17 December 2005
holiday office schedule will be as follows:
Friday, December 23 - close at noon.
Monday, December 26 - closed all day
Friday, December 30 - close at noon
Monday, January 2, 2006 - closed all day.
As usual, one of the doctors will always available by pager
Flu shot update: we finally did receive a small amount
of vaccine, enough to provide for our very high risk patients only and they've
been contacted. We've found out that the Rite Aid
Pharmacy in San Marcos still has influenza vaccine available. You can call them
We began diagnosing patients with classic influenza (flu)
symptoms as of last week, so the season has started in San Diego. Be aware that
the flu vaccine takes about 2 weeks to become fully effective, hence individuals
receiving flu shots at this time should also be prescribed a two week supply of
amantadine for protection. Also, as a reminder, there is a
treatment for the flu, but it is only effective if initiated within the first 48
hours of symptoms. Therefore, don't hesitate to call our office if you
experience respiratory symptoms (nasal congestion, sore throat, cough) and
suddenly feel as though you've been "hit by a truck" (i.e. headache,
muscle aches, and overwhelming fatigue). Patients with classic symptoms can
often be treated over the phone (even on weekends). More info on flu can
be found in the Patient Education section here.
And, if you haven't noticed, we've been experiencing dry air
conditions (e.g. Santa Ana's) for the last 4-6 weeks or so. This dries out the
upper airways leading to sinus irritation/discomfort with cough reflexes from
post-nasal drip, as well as nosebleeds. Running a humidifier/vaporizer in the
bedroom at night and using a salt water nasal spray (such as Ocean Premium
Saline spray) throughout the day can help alleviate these conditions.
Rent and watch this incredible documentary about the USA quad rugby team.
From their website: "From the gyms of middle America to the Olympic arena in
Athens, Greece, MURDERBALL tells the story of a group of world-class athletes
unlike any ever shown on screen. In addition to smashing chairs, it will smash
every stereotype you ever had about the disabled. It is a film about family,
revenge, honor, sex (yes, they can) and the triumph of love over loss. But most
of all, it is a film about standing up, even after your spirit - and your spine
- has been crushed."
Dr. Pearson update: This week's edition of
Family Practice News (and it's
related specialty journal editions) contained a feature article on physicians
who play music. Author Doug Brunk had some nice words to say about my
"Dad's a Dork" effort (and even included a
picture of me holding my limited edition Taylor 814BCE suitable for a
dartboard). [You can read the article in pdf format
I've also just accepted a position on the Board of Editors
for Medical Economics magazine (an
Advanstar Publication). I've worked with them on an informal basis over
the years as they're the sibling publication for
Patient Care magazine, of which
I've sat on the Board of Editors since 1992. Medical Economics is a journal
focusing on practice management issues for physicians. They recently printed an
article that I authored on the use of Dragon Naturally Speaking for
transcription of office notes via computer. [October
7, 2005 issue.]
National High School Cross Country Finals were held last week, at Morley
Field in Balboa Park. This year, Dr. Bill Winternitz joined certified athletic
trainers Mark Green, Robbie Bowers, Dave Salzer, CJ Hernandez and myself in covering this event. Click
here to see some of the pictures.
Fun stuff: It's no secret that we like to have
fun in the office
find various ways to entertain our patients to help them relax. If you've
enjoyed some of the newer magic tricks that I've performed, then you
should check out JP Scirica's new
Grand Magic Shop, in
Escondido. Click on the magic bunny to scope out his web site and see all of the
great stuff that he has to offer in time for the holidays! [Attention
physicians: You can read my
recent book review article on
Side-Fx by Scott
Tokar and Harrison J. Carroll. Learn how magic can make practice more fun
for you and your patients. I've also included one of their easy-to-perform
tricks using a simple cotton ball and applicator stick found in every exam
Happy Holidays from the staff of
(from left to right: myself, Elaine, Elizabeth,
Chandra, Julia, Kathy, Leslie, and Dr. Giesemann)
20 November 2005
please note that our office will be closed Thursday
and Friday this week for the Thanksgiving holiday. The physicians will be
available by radio pager for emergencies - simply call the office and follow
instructions for paging.
awaiting our full shipment of influenza vaccines ("flu shots"). For those of you
who have not been following the news, there is no shortage of flu vaccine this
year; rather, the distribution of the available vaccine supply across the nation
has been disrupted by market forces. You may have noticed that many
drug store and supermarket chains have been offering flu shots for quite some
time now. These chains purchase hundreds of thousands (if not more) of flu
vaccine from the manufacturers. When they place their orders, though, they
take advantage of their purchasing power - they stipulate that they will buy the
vaccine from a particular supplier only if they receive a guaranteed delivery
date (September in this case, I believe). Hence, nearly all of the nation's
initial influenza vaccine supply was directed to the chains. It's apparent that
medical clinics and hospitals apparently take a back seat to big money in this
country. We had been told to expect our shipment sometime by mid-November, but
as of today, it has not arrived. Patients may continue to wait for our delivery,
but you may want to hit one of the drug store chains if you find the flu vaccine
Influenza season is not expected to hit our region until December. The
influenza virus comes in different "flavors" (i.e. strains) - type A, type B and
with multiple sub-types. Historically, most of our recent seasons
were predominantly of the type A variety. This is how
physicians choose which medication to prescribe for someone with flu
symptoms (refer to my patient handout on influenza here). Tamiflu (oseltamivir)
had gotten a lot of press in the news of late - it helps against both types A
and B strains, but there is no generic and runs somewhere in the neighborhood of
$80-90 retail at large chain pharmacies. For type A flu, though, generic
Symmetrel (amantidine) works just as well and only costs about $10. Neither one
of these products actually kills the influenza virus; rather, they act as
sort of a birth control pill for it, preventing viral replication
(reproduction), whereby shortening the duration of illness by about 2-3 days.
These products are only effective, by the way, if initiated within the
first 2 days of symptom onset.
Thanksgiving traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season
(forget the fact that Costco was selling decorations months ago...). Suddenly,
the shopping malls are teeming with people of all shapes/sizes/ages coughing
into their hands and then touching toys, clothing and other potential gift
products. A few years back, researchers studied cold virus
transmission. They paid a bunch of college kids to play card games. Unbeknownst
to the students, however, the playing cards were treated with cold virus
(rhinovirus). None of the students had been sneezing or coughing prior to or
during the games. However, they all came down with common colds. Bottom
line: the best way to lessen your chances of coming down with
the flu (or nearly all viruses with few exceptions) is to wash your hands or use
a hand sanitizing gel after coming into contact with people or articles that may
be harboring the virus.
about avian (bird) flu? The Centers for Disease
Control (CDC) website is an excellent reference. Find it
Veterans Day recently passed with San Diego hosting the
Military Paralympics Summit. Servicemen and women who had been injured
with resulting disabilities (missing limbs, paralysis, etc) since 9/11 were
invited to meet with representatives from the U.S. Olympic Committee to learn
about the different Paralympics sport opportunities available to them. For many
of the participants, this was their first introduction to sports such as
wheelchair and sit-down volleyball, track (using either prosthetic limbs
or various types of wheeled devices), swimming, archery, cycling and others. I
served as a volunteer physician to cover some of the events. (Some of you
will recall that I served as a volunteer physician at the U.S. Olympic Training
Center in Colorado Springs last year; I worked closely with many of the
Paralympics athletes in preparation for their competitions in Athens.)It's
always heartwarming to see people discover new abilities as they realize that
life does indeed go on after catastrophe. I witnessed some of the biggest smiles
that I had seen in a long time while observing newly disabled vets attempt
swimming, try out new running "legs" (prostheses), and playing sit down and
wheelchair volleyball for the first time. To see some pictures and video of
these amazing people who sacrificed their bodies for their country, click
high school scene, the
Bernardo Broncos football team clinched a C.I.F. playoff berth and was awarded a first week
"bye". They'll host Vista HS at home this coming Friday.
Finally, we've learned that Dr. Giesemann's name
has not appeared in some of the insurance books during this most recent open
enrollment period. Rest assured that she is on all of the same HMO and PPO plans
as myself. Also, in our office, you can still see both of us regardless of which
of our names is on your insurance card. If you have any questions, don't
hesitate to call the office.
Turkey Day to all!
30 October 2005
be back home. Caught a little bit of
Hurricane Wilma down in Orlando, but otherwise things went well. I sat for
my sports medicine CAQ (Certificate of Added Qualifications) recertification
examination and had opportunities to meet with
old medical school classmates.
As Jack Nicholson stated so eloquently in
"The Shining", "All work and no
play makes Jack a dull boy." Accordingly, I also managed to sneak in a little
side trip to Universal Studios and caught the Betelgeuse Rock 'N Roll Review
(just in time for Halloween).
Arriving back in the office this past Friday, I found a copy of the latest SCMG
Patient Satisfaction survey results on my desk. Our thanks to all who
participated and rated our office so highly. The staff, Dr. Giesemann and I work
very hard to serve our patient base and it's certainly nice to know that our
efforts are appreciated!
I forget to mention that the cannoli's were great.....
11 October 2005
the day after Columbus Day and my Italian genes dearly missed eating a cannoli.
No worries, though - I have to travel back to NJ/NYC for my annual
magazine Board of Editors meeting next week and I'll eat my fill at the Casa Del
Sole deli. When I was a kid, I'd ride my bike one town away on many a summer's
day to get one of these babies and they still taste great after all of these
years! After my brief appearance in the NYC metropolitan area, it's off to
Orlando for the American Osteopathic Association annual meeting.
All in all, I'll be out of the office from Thursday
10/20 through Thursday 10/27. Dr. Giesemann will cover for me, but no patients
will be seen in the office on Tuesday 10/25.
Reminder to our Greater Tri-City IPA HMO patients:
our contract with this group expires at the end of this month.
We've been fielding numerous questions regarding letters that our Greater Tri-City IPA patients have received in
the mail indicating that they need to select new primary care physicians.
This is only true if you desire to remain with the Greater Tri-City
We still belong to all of the individual insurance
companies (e.g. Blue Cross/Shield, PacifiCare, etc) so if you'd like to keep Dr.
