Point of Care Ultrasound now offered to practice members.


Now offering Point of Care Ultrasound

We are excited to announce that we’ve added in-office, point of care (limited) ultrasound as a tool to help diagnose and treat our patients. While some things may still require more extensive imaging, point of care ultrasound often helps avoid expensive tests, saving patients time and money.

Available to DPC members only.

Not a member? Give us a call today to learn how you can become a member and take advantage of this great new addition to our practice.


Posted on February 4, 2019 .

Open as usual

Our parking lot is a bit smaller now but we're back open after a bit of shoveling by Jen and me (mostly Jen this time).

Our parking lot is a bit smaller now but we're back open after a bit of shoveling by Jen and me (mostly Jen this time).

Posted on March 14, 2018 .

Change of Scenery

While outside is cold and white, we're enjoying some change of scenery in the office thanks to Tillman Crane Photography. Here's a few of the several prints we have hanging in our office right now. Feel free to stop in to check them out and chat with us about Direct Primary Care.  

Posted on January 5, 2018 .

Thursday Blizzard Warning

It's looking like it'll be quite messy by mid morning tomorrow. We will be here by 7:30am for our scheduled appointments, however,  the office will be closed for the afternoon. Dr. Pierce will be available by phone for any urgent or acute concerns. 

Stay safe and off the roads if you can!

Posted on January 3, 2018 .

Our Office Will Be Closed on Veterans Day

In observance of Veteran's Day and in honor of our very own Veteran, Dr. Brian Pierce, our office will be closed tomorrow, Friday, November 10th. Dr. Pierce will be available by phone for any urgent concerns. 

Untitled drawing.jpg
Posted on November 9, 2017 .

Thanks to Dr Minda Gold for covering during my appendectomy

As some of you are aware, I wasn't available suddenly yesterday. Thanks to the wonderful nursing staff at the PenBay ED and surgery department and Drs. Campa and O'Brien, I'm now very happily without an appendix after it started causing trouble late Sunday.

While I'm on strict orders to stay home this morning, I expect to be back at the office very soon. Thanks also to Doctor Gold of Full Circle DPC who was as kind enough to cover urgent issues yesterday.

Jen Overlock is covering our phones as usual and I'll be available via her or directly by portal message today.

Posted on August 15, 2017 .

We have a medical student with us for three days this week

We're very excited to have a first year medical student from Tufts University School of Medicine joining us today for a three day clerkship where she gets to see family medicine first hand.  Tufts has a program in which students from Maine spend a lot of time studying medicine at locations here in Maine.  Hopefully this will provide Maine with a steady supply of new physicians in the years to come.

Allowing the medical student to sit in on your appointment is optional for patients.  She's bound by the same privacy rules as Jen and me but you're under no obligation to have a student present during your visit.

Posted on July 31, 2017 .


Members Please Note:

Dr. Pierce will be out of the office June 15th & 16th (Thursday & Friday) to attend a conference in Washington D.C. Jen will be available by phone during our regular office hours for any questions and to help coordinate with our physician on call if you have urgent concerns and need to be seen. Dr. Pierce will be back in the office on Monday, June 19th. 

Posted on June 12, 2017 .

Some of you have wanted to call at night and just leave a message for Jen to hear in the morning.  We figured out how to add that.  You can also reach me for urgent issues like always.

During the day, the phone simply rings through to the office as before.


Posted on March 22, 2017 .

Telephone Upgrade

I was going to post something this weekend about our new phone upgrade.  Our old phone system had some quirks that caused some annoyances for patients.  The new system has resolved these and adds some additional improvements. 

However, a minor glitch caused problems for folks trying to call us this morning.   Our new phone company fixed this quickly and the phones are ringing again.  If you had trouble reaching us this morning, we apologize but you can call us now.

Posted on August 18, 2016 .

Summer Heat Has Arrived - Prevention of Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion

The lazy, hazy days of summer are in short supply in Maine, but when they arrive, most of us break a sweat!  However, the heat can be too much for some and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has helpful guidelines to keep us healthy until the leaves begin to color!  Stay hydrated and seek out shady locations for your outdoor activities.  Check out the CDC message here http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/faq.asp

Posted on July 13, 2016 .

Primary Care treatment of opiate addiction

As most of you know, we have a terrible addiction problem, both nationwide and especially here in Knox County where we have the second highest overdose rate in Maine.  

We've generally treated addiction as a moral failing or as a poor choice using abstinence only and twelve step type methods to combat it.  While this has helped a few patients, the data show this is rarely successful.  We have much better success at getting patients with addiction back to stable lives by controlling their cravings for opiates with regular controlled doses of clean prescribed opiates.  Combining this with counseling to work on changing harmful behaviors and rebuilding lives is helpful.

While methadone gets most of the press and political attention, buprenorphine (Suboxone) is a much better option for many patients.  Primary care physicians are allowed to prescribe this in their offices after taking a short course and getting special permission from the DEA.  Buprenorphine is an addictive opiate itself but has unique properties that make it much safer and very useful for this type of treatment.  

