Provider Perspective: David Perez

Establishing and maintaining bonds between patients and providers is vital for improving health outcomes, not only to foster a welcoming environment but also to ensure that patients feel comfortable sharing their experiences. This is especially important for primary care providers, as they are often the starting point for patients in various stages of life and care.

Photo of David Perez

David A. Perez grew up watching his mother, a Registered Nurse, care for others and apply these principles, which inspired him to enter the healthcare field himself. Now a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner at Johns Hopkins Medicine and a HealthHIV HIV Prevention Certified Provider (HIVPCP), October 2023 will mark his 25th year in healthcare. 

With interests in primary care, internal medicine, and LGBTQ+ inclusive care, Perez is passionate about bettering the state of healthcare in Maryland. Read the interview below to learn how he works toward this goal!

How does your work impact the state of Maryland?

“I see all age groups of adults, and I feel that in healthcare overall, there’s a lack of overall healthy wellness – looking at the entire person: mind, body, and spirit. My approach to medicine encompasses that entire mantra. There’s a physical component, but [I ask] what the external factor is. How is that affecting the mind, the spirit? And all those things kind of have to be harmonious in order for us to have good health and wellbeing. My approach to that helps to promote wellness rather than just fixing a problem.”

What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of your work?

“I love patient interaction. I enjoy establishing and building on that bond and relationship between provider and patient so that they feel comfortable and relaxed enough to share with me their journey as an individual and their journey within healthcare.

I would say my least favorite part is the bureaucracy of healthcare and the stalemate we sometimes get from insurances who aren’t always seeing the big picture. But that’s been here since before I got here, and it’ll probably be here long after I’m gone.”

What are your thoughts on the state of healthcare in Maryland?

“I think that we’re doing better. I know with the expansions of Maryland Medicaid, like now, patients who may have been uninsured or underinsured now have access to healthcare. But because of that delay, we’re playing a lot of catch up. Patients who haven’t seen doctors in 10, 15, or 20 years, we’re now having to catch up with that, which comes with a lot of extra work and still we’re kind of dominated by insurances. They wanna know the ‘why,’ and the ‘why’ is mostly because that patient hadn’t had access to healthcare.

We have all of these problems where we have nowhere to start … and instead of getting access to the services they need immediately, we have to find an alternate route or take the long route to get there, which is not always in the patient’s best interest, especially when they’re wanting answers or relief from their symptoms. So it’s challenging, but we do know that there’s a system in place and I work as best as I can within those constraints to meet the needs of my patients.”

How has the HIVPCP program contributed to your line of work in Maryland?

“I wanted to make sure that I was up to date as much as possible on HIV prevention and everything that could go into that care cascade. [The program] was helpful in reinforcing a lot of the things I already know. I have a good passion for those who are at high risk for HIV, as well as the LGBTQ community, so outside of the course itself, I also wanted the certification to kind of help affirm my commitment to HIV prevention and hopefully, at one point, eradicating it from existence.”

What are some words of advice or words of encouragement that you would give to other providers who are working in the same field as you? 

“Make sure that you take time to balance your work life. I think the demands, especially of primary care because we cover so much of the individual, can be hectic. I have to remind myself that I am a person and I need time and space to nurture my own self and look after my own health.

So I think that would be the best thing to remember, that you’re human as well, and you still have to make sure that you take some time for nurturing your own mind, body, and spirit.” 

David A. Perez, DNP, CRNP, AGPCNP-BC, (he/him/his) was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He moved to the DMV area to pursue his Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) at Johns Hopkins University. With over 20 years combined experience in health care and nursing, Dr. Perez has knowledge of clinical operations, administration and research. Clinical background opportunities have included orthopedics, medical-surgical, wound care, intermediate care, renal transplant, bariatric medicine and trauma. His journey to become a primary care nurse practitioner stemmed from his passion to promote lifestyle medicine in combination with adjuvant medications and treatments to prevent and treat disease.

Dr. Perez believes in developing strong relationships in order to provide personalized care, tailored to meet each patient’s specific needs. His holistic approach incorporates the needs of the body, mind and spirit. His academic interests include primary care, internal medicine and clinical education, with a strong emphasis for LGBTQ+ inclusive care and HIV prevention.

Dr. Perez enjoys exploring new restaurants and other experiences with his spouse, their son, and two dogs. He’s also a huge gymnastics fan!

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