Giesemann and myself as your primary care physicians, you need only contact the
member services phone # on the back of your insurance cards and ask them
to switch you over to our other IPA (Sharp Community
Medical Group (SCMG). Many insurance companies have done this
automatically for our patients, but not all. If you have any questions about this, please do
not hesitate to contact the aforementioned member services representative or call our office.
Influenza ("flu") season should be upon us in December. Click
here for the Center
for Disease Control's (CDC) "Key Facts about Influenza." We're told
that our shipment of flu shots will arrive in mid-November which is fine because
it only takes 2 weeks for the shots to be effective and flu season doesn't
traditionally hit our region until December. We've been informed that SCMG will be
hosting flu shot clinics for their members and that letters explaining the
details of these clinics are in the mail this week.
Finally, Elaine came with me when I covered the American Academy of Family
Physicians (AAFP) meeting in San Francisco as a member of the press (for Patient
Care and Medical Economics magazines). We actually managed to get away for 4
days without our kids for the first time in over 12 years! We found a
romantic bed & breakfast, the Golden
Gate Hotel, in the heart of the city and were able to get caught up with
some old friends and catch a little bit of sightseeing, too.
We'll miss the wonderful dinners at Michael Mina's, Rose
Pistola's, and Masa's. Can't wait to return...
22 September 2005
day off today - spent most of the morning shooting 3-D archery targets at
the Bear State Bowhunters range
in Escondido. Just another lousy day in paradise: low 70's, cool breeze, blue
skies, shaded woods with a running stream. Followed this up with a fun lunch learning some magic from my friend,
Michael Johnson (I heartily recommend Michael for fun family and business
events. Michael has rounded at some hospitals to cheer up sick children with his
magic and he also teaches magic at some of the local schools. Be sure to catch
him when you can!)
once or twice a month, I take some of my senior patients out for lunch on my day
off. I get to listen to fascinating life stories (recently, I learned what it was
like to be a missionary in central Africa for 30 years!) from people
who've lived interesting lives. Today,
Mike Banks (91 years young) came by
and presented me with a painting that he created for our office - an
updated version of the old Norman Rockwell visit to the doctor.
Thank you very much, Mike - looks like we're due for more sushi!
[Incidentally, when he's not painting, you can often find Mike at
the local dance studio or at a current events luncheon.]
finished recording another of my older songs, Tipper Doesn't
Jello, and that has joined the ranks of the other songs (or is it the
other rank songs?) on the
Dad's a Dork
page. (For those of you who may have harbored some doubts, this pretty much
confirms my east coast liberal/libertarian roots.)
finally, don't forget that I'll be out of the office next Friday to attend a
medical conference. Dr. Giesemann will be covering in the office.
15 September 2005
much consideration, we've decided to drop out of the
Workers Compensation system and are notifying our clients accordingly.
There are many reasons for this, but it basically comes down to our desire to
provide quality efficient care in a system that no longer permits this. It's
hard to get patients better when referrals are perpetually delayed by periods of
weeks rather than days. Also, my staff was spending far too much time dealing
with unnecessary telephone calls and requests for reports that had already been
submitted promptly and appropriately. And finally, the reimbursement
is simply not worth all of the effort and frustration, thus we bid the system
"adios". [I suggest that my clients confer with my old associates at
(formerly, the Industrial & Sports Medical Center) to discuss their
occupational medicine needs. Jane Erickson handles marketing and she can be
reached at 760-432-9000]
spend the past weekend with my son, Michael. First, he tested for a new belt in
Taekwando. It seemed to go well and he
was very happy when he broke both of his boards! We then took off to attend our
annual neighborhood camp out. This year, it was held at
Mission Trails Regional Park,
months' end, I'll be covering the American Academy of Family Practice' annual
scientific conference up in San Francisco for Patient Care magazine. Because of
this, I will not be in the office on Friday, September 30th. Dr. Giesemann will
be covering for me.
29 August 05
we have submitted notice to the Greater Tri-City IPA
that we will terminate our relationship with them as of the end of
October 2005. Many of the affected patients will
automatically be transferred over to our other IPA (SCMG) by their insurance
companies. If you have any questions about this, do not hesitate to contact the
member services number on the back of your insurance card and inquire as
to your options.
Giesemann will be out of town on vacation this week and will be back in the
office on Tuesday, Sept. 6th (day following Labor Day). Dr. Weinberg continues
his well-earned vacation as well, hence I'll be covering patients for both docs
this week, in addition to my own. (Obviously, the office will be
closed for Labor Day.)
some good books this summer. Just finished
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. Others included:
Stiff - the curious lives of cadavers by Mary Roach,
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales,
Guru: My Days with Del Close by Jeff Griggs,
Beyond Einstein: the Cosmic Quest for the Theory of the Universe by Michio Kaku,
and - of course -
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Next up: reviewing
for my sports medicine board re-certification exam in October...
not reading or working in the office, odds are that I've been at a local high
school or college performing sports physicals. We'll finally wind up with the
athletes from CSUSM this Saturday.
latest issue of Patient Care contained a consensus article,
When to Consider Spinal Manipulation, in which I served as a
consultant. And, finally, I added another song to the
"Dad's a Dork"
collection of original songs called Gangs. We're now up to 10 songs that you can download to annoy
your neighbors (mp3 format)!
28 July 2005
flying back to NJ tonight to recharge my accent and help to celebrate my folks'
50th anniversary. Hence, I'll not be in the office tomorrow (Friday) nor on
Monday. Dr. Giesemann will be in the office and will be taking call for us both
in my absence.
Don't forget to increase your salt intake under hot
weather conditions (unless your doctor has told you otherwise), along with your
Most of us have had it well-drilled into our heads about the importance of
drinking plenty of fluids in order to avoid dehydration under these
circumstances. However, it's possible to run into other potentially deadly
medical problems if one only consumes plain water, particularly lots of it.
Our bodies produce sweat as a cooling mechanism in hot weather. The evaporation
of the sweat from off of our bodies is what cools us down. Sweat contains both
salt (sodium) and water. Drinking lots of plain water replenishes the fluid
losses, but - at the same time - serves to dilute the already diminished sodium
stores that remain in the body. This results in a condition known as
When the sodium concentration in our blood drops just a little lower than
normal, we might feel some nausea, fatigue, and "just don't feel right." If it
continues to drop, dizziness develops and this may be accompanied by muscle
cramps and vomiting. If the serum sodium drops too low, victims can experience
seizures, go into a coma, and even die! [I've already had to hospitalize one
patient for this condition over the past week.]
So, how to avoid this problem?
If you're only going to need a few sips of liquid, then water is fine. However,
if you need to drink lots of fluid, particularly over a period of greater than 1
1/2 hours, then a better choice of fluid replacement would be one of the
electrolyte sports drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade. Be aware that these
drinks may not fully replace the lost sodium, either, but they're much
better/safer than plain ol' cold water under these circumstances.
Another option: Keep a few of those small salt packets handy (e.g. from your
favorite fast food restaurant - no lectures on that today...) and open the
contents of one into the palm of your hand and lick all of the salt off. As
little as 2 or 3 packets per day can help to maintain the serum sodium level up
to where it should be. Also, unless your doctor has cautioned you against this,
be more liberal with the use of a salt shaker with your meals under these hot
Does this strategy work? Yes, definitely. This has been a problem that we had
noted in our runners for a while, particularly under warm race conditions.
(Inexperienced runners tend to believe that they must drink water at every water
Also, we tend to see more high school and college football athletes cramp up
during games under hot weather conditions. Somewhere along the way, smart
athletic trainers discovered that providing pickle juice to their players helped
to cut down on the frequency and intensity of the cramping. (You'll have to
trust me that Gatorade or licking salt straight off of your hand tastes a whole
lot better than pickle juice.)
Hope this helps (and don't forget the sunscreen either)!
30 June 05
only thing going into the gutter is my mind..." Famous last words overheard
at our Extreme Bowling Birthday Party for Elaine (39?). Held at the
AMF Eagle Lanes in San Marcos,
"extreme bowling" consists of shutting down the house lights and bowling
under ultraviolet/black lights with fluorescent decorations, bowling balls and
music from a live DJ! Everyone had a great time thanks to their wonderful staff
(check them out - extreme bowling takes place every Friday and Saturday night!)
Volunteer of the year (continued): Well, apparently being awarded the Rancho
Bernardo H.S. Volunteer of the Year put me in the running for the Poway Unified
School District (PUSD) award. This past Monday, I was surprised to receive a
beautiful engraved glass apple for being named the
of the Year. (I'm not sure if there was any significance to giving an
apple to a doctor, though...)
Reminders: the office will be closed on Monday for the 4th of July.
Dr. Giesemann will start seeing patients on
Friday, July 8th!
those who've caught the
Cinderella Man in theatres, you can understand why boxer Jim Braddock
needed a good dentist. You didn't see him in the movie because my grandfather -
Nathan Pearson, D.D.S. - passed away in 1995 at the ripe young age of 97.
One of the first graduates from
Columbia School of Dental and Oral Surgery, in New York City, my grandfather
was also the inventor
Pearson Chisel - one of the very first tools that permitted oral surgeons to extract teeth entirely in one piece rather than
breaking them into smaller pieces (the chisel can still be found available in
dental supply catalogues.) He practiced in
Jersey (along the Hudson River directly across from "the City") where he
cared for Braddock and countless others in a career that spanned well over 50
years! (Additional Pearson trivia: Braddock's son was my
Finally, I just finished talking to my sister in Florida. Apparently this week,
there's a special twist in tourist cuisine - the sushi eats you...
13 June 05
Rock 'N Roll marathon medical coverage went well. It was a nice cool day -
perfect for running. I had several patients run the event and all did well.
Pictures from our volunteer medical station (mile 19.8 on Vacation Island) can
be seen here.
Speaking of volunteering, Rancho Bernardo High School surprised me by selecting
me to be their volunteer of the year!
They presented me with a very nice award last week at the Senior Athletic Night
ceremonies. My sincere thanks to all involved!
Gravity and slippery surfaces don't always mix. Physics majors realize
that Einstein failed to account for this in his Theory of Relativity (and I
haven't asked any string theorists about this, either). Click
here to see lots of people falling on
their "quarks!" Hopeless romantics may want to view
this brief clip, too!
