Patient Education

The impact of the Internet on the doctor-patient relationship comes from the ready potential for patients to be better informed about their health situation because of the ease of access to health information. Patients who use the Internet are becoming more educated about their medical decisions.
At Premier Family Medical, we believe that the highest quality of care is only possible when a physician and his patient establish a relationship as individuals and then carry on frank and open discussion. Emphasis on self care and individual responsibility with “physician as a consultant” is encouraged.

In this section we have listed websites that, in our opinion, have the potential to provide reliable health and wellness information for patients and their relatives.

Health Information by a Family Medicine Site

Health information for the whole family. Here you will find health topics for children, women and men, conditions A to Z, health tools, guides and suggestions on healthy living, etc.
http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home.html

Health Information by the National Institute of Health

The National Institute of Health is a very useful governmental site where the health topics are subdivided in categories according to body location and systems, conditions and diseases, patient population (e.g. child and teen health, men’s health, women’s health, etc.), and more.
http://health.nih.gov/

Health Information by MDconsult

MD Consult brings the leading medical resources together into one integrated online service to help you efficiently find answers to medical questions. Health topics are grouped in conditions and treatments, medications, specialties, and subdivided in alphabetical order. Information in Spanish is also available.
http://www.mdconsult.com/das/patient/body/160514494-2/33/toc?tab=cond

Health Information by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionhttp://www.cdc.gov/

Government Website Entirely Dedicated to the Fluhttp://www.flu.gov/

Information on H1N1 Flu (swine flu)

From the Federal Government:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm

From the State of New Jersey:
http://www.nj.gov/health/flu/h1n1.shtml

Children and Teenagers – Specific Topics

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/childrenandteenagers.html
http://children.webmd.com/tc/default.htm

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC works to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years: http://cpsc.gov/index.html

Antibiotics and Viral Infections

Patients with a cold or the flu often request antibiotics, even when their health care providers say they have a virus infection, and antibiotics won’t help. In these cases, antibiotics may even be harmful, with side effects such yeast infections and diarrhea, allergic reactions that can be severe, and the gradual loss of antibiotic effectiveness. Viruses cause many of the most common infections we experience: colds, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis, conjunctivitis (pink eye), pharyngitis (sore throat) and diarrhea. Antibiotics are usually a risky waste of money for all these diseases.

Health care professionals who give in to patient requests and prescribe antibiotics for viral infections can receive lower rankings from HMOs, because giving antibiotics for viral illnesses is considered bad medical practice.  When patients hear the provider does not plan to prescribe antibiotics for their cold, they often respond with a suspicious frown. Many think that the provider would give them an antibiotic prescription if he/she really cared about them.  Some suspect that the HMO is pressuring the provider to not prescribe antibiotics to save money. Neither is true.

Another statement commonly heard is: “Doc, I never get sick like this. This isn’t just a cold; it’s something more serious. It’s so severe and gone on for so long, it is going down to my lungs. I know I need antibiotics”. For sure their illness is likely much more severe than any recent cold or flu they’ve experienced, but it’s still a viral illness. And antibiotics are unlikely to help. A sore throat from a cold often hurts more than a “strep throat”. And a person with stomach pain caused by a virus infection often feels worse than the person with appendicitis, at least at first.

The person with a cold can feel miserable: fatigued, runny nose, head and body aches, sore throat, cough, often with yellow or green phlegm. The person with the strep throat often has just one complaint, a sore throat. No cough, no headache, no runny nose, no body ache. The cold requires rest and fluids. A strep throat needs antibiotic treatment.

