Physician Spotlight: Meet Julie Daftari, MD, market medical director for UnitedHealthcare of Indiana and Kentucky


physician spotlight_Julie_Daftari_MMD (3)Fast Facts

Hometown:        Salisbury, Missouri
Spouse:                Sanju Daftari, MD
Children:              Jacob, 16; Jackson, 13; Jillian, 8
Hobbies:  Attending my children’s sporting events, photography, crafts, sewing

Why did you become a doctor?

When I was very young, my grandfather gave us a used “Encyclopedia Britannica” set that had an incredible anatomy section.  I carried the “A” around everywhere!  I always knew I wanted to do something in the healthcare field, but it took the inspiration of my high school biology teacher before I had enough courage to apply to medical school.

Why did you choose this particular specialty?

I became a family physician because I liked the day-to-day variety.

Is it different than what you thought?

It took over a decade of practicing before I really came to see that our healthcare delivery system needed to change.  More patients plus less time is not an equation for long-term sustainability.  It’s a real lose-lose situation for everyone, with patient care taking a hard hit.

What is the biggest misconception about your field?

I currently work full time in the insurance industry.  While the payer-physician relation has been historically viewed as adversarial, it’s really changing.  It’s my job to help physicians navigate the ever-changing landscape of clinical quality.  We all have to work together to help fundamentally change the delivery of healthcare in our nation.

What is the one thing you wish patients knew and/or understood about doctors?

We’re human and make mistakes just like everyone else.

What is your opinion of managed care and how will this affect the practice of medicine?

The payer-physician relationship will continue to evolve into an even closer partnership.  The landscape of this collaboration will allow physicians to spend more time with their patients and will reward them for providing high quality care in a cost- effective manner.

What’s one thing your colleagues would be surprised to learn about you?

I grew up on a farm.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

What is your motto?

Never quit.

If you weren’t a doctor, what would you be?

I love both problem solving and building things, so I would probably have to say engineer or architect.

Who are your heroes in healthcare?

Doc Quinn, my childhood family physician.  I had a chance to shadow him for a month when I was in medical school and was amazed at all of his “real world” knowledge—things I’m sure were not published in the books!

Who are your heroes in real life?

My Mom and Dad.

What’s the last good book you read?

“Why Hospitals Should Fly” by John Nance.

Favorite daytime beverage?

Definitely Diet Coke!