[You can find these and other new short films and songs in the "Fun Files"
section of the "Fun Stuff" page.]
you're a Star Wars fan, be sure to check out
"may the farm be with you!"
Finally, here's the answer to the
question "is it bad to hold a stretch for too long?
3 June 05
Sunday, the Coca Cola Rock 'N Roll
Marathon will take place in San Diego and we'll be there as medical
volunteers at mile 19.8! Special thanks to our friends and patients that have
volunteered to help us while we watch some 20,000 participants from around the
world run, walk, or crank their wheelchairs
by us as they cover the 26.2 mile distance (with a lot of great music from live
bands to keep them motivated). The best part of this event is the fact that it
will raise more than $12 million for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by their
Team in Training!
previously announced, Dr. Corinne Giesemann will join our practice on a
part-time basis starting in July. I've made some changes to this website to
reflect this. You can learn more about this delightful family physician
here. Her first day in the office will be
Friday, July 8.
Finally, our Bear State Bowhunters
raised $340 for St. Clare's Home
by raffling off a 3-D target at our Rinehart 100 Target Shoot. Here, club
president, Maury Freitas, presents the check to Sister Claire Frawley. The money
is needed to help run the shelters and programs for helping homeless women and
children in the North County region.
17 May 05
office hours on Friday 5/27/05 or Monday 5/30/05 because of Memorial Day
weekend. (Also, I have to fly out to Orlando for family function
5/26-5/29; Dr. Weinberg will be covering for me
760-747-7512 from his Escondido office.)
I've added some pictures from the trails that Apollo and I run several times a
week along the south side of Lake Hodges.
8 May 05
is nice to be back home again! Nothing like two trips, 2 time zones away, in two
weeks. Learned some good stuff at our annual sports medicine meetings,
some of which I've already applied since my return back to the office.
was a fun town. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, be sure to check out
Esther's Follies - you'll laugh to
the point of tears and be amazed by some incredible magic. And, did you know
that Austin is home to the world's largest urban
bat colony located under
the Congress Bridge?
was my first trip back to St. Louis since our wedding some 20 years ago. I had a
nice view of the arch from my
hotel window. On a rainy day, this
is what you can see from the top!
pleased to announce that, in July,
Corinne Giesemann M.D. will be joining our practice on a part-time
basis. She's a wonderful family physician from Escondido who has been taking on
the challenge of practicing medicine and raising her young kids at the same
time. Dr. Giesemann is bilingual and has a particular interest in children's,
women's, and adolescent health issues. Needless to say that, as we're so busy,
we're very excited that she has accepted our offer. More details will be
available in the future...
website, I've added some more links to useful utility programs that may help
your computers to run smoother and safer. Look for them under "Useful
Web Sites and Programs. I've also re-recorded/remixed some tracks on the
song, Fly With Me, on the
Dad's a Dork
Finally, I picked up some new medical examination gloves while attending the Pri-Med
conference up in Anaheim. I'm told that they make prostate exams
more...interesting! Check them out
28 March 05
the tribe has spoken and Brenda was voted off of the island...
all of these years, Brenda is down to her final week with us. We threw her
a going away party on Thursday at Dalton's
Roadhouse in San Marcos. She's spent the last few weeks
sharing her secret office strategies
with Chandra, who will be manning the
reception desk all by herself as of April.
showers bring May flowers and lots of meetings. I'll be out of the office on the
following days (to get smarter):
March 31 - April 2
West conference (Anaheim)
April 16-20 American
Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) Annual Meeting (Austin, TX).
[NOTE: I will see patients in the office on Thursday April 21.]
American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine (AOASM) Annual Meeting (St.
Louis, MO). [NOTE: I can only see patients in the AM on Tues April 26 because
I have to fly out that afternoon.]
staff will still be in the office on those dates and Dr. Weinberg
(760-747-7512) will provide
back-up coverage for the latter two meetings. (Please call the office if you
have any questions or concerns.)
Finally, lots of patients are inquiring about Cortislim,
a heavily promoted weight management product. In my opinion, this is just the
latest of many products designed to separate money from overweight people. While
researching the product, I stumbled across the following link that describes the
deceptive marketing practices engaged in by it's creators (who are not real
http://www.edresearch.com/CortislimCynaumonReport.htm. You'll be
astounded to read about all of the fraud and deception involved with this
product! My advice? Stay away from it. If healthy eating and a proper exercise
regimen are not working, there are proven medical alternatives (e.g.
phentermine) to these quack promotions.
look at the presidents!
of these guys, my kids are out of school for the entire week. Therefore, I'm
going to take Friday off so that I can see what my family looks in daylight. My
staff will be in the office and Dr. Weinberg will be available (in his office)
to see patients who need to be seen.
31 January 05
it's hard to believe that we've already done away with the first month of 2005
and I still have yet to write/mail out our 2004/2003/2002 family
newsletters! (Mom/dad, sisters, cousins, friends - don't hold your breath...)
want to welcome Leslie back into our fold. Leslie will be taking over the
billing and collections aspect of our practice. We worked with her a few years
ago in another office and are very excited to have her back with us again! We
also want to welcome Gretchen, a
4th year medical student from Western University College of Osteopathic
Medicine. She will be spending the next month with us picking up pearls of
knowledge in family medicine (with perhaps some magic thrown in).
the bad news: After giving us her 4 years notice a ways back,
now counting down her final 2 months with us. Her husband, Jim, is retiring
from the Oceanside school district after more than 30 years. They will be
moving back to rejoin family in Missouri. Their house sold almost immediately
upon entering the market so, unless we can figure out a way to permanently
disable their vehicles, they'll be "blowing this pop stand" in April. We will
miss them both very much. Please feel free to drop by the office at anytime
within the next 2 months to say "good bye."
will be hard to find someone like Brenda, but we'll have to try. If anyone knows
of any good bilingual individuals with a fun personality and
receptionist/medical office experience, please have them contact Elaine.]
finally, I'll leave you all with 2 things that I'd wager most people thought
that they would never see;
Lake Hodges with water in
it (this is where I jog with my dog (Apollo) in the mornings)
Me wearing a suit/tie
(along with my lovely wife, Elaine, before we left to attend the annual
Elizabeth Hospice Board of Directors dinner; she still puts up with me after 20+
15 December 04
holidays to all! Please note the following minor changes in our office hours in
the upcoming weeks:
Friday, December 24: close at
Friday, December 31: close at
(As always, patients will still be able to reach me for
emergencies by paging me through the office, even on Christmas Day.)
Nice looking book, eh? I am a contributing author to this new
sports medicine textbook,
Principles of Manual Sports
Medicine, that was just released in October. I worked on the chapter
devoted to the treatment of common neck injuries. Steve (Karageanes) did a great
job of heading up this project.
New stuff on this website: added another song to the
Dad's a Dork
collection (Fly With Me); Thanks to the many of you who have sent me some
very funny videos of late. I will add these when I get a chance. In the
meantime, check out the others on the "Fun Stuff" page
Finally, don't forget what mom says: wash your hands (to
prevent catching and spreading flu, colds, etc) and drive safely over the holidays!
22 November 04
Turkey Day is nearly upon us which means some changes in office hours this week.
We will close at lunchtime on Wednesday (11/24/04) and re-open again on Monday
(11/29/04). I will be available by pager for any emergencies.
you have noticed some more new faces in the office this month.
Jaime and Prit (shown here with my son, Michael)
are 4th year medical students from Western University College of Osteopathic
Medicine. Our beloved Eli has moved on to join his father's business. We will
miss him dearly. However, he was kind enough to
train the newest member of our staff, Julia, a U.S.Colleges graduate.
family and I enjoy archery and are members of the Bear State Bowhunters (where
we shoot defenseless 3-D target animals), in Escondido. I volunteered to create
a web presence for the group and the site went live this week at
People who browse this site will discover what recent patients to the office
have noted i.e. my beard is history (at
Rancho Bernardo Bronco Football team
claimed sole possession of it's league title! After having a "bye week" we host
Mira Mesa HS in the championship playoffs. Eventually, the Division playoff
games will be held at Qualcomm Stadium. At the other end of the age spectrum,
check out Earl and his running technique (on my "Fun Stuff" page
here). At 94 years young, he no longer races because - well, let's be honest
- all of his former competitors have died! Earl still throws a mean baseball
and was featured on a Channel 8 newscast earlier in the year.
(influenza) season upon us. In the upcoming weeks, we expect to see a lot more
cases (seems mild, thus far) as thousands of people flock to shopping malls
spreading the virus. Best way to not catch this bug? Wash your hands a lot or
carry one of those small bottles of hand disinfectant with you, using it often.
Most people don't realize that these respiratory viruses are spread
predominantly through hand contact, rather than by having someone sneezing
directly into another's face (yecchhhh!) [They did a fun study with college
kids a few years back; they set up some card games amongst healthy students
using playing cards that had been treated with droplets of cold virus. Everyone
came down with a cold!]. So, if you want to do your
best to avoid coming down with the flu, common cold, pink-eye or what have you,
practice what our mom's all told us - wash those hands.
Finally, please note that we no longer participate in the Pacificare PPO product
(we still participate in the HMO product). Their physician reimbursement rates
simply did not cover expenses. (If things change, we'll post that info here.
Patients who may be affected by this can call our office for further information
holiday season to all!
16 October 04
words of Dorothy (spoken to Auntie Em), "There's no place like home."
full week back on the east coast. After my Board of Editors annual meeting, I
took a few extra days to get caught up with old friends and family. In
order to fully recharge my accent, I spent time in NYC (and caught the
Broadway show "Wicked," sort of a prequel to "The Wizard of Oz"), visited Bear
Mountain park to watch the autumn colors in the Hudson River Valley, and hung
out in northern New Jersey getting in touch with my Italian roots (lots of cannoli's). [If you've never been to New York City, check out some of the
photos (and video) that I shot of Times Square. You can find these and
other pictures from my trip here.]
time zones later: I find myself back in San Diego for a very happy reunion with
my wife, kids, dogs, and lots of charts. Some important medical news to
Flu shots: Unfortunately, the large supply of
influenza vaccines that we had been promised were from Chiron (the
pharmaceutical company in England with the contaminated vaccine supply).
Thus, we've just been informed that we will NOT have any influenza vaccines to
distribute to our patients. To find out where influenza vaccines
may be found in the county, check out
http://www.sdchip.org/flusites.html and type in your zip code.
Basic concept: flu shots
were developed to protect those individuals who would be at risk of dying if
they caught influenza. While they may feel like a truck hit them for a few
days, young healthy people do not die from the flu hence these individuals
should not seek vaccination!
The Centers for Disease
Control (CDC) offers the following recommendations:
Priority Groups for Influenza Vaccination
The following priority groups for vaccination with inactivated influenza
vaccine this season are considered to be of equal importance and are:
all children aged
adults aged 65
years and older;
persons aged 2–64
years with underlying chronic medical conditions;
all women who will
be pregnant during the influenza season;
nursing homes and long-term care facilities;
children aged 6
months–18 years on chronic aspirin therapy;
involved in direct patient care; and
caregivers and household contacts of children aged <6 months.
Other Vaccination Recommendations
priority groups identified above should be encouraged to search
locally for vaccine if their regular healthcare provider does not
have vaccine available;
administered, live, attenuated influenza vaccine, if available,
should be encouraged for healthy persons who are aged 5–49 years and
are not pregnant, including healthcare workers (except those who
care for severely immuno-compromised patients in special care units)
and persons caring for children aged <6 months;
aged <9 years require two doses of vaccine if they have not
previously been vaccinated. All children at high risk for
complications from influenza, including those aged 6–23 months, who
present for vaccination should be vaccinated with a first or second
dose, depending on vaccination status. However, doses should not be
held in reserve to ensure that two doses will be available. Instead,
available vaccine should be used to vaccinate persons in priority
groups on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Vaccination of Persons in Non-priority Groups
Persons who are not included in one of the priority groups described
above should be informed about the urgent vaccine supply situation and
asked to forego or defer vaccination.
Persons Who Should Not
Receive Influenza Vaccine
Persons in the following groups should not receive influenza vaccine
before talking with their doctor:
Persons with a
severe allergy (i.e., anaphylactic allergic reaction) to hens’ eggs
previously had onset of Guillain-Barré syndrome during the 6 weeks
after receiving influenza
As I've noted in previous
years, there are treatments for influenza. Amantidine, in particular, is
cheap and works relatively well against Type A influenza (the type most likely
to cause problems). In the very old, this product may cause some mild
disorientation/confusion, but this has not proven to be significant in my
patients, historically. These antiviral medications do not kill the virus - they
merely prevent it from reproducing, thus shortening the duration of the illness
by a few days. They are most effective if taken within 48 hours of the onset of
flu symptoms (not much benefit if taken after that period). Amantidine may also
be used on a prophylactic basis i.e. used to prevent influenza (or at least
lessen it's symptoms) in individuals who do not receive the vaccine. Be
aware that these particular antiviral medications, nor commonly prescribed
antibiotics, do anything for other common respiratory viruses such as the common
Finally, on this subject,
I can't over-emphasize that the best way to prevent
catching and spreading the flu (or any common virus for that matter) is through good hygiene - simple hand washing and
using a handkerchief works wonders. Carrying those small bottles of
hand disinfectant is a good idea, particularly if you go shopping at a crowded
shopping mall - money touches a lot of hands and who wants to be sick for the
holiday season? [Want more info on flu? Check out my patient education
handout on the subject here.]
Diego Ballot Measure BB: I urge everyone to support this measure
that authorizes the sale of bonds to re-build and improve Palomar Medical
Center and Pomerado Hospital. In my opinion, this is a no-brainer. We
often see bond measures for schools failing to win enough votes, presumably due
to people without children of school age not caring enough to help benefit their
community. However, we ALL depend upon our local hospital system. This is a
certainty. If not now, later. There's simply no getting around this - it's
inherent in our design - body parts eventually wear out and fail. Therefore,
it's in all of our best interests as residents of the inland north county.
Because so many of our
bodies are failing, you'll find long waits just about any night that you visit
the emergency department. You may also find patients waiting for hours in
hallways waiting for a bed to become available. The population of our
region increases on a daily basis and our current system is straining to deal
with this. We need larger capacity in our system or the bed situation will
continue to worsen.
The hospital has to be
leveled anyway. It turns out that it's actually significantly cheaper to build a
new hospital (or series of clinics) than to retrofit the current structure in
order to meet the mandated earthquake standards (don't you just love unfunded
mandates?). Given this fact, how can we pass up the opportunity to
build a world class hospital system with less money than it would cost to upgrade
the existing structures? (Befitting the physicians that practice in our
district; Did you realize that Palomar-Pomerado cardiology program is ranked
within the top 5 in the entire nation?! UCLA is the only other California
hospital ranked in the top 5, by the way.)
Finally, the old Palomar
hospital building will be converted to much needed, expanded rehabilitation
services and administrative offices. This will actually create more "white
collar" jobs in Escondido than were previous, bringing more money into the
In short, this bond measure is an affordable, much needed investment in OUR
community. Please vote YES on BB!
Other stuff: Regardless of your political affiliation, please make
every effort to become an informed voter for all races. Try to disregard the
name-calling/lies and actually read up on the issues. Listen to several
different news sources to weed out the biases. Then get out and vote your
conscience. Apathy is killing this great country. [Of course, songs like "Elections"
probably don't help!]
Halloween is nearly upon
us and you've suddenly discovered that you don't have a corpse. What should you
do? Check out
http://www.distefano.com/ for the best selection outside of the local
And finally, let's go
Yankees! [Click here to see scan of my
original Mickey Mantle autograph, written on a Polaroid picture of him that my
dad and I took circa 1962-1963. I also a video copy of our original 8 mm movie
film from that game!
4 October 04
hit the road again...No, not in support of the latest song added to the
Dad's a Dork collection (She Was Dressed Like Rock 'n
Roll, But She Had Country in Her Eyes).
Rather, I'm flying back east to attend the annual Board of Editors meeting
for Patient Care
magazine. I'll be away from 10/7 through 10/14 and will resume office hours
again on Friday 10/15/04. [Dr. Weinberg will provide coverage for most of my
absence. Industrial clients should contact him or use the Concentra Clinic -
formerly the Industrial & Sports Medical Center - on Nordahl Rd.] The
meeting will be in NYC so I'll get to visit my folks and a sister back in
'Jersey at the same time. (I'll remember to slow down my speech again upon
my return to California!)
big "Thank you!" to all of the patients who participated in the
Medical Group (SCMG) physician surveys. Once again, you made us look good -
we scored well above the average in all categories. Rest assured that we will
continue to work hard upon your behalf.
week also marks the end of the family practice rotations in our office for our
Osteopathic medical students Genevieve Buenaflor (4th year at Pomona) and
Douglas Bell (3rd year at San Francisco). We've enjoyed having them with
us. They are both very appreciative of the kindness of our patients for
permitting them to participate in their care. We enjoy teaching medical students
and residents for we benefit as much as they do; they have an opportunity to
work with a role model in a real practice and it forces me to keep up with
what's new in the various fields.
Sportswise, I covered the Senior Olympics
Archery tournament last month, down at the
ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. The center continues to grow as
does the community around it. We also
helped with the sports physicals for the student athletes at Palomar College and
Cal State San Marcos. And, of course,
high school football is in full swing on
a very successful fundraising event (not to mention a great time) at the
First Annual Wine & Epicurean Extravaganza
for the Elizabeth
Hospice. Angelo Damante was kind enough to
hold the event at his
Mercedes of Escondido dealership. It was emceed by
Brian Christie of local Fox News and it was very well attended. More hospice
events are coming
Watch: I watched "Supersize Me" last
night. Ever wonder what would happen to you if you ate nothing but fast food for
a month? A humorous and very informative documentary about the fast food -
obesity connection. This film is the perfect companion piece to Eric Schlosser's
Fast Food Nation. I strongly recommend both.
Finally, we expect to see some of you at the
annual parrothead migration to
Chula Vista in a few weeks!
6 September 04
of all, the office is closed today for Labor Day, but I'm still available by
nice to be back at sea level. My two weeks at the United States Olympic
Training Center, in Colorado Springs, went well. I worked with a great crew of
volunteer athletic trainers and learned much about the needs of
"differently-abled" athletes as we worked with several of the teams preparing
for the upcoming
Paralympic Games in Athens. Had an opportunity for some
sightseeing, taking in the cog railway to Pikes Peak, hiking through
and walking through the Garden of the Gods. After two weeks acclimation, I
attempted and completed a hike up "The Incline": a stretch of abandoned railroad
track that goes from about 7000 ft to above 9000 ft altitude in approximately 1
mile! [I took lots of pictures of these excursions, some of which can be found
here. I've also included some pictures and films of sports that you might not be
familiar with such as sled hockey and women's sit-down volleyball.]
Other updates to this
website: I've added another song, Angel in The Garden, dedicated to
my friends, Debbie and Jeff. Also, lots more internet jokes posted as part of
E-Mail's Greatest Hits. This can all be found on the
"Fun Stuff" page, along with a few new videos, as
well. And, in response to numerous queries, I've created a PowerPoint
presentation that attempts to teach patients
how to "unlock" their
own occipital headaches. It may be found in the Patient Education Section.
Hope this helps some of you.
Finally, my appreciation
to Dr. Weinberg for covering my practice in my absence!
1 August 04
believe that the summer is half over already. It's time to take a much needed
break. Hence, I'll be taking a working vacation in Colorado Springs for the
second half of August. I will be serving as the volunteer staff physician at the
U.S Olympic Training Center. Good time to be there as the Olympics will be
taking place in Athens at that time! My last day in the office will be on
Friday August 13 and I will be back seeing patients on Wednesday September 1st.
I will have some staffing in the office while I'm gone, but
Dr. Stanley Weinberg will take
call for my family and industrial practice (760-747-7512).
Industrial clients may also use the Concentra Medical
Clinic (formerly the Industrial & Sports Medical Center;
760-432-9000) on Nordahl Rd, if that is more
convenient for them.
