Travel medicine aside, here is what I have written to my family practice patients this new year.
I hope this letter finds you rested from the holidays and in good health. I realize, being your doctor, that this unfortunately might not be the case. My family is well, including my four wonderful grandchildren, now aged two to eight. When I am not in the office, I can usually be found at Tim Horton’s, the library, at a piano, playing squash or asleep in bed.
I hope you appreciate my staff as much as I do – Indi, Lilliana, Karon and Dolly. I think they are the kindest and best at what they do.
I wasn’t sure what to write this year. I also wasn’t sure if anyone reads these letters, as I get very little in the way of feedback. In any case, let me list for you the most commonly heard comments and questions that I get in my office. Next year I will provide the commentary on each one!
- But I never had this before.
- Why is it just on one side?
- Is it my age?
- Is it contagious?
- I saw this on the Internet!
- So you’re saying there’s nothing wrong?
- My naturopath / chiropractor / massage therapist says I need all of this blood work / an MRI.
- Shouldn’t I be on an antibiotic?
- Do I really need all of these pills?
- You know …the little green ones!
- But I got the flu after the flu shot.
- But I can’t afford it (physiotherapy, counselling, medications …).
- What do you mean my appointment isn’t until May?
- Are there any side effects?
- Do I need to take all of these vitamins?
- When are you planning to retire?
- Can I e-mail you? (preferably not)
A reminder – please keep up to date, with my help, with your vaccinations (including shingles and pneumonia), and age (and sex) appropriate screening for colon cancer (FOBT or colonoscopy), osteoporosis (BDM), cervical cancer (Pap smear), and breast cancer (mammogram). There is no shortage of controversy regarding screening for prostate cancer (PSA) and everything else in medicine. I am happy to discuss these issues with you.
I look forward to a good year for us all.
Mark Wise MD, DTM&H (London)