The treatment of “bronchitis” is different. The term “bronchitis” is a medical term for a cough. In general, antibiotics won’t help bronchitis, even if the phlegm is yellow or green. But, patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and emphysema may get some benefit from antibiotics if they are coughing and short of breath.
To read more about this topic, click on the following links:
http://www.cdc.gov/GetSmart/antibiotic-use/know-and-do.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/infectious-disease/AN00652

Rheumatologic Conditions (Osteoarthritis, Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, etc)

http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/index.asp
http://www.arthritis.org/

Lower Back Pain and Neck Pain

http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/backpain.asp

http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/neckpain.asp

Cardiovascular Conditions

The topics in this section cover a range of cardiovascular conditions including angina, arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack and heart failure.
http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3004349

Lifestyle and Reduction of Risk for Cardiovascular Diseases

You can make lifestyle choices that can reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.  These information sheets will help you get started.  Topics include smoking, diet and nutrition, physical activity,cholesterolhigh blood pressurebeing a caregiver and dealing with stress.
http://www.strokeassociation.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1200037
http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3004354

DASH Diet for Hypertension

http://blood-pressure.emedtv.com/dash-diet/dash-diet.html

ADA Diet for Diabetes

http://www.diabetes.org/food-nutrition-lifestyle/nutrition.jsp

Low Cholesterol Diets

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-cholesterol/DS00178/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/checklist-your-low-cholesterol-diet

Cholesterol-Lowering Foods

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol/CL00002

Weight Loss Diets: Advantages and Disadvantages

Comparing popular weight loss diets:
http://www.medicinenet.com/diet_plans_and_programs/article.htm

Healthy Aging

Healthyaging.org is a gateway to sites on the Internet for healthy aging.
http://www.healthyaging.org/

US Consumer Product safety commission provides a checklist that can be used by patients to assess the presence of extrinsic, situational, and environmental factors that can cause falls, with recommendations:
http://cpsc.gov

NIA, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of NIH, leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. In 1974, Congress granted authority to form NIA to provide leadership in aging research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs relevant to aging and older people. Subsequent amendments to this legislation designated the NIA as the primary Federal agency on Alzheimer’s disease research:
http://www.niapublications.org/

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Practices that lie outside the mainstream of “official” medicine have always been an important part of the public’s health care. Recently, these practices – frequently called complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) – have become more prominent in the West. In April 1995, a panel of experts convened at the National Institute of Health (NIH) defined CAM as “a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period.” CAM is that subset of practices that is not an integral part of conventional care, but is still used by patients in their health care management. Proven therapies that are safe and effective should be available to the public. As research continues, expanded options for managing clinical conditions will arise. Gradually, physicians and patients will have more options for management of disease.

Premier Family Medical refers for, and incorporates some CAM practices into its health care management.

Natural Medicine Comprehensive Database: comprehensive listing of and cross-listing of natural and herbal therapies, separate “all known uses” and “effectiveness” sections, safety ratings, mechanisms of action, side effects, herb-drug interactions, and review of available evidence:
http://www.naturaldatabase.com

Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies (FACTS): quarterly review journal of CAM therapies. It contains evidence-based reviews, focus articles, short reports, news of recent developments, and book reviews on complementary medicine:
http://www.exeter.ac.uk/FACT

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: listing of clinical trials indexed by treatment or by condition:
http://www.nccam.nih.gov

Travel Medicine
General travel health information with links to many other sites:
https://www.travmed.com

Advice regarding children, the elderly, and pets; also evaluates cruise ships:
http://www.cdc.gov/travel

Worldwide disease surveillance information by the World Health Organization:
http://www.who.int/en/

Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (Promed):
http://www.promedmail.org

Information on countries in the western hemisphere by the Pan American Health Organization (in English and Spanish): http://new.paho.org/

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders of America: http://www.adaa.org/

Anxiety/Panic Internet Resource: http://algy.com/anxiety/anxiety.php

Internet Mental Health: http://mentalhealth.com/

National Institute of Mental Health: http://nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

Treatments and Tests
The topics in this section cover a range of tests and treatments for cardiovascular conditions and tips on disease management, recovery and taking medication.
http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3004353

This is a thorough guide to medical laboratory tests, why they are performed, and what they might mean:http://www.ascls.org/labtesting/index.asp