Some of you may have
noticed some new faces in the office recently. Lisa Yu, M.D was a 2nd
year family practice resident from Kaiser Sunset (Hollywood) and Leni
Espinueva is a 4th year Osteopathic medical student from Western
University/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (Pomona).
Hopefully they both learned lots while they trained
with Eli and myself.
Eli, congratulations are in order; in addition to
his evening college courses, he added some additional training in massage.
Last week, he took and passed the course certification examination!
The other new face in the office over the past two weeks has been my son,
Michael. School is out and no summer camp sessions at the moment, hence he's
been keeping us all entertained as only a 10 year old can.
2 July 04
office will be closed this Monday, July 5, due to the Independence Day
holiday. Dr. is available by pager, if needed. We will resume regular
hours on Tuesday.
14 June 04
gladly welcome Brenda back to the office. She made an excellent recovery from
her surgery nearly 8 weeks ago and it's about time that she got back to work!
myself, and a squad of local physical therapists and high school athletic
trainers served as volunteer medical personnel for the running of the
Suzuki Rock 'n Roll Marathon
last weekend. We were joined by Drs. Rob Scott (sports med physiatrist) and
Karen Nicholson (Director of Student Health Services at CSUSM). We were able to
cheer several of our patients onto their personal best times from our station on
Vacation island (mile 15.2). Lots of money raised by the
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society'
Team in Training.
Speaking of great musical experiences,
Johnny Clegg will be at
Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay this Thursday. Per their website:
This is an
historic evening pairing two of South Africa’s most influential artists, both
musically and politically. Johnny Clegg broke the color barrier in the 80s in
his apartheid-torn homeland, creating uplifting music with his bi-racial
ensembles Juluka and Suvuka. His emotionally charged performance at Humphrey’s
in 1996 is remembered as one of the best concerts we’ve ever hosted. We eagerly
anticipate his long awaited return. Sharing the bill with Clegg will be another
legendary South African, trumpeter Hugh Masekela, best known for his 1968
classic “Grazing In The Grass.” Masekela’s music is a combination of jazz, pop,
R&B and dance music. This is a dark horse contender for Concert of the Year
Humphrey's promoter, has lined up another great summer of shows in this intimate
venue by the waterfront. Check some of them out if you get a chance! (Also,
music lovers should check out Kenny's weekly radio show,
Boundaries, on KPRI.)
Finally, words of
wisdom from your doctor: don't step on a scale the day after eating deep fried
oreos and Australian Battered dipped potatoes at the
San Diego County Fair (the Old Del Mar
Cinco de Mayo
I will be out of the
office for a few scattered days in the upcoming weeks:
First, I will be attending
the Pri-Med conference next week 5/12 - 5/14 (Wed -
Saturday) for continuing medical education.
We're still not sure how
to schedule patients for the week of May 17-21 as
I've been called for Jury Duty at the SD District Court. Nope, they would NOT
give me an excuse, but they will provide one day's advance notice for me.
Finally, I will be flying
out to Florida to attend my nephew's Bar Mitzvah and will be out of the
office from Thursday May 27 until Tuesday June 1.
(Monday is Memorial Day).
As usual, I will
have back up physician coverage arranged. Please contact our office as normal
if you need to speak with a physician and you'll receive appropriate
instructions. [Dr. Stanley Weinberg, in Escondido, may be
contacted at 760-747-7512.]
[NOTE: We literally got
buried with paperwork in April and hence, I've been running behind in sending
out normal lab results. We've contacted anyone with significant abnormals. I'm
doing my best to dig out from under it all! Please accept our apologies.]
And for those of you
non-southern California types, the Cinco de Mayo celebrates the liberation of
Tequila from it's bottle.... (a very popular holiday out here!) After the
celebration, check out some of the latest movies added to our "Fun
Brenda's procedure went well and she was released to home this weekend. She
appreciates the many "Best Wishes" from the patients who called us out of
Happy Birthday to my mom (3,000 miles away)!
Our thoughts are going to
be with Brenda this week as she will be undergoing surgery tomorrow. We
anticipate that everything will go well for her. She will be out of the office
for at least 2-3 weeks (and BOY, will we miss her!). In the meantime, Elizabeth
and Elaine will attempt to fill her chair, in addition to their normal duties.
Please bear with us as things will definitely slow down a bit with the short
staffing. [For you HIPPA fanatics, Brenda gave her permission to post this piece
of her private medical history...]
I was supposed to attend a
sports medicine conference this week, in Vancouver. However, I discovered that
my kids are off from school this week for spring break so I'm going to play
hooky from the office for a few days, instead, and play with my kids (and remind
myself what they look like). Hence, I will be out of the
office Wed - Friday this week. Brenda and company will still be there to
handle calls, referrals and I will be available by pager if needed.
Concentra San Marcos (formerly The Industrial & Sports Medical
Center, on Nordahl Road in San Marcos) will treat my clients for me in my
absence. They may be reached at 760-432-9000.
with the Golden Door all of these years
has presented me with some incredible opportunities to meet some really
neat people. This past weekend, my sports med buddy,
Jerry Hizon M.D., joined
me as we dined with
Cooper and his lovely wife, Millie, at The 'Door. Dr. Cooper is best
known as the "Father of Aerobics," having coined the term back in the late
1960's. His presentation that night provided an excellent overview on "wellness"
- how best to avoid illness and help our patients get the most out of life. He
also described his consulting work for
PepsiCo whereby he
helped them to successfully remove trans fats from their snack products
and produce heart healthy snacks! [To learn more about trans fats,
check out my patient education handout,
Facts About Weight Loss and Fitness.] You can find lots of good
useful information on his website,
another sports med-related note: I've been invited to serve as a volunteer
physician at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, in Colorado Springs, for the second half of
August this year - the time period during the
Summer Olympic Games in Athens. This will be a good opportunity for me to
share what I learn with my patients upon my return. (Details regarding my
office coverage will be posted sometime in July.)
Finally, I've gotten better with the Yamaha 16 track recorder and re-mixed some
of the songs that I have posted on this site so that they sound much cleaner.
I've also added
"Top of the Scales" to the mix, catering to a unique niche market of music
lovers with eating disorders. Bon appetite!
song posted in mp3 format. Elections may be found
here. Also, I'm in the (painfully slow) process
of posting "E-Mails Greatest Hits" on
the Fun Stuff page. Hope that you enjoy them!
Happy New Year to all! Thanks to all of our patients and friends who sent us
cards. gifts, etc. We'll probably run out of the chocolate and butter cookies by
Community Medical Group (SCMG) is getting us on-line with their computer system.
This should help to speed the referral process once we learn their system.
Rob Scott MD and
Chris Pallia, M.D. to our suite. Dr.
Scott is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and Dr. Pallia is an
orthopaedist. They will be be
subletting our extra office rooms for a few days each week. Dr. Scott has been treating patients as part
of the OASIS sports medicine group down in Kearny Mesa. He also consults for US Healthworks clinics and the Sharp Mission Park Clinic, in North County.
Dr. Pallia trained with the sports medicine physicians at OASIS before going out
into private practice on his own last year. He also has offices in Coronado and
Finally, I finished recording another original song, Easy
Tonight, which can be found in mp3 format here.
have to leave the office this Monday (12-22-03) by noon as I will be assisting
surgery all afternoon.
are out of "flu" shots. If you missed out on getting yours, check
out the Immunize San Diego website at http://www.sdchip.org/immunize.html
see where the remaining supplies are in the county. If
you do come down with symptoms of influenza (the "flu"), don't forget
that there is an antivirus treatment available (amantidine) that will
shorten the duration of the illness by about 2 days (usual course of the flu
runs 5 - 9 days). However, this prescription medicine must be started within the
first 48 hours of flu symptoms ("cold symptoms" and sore throat
followed by the feeling like you've been hit by a truck i.e. fatigue, back and
headaches). You can call me at any time and I will call
the appropriate prescriptions in for you, if indicated. If you miss
starting this treatment, only symptomatic treatment remains such as cough syrups
to help get a decent night's sleep. Bronchitis is a common component of
influenza, hence patients with chronic asthma and COPD will find their
conditions aggravated by this illness. You'll probably have to use your inhalers
with greater frequency. Aleve, Tylenol, etc. may be helpful for treatment of the
associated fevers and body aches. The recent extremely dry air conditions (Santa
Ana winds, cold winter air, space heaters) also contributes to the many
complaints of airway irritation that we see this time of year. We advise running
a cool mist humidifier/vaporizor in your homes (or at least in your bedrooms at
night). And, a reminder: one of the best ways to avoid catching the flu is to
wash your hands or use hand sanitizing hand liquid after shaking hands with
Elaine and I recognize that we are very fortunate to have such a wonderful,
devoted, and fun staff with whom to share our days. Whereas many sick
patients feel rotten when they have to visit a doctor, Brenda, Eli, and
Elizabeth deserve a lot of the credit for making patients' visits more pleasant.
To show our appreciation, we recently treated them
(and their spouses) to a wonderful holiday dinner at the Pamplemousse
Grille, in Del Mar.
holiday season is upon us, hence there will be some alterations in our office
hours as follows:
12/19: I will be attending a Zenith Insurance holiday function for
most of the day. I will have to leave the office by 10:30 AM. Dr. Weinberg will
be available to see patients who need to be seen after that time. My staff WILL
be in the office to handle all phone calls.
12/24: Office will close at 12 PM for Christmas Eve. We will be
closed on Thursday, 12/25 (Christmas
Day/Chanukah) and remain closed on Friday, 12/26.
Office will close at
3 PM for New years Eve and will remain closed Thursday
1/1/04 (New Years Day) and will re-open on Friday 1/2/04.
note that I can be paged at any time (including weekends) by patients who
need to speak with me or for treatment of industrial injuries - simply call the
office and follow the instructions on how to contact me!
check out my latest songwriting endeavor, Godspeed,
dedicated to Brenda and her family. (After clicking on the hyperlink, click
on "Original Music")
holiday season to all!
will close at noon this Wednesday and will remain so for Thanksgiving and
Friday. As always, I will remain available by radiopager for emergencies
- simply call the office and follow the instructions on how to page me.
news: there have been recent reports that one of the viral
strains currently infecting people is not covered in this year's influenza
vaccine and that the season appears to have started a little earlier than usual.
