Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Complete Examination?

I was surprised last week when a patient whom I had not seen in about ten years came back to the office after having moved out of "driving range" from my office. She told me about seeing a doctor without seeing a doctor. I asked her what she meant.
If you make an appointment to see the doctor and the person who comes in and introduces themself to you is NOT a doctor then I say "buyer beware". To say what happened after this was a disaster is putting it mildly. My message to you is ask if you can see the doctor at some point in the visit. If that is not possible maybe you can ask to come back later or reschedule. This is really important if surgery is planned. Maybe the Doctor would not need to do surgery to find out what the assistant could not diagnose. I would bet on it. You are entitled to get what you paid for.....a doctor visit!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Demand Quality Care !!

The sad truth is that quality care costs more. If you are spending your health care dollar to see a doctor, then I think you deserve to see a doctor! This sounds simple but what has been happening lately to many people who are UNAWARE of who is sitting across from them in the "Doctors " office is really a shame. You pay your monthly insurance premium to company X. You make an appt to see the doctor for your cold, or gyn checkup or skin exam. When you get to the office the "health care provider" turns out to be a nurse practioner, a physician's assistant or someone who did not go to medical school but perhaps is masquerading as a doctor. Your insurance company gets the bill and it says that you saw a doctor. You didn't! You spent the same dollar, but you did not get the expert. If I went to see a doctor, but the doctor wasn't a doctor or did not come in to see me, I would leave! I think you should too! You are paying for the expert so thats what you should get. Buyer beware, because here you generally DONT get what you paid for if you did not receive treatment from the expert. No, the nurse practioner does not know as much as the doctor. They may call themselves doctors of nursing but, trust me, the training is not equivalent. You all be careful out there!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Safety of Laser Hair Removal in Ethnic Skin-Pt 1

I was shocked to learn how often patients are told by misinformed health professionals that "dark skinned people" should not get laser. This is absolutely untrue. It is true that there are important differences in various shades of people. The melanin absorbs the laser light and so it can cause problems if the laser physician is unfamiliar with the settings that are necessary to use for each patient. I also think it is important to see a PHYSICIAN for treatment such as laser when, not know how to use the device, can lead to serious consequences!
Nearly every patient I that I have used the laser on in my 25 years of medical practice has been a skin type 4 or darker. I think these are some of my most satisfied patients because they had been told "it couldn't be done!" Before treatment, we explain the risks, benefits, and alternatives to the laser. We will have more on shaving alternatives in the next blog. Stay tuned!

How to have better nails!

The dry winter air, from having the heater on, can make it hard to stay moisturized in the colder months. You need to drink more water and pay attention to replacing the moisture on your hands after you wash them. This is really important when you use sanitizing hand gels. They contain alcohol which is potentially drying to the skin and the nails. Use cuticle oil, found in the nail polish section , and apply it to the nail AND the skin around the nail whenever you can.
Your diet also is important. If nails are brittle and fragile, Salem, OR-based Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Age-Proof Your Body (McGraw-Hill, 2006), recommends consuming iron-rich foods such as black bean soup or the occasional cut of steak. "Iron is essential for the growth and maintenance of the nails and nail bed," says Somer. "If nails are deprived of iron for too long, they can flatten out or curve abnormally." Somer adds that cooking foods in a cast-iron pan can also help increase your iron intake. The iron from the pan infuses into whatever dish you're preparing. I hope this information helps you have long and strong nails this winter!