MEET A MOM: Dr. Dana Murphy | New Canaan & Darien Moms

Meet Dr. Dana Murphy, a New Canaan mom of three who is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine. After practicing in a traditional primary care setting for over 13 years, Dr. Murphy recently joined forces with Dr. Larry Leibowitz at Matrix Personalized Medicine and is currently enrolling new patients in her concierge practice.

How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have three girls and they are 10, 14, and 17. My oldest is a senior and getting ready to launch—it’s hard to believe, but she will be heading off to college next fall!

What brought you and your family to town?
I originally grew up in Northern Westchester and have a tight bond with my extended family, so I always wanted to stay in the tri-state area. I have lived in several towns throughout Fairfield County since graduating from med school in 2005. Over the past few years as a single mom, I wanted to move somewhere with a strong sense of community and where I had neighbors nearby. Being geographically close to my kids’ school so they would be able to stay in place was also a huge priority and New Canaan checked all those boxes for us.


 

What’s your favorite aspect about being part of the community?
I really love the various holiday events—my kids like everything from stopping to look at the small details of the gingerbread houses at Christmas time (the Bluey House this year was our personal fav) to the 4th of July celebration at Waveny. Having so many locally sponsored things to do really strengthens the sense of community and has enabled us to make connections we otherwise would not have.

What’s your favorite family activity to do in the area?
My kids really love the theater, so now that they are a little older our favorite is to grab last minute tickets to a show and head into NYC. Otherwise, we also love to attend local productions and we are lucky to have so many amazing options close by. We try to go to the great shows put on by the local schools and Summer Theatre of New Canaan is always one of our favorites.

You recently joined an internal medicine concierge practice. Can you tell us more about Matrix Personalized Medicine and the services you offer?
Matrix was founded by Dr. Lawrence Leibowitz in 2017, and I am so lucky to have recently joined him at his office. We provide comprehensive primary care in a concierge/subscription-based model with a focus on wellness and lifestyle interventions. I am personally board certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine and have been in practice for almost 15 years. The concierge model allows us to maintain a smaller patient panel so that we can devote a level of time and attention to our patients that is no longer supported by the current healthcare system. It also helps us to stay on the cutting edge of medicine and offer evaluations that one could not do in a traditional model like enhanced cardiovascular and metabolic screening. We offer both in-person and telehealth availability, as well as direct access to us via cell and email. On a case-by-case basis I plan to be available for home visits as well.

Can you please tell us what led you to this model?
I think the answer to this question goes back to the reason I originally decided to pursue a career in Medicine. During my first year at the University of Pennsylvania, I was unfortunately hospitalized with Encephalitis. After a prolonged hospital stay, I had a countless number of follow up appointments. At the beginning of one of those meetings with a new doctor, the first thing she did was look directly in my eyes and say “So… how are you?” That experience changed the trajectory of my life and I have never let go of the impact her words had on me as a patient. So often, doctors forget to treat people as the individuals they are, to meet people where they are at that moment. It has always been my goal to do that for my patients and to not just treat their physical illness but to acknowledge and help with the psychological aspect as well. Over the past several years in my former practice, I found it increasingly difficult to abide by this and no longer felt like I was able to take optimal care of my patients in this way. After some time spent struggling with how to move forward in my career, I finally realized that the constraints of the current system were not allowing me to be the type of doctor I wanted to be, and I decided to make the change.

Why the concierge model? Can you tell us what makes these services different and special?
The concierge model stands apart because it returns the physician-patient relationship to the forefront.
I think anyone who has seen a doctor in the last few years understands the limitations of the current healthcare system. Patients are not able to access their doctors when they are ill or in need, appointments are shortened and rushed, and wait times are exceedingly long.

The concierge model eliminates these obstacles, allowing you to spend more time with your doctor, get to know them and their staff, and access them whenever you need them. A primary care physician is supposed to be the quarterback of your care; this model allows physicians to have the time and resources to advocate for their patients every day.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is the opportunity to connect with people and form relationships with my patients. Practicing medicine is such a privilege and I consider myself so lucky to have a job that allows me to interact with a wide variety of people every day. I also really enjoy being an investigator, so in that sense it is very satisfying when a patient comes in with a constellation of symptoms and I can put it together to diagnose their problem—and then treat them!

What is the best advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
“Don’t sweat the small stuff” are some of the truest words that have ever been said. As my kids have gotten older, I have faced parenting obstacles that I never imagined. Knowing when to step in and when to let them struggle is a fine art and when I get it wrong, I really try to tell myself that I did the best I could with what I had at the time. (Another mom who happens to be a parenting expert also told me once to never download Life360. I am sad to say I have not been strong enough to take that advice, but she was probably right!)

How do you unwind when you need some “me time?”
I really love to listen to podcasts. It’s the one thing I miss about my former commute! I’m a bit of a true crime junkie, but I don’t discriminate if they tell a good story. Reading is also something I genuinely love, so when I have the time to read something non-medical it feels like a luxury.

Any words of wisdom?
From a medical standpoint I think the two things I would emphasize are the importance of exercise and preventative care. Too often, I see patients put off their routine screenings and experience a delay in diagnosis. Unfortunately, time takes what could have been a simple diagnosis and turns it into a complex problem. Whatever you are due for today, whether it be your mammogram, colonoscopy, or just a routine physical, pick up the phone and knock it off your to do list. I promise you will feel so much better after it’s done. Also, try to exercise as much as you have room for in your life, but don’t beat yourself up when you fall short. Some weeks (or months) it might only be five minutes—just do what you can! It sounds cliche, but “give yourself some grace.” As moms, we have so much pressure on us, and it can be mentally exhausting. It’s so important to allow yourself to be imperfect. I still struggle with this in my own day to day life.

Anything to add?
Choosing a primary care doctor is a very personal thing. You might not click with every doctor you see and it’s important to find the right fit. I am happy to offer a complimentary “meet and greet” to any patient who wants to get to know me either via telephone or in person before signing on to the practice. Patients are welcome to call the office at 203- 920-1772 to schedule or to reach out to me via e-mail at [email protected]

You can find more information about my background and the practice on our website.

Favorite places nearby to:

Dinner with Kids: Ching’s Table
Dinner with Friends: table 104
Grab a Coffee: Starbucks because “mobile order”
Shop for my Kids: Groove
Food Delivery: Suzanne Buono is the absolute best. Look her up for her amazing homemade meals!
Treat Myself: Browsing the shelves at Elm Street Books
Any hidden treasures or other favorites you want to share?
My daughter has Celiac Disease, so we love a good gluten free find. By the Way Bakery in Greenwich has the best biscotti on the planet. It’s worth the drive!

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