How would you explain what internal medicine encompasses?
Internal Medicine deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of internal disease and basically covers everything you don’t need a specialist for, like high blood pressure that responds to medications or orthopedic issues patients may be having that don’t require a joint replacement. I practice Internal Medicine with a focus on preventing disease, and not needing medications by way of improving lifestyle, which includes things like smoking cessation, losing weight, and taking steps towards preventing diabetes, rather than waiting to treat it.
What is the main difference between treating patients in a hospital or VA setting versus private practice?
After working in the private practice sector for a time after graduating medical school and completing my internship and residency training in Internal Medicine, I was a flight surgeon with the United States Air Force for three years. I then continued my service with the VA providing healthcare to veterans for the past 11 years. I got back into private practice in October 2022 and I’m loving it because private practice allows me to do things well that I couldn’t do as well working with the VA. It also allows doctors the flexibility to be more responsive to patients’ needs and service them with the mindset that the patient certainly comes first. In private practice, it’s easier to go the extra yard.
Why is a good doctor-patient relationship important?
When patients feel comfortable with and trust their doctor, they will be more open about what is going on with them health-wise. When working with my patients, I try to get to know them, and I strive to make them feel at ease, but in reality, it kind of all depends on what the patient likes. If the patient is jocular, we can make jokes all day long. Some patients are more reserved however, so with them, it may be a little more cut-and-dry. I try to remember that some patients may want a little more explanation about things, so basically, my job entails translating medicine back into English so that a patient can understand it, know what they’re up against, and know how to treat it. That’s the bottom line.
I practice Internal Medicine with a focus on preventing disease, and not needing medications by way of improving lifestyle.