New Doctor Patient Relationships on the Rise

hospitalIf you’ve been following trends in medicine, you may have notice that we’re at the beginning of what I think is going to be a major shift in the way that healthcare is handled by governments, individuals, hospitals, and physicians.

In short, we’re looking at a rise in the development of personal relationships between doctors and their patients, a form of practice known as concierge medicine, in which a patient pays a fee to be a member of a group of physicians and have access to their doctors on demand.

Let’s take a look at this new trend, and what it may mean for your healthcare providers.

A Little Medical History

First, it makes sense to understand some of the backstory that’s going into this trend.

The first element has to do with the fact that for many individuals across the country, healthcare has become something of a commodity, and as hospitals have gradually been acquired by larger and larger corporations, more emphasis has gradually been placed on systematizing the hospitals in a system, often at the cost of patient care.

In other words, in order to be the most efficient healthcare provider possible, hospital corporations have striven to cut costs and make the “standard” of care truly standard across all patient-physician relationships.

In some ways, this is good, as any physician can pick up your chart and treat you in the case of emergency, but the cost has been that it is now extremely rare for patients to see physicians they know and trust.

Healthcare, in a sense, has become impersonal.

The Rise of Concierge Doctors

That framework has set the stage for one of the greatest revolutions in healthcare since the rise of the corporations 30-40 years ago: concierge medicine.

At it’s best, concierge medicine is a form of personalized medicine wherein the patient and doctor enjoy a relationship with each other. When you need to see your physician, you know exactly who you’re going to be seeing, and who is going to be treating you, and you aren’t relegated to the physician who simply happens to be on call that day, and may or may not be familiar with your history, personally.

This interpersonal relationship is key, argue proponents of this shift, since doctors will be able to make more informed decisions than other structures may allow.

The result is a better quality of healthcare, and happier and more satisfied patients. Watch this case study interview for one example of how the differences play out.

After all, isn’t that what all doctors should be striving for anyway?

Read more on the pros and cons in this WSJ article.

Weight Training Exercise Tips To Stay Fit

weight trainingWhether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a strong physique, one of the most overlooked areas of health and fitness is weight training.

For many people, weight training exercises have the stereotype of being only for people who are looking to “bulk up” or train for a specific athletic event. What they don’t realize is that there are many different types of weight training, and there are a lot of great exercises to help you train even if you don’t want to become a bodybuilder.

Dead Lift Weights

The best and probably the most common way to weight train for the purpose of maintaining fitness or building strength is to use traditional dead lift weights.

This class of weight training includes your standard dumbbells and bench press bars, and with just a few weights you can find you’ll be able to exercise every muscle in your body. It’s great for economy and results!

Learn more about lifting weights at beachbody.com.

Consider Kettlebell Workouts

Another type of weight training you might want to consider is the use of a kettlebell. Kettlebells are small spherical weights with a handle on them, which allows you to have the benefits of a medicine ball with easier grip for more robust activity.

Kettle bell exercises can be easily varied to account for different skill levels and workout routines, and are great for adding a fun variety to the “standard” dumb-bell lifts.

Learn more about how to use a kettlebell at kettlebellexercises.co.

Using Your Own Body Weight


Finally, many people don’t realize that there are also lots of options for building and training muscles that require no equipment, and no more space than the length of a simple yoga mat!

From pushups to tricep bends, these exercises are great for keeping in shape when you’re either at home or on the road, and a few simple routines are all it takes to get a broad workout.

To up the ante a bit further, consider investing in a single resistance band, which will give you more variety for your workouts, as well as allow you to mimic the act of weight lifting, without needing to use weights!

When To Get An Eye Checkup and Visit the Optometrist

optometristHave you had your eyes checked recently?

For many Americans, optometry is one of the areas of their physical health that often goes unchecked. It isn’t a major part of most annual physicals, and individuals tend not to seek out an optometrist and go have their eyes checked until their vision becomes noticeably worse.

The problem is, by this point, you may have inadvertently damaged your eyes even further, by not looking for solutions to problems before they become an issue.

Recommendations for Kids

For children, having regular checkups with an optometrist in your area is an important part of your annual or bi-annual physical.

Indeed, for many children, these visits are encouraged by local schools, and parents ensure that the visits happen. It is at this stage when people with chronic eye problems have their conditions diagnoses, and can properly find the right eyeglasses for them.

Recommendations for Young Adults

Young adults, on the other hand, rarely seek out routine eye examinations or physicals. For many, this is ok, as long as there is no noticeable difference in their current vision, and they haven’t experienced any eye trauma that would otherwise cause a problem.

If you were diagnosed with a poor eye condition as a child, however, bi-annual checkups to adjust and fine tune lens requirements is still a good idea.

For those reluctant to get glasses as young adults, keep in mind there are many designer eye wear options to choose from.

