By J. Manuel Cordova, M. D.
Internal Medicine & Geriatric Specialist
Medicine For The Aging
Things To Know And Remember
The older we get, the more “Medicine” becomes an important part of our daily lives. In some cases, It`s a matter of Life or Death. Why then do so many seek treatments and advice from the wrong people? Admittedly, healthcare is complicated and confusing, even for those of us who work with it every day. However, one should always pursue the best option for himself/herself.
Last month I referred to the “Public Relations Doctor.” Some Practitioners will treat you for anything even though their formal education is in a different field. You should never under-value the importance of a well-educated, well-trained and experienced physician when it comes to your health. Always check out the qualifications and experience of your provider. I’ve had more complaints come to my attention recently than ever in the past because the practitioners in the area providing services and treatments who are not properly educated or experienced, or on the anecdotic and sometimes experimental and unapproved treatments or empiric treatments.
There are many new “buzz” words today in healthcare that refer to treatments and cures. Don’t let that confuse you. When you’re sick, you need qualified help, not the fashion trend of the month. “Alternative Medicine” today incorporates the old with the new. There are treatments and cures that have been very successful for some individuals but not so successful for others. I’ve talked to many people who go to one person for treatment, then another and so on because they are never satisfied with the results.
You will have the best ultimate results in care when you have “continuity of care.” Your Medical History, treatments, and illnesses, medications and your recoveries are all important history that your physician needs to know in order for you to get the best results. If you keep changing from one to another each time you are ill, you will lose the advantage of the “continuity of care.” It’s important to have specialists handle problems that deal with their speciality. It is also important for you to understand the difference between a non- trained physician, compared to an educated and well-trained physician. In particular, depending on your age, you should understand the differences between a family doctor or general practitioner, compared to an Internal Medicine Physician or for elderly patients, a Geriatric Physician.
Many of the treatments and potions offered today by non-traditional healthcare practitioners have not been tried and tested over long periods of time to fully understand the long term value or the long term risks. We know today, for example, that the long term use and impact of steroids on the body can be a very bad thing and has contributed to the deaths of many people; yet, used properly, in some cases, it can save lives.
People complain about the FDA in the U.S. but were it not for certain regulations, the market would be flooded with “cure alls.” Even with all the regulations, you still hear today of cases where medicines have been infected with bacteria or some other contamination. Yet many people every day are taking potions that are formulated and mixed in non-sterile, unregulated, environments.
Stay Healthy and best Wishes!
(Ed. Note: Dr. Cordova is the president of the Geriatrics and Gerontology Society of Jalisco (SOGEJAL) and has his medical practice here in Lakeside Area.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com