Don't panic. First of all, even if you do happen to catch this strain of
virus, the antibodies that your body produced in response to the vaccine will
still help your body to defend itself to a certain degree (it's better to have
some ammunition than none, no?). Also, worrying causes stress (didn't your mom
tell you this?) and stress can reduce your body's immune response to infection,
making one more susceptible to infection.
way to avoid being disabled by influenza? Wash your hands (or use
a hand disinfectant) after touching someone. In fact, it's not a bad idea to
carry one of those small hand disinfectant bottles with you and use it often
when you go shopping in the malls for the upcoming holidays - the store clerks
handle a lot of money and touch a lot of people's hands. Get enough rest so that
your immune system stays "charged up" in order to handle attacks from
germs. In other words, don't wear your body down through overwork or lack of
sleep. And GET A FLU SHOT NOW!
can you tell if you've caught influenza (the "flu")? Remember
that flu is a respiratory virus so it starts off with cold symptoms. In
addition, you will feel like you've been hit by a truck (i.e. totally wiped out
with fatigue, muscle aches, etc).
is influenza treated? Type A strains (the most common thus far)
can be treated with a cheap antiviral medication called amantidine (Symmetrel).
It's usually one capsule twice daily for a week. It doesn't kill the virus;
rather, it behaves more like a birth control pill for the virus. (If it can't
reproduce, it's effects don't last as long.) Be aware that this medication must
be started within 48 hours in order to be effective, otherwise, the treatment is
symptomatic i.e. rest, fluids, Aleve/Tylenol, etc. until you feel better. We
do not require all patients with suspected influenza to come into the office and
be evaluated! Instead, if you have the typical illness, as described
above, call us and odds are that we can treat you via telephone. Elderly or
chronically ill patients might have to be seen in order to make sure that they
don't develop complications, but they should still call us first to discuss.
got back from NJ and found San Diego toasted. Some of our friends and patients
suffered as result of the fires that raged across the countryside. Smokey air
conditions have wrought havoc upon eyes and respiratory systems of many. The San
Diego County Medical Society suggests the following links for more info on
how to cope with these issues:
For patients with lung disease:
For the general public (including Physicians!):
I'd add the CDC site to this list: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/firesafety/index.asp
Fortunately, the rains have helped to clear the air
somewhat and things should improve shortly. Be sure to call us if you're
experiencing difficulties breathing, etc.
practice management seminar has come up this Friday (10/17/03), hence, I will be
out of the office. My staff will be there, though, and I can be reached by
pager. Physician back-up will be available for those who need it.
I will traveling to the east coast (recharging my accent) on Thursday 10/23/03 and
will be back in the office on Monday 11/03/03). Dr. Weinberg will provide
coverage for me
We now have
flu shots in stock, but I advise getting the
shot in November, rather than now. Read all about the flu vaccine under the
Influenza topic on the "Patient Education" page (Click above).
We discovered a fun little theatre in Escondido this past weekend, Theatrx.
It was an old comic book store on Grand Avenue that was converted to a small
theatre seating approximately 70 patrons. We took the kids to see Michael
Johnson, a local magician who put on a really fun show!
we wish to all of my fellow Italians a happy Columbus
we'd like to thank those patients that participated in the Sharp
Community Medical Group (SCMG) Patient Survey (July 2003). We were
recently notified of the results and were quite pleased to note that we scored
high marks across the board for all categories (appointments, our staff,
communication, visits with the doctor, and the facility). In fact, we were
well above the Sharp average for all doctors as well as the average of all
family practitioners. We know that we are definitely not perfect, but we do
try hard. Thanks again for your votes of confidence!
brings welcome to some new faces in the office; the "lovely Elizabeth"
has joined us in the front office assisting the "lovely Brenda," and
the "lovely Brandy" (medical
assistant) has been training with us through Maric
arrived just in time to join us for the annual office parrothead
migration to the Coors Amphitheatre to see Jimmy
Buffett this week! September has also been
a hot month for us out here in San Diego - perfect, though, for my
mom's tabouli recipe. Enjoy!
open access scheduling system seems to be working well. Elimination of the 1-3
PM walk-in hours still catches the occasional patient by surprise, but otherwise
things are running relatively smoothly thus far.
fall sports season has begun. Performed several hundred physicals for
several local high schools in August and a core group of physicians performed
pre-season physicals for the athletes at Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM), in
our office, earlier this month. Regarding our Friday night adventures, Rancho
Bernardo High School Football has gotten off to a great start thus far
(3-0). Also, last week, Elaine and I assisted with the medical coverage of the
women's soccer finals in the 2003 Senior Olympics. Finally, the time
change has occurred and once again Saturdays have reverted to Soccerdays for our
ahead to October... I will be out of the office
from Thursday October 23 and will return to see patients on Monday, November
3rd. I need to fly back to NJ/NYC to attend the annual Patient Care
magazine Board of Editors meeting which happens to coincide with my dad's
birthday and nephew's Bar Mitzvah. Dr. Weinberg will provide coverage while I'm
away (family practice and work injuries). Halloween back in New Jersey?
Now that's a scary thought!
we've added some more "Fun Files" to our "Fun Stuff" page. Check
'em out if you need a reason to smile!
provided a really nice/desperately needed break for us all. At the very last
moment, our plans changed and we decided to join Brenda and her husband up at June Lake, along the eastern
slopes of the High Sierra mountains. Thus,
this became an office retreat de facto. We'd like to once again thank Dr. Stanley
Weinberg for covering the practice in our absence - he did a
great job! [Click here to see more pictures from
are making some changes (again) in our scheduling technique for office
visits, specifically, we are phasing out/eliminating the 1-3 PM walk-in hours.
When we first jumped into "open access" scheduling, we still
harbored some concerns about this new "theory" of scheduling. Hence,
we reserved a "safety valve" block of time for walk-in patients
between 1 and 3 PM each day to ensure that our patients would always be able to
see the doctor for sudden emergencies/urgencies. This was a classic good
news/bad news situation for patients - everyone loved being able to be seen by
the doctor on a same day basis by simply walking in without an appointment. On
the flip side, though, this first come/first served approach meant longer waits
for some patients, possibly a 2 hour time commitment to visit the doctor! Just
about all of our patients felt that the good outweighed the bad and that the
wait was often worth being able to see the doctor on the same day.
still felt bad about the long wait times, though. In these last months, we've
gotten a better handle on how many patients call for appointments on a daily
basis. We feel that we are now ready to commit totally to the "open
access" philosophy and open up that two hour block for patient
is so confusing - what does "open access" really mean for us
simply, our goal is to see patients the day that they call up for an
appointment, whenever possible. For us, it means doing today's work
today, rather than putting it off until tomorrow (or weeks later). At the
start of each day, we intend to have 75% of our appointment blocks available for
patients to be seen that same day. In other words, if you call us up for an
appointment, we will give you one of the appointment slots for that same day. NOTE:
This does not mean that we are a "walk-in" medical clinic!!!
Rather, patients will be given real appointment slot times to
see the doctor throughout the day.
suppose I really want to make an appointment for another day?"
certain patients need appointments scheduled in advance, for example, a senior
with multiple medical problems being seen for the first time, or follow-ups for
work injuries. We will try to remain as flexible as possible and evaluate
requests on a case by case basis.
straight with us - why did you do this???"
"open access" scheduling model is a win-win situation for both
patients and medical staff. Patients are reassured that they are able to see the
doctor when they really need to see him (i.e. on the same day as an acute
illness develops - not three weeks later, as is commonly seen in many other
medical offices). Scheduling appointments in advance is inherently fraught with
problems. So many patients forget about their appointments that doctors' offices
begin to double (or even triple) book appointments in order to account for this.
(Obviously, trouble arises when 2 or 3 patients arrive to see the doctor at
the same time, resulting in poor patient satisfaction and physician
frustration/stress.) The farther away the date of scheduled appointment, the
greater the percentage of missed appointments. This means that medical office
staffs waste a lot of time and energy to pull and prepare charts for patients
that don't show up for their scheduled appointments. Inefficiency can easily
kill a small office and we like being around to serve our patients!
are bound to be some awkward circumstances during this transition period.
Thanks, in advance, for working with us on this. Please feel free to discuss any
questions or concerns with us.
week will be a short one:
(Tues), I will be assisting on a spine surgery after 11:30 AM, hence no
afternoon hours (including walk-ins). Not in the office on Thursdays, normally,
and we'll be closed this Friday to celebrate the 4th of July.
the office will be closed for vacation from July 21 - 25.
Dr. Weinberg (760 -747-7512) will provide physician coverage in my absence for
all private patients and work injuries. His office is in Escondido. Industrial
clients may also use their back-up clinics, if they prefer.
will be closed for Memorial Day (Monday, May 26). I will
be covering the Valley Center Western Days Rodeo
over the Memorial Day weekend.
Rock 'N Roll Marathon will be held Sunday June 1st. Once again our team will
provide medical coverage from our usual station at Crown Point (West Mission
Bay). Volunteers are always needed. More information may be found here
or you can contact our office.
I will not be
in the office on Monday morning, June 2nd, as I will be
assisting on several surgeries. My staff will be in, however, and I'll see
patients in the afternoon.
This year, the Elizabeth
Hospice will be celebrating it's 25th anniversary with the Magnolia
Ball Fundraising Gala, held at the California Center for the Arts, in
Escondido, on Saturday, June 21st. Lots of great stuff will be
offered during the silent and live auctions. Tickets to this deserving charity
event may be obtained by contacting Shelly Dew at 760-737-2050.
Finally, if you need
a good time-waster, check out the recently added Mini-Putt
link on our "Fun
The global threat of
SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) is beginning to scare people,
particularly as our region is very definitely a "pan pacific"
community. Many local companies do business overseas, hence travel is a concern.
The CDC has up-to-date info on this illness. Check it out at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/.
Also, some great
articles on the subject of obesity and dieting. First, the 4/22/03 issue of the Wall
Street Journal presented "The Diet That Works - What science
tells us about successful weight loss." Unfortunately, you cannot
view the article on line (unless you're a WSJ subscriber). Hence, I've scanned
the article for my patients to check out. To view the article in PDF format,
please click here. [Incidentally,
the WSJ is a great newspaper, containing lots more useful info besides business.
