Category: Family Medicine

Highly skilled Family Medicine Residents, provide the latest advances in medical care

People think about their health a lot. They subscribe to the latest miracle cures and pay for unused health club memberships.  While they’re looking for a quick fix, they often overlook a simple step with more impact over their health than dozens of fads put together: getting care from a family physician at the St. Luke’s Family Medicine Center.

To some people, the idea of seeing a family physician might seem outdated, but it’s timeless, built on long-term relationships and on preventing problems before anyone—the patient or their loved ones—gets sick at all.

The data bears this out: patients who receive primary care from a family physician are significantly less likely to need outpatient care, be hospitalized, or go to the ER. The care that family physicians provide is collaborative, continuous, comprehensive and community-based.

Family physicians achieve better outcomes in a variety of ways, but the most important is that they provide long-term care over years and decades.  Over those years, the physician gets to know the patient and the patient gets to know the physician.

That means the doctor is more likely to notice changes in a patient, or, connect two health events, even if they were years apart.

It also means that the patient will feel more comfortable talking openly to their physician about their health concerns.

Put those two things together, and you have a formula for better health.

At a family medicine residency like the one at St. Luke’s, patients get more than the benefits of a relationship with their doctor. Patients receive care based on the best medical evidence. They also receive care that has been certified by a national accrediting body and reflects the latest advancements in the field.

“A family medicine residency like ours represents a terrific opportunity for patients to get the benefit of primary care in a region where there is a shortage of physicians in this specialty,” said Louito Edje, MD, MHPE, FAAFP, program director of the St. Luke’s Family Medicine Residency.  “Our patients know that residents are doctors—medical school graduates—who are training to be family physicians.  Our residents work under the supervision of board-certified doctors and patients receive the highest level of care.”

St. Luke’s Family Medicine Center offers an additional feature that you would expect from an organization that prides itself on providing “health, plus care”:  in-house behavioral health and social work specialists who are available to come into exam rooms with patients to be sure that all aspects of their health and life are being addressed.

“Many people ask about what happens when the resident finishes their program and moves on,” Dr. Edje said.  “First of all, nearly two-thirds of them will stay here in this community and their patients can join them at their new practice.  For those who do not stay, their patients will stay on the panel of the supervising physician to ensure continuity of care.”

Primary care from a family medical specialist is something no one should be without, whether they are two years old or 90 years old.  To become a patient at the St. Luke’s Family Medicine Center, located in Perrysburg near Levis Commons, call 419.873.6836.

St. Luke’s leads region in use of world’s smallest pacemaker

The pacemaker has been around since 1960 and has made an incredible contribution to the health and wellness of millions of people around the world.  Nearly everybody knows someone who benefits from a pacemaker.

Medical science is always advancing, and St. Luke’s is leading the region by offering the world’s smallest pacemaker—the Micra™, which is the size of a vitamin-capsule.

Pacemakers are used to treat bradycardia, which is a low heart rate.  A traditional pacemaker is located under the collarbone and connects to the heart using “leads.”  It senses when the heart needs to be sped up and uses electric impulses to get it done.

For patients who need a single chamber pacemaker, Micra accomplishes the same thing but in a much smaller package.  Micra is 93% smaller than conventional pacemakers, and therefore offers significant benefits.

For example, Micra is completely self-contained within the heart. It eliminates potential medical complications arising from a chest incision and from wires running from a conventional pacemaker into the heart.  These complications include infection and a collapsed lung, among others.

Research has demonstrated that patients with a Micra experience half the complications of a traditional pacemaker.  This reduction has been noted both 3 months and 12 months after the device is installed.  In fact, after 12 months the complication rate is 63% lower.

Micra is also less invasive.  The device is placed in the heart via a vein in the leg, without a chest incision, scar, or the bump that results from conventional pacemakers.

“St. Luke’s implants more Micra pacemakers than any other hospital in the region,” said Charles Gbur, MD.  “When it is appropriate for a patient, Micra offers the same effectiveness with significantly fewer complications and a higher quality of life.”

