The Top Health Tips from the County's Best Doctors

What do doctors consider the most important?

“As a preventative cardiologist, most of my recommendations involve lifestyle changes. In a practical sense, though, my major recommendation is: Almost anything is acceptable in moderation.”—Anthony Mercando, MD, cardiovascular disease
“A lot of patients think it’s normal to have palpitations and not feel well, but it is not. We commonly see people with heart problems who are told they have anxiety, but it’s not, and we can help them.” —Martin B. Cohen, MD, cardiac electrophysiology
“Beware of funny-looking pigmented lesions; see your dermatologist. And practice ‘safe sun.’” —Andrew Bronin, MD, dermatology
“For your next trip abroad, start preparing to get your shots a month ahead of time.” —Jeffrey A. Lederman, MD, infectious disease
“So many of [the conditions] I see are dysfunctions, not diseases. Most of these conditions can be managed with lifestyle changes, not medications. I don’t think one specific diet, such as gluten-free, is going to be a panacea—it has to be individualized.” —Audrey H. Birnbaum, MD, pediatric gastroenterology
“A patient’s motivation for improvement is the most important factor in physical rehabilitation.” —Karen M. Pechman, MD, physical medicine & rehabilitation
“Trust those parental instincts, and let your pediatrician know how you feel.” —Mary Versfelt, MD, pediatrics 
“There are two common myths in my field of hand surgery: The first is that a fractured bone is different than a broken bone—they are the same thing. ‘Fracture’ is the correct medical term for any broken bone. The other is that if you can move your hand, then it’s not broken—this is not true either. All hand injuries should be examined by a specialist as quickly as possible to make the correct diagnosis and for appropriate treatment.” —Paul D. Fragner, MD, hand surgery 
“Chronic symptoms of coughing, throat clearing, a lump in the throat, phlegm, voice changes, swallowing problems, and burning in the throat are often caused by LPR—laryngopharyngeal reflux, or reflux in the throat area. LPR can cause these symptoms alone or exacerbate other problems of the vocal folds and throat. Symptoms of LPR are often confused with allergy, post-nasal drip, or sinus disease. A comprehensive laryngeal examination can provide the diagnosis of LPR, and treatment with simple dietary changes, alkaline water, and sometimes medication can be highly effective in reducing symptoms.”  —Craig H. Zalvan, MD, otolaryngology


“If you’re not sure about making a certain medical decision, ask your doctor what they would do if it was their child, or mother, or close relative—they usually will be very honest. Also, parents shouldn’t be afraid to ask any ‘stupid’ questions about anything bothering them. If it’s something you’re losing sleep over, call your physician the next day and have it checked out as soon as possible.”  —Fredric Bomback, MD, pediatrics

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“If a CT scan needs to be performed, low-dose scanning should be performed to decrease the radiation exposure.” —Maurice R. Poplausky, MD, diagnostic radiology

“Most often, a cold is caused by a virus, and, thus, it will not be cured by an antibiotic.  If you are experiencing cold symptoms, try to rest and drink lots of fluids.  If your symptoms persist for more than ten days, it is time to consult a physician.” —Timothy J. Siglock, MD, otolaryngology 

“Rheumatology does not only deal with joint pain, but most of the time deals with systemic illnesses that cause joint pain. If you have joint pain lasting longer than several weeks, ask your general practitioner if you need to see a rheumatologist.” —Frank Foto, MD, rheumatology

“Diabetes is a disease in which the patient has to play an active role. We try to educate patients to make them active participants in their treatment.”  —Jerry I. Kleinbaum, MD,  endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism

“Exercise and diet are just as important as any medication.” —David J. Tang, MD, internal medicine

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“Children are not small adults—that’s why we have pediatric specialists.” —Iris Schlesinger, MD, pediatric orthopaedic surgery 

“The prevalence of cardiovascular disease can be substantially reduced through healthy eating, exercise, and avoidance of smoking tobacco.” —Robert M. Pilchik, MD,cardiovascular disease

“Even though over 90 percent of births are normal, you still have to make sure you are in a setting where, were something to not go as expected, the [facility] is prepared to deal with those contingencies. What happens in the first few minutes of life can have long-lasting effects in the life of a child. Make sure the hospital where you choose to give birth has the resources available to handle any emergencies that may arise [including that] neonatologists are available to provide care in the delivery room and immediate neonatal intensive care.” —Jesus Jaile-Marti, MD, neonatal-perinatal medicine

“Many people who have chronic cough, asthma, and swallowing problems have gastroesophageal reflux or an esophageal motor disorder, and these, of course, should be evaluated.” —James Ehrlich, MD, gastroenterology

“All adolescent boys, as well as adolescent girls, should get the HPV vaccine.” —Marcia Nackenson, MD, adolescent medicine

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“Disease and other medical issues should be approached by a multi-specialized team for successful results.” —Rocco J. Lafaro, MD, thoracic & cardiac surgery

» For More from the November issue, click here. 

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