I highly recommend it.]
Also, the Journal
of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently devoted an entire issue
to the subject. A nice summary of the issue was written by Marian Uhlman of the Philadelphia
Inquirer. This article may be found here.
cutting carbs helps obese individuals to lose weight because they will take in
less calories, particularly useless ones found in sodas, etc. These little
suckers (i.e. calories) add up over time. Read the WSJ article! [NOTE: I will
hopefully get around to updating my patient education handout on weight loss
April is conference
month for me - 3 of them to attend (gotta maintain those skills!). My normal
office hours will be modified accordingly as follows:
Pri-Med Conference (Long Beach,
CA); "The latest information on primary care issues delivered by the
nations' most respected educational providers."
American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
(San Diego); Annual meeting.
(Monday): Out of office all day long.
(Tuesday): Out of office in the AM only. Will see patients starting at 1:00
(Wednesday): Out of office in the AM only. Will see patients starting at
(Thursday): I will be in the
office all day long (normally, I'm not in on Thursdays).
April 30- May
Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine (San Diego); Annual Meeting.
My staff will be in
the office on the above days and I will be available by radiopager. Back-up
physician coverage will be available for patients that need to be seen.
No walk-in hours
(1-3 PM) today as I will be giving a talk for the American Heart Association.
Also, yesterday, many patients were unable to reach us by telephone or fax from
approximately noon to 3 PM. This was because of a telephone outage that affected
our region (our building and the surrounding shopping plaza).
A few changes around
our office occurred in January. First, for various reasons, Tri-City Orthopaedic
Surgery Medical Group decided to close their satellite office and focus on their
main office in Oceanside. Dina, who was brought into our office as their
receptionist, has moved with them - we will miss her, but this was a good
opportunity for her. Also, Tammy had to take an extended leave of
absence to deal with illnesses in her family. Therefore, we recently welcomed
Eli as our new medical assistant (M.A.). He is
a very nice gentleman with good experience, and he is bilingual in Spanish/English.
(Patients that have met him have given him a "thumbs up!").
Brenda is still with us as our receptionist and continues to be a voracious
quilter. She also added another grandchild to her brood and took the past week
off to spend time with her family. Elaine did a great job up front while Brenda
flu season is in full swing. The adjacent graphic is based upon an article
published in the Journal of
the American Medical Association (JAMA) a few years back. It contains good information,
so please click on the thumbnail and remember what it
says before calling our office to request an antibiotic. [Note:
if your sinus symptoms persist greater than a
week and you develop pain in your face or teeth, then you may have developed a
secondary sinusitis and an antibiotic may be indicated, however, this is
not the usual case in the first few days of illness.] Also, don't
forget to run your humidifiers/vaporizers in your bedrooms at night - the air
has been extremely dry since the beginning of December due to the Santa Ana
conditions. This will also aggravate your sinuses!
New Year to all!
Flu season has finally arrived. You can read my patient education handout on
influenza by clicking here. Don't
forget that there IS a treatment for the flu, but it is only effective if it is
started within the first 48 hours after the onset of symptoms (upper
respiratory symptoms plus the feeling like you've been hit by a truck).
Therefore, call our office if you think that you might be coming down with this.
If you do have the typical symptoms of influenza, you probably won't feel much
like getting out of bed. We realize this and usually handle these cases by
telephone. It is possible for some patients, particularly the elderly, to
develop bacterial complications (e.g. staphylococcal bronchitis), so if you
don't see improvement with treatment, we'll get you in right away for an
We receive nice comments and inquiries daily regarding the beautiful artwork in
our office. I've posted some sample images of the Ferguson's handiwork, as well
as information on how to obtain pictures of your own. Check the frequently asked
questions (FAQ) page.
With each new year
comes a fresh new batch of resolutions. This year is no exception. Particularly
due to all of the holiday celebrations, many seek to lose a few (or more) extra
pounds. Appetite suppressants and liquid meals/shakes work for the short term,
but for long term success, one really needs to learn how to accomplish the
weight loss and maintain it through the use of normal foods. Recently, I've been
impressed with the "Lean For Life" program, founded by the
Lindora Clinics in Los Angeles (www.leanforlife.com).
It's been around for about 30 years and it is very successful for many people.
Weight loss is accomplished by inducing a state of ketosis (body breaks down
it's own fat for fuel) by emphasizing increased protein intake (along with some
carbs). You can try this program on your own by purchasing the book
locally. (Reviews may be found at: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1580000886/qid=1041573254/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/102-0049854-9032939).
Many of us need help, though, for advice and encouragement. Just as in sports,
coaching can make all of the difference in the world to performance.
Books alone do not work for many people. Debbie Cole, R.D.,
formerly the nutritionist for the Golden Door Spa, is a dietitian specializing
in successful weight loss and lifestyle changes. She has worked with several of
my patients and has gotten good results. She and her colleagues operate an
internet-based weight management program which may be found at www.myhealthpointe.com.
Debbie's services are included free with this program that achieves fast and
safe results without feeling hungry, deprived or cravings. Contact Debbie at email@example.com.
I only mention products/services that I feel may benefit my patients. I NEVER
accept any compensation for mentioning any products or services on my web site.]
confirm the benefit of a fishy diet. It seems that one only needs to eat
fish a few times per month in order to significantly reduce the chance of
stroke! Full story can be found at: http://abc.net.au/news/scitech/2002/12/item20021225102400_1.htm
I'll be covering the
Footlocker National Cross Country
Track Finals at Balboa Park, tomorrow. Each of the two races feature the
top 32 high school runners in the country. The girls race begins at 9:15 AM and
the boys race at 10:00 AM. This is an extremely fan-friendly venue, but
get there early for parking.
holiday office schedule will be as follows:
December 24 (Tues):
we will see patients until 2 PM.
25/Christmas Day (Wed): closed
December 26 (Thurs):
closed (Working at The Zenith Insurance Co.)
December 27 (Fri):
open normal hours.
December 31/ New
Years Eve (Tues): we will see patients until 4 PM
1/ New Years Day (Wed): closed.
January 2 (Thurs): closed
(Working at The Zenith Insurance Co.)
January 3 ( Fri): open normal hours.
I will be available
by radiopager whenever the office is closed, for emergencies and industrial
injuries. Please call the office number and follow the instructions in order to
have me paged.
Our entire staff
wishes you all a happy holiday season!
Next two weeks will
see some adjustments in our office hours. [My daughter's bas mitzvah is this
Saturday (11/23) and our families are flying into town. This will be complicated
further by next week's Thanksgiving Day holiday.]
week: I will only be in the office Monday through Wed this week (Thursday
is my usual day at The Zenith, reviewing workers compensation claims).
Friday will see me making intermittent runs to the airport!
week, I will be in the office on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings
only, until 12 noon [My staff will be in the office the entire day,
though]. We will not schedule formal appointments this week- rather, these
will be "walk-in" hours where you may come in without an appointment
and be seen on a "first come, first served" basis.
Thursday (11/28) is Thanksgiving, of course. I am giving my staff the day off on
Please note that I
remain available by pager at all times. Simply call my office and follow the
instructions to have me paged.
As noted previously,
I will be out of town after office hours
today and will return to see patients again on Thursday, Oct 31. My staff
will keep the office open and will handle all of my phone calls. They can reach
me in cases of emergency. (I will be attending the annual Board of Editors
meeting for Patient Care magazine, in New York City.)
Weinberg (family practice in Escondido) will provide care for patients that
need to be seen in my absence. My staff will refer you to his office or you may
call his office directly at (760) 747-7512. His office address is 935
East Pennsylvania Ave, Escondido.
Please be aware that
I will not have dependable access to e-mail while I'm away, so please do not
expect a response until I return!
Flu season will
be amongst us in December. Best time to get flu shot is about mid-November
as it takes 2 weeks to become effective and only lasts about 3-4 months (take it
too soon and it may wear off before the flu season ends). Elderly patients who
might have difficulty getting to the doctor in November may get their shots
now. We have influenza vaccine (flu shots) in stock and no appointment is
needed for simple flu vaccinations. For more flu facts, click the following
Also, an interesting
report just came out advocating the use of duct tape as treatment for warts.
Shown to be more effective (and less painful) than cryosurgery (freezing).
Treatment consists of cutting a piece of standard duct tape to size of wart and
keeping wart covered for 6 days (replace tape if it falls off). Then, soak wart
in water, debride it with emery board or pumice stone, and leave uncovered
overnight (about 12 hours). Then repeat as needed. Read the article at http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/issues/v156n10/rfull/poa20075.html.
Machine finally arrived - we can now
accept credit and debit cards for payment.
I will be out of
the office Tuesday (10/8) through Thursday (10/10), in order to attend the American
Osteopathic Association's annual convention in Las Vegas. I will be
presenting a talk at this conference on the management of industrial injuries.
I will also be out
of the office from Thursday (10/24) through Wednesday (10/30) to attend the
annual Patient Care (magazine) Board of Editors meeting, back in
As usual, I will
arrange for physician coverage in my absence. Industrial clients should use
their "back up" clinics during these periods. Please call the office
if you have any questions concerning patient care.
We have been
"tweaking" our open access scheduling policy in order to make it
easier for us to handle the volume of same day appointment requests. For
example, we have recently designated the 1:00 PM through
3:00 PM time period specifically for "walk in" patients. Patients
will be seen on a "first come, first served" basis, unless an obvious
emergency/urgency presents. Please note that we will continue to try to schedule
appointments as requested, but this will offer us some flexibility and will
hopefully cut down some of the afternoon wait times. Thus far, the response has
been favorable. Please let us know what YOU think.
We will be closed
today, for Labor Day. Also, I will be conducting sports physicals for the
athletes of the California State University at San Marcos
(CSUSM) all afternoon this Friday (9/6/02).
Orthopaedic Surgery Medical Group will begin seeing patients in our
office this Thursday (9/5/02), as their San Marcos satellite office. They will
be phasing their docs in gradually over the course of this month. We warmly
welcome Drs. Richard Muir (general orthopaedics), Janet Dunlap
(general orthopaedics/spine specialist), Greg Alberton (general
orthopaedics/upper extremity specialist), and Adrian Obuch (general
orthopaedics/sports medicine/trauma) to our humble establishment!
added new staff in August: Tammy is our medical assistant and Dina
will be working with the orthopaedic group as their receptionist.