Like a conventional pacemaker, Micra is powered by a battery which lasts around 12 years.  Unlike conventional pacemakers, when it comes time to replace the battery it is possible for the existing device to be turned off and a new Micra implanted using the same minimally-invasive procedure.

The Micra pacemaker is yet another example of the life-saving services available at St. Luke’s. Along with the new hybrid OR and electrophysiology lab, patients can be sure that St. Luke’s offers the highest level of cardiac care.

Thanks to St. Luke’s, northwest Ohio will benefit from more family doctors

Nothing matches the personal care you receive from your own family doctor. Thanks to the new St. Luke’s Family Medicine Residency program, within a few years Northwest Ohio will have more family doctors than ever before.

The program pairs accomplished board-certified physicians with outstanding medical school graduates to prepare them for a career in family medicine. This gives future family doctors a foundation of excellence that combines leading edge treatments with time-tested principles.

“St. Luke’s believes in investing in the health of the region,” said St. Luke’s Hospital president Dan Wakeman.  It’s an idea that has roots way back in 1906, when surgeon William Gillette and his wife took the initiative to buy a small house at Robinwood and Delaware avenues in the Old West End. That became Robinwood Hospital, the original St. Luke’s.

“We’re continuing that community leadership by taking responsibility for providing the area with ongoing family care,” Wakeman said. He added that the community will feel an immediate impact, because new patients are already being accepted.

What’s more, family practice residents have historically remained in Toledo after graduation, providing a much-needed, long-term source of new physicians for the area. Each year of the program will graduate more doctors,

Residents are perfectly matched to St. Luke’s

Residents are chosen through the National Residency Matching Program, which uses a variety of criteria to pair the skills and aspirations of medical school graduates with the needs and requirements of residency programs. This year, six residents have been matched to St. Luke’s, hailing from places as far away as the Caribbean, and as close by as the University of Toledo (UT).

Calling the new Residents class “superb”, Program Director Louito C. Edje, MD, MHPE, FAAFP noted that the matched residents were each ranked in the Top 10 by the Resident Selection Committee.  “All six medical students have a strong commitment to the core values of family medicine,” she said.

Toledo is their home

Dr. Zack Dooley, a graduate of both Sylvania Schools and the University of Toledo, chose residency at St. Luke’s because he was looking for a supportive, family-oriented program. He and his wife, who is a nurse, have extended family in the area and hope to make Northwest Ohio a lifelong home for them and their daughter. Passionate about global health, Dr. Dooley would eventually like to bring wilderness medicine to St. Luke’s, developing and leading a residency focused on medical care in harsh circumstances, where supplies and technology are limited or not available at all.

Resident Dr. Peter Nguyen, another graduate of UT, believes the community setting of St. Luke’s Hospital will give him the best training possible for a family physician. He and his fiancée, also a family physician, want to make an impact in the community.

“In general, there is a shortage of family physicians. This is especially true for Northwest Ohio,” Dr. Nguyen said. “As a second-generation Vietnamese-American, born in the U.S. to parents who fled Vietnam after the war, it’s been my life duty to give back to my community.”

“No urgent care could ever hope to match the level of understanding you get with a personal doctor,” Wakeman said. “At a time when both care and insurance requirements are more complicated than ever, this is an excellent opportunity to get a regular doctor and take advantage of everything they have to offer you and your family.”

Dr. Edje agreed. “Patients who have family physicians have better health outcomes. A family Medicine Residency invests in producing excellent family physicians.”

High-tech resources, patient-centered care

The residents will have access to all the resources within the high-quality St. Luke’s community, while also seeing patients at the brand new St. Luke’s Family Medicine Center located just off N. Dixie Highway/State Route 25. Opening July 1, the center is equipped with the latest technology and offers everything on one floor, as well as abundant, free parking.

Need a doctor? The Family Medicine Center is now taking new patients. Call 419.873.6836 or go to StLukesHospital.com/FamilyMedicine for more information.