Recommendations for Middle Aged Adults

When adults reach middle age, their vision begins to change. This is true both for individuals who have worn glasses or contacts their entire lives, and those with previously excellent vision.

Typically, vision begins to wear and become noticeably inhibited in “stressed” environments, such as reading fine print in low light.

This is the first sign that your vision is beginning to change, and you should begin a new program of visiting an optometrist for routine checkups.

Recommendations for Seniors

For senior citizens, routine eye examinations are even more important, especially if the individual continues to drive or engage in other similar activities.

Needing to gradually increase prescription strength as one ages is normal, but it is all too often neglected, leading to ever worsening eye conditions for those afflicted.

Read more about seeing your eye doctor from WebMD.

When to Use Supplementation for Rigorous Workout Programs

supplementsIn the last post we talked a little bit about natural supplements and weight loss pills, and pointed out why they shouldn’t be used as a replacement for diet and exercise when trying to lose weight.

I don’t want to imply, however, that these products should never be used. They do have their place within the exercise world, and can be extremely beneficial to a good workout program, if they’re used properly.

Here’s when you should think about using workout supplements.

You Exercise Rigorously 5 Times a Week

Before you even think about using supplementation, you already need to have established clear and consistent habits of exercise.

A good rule of thumb is that you should be working out at least 5 times a week, and when you work out, you are working out rigorously, and incorporate muscle-building activities, such as weight training, into your routine.

If you only have a light exercise schedule that involves walking or jogging, but don’t strenuously work out, then supplementation probably isn’t right for you.

Your Diet Can’t Meet Your Needs

The other main reason you would want to consider supplementation is when your diet can’t meet the needs of your body. This goes hand in hand with the first reason above.

I don’t mean that your diet doesn’t currently meet the needs of your body, because you go to McDonald’s or make chocolate chip cookies every night, I mean it can’t reasonably meet the needs of your body, because you’re working your body consistently and it needs more vitamins than a normal healthy diet can provide.

In this case you might want to consider pre-workout supplements as a way to get a little extra caloric boost (without filling up and being unable to workout) before you start your rigorous workouts. You should only take these when you’re about to engage in a streneuous workout, such as weight training.

If you’re training seriously for an endurance sport, on the other hand, like a marathon or 100k bike race, you might consider taking a few natural workout supplements after your workout. One common form of this is to mix a little protein powder into a juice shake, which will replenish your body after a long workout.

I hope these tips help you to think about when you might want to consider supplementation for your workouts. Again, please note that these products are not intended to replace a healthy diet, but for when your diet can’t keep up with the demands rigorous exercise places on the body.

As always, consult a physician or other health professional before incorporating these products into your routine, or read more about when to use supplements.

Pills and Supplements to Lose Weight? Good Idea or Bad?

exerciseIf you’ve been struggling trying to lose weight, one thing you might be considering is whether or not you should take some sort of weight loss pill or other dietary supplement that will help you drop those extra pounds.

While it may seem like a good idea, and certainly all of the marketing for these products makes it seem like an easy choice, the real issue is a lot more complicated.

Here are a few thoughts to consider.

Nothing Can Replace Diet and Exercise

Unfortunately, many people take weight loss pills in an attempt to lose weight without changing their lifestyle first. The reality is that when it comes to weight loss techniques, the best strategy you can use is what just about every health expert will tell you: eat right, and exercise consistently.

There is absolutely nothing in this world that can replace the benefits of daily exercise. While the US Surgeon General provides activity guidelines, the main point is clear: get up off of the couch and out of the office and move more. It’s that simple. Even if it’s just to go out for 20 minute walk every day, that one simple change will begin to alter your body’s chemistry, and you will start to burn more calories and begin to lose weight.

Couple a consistent exercise routine with healthy eating, and it’s a one-two punch that can’t fail, so before you try any pill, make sure you’ve seriously attempted to lose weight without it.

If You Take A Pill, Go Natural

If you do decide you want to take a pill, I encourage you to do so only in conjunction with exercise. The best products are those designed to supplement gains made through exercise and healthy eating, not replace them.

There are some good all natural products, like Athletic Greens, that can be used to help speed up the process of losing weight, if they are taken in conjunction with a rigorous exercise and diet program.

Read more about Athletic Greens at Knolpad, and be sure to consult a physician or health professional about your individual needs before adopting any programs for yourself.

A Quick Tour of Suffolk

suffolk va

Welcome to HealthyPeopleHealthySuffolk.org!

If you’ve never been to Suffolk, Virginia before, we’ve got a quick little tour for you today!

We’re just getting going launching this site, and will be providing more information on healthy living in Suffolk, along with tips on how you can stay in shape and live the life you’ve only dreamed of!

So check out the video below for the tour if you’re unfamiliar with the town, and we look forward to getting going with more information in the near future!