We should be able to
perform urine drug screening, once again, within the next week. Breath alcohol
testing (B.A.T.) is coming in the near future, too. Also, we are finally able to
perform well-woman examinations (PAP, etc.) at this time.
witnessed the addition of a new computer network. As of this month, we have the
capability of performing our billing "in-house." This should improve
our service as we will not have to refer inquiries to an outside billing service
(once everything is transitioned in). We will be able to process insurance
claims and verify insurance eligibility electronically very shortly, too. It is
our hope to finally get our credit/debit card capabilities back on-line this
Finally, my mom's
fabulous Tabouli recipe may be found in the FAQ
The smell of fresh
paint permeated the office air last week. We want to thank Richard Dunn
and the superb crew from General
Coatings for their efforts upon our behalf - they did a bang up job in
just one day! (We heartily recommend them for any paint job - industrial or
To grace these
pristine walls, we are honored to present the colorful works of local mother and
daughter artists, Karen Miller Ferguson and Cara Ferguson. Some of the pieces are now
hanging, but more are still to come! To see samples of their work, click
There has been some
medical news reported over the past week or so regarding the risks of hormone
replacement therapy for post-menopausal women. The information reported
was startling to most physicians and has resulted in a many calls from concerned
patients. It's important to understand that every patient represents an
individual situation so no blanket advice can be given. Please come in to
discuss your own particular situation. ABC News recently posted an informative
chat on the subject. It may be found at: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/community/dailynews/chat_hutcherson020717.html.
The ABC News site
also features a recent 20/20 report, moderated by Dr. Tim Johnson, on the issue
of low carbohydrate, high protein/fat diets. It may
be found at: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/2020/2020/2020_diets020719.html.
Also, I've updated my patient education article on "Weight
Loss and Fitness." Check out the "Advice
From Your Doctor", reprinted from Patient Care magazine. Finally, to
add to the fat confusion, be sure to check out Gary Taubes' article dealing with
the "soft science" behind the nutritional guidelines for fat intake
I will be presenting a lecture on the Workers' Compensation System, upon the
behalf of The Zenith Insurance Company, to a large group consisting of our San
Diego restaurant industry clients. Because of this, I will be switching my
normal Tuesday-Thursday schedule. I will be out
of the office on Tuesday 7/30 and will be in the office on
Thursday 8/1/02. As usual, I remain available by pager and have local
physician back-up for emergency situations.
Please note that the
office will be closed on Thursday 7/4 and Friday 7/5.
Dr. Pearson will be available by pager for emergencies. Call the office phone if
you must speak with him.
Just had another
article published in the medical journal, Patient Care, entitled "Musculoskeletal
MRI in Primary Care" (June 2002). This journal serves the continuing
medical educational needs of primary care physicians (family practitioners,
internal medicine) and others across the nation. The purpose of this article is
to review the appropriate ordering of these studies. Dr. Nancy Major,
a radiologist at Duke University School of Medicine, also contributed to
to look dangerously close to a real medical office again! The
surgical suite is up and running with lots of help from our friend, Herb
DeLong. (Took us 4 blasted hours to drill and finally secure the surgical
lamps in the ceiling last Memorial Day!) We've used it twice thus far. Received
a real nice power table for the suite, courtesy of the Penn-Elm Family
Practice group (Chris Kuhn, CEO). Also, HealthSouth (Bill Tussy) provided us with a few physical
therapy/orthopaedic exam tables that they were no longer using. Still need to
pick up a gyn table, but should have one real soon. We did receive our
cryosurgery unit today (for freezing skin lesions) The unit was an
"office-warming" gift from my mom and dad (who still
practices family medicine in NJ). The music speaker system was
finally connected, courtesy of our friends TJ and Billy. Other equipment
continues to trickle in.... We are planning on re-painting the suite in
the upcoming weeks.
We anticipate that
physicians from the Tri-City Orthopaedic Medical Group will begin to see patients in our
suite in July. They will use our office as a satellite for their practice (they
are based in Oceanside, behind Tri-City Medical Center).
With the receipt of
our new telephone system, we have made some changes
in the manner that we handle telephone messages after hours. This new Samsung
Voice Messaging system has the capability to page the doctor directly,
eliminating the need for an outside answering service. The [bilingual]
voice mail instructions are pretty straightforward, providing options to either
leave a message for the next business day or to have the doctor paged
immediately. The system seems to be operating smoothly as of this time. However,
if anyone experiences any problems, please let us know immediately!
the managed/mangled care (HMO) front, we've decided to give up
exclusivity to the Sharp Community Medical Group (SCMG) IPA and begin to
also accept patients from the Greater Tri-Cities IPA, based in North
County. This will most likely take effect in July. Please note that although
this IPA works out of Tri-City Medical Center, I will not be able to physically
see patients that need to be admitted to this facility (It's simply too
difficult for me to try to cover two hospitals at the same time on a regular
basis). However, the excellent hospitalists at that institution have agreed to
provide coverage for my inpatients at Tri-City. Of course, we also participate
in most PPO plans and accept cash/checks, as well. (Sorry, but we are still
waiting for our credit card/ATM machine to arrive...)
hours have normalized again. I am available to see patients every weekday
except Thursdays (when I consult for the Zenith Insurance Company).
Occasionally, surgical assists and meetings might disrupt things, but I am
always available by radio pager (24/7) and have a back-up physician available
finally hooked up and in process of programming. Today will be a "moving
day" and we will start seeing patients in suite #101 as of tomorrow
(5/10/02). Still lots more to do to get this suite up to full speed. Please
continue to bear with us as we fix things up - it will be worth it!
As of this date, we
have ordered the telephone system, furniture, equipment, etc. and hope to have
enough of it installed in order to begin seeing patients in the new suite (#101)
sometime next week! (Phone number remains the same.) We are very excited
as this suite's location is excellent - the very first office encountered upon
entering the front of the building - making it most convenient for our patients.
Also, I am pleased
to announce that the excellent orthopaedic physicians of Tri-City
Orthopaedic Medical Group will be sharing the suite with me, as a
satellite office. We are both very excited about our ability to offer both
primary and orthopaedic specialty care, conveniently in the same office,
for the treatment of sports, industrial, and other injuries!
occupational clients: we should have many of our services up and running
again shortly (e.g. laceration repairs, etc). Drug screening, however, will
still be delayed until we bring on more staff. We greatly appreciate your
patience through our relocation!
I will be out of
the office from Wednesday (4/3/02) until Tuesday (4/16/02). I will be
attending a sports medicine conference in Orlando, and sneaking a few extra days
to visit my sister, as well. I will actually be back in town (and taking call)
on Thursday (4/11/02), but the office will be unavailable for use for the
duration of the week.
Weinberg will be taking call for me while I'm away. He can be reached
automatically through my answering service. His direct office phone number is 760-747-7512.
(Elaine will remain in town to address office administrative matters.)
Our suite is
finally available! The occupant of suite 101 has finally vacated
the premises. It will take us a few weeks to prepare it for practice (need to
furnish it, buy more supplies, etc), hence we anticipate that we should be ready
to move in by late April or beginning of May.
I recently accepted a position on the Board
of Directors for The Elizabeth Hospice, based in the North County. The
concept of hospice is to promote comfort during the last months of life. The
Elizabeth Hospice has an excellent reputation for caring. Learn more about us at
We have moved out of our shared office space at
the North County Urgent Care Medical Center and into the San Marcos Ambulatory
Why did we
were outgrowing our space at the North County Urgent Care clinic and, quite
simply, it's a great opportunity for a family/sports med physician. The City of
San Marcos was nice enough to approve the building of 3000 new homes in the San
Elijo Hills region, on top of the other recent growth of new homes in the
area. Nice new shopping center (Longs' Drugs, Ralphs, etc) built next to
our office building, and the close proximity to CSUSM will permit greater
interaction with their athletic program. Yet, despite all of this local
population growth, there are but few family docs practicing in the area, hence
the move becomes a business "no-brainer." Also, we have larger
plans/affiliations that we are considering. These will be announced after they
become finalized. All in all, we're very excited (and nervous - lots of work
involved in a move)!
We had originally intended to build out our own space in this building, but
another physician in the building has recently retired. We are currently in
negotiations to assume that suite. In the meantime, we will be
sharing space with the orthopaedic group in suite #105,
until the other suite becomes available. Signs will be posted at the building's
entrance, directing patients to Dr. Pearson's office.
by necessity, this arrangement will somewhat limit our practice capabilities
temporarily. For example, there are some procedures/testing that we will be
unable to perform while in this temporary suite (e.g. gynecological exams,
laceration repairs, urine drug screens, EKG/spirometry, and freezing of skin
lesions, just to name a few). However, we will be able to perform all of these
services once we are finally settled in our new suite (upon it's availability in
May 2002). We do have x-ray capabilities.
What is the new telephone number?
(760) 591-0955. When we are not in the
office, it will be forwarded to the answering service (Communications department
at Palomar Medical Center; Their direct number is (760)
291-5815) Of course, I can still be
reached for non-urgent matters via my e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What will be our schedule?
We will begin seeing patients in the new
office on Thursday
January 3, 2002.
Due to the schedules of the orthopaedic docs,
our scheduled office days may vary slightly from week to week. For
example, there are some days out of the month when the office suite will be
unavailable, hence we will be unable to see patients on those days.
Therefore, it's always best to call before dropping by unannounced. I am always
available by radio pager for patients that need to speak with me on urgent
continue to practice open access scheduling, whereby patients can
be seen on the same day that they call. (This is described under the office hours
section on the "About the Office"
page.) Also, you will all be pleased to know that Brenda Boettcher has
agreed to come with us to the new office!
What about my medical records? We have
many of our patient charts in hand and others have been copied. If we do not
have your chart on hand, it remains easily accessible at the North County Urgent
We deeply appreciate the loyalty of our patients and
clients. We are doing everything possible to make this move go as smooth as
possible. Formal notices will go out in the mail as soon as we have confirmation
of all pertinent details. Thank you all for bearing with us through this