Doctors’ Notes

Doctors' Notes features personal, first-hand accounts from family doctors about the importance of the doctor-patient relationship.

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  • “Bee” Careful! What To Do If You Get Stung

    Dr. Meagan Vermeulen

    Unless you are allergic to the venom of bees, wasps, or hornets, you probably won’t need to see your family doctor if you get stung. A sting will be painful and annoying, but otherwise pretty harmless. Most of my patients only have mild…

  • Are Aching Joints a Symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

    Dr. Shweta Akhouri

    If you’re having joint pain, tell your family doctor. Treating early can help prevent or reduce lifelong disability.

  • Catch Up on Your Missed Vaccinations: Tips from Family Docs

    Staying up to date on vaccines is one of the most important ways you can help protect yourself and those around you. But we know there are many factors that might keep you or your family member from getting vaccinated. Catching up on missed…

  • Chronic Headaches Are a Pain

    Dr. Jennifer Hanna

    If headache pain is getting in the way of your daily activities, it’s time to see your family doctor.

  • Could Stress Be Causing My Symptoms?

    Dr. David Schechter

    Stress affects everyone. Some stress can be caused by good things in your life, such as an interesting project, a new baby, or an upcoming vacation. Other times, stress is caused by difficult situations, such as losing your job or getting divorced. No matter…

  • Depression Is Common and Treatable

    Dr. Michael Bevins

    When a patient is diagnosed with depression, I’m trained to provide care that ranges from prescribing antidepressants to helping them…

  • Doc, Do I Have the “Stomach Flu”?

    Dr. Shilpa Mehta

    For healthy adults, the symptoms of gastroenteritis are usually mild. In most cases, you don’t need to see a doctor…

  • Family Doctors Are a Consistent Presence in Challenging Times

    Dr. Christine Khandelwal

    Working as a palliative care doctor has shown me how important a trusted family doctor is when patients face a…

  • From a Family Doctor: 6 Things We Know about Childhood Vaccines

    Infectious diseases can make entire communities sick1, but we have the tools to help prevent certain potentially serious illnesses.1,2 Childhood vaccines are especially important to help provide protection against diseases and potentially serious health issues.3 We know: Vaccines are safe and…

  • From a Family Doctor: Adults Need Vaccines Too

    It’s true that most vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are given to children during routine pediatric visits. But adults need them too because protection from childhood vaccinations may lessen as you age, and you may need additional…

  • Hiding in Plain Sight: Diagnosing Hypothyroidism

    Dr. Tania Mathew

    A new patient thought her symptoms were just part of getting older. By taking time to ask the right questions,…

  • Hope After a Life-Changing Diagnosis

    Dr. Michael Stefanowicz

    From diagnosis through ongoing treatment, I help my patients who have HIV live longer, healthier lives and avoid passing HIV…

  • I’m Pregnant! What’s Safe to Eat?

    Dr. Karlynn Sievers

    Recently, my patient Jennifer (not her real name) came in for a prenatal visit. She had been trying to get pregnant for several months. When she finally got a positive result on a home pregnancy test, she and her husband were thrilled. During the…

  • Is There a “Right Way” to Take My Medicine?

    Dr. Ramon O. Parrish, Jr.

    By giving specific, easy-to-understand instructions, I help my patients get the most out of their medicines and avoid problems.

  • Living With Diabetes: How a CGM Can Help

    Dr. Cate Buley

    Using a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM) can help some patients who have diabetes keep their blood glucose level from…

  • The Doctor Will See You In Person Now

    Dr. Cate Buley

    Telemedicine lets you access medical care without leaving your home. But it isn’t the right choice for every visit with…

  • Trusted Help for Worsening GERD Symptoms

    Dr. Katherine Beben

    Don’t assume you’re fine if something doesn’t seem quite right. The earlier your family doctor can address health problems, the…

  • Unsure About the COVID-19 Vaccine? Talk to Your Family Doctor

    Dr. Jennifer Hanna

    Your family doctor can provide trustworthy information about the COVID-19 vaccine and other recommended immunizations.

  • What are Social Determinants of Health?

    Dr. Christina Wells

    Our health is influenced by a series of elements including biology, access to and quality of medical care, the environment in which we live, work, and play, and individual behaviors. Other factors that can influence your health are educational level and socioeconomic status, as…

  • When a “Chest Cold” Is Something More

    Dr. Shilpa Mehta

    You probably know the feeling of having cold symptoms that move from your head into your chest. Many people call this a chest cold. The medical term for it is “acute bronchitis.” Bronchitis is an inflammation (or irritation) of the airways. Airways are the…