At Megunticook Family Medicine, we now offer a small addiction program with Amy Barnett, a Rockland substance abuse counselor with years of experience.  By combining individual and group counseling with frequent physician monitoring of buprenorphine to control cravings, we hope to taper most patients off opiates over two years.  

Like the rest of our Direct Primary Care practice, we've worked hard to make this affordable to most patients.  Addiction treatment requires far more labor and testing resources when done properly so we are offering this as a separate, additional service.  Since we don't have the costs and hassles of billing insurance companies, we can offer addiction treatment for a lower out of pocket cost to our high deductible policy and cash patients than insurance oriented practices.  For those with (non-HMO) insurance or Mainecare most prescriptions and out of office tests are usually covered but check with your insurer.

For more information about this new service or Direct Primary Care in general, call us at 207-390-8570 or email us at answers@megunticookfamilymedicine.com.

Posted on February 28, 2016 .

Health Care Sharing Ministries

I've been trying to find the time to thoroughly research these alternatives to health insurance but the end of the year is nearly here so posting some references and a brief introduction to these will have to suffice for now.   

While we don't require patients to have any insurance to join our practice, we recommend a high deductible policy or some other means to protect against large medical expenses as well as the ACA (Obamacare) tax penalty.   However, a large minority of our patients still find their insurance options too expensive and don't even have catastrophic coverage.  The Health Care Sharing ministries are a less expensive alternative to insurance that provides some cost protection and four of them are reported to meet the requirements for avoiding the ACA tax penalty.

So far, we have a handful of our patients who use these these ministries but our experience with them at this point is limited.   They are not insurance policies and differ from insurance in how they are regulated and how (and which) medical expenses are reimbursed.  They don't restrict patients to narrow provider networks like HMO insurance plans. Most of these seem to require members be Christian but one, Liberty Health Share, has liberalized its membership criteria to a broader set of beliefs and is not restricted to Christians.

Alaska Public Radio Nov. 2015

US News and World Report 2014 article

A 2013 NPR story about Medi-Share

 A Feb. 2015 progressive opinion from the NY Times


An article about CMF Curo, a Catholic version of these

CMF Curo

A critical 2011 Consumer Reports article quoting former Maine Supt. of Insurance Mila Kofman



Posted on December 26, 2015 .

2015 Holiday Office Hours

We are taking some time off to spend with our families for Christmas and New Years. As always, Dr. Pierce is available by phone for urgent concerns after office hours. 

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Posted on December 23, 2015 .

Our local physician shortage

Village Soup, our local online and print newspaper, has discovered that there is a local shortage of primary care physicians and contacted a hospital administrator and two state legislators in researching an article and editorial published this week.

Lest those of you that don't have a subscription to Village Soup miss out on my opinion, this is the text of my online comment about their editorial:

It's disappointing to see Village Soup investigating a local primary care physician shortage and publishing an article and an editorial without apparently contacting any physicians.

As a local family physician for over 13 years who has recruited several other physicians to the area, I have more recently both contributed to the local physician shortage and offer a likely solution with my recent change in practice.

The problems that have led to the primary care physician shortage have been affecting us local physicians for years.   Commercial and government third party payers talk about the importance of primary care while steadily increasing their demands and shifting payments towards procedures.  As a result, many primary care physicians have retired early, others have given up their practices and retreated to the apparent shelter of large hospital systems that can charge facility fees or shift money from profitable tests and procedures to primary care clinics.  The rest of us worked smarter, harder and longer to sustain our practices with varying success.  Medical students and resident (trainee) physicians are well aware of all this and most avoid primary care.

However, primary care is undergoing a growing renaissance in many parts of the country.  Direct Primary Care is an affordable version of the high priced concierge practices enjoyed by the wealthy.  Direct Primary Care cuts out the middlemen and greatly simplifies the business of primary care for physicians, allowing them to lower prices back to levels affordable by almost all patients while giving those patients great access to their own physician.  Most importantly for this discussion, Direct Primary Care sustains successful practices that are drawing young physicians back to primary care. While Maine lags behind other areas of the country in this, Maine will soon have its seventh independent, direct primary care practice this winter.

The prescription to solve the primary care shortage does not require new government programs or further expansion of large hospital networks but simply the two groups that have lost the most in the current primary care mess, Maine physicians and patients.

Brian Pierce MD

Megunticook Family Medicine


Posted on December 4, 2015 .

Pill Splitting

The Skeptical Cardiologist blog recently posted a good discussion of this common tactic for cutting the cost of prescription medications.

I find patients don't need to do this as often as they did ten or twenty years ago, mainly because so many inexpensive generic medications are now available.  Also, some pills shouldn't be split because it disrupts a time release or protective coating or because their size or shape makes them difficult to split.  If in doubt, check with your pharmacist.

Currently, one of the few tablets that my patients split is chlorthalidone.  This is a less well known but often very effective thiazide diuretic usually used to treat hypertension.  Generic chlorthalidone is quite inexpensive but doesn't come in a small dose tablet and many patients only need a half tablet daily for good blood pressure control.


Picture by Steven Fruitsmaak   dual licence GFDL and cc-by-sa-2.5 and earlier

Posted on August 11, 2015 .