understood and be able to deliver that message back to me and make a treatment plan together.

Related reading:

Insights from a rural OB-GYN: A Q&A with Tammie Koehler, DO

Why I chose a rural hospital for my clinical rotations—and why you should too

Leave a comment Please see our comment policy