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 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.

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.

Mayo Clinic's mission is to inspire hope and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best information to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research. Their primary value is "The needs of the patient come first.

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.

To read more about this topic, click on the following links:

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.

Cleveland Clinic is consistently ranked as one of the best hospitals in the United States. In 2018-2019, the U.S. News & World Report ranked Cleveland Clinic as the number 2 hospital in the Best Hospitals Honor Roll, as it was nationally ranked in 14 adult and 10 pediatric specialties.

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.

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,cholesterol, high blood pressure, being a caregiver and dealing with stress.

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.

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:

listing of clinical trials indexed by treatment or by condition:

General travel health information with links to many other sites:

Advice regarding children, the elderly, and pets; also evaluates cruise ships:

Worldwide disease surveillance information by the World Health Organization:

Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (Promed):

Information on countries in the western hemisphere by the Pan American Health Organization (in English and Spanish):

Anxiety disorders of America:

Internet Mental Health:

National Institute of Mental Health: