Family Matters – Penn State Health

Family Matters – Penn State Health


>>Tonight.>>A family physician really is involved with
the entire care of the patient and the family.>>An ABC 27 special presentation.>>We’ve been with him now so long, there’s
so much history that we have, the two beautiful girls because of him.>>Family Matters. Sponsored by Penn State Health.>>Good evening, I’m Debra Pinkerton. Family medicine means comprehensive healthcare
for all ages. It’s a practice that’s been around for 50
years. In the United States nearly 1 out of every
4 office visits are made to a family medicine doctor. Family medicine doctors are the only ones
who are qualified to treat people of all ages, from newborns to seniors. What type of care will you receive when you
see a family medicine doctor? How does it make a difference? And what is the best way to find a family
medicine doctor? You will find out tonight. And if you have questions at home, Christina
Butler is here to tell you how to get them answered. Hi, Christina.>>Hi Debra. Our specialist from Penn State Health are
sitting right here, they’re ready to answer your questions tonight. The phone lines will be open until 8 o’clock. Call the number on the bottom of the screen
or you can email your question during the show to [email protected] Doctors Kenyetta Givens and Alexis Reedy-Cooper
will answer your emails throughout tonight’s show. All calls and emails are confidential and
I’ll be back throughout the show to share some of those questions with you.>>Thanks, Christina. Family medicine means the entire family is
taken care of and that’s exactly what a Palmyra family wanted. Here’s the Pensinger family’s journey.>>Come on, Stella, one more.>>Jen and Paul Pensinger enjoy the last few
days of summer with their girls. In a matter of days school starts.>>Olivia is going into kindergarten this
year, so we’re really excited about that. A little terrified, but really excited for
her. And Stella is going to be in her second year
of preschool in Lebanon.>>Trying to get the girls ready, get prepped
and all the new lists of things that we need to have for kindergarten this year is fun,
so, yeah, just trying to enjoy a little bit of what’s left of summer and also be prepared
for the start of the school year.>>Precious moments that soon become special
memories.>>It seems like yesterday that we were, you
know, just at Penn State Hershey having them and now all of a sudden they’re here and they’re
this little people growing up.>>One thing has remained constant, their
family doctor.>>We just kind of moved here about 10 years
ago, right after we got married and thought, well, it’s time to kind of establish ourselves
and started looking for a family doctor.>>We had recommendations from a friend of
ours, you know, about the Palmyra Practice, which is right here, a few blocks from the
house. And we’re very fortunate to be able to get
in with some of the good doctors at Palmyra Practice.>>Hello. How you doing?>>This is where Jen and Paul met Dr. George
Henning.>>A family physician really is involved with
the entire care of the patient and the family. It allows for us to have a long-term relationship,
we take care of 90 or 95% of the medical problems that our families encounter and it allows
us to get to know our patients and to get to know them as people, as well as patients.>>I adore Dr. Henning. I, I mean, we’ve been with him now so long,
and like I said, there’s so much history that we have, the two beautiful girls because of
him.>>I first met Jen when she was pregnant with
her first child. We actually started out with the initial pregnancy
care, take care of our patients through the pregnancy, we do the delivery and then we
take care of the babies as well.>>We had some complications with Olivia,
but he was, you know, right there through it all and made sure that we were taken care
of.>>Olivia had a bit of a slow start and I
tried to make myself available to help them through all aspects of the problems and she
came around and is doing very well right now. Beautiful young lady.>>A year later Dr. Henney was there for Stella’s
birth.>>For me having a family doctor means it’s
somebody that I can call, that if there is a concern I can just call him and say, you
know, “Help me with this,” and so he’s coordinating everything.>>For our patients they don’t have to tell
their story over and over again, they see the same physician, and we know all about
them. We know their medical history, we already
know their other medical problems.>>Paul needs a family doctor, he has diabetes.>>With me in particular the family doctor
is very crucial important for coordinating and keeping track of everything that’s going
on, because I see numerous specialists. With that having one doctor they can make
sure they’re checking on my results, looking at all my testing, seeing when it’s time to
get this done and when to have blood work done. It’s been very very good.>>I would say that my patients are my friends
and I think that maybe that’s the difference. I look at every patient as a friend, I like
to get to know them and I think when you have a little bit of a closer relationship it means
a lot to many people.>>If we need something, we can get in touch
with him. If he can’t see us, he’ll make sure we get
in, you know, so it’s — gives you a feeling of security having somebody that’s — that’s,
you know, on your team and working for you.>>Some reassurance that everyone in the Pensinger
family likes.>>I really really like him.>>And why is that?>>I just like him.>>And that is so cute to hear a five year
old say they like their doctor. Joining us right now is Dr. Mack Ruffin, professor
and chair of Family and Community Medicine. Thank you for being here. Obviously the Pensingers really enjoy having
a family medicine doctor. Tell us a little bit more about the role.>>So, like they said, it’s one place that
they can all go. They have a partner, not only the physician,
but the rest of the office. As you saw, they have this relationship and
it’s ongoing and it’s not dependent on their gender or their age or their disease or the
problem they’re having. And it’s comprehensive and it started with
helping them get pregnant and getting through the pregnancy and onto the next phases of
their family’s life.>>Now, what is the benefit of having a family
medicine doctor?>>So the kids don’t have to go to one office,
mom doesn’t have to go somewhere else and dad doesn’t have to go off to another place. So it’s one place, the doctor and the team
knows that family and knows their history and it’s a relationship or a friendship at
some times.>>And you can really look after most of the
ailments, correct?>>Absolutely. 90 to 95% of everything the family needs can
be taken care in a family physician’s office.>>Now, if you do need to see a specialist,
we know that Penn State Health has numerous specialties, how do you work with them?>>So it’s a coordination, it’s a partnership. You know, in the older days it was phone,
fax, now we can really sort of do electronic — we call it E consults. You see the patient, things aren’t going well,
you’ve got questions, you send the message off and even the same day get the answer back,
can move forward with that. Often times don’t even need to see the subspecialist. Or the subspecialist recommends change in
medications, some more tests, and then arranges to see them. So by the time you get to the consultant the
labs are already done, the tests are already done and it’s very efficient when you’re actually
in the consultant’s office.>>And that’s actually what Paul had mentioned,
because since he has diabetes then Dr. Henning knows everything, all of the information comes
back to him.>>Absolutely.>>So I’m sure people are watching and they
may say, “Hey, I may want to have a family medicine doctor, how do you find the perfect
family medicine doctor?”>>So, look at your family, where is your
family in its stage, are you a young family like them or are you an older family where
you’re an empty nester or are you this between generation where you’re taking care of elderly
parents or grandparents. Ask your friends, where do they go, who have
a similar — check your insurance, because in this country insurance matters where you
can go. And then think about what is your daily life
like, where do you travel? So if you’re only around your home, a doctor
near your home is good, but if you’re always at work somewhere else, maybe a doctor there. Or the kids are in a school somewhere else,
maybe there is the best place.>>Right. And for the Pensinger family right — right
down the street from them, so.>>Yes. Right down the street in Palmyra, they had
a great opportunity, it was close by and they obviously built a very strong relationship.>>Dr. Ruffin, we will check back with you
in just a little bit. But first, if you would like more information
about family medicine or if you are looking for a family medicine doctor, this is the
number to call, 1-866-284-7615. Now let’s check in with Christina Butler in
the ABC 27 call center. Hi, Christina.>>Hi again, Debra. The phones are busy over here. A reminder that you can call, 717-346-3333. Here to answer our viewer questions tonight,
Dr. Munima Nasir, a family medicine physician. Thanks for being here. We want to get right to our first viewer question. This viewer would like to know, “My husband
and I are talking about starting a family, what’s the best way to start that process? Should I include my family physician in that
discussion?”>>So, starting a family is a very important
decision. So, my recommendations would be, both you
and your husband should probably go see your family doctor, include him in this decision,
so your doctor can review your history, go over your medications, provide you with some
appropriate counseling so that you can have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.>>Okay. Thank you for sharing that. We’ll talk to you in a little bit.>>Sure.>>In just a little bit, again. And if you have a question, again, here’s
that number to call for a specialist, 1-866-284-7615. Or you can email your question to [email protected] Debra, back to you.>>Thanks, Christina. Later in the show, we’ll take you behind the
scenes of what it takes to be a family medicine doctor. You’ll meet residents who are learning the
ropes. Stay with us, we’ll be right back. [ Music ]>>You’re watching Family Matters on ABC 27. Sponsored by Penn State Health. [ Music ]>>Welcome back. Joining us right now, Dr. William Miller and
his daughter, Dr. Megan Mendez-Miller. Thank you both for being with us.>>Thank you, Debra.>>Thank you.>>Why don’t you tell us about this, you both
practice family medicine and you both practice in the same office, the Nyes Road Office,
tell me, Dr. Miller, how long have you been practicing?>>Just about ready to start my 45th year
in practice. Interesting thing is, the tens of thousands
of patients I’ve seen, 80% of them are still in my practice today and they — I’m still
seeing generations after generation and I’ll pass this onto my daughter when I retire.>>Oh my goodness. And how about you, Dr. Mendez-Miller?>>I’ve been out of training about 8 years,
so we figure several thousands of patients already that I’ve cared for.>>Wow. And, Dr. Miller, so your father, your uncle
and your cousin all practiced, tell me, why did you choose to follow in their footsteps?>>I was never pressured. I was encouraged by my father once I made
the decision to go to med school, but then he was an obstetrician surgeon and a practitioner,
his brother was a family practitioner and his son was also family practice. But I think what encouraged me to go was working
with the pathologists in the laboratory for a number of years and just getting a feel
for medicine, deciding that’s what I wanted to do and the rest was history.>>Yeah. And, Dr. Mendez-Miller, did you feel any pressure
to follow?>>Yeah, I mean, the opposite. My family, my father were very supportive
of whatever I wanted to do with my career and whatever I had my aim for. I think I always knew deep in my heart I felt
called to go into medicine and family medicine, but I certainly kind of tried on several different
types of study and careers before I came back around to medicine.>>And why did you decide to stay here in
the area?>>You know, from a practical standpoint I’m
a working mother, my husband works fulltime, I work fulltime, so it made sense for us to
raise our family here surrounded by our families, so we could have that support. But being a third generation Miller family
physician serving the Harrisburg area, I wouldn’t practice anywhere else. I feel very connected to serving — continuing
to serve this community.>>And why did you both — or what do you
both like most about family medicine, Dr. Miller?>>Family medicine allows you to deal with
families from the cradle to the grave, so you get a chance to take care of babies, as
well as older adults and watch them as they grow up and they become almost like family
as you stay in practice with them. And looking forward to transferring my patients
to my daughter when I retire.>>And, Dr. Mendez-Miller, what about you?>>I think from an inter-standpoint, you know,
family medicine has the full scope of all the different specialties encompassed in one. So, when I was a medical student rotating
every month I would call my dad and I’d say, “I’m going to be a urologist, I’m going to
be an ophthalmologist, I’m going to be, you know, an internist.” And I just enjoyed every rotation and family
medicine really does allow you to do the completely breadth with patients and then relationships,
relationships with our patients is really the continuity that we have, getting to know
people well, getting to know their families very well. We’re just very blessed in that way.>>And you get to really see the whole picture.>>Absolutely.>>Absolutely, yeah.>>And I’m sure, Dr. Miller, you’re happy
that she stayed in the area too.>>I certainly am. She’s done a great job and the patient’s are
looking forward to being cared for by another Miller.>>Great. Thank you both for being here. Dr. Miller and Dr. Mendez-Miller, thank you.>>Thank you.>>Thank you, Debra.>>And now we want to go back to the ABC 27
call center and check in with Christina.>>Hi, again. The phone lines are open for a little bit
longer. You can get your call in by dialing 717-346-3333. Again, the phone lines are open until 8. If the phone lines are busy, you can email
your question during the show to [email protected] Let’s go right to our next viewer question,
“My family is currently seeing a family medicine doctor that’s about 40 minutes from our home. We’re looking to find someone closer, should
we have all of our records transferred?”>>Absolutely. Your records are very important and it is
important that your new doctor gets all your records transferred over so that they can
review everything that has happened for you in the past and carry and take your care forward.>>Okay, and you were telling me earlier that
that’s a simple process, just a phone call and signatures.>>Absolutely.>>Okay, here’s our next viewer question for
tonight, “I’m thinking about going to college to be a doctor, I’m trying to determine what
the best field is for me, what’s the best way to know that family medicine is the perfect
fit?”>>So, congratulations and good news. I think that’s certainly a good field to take
up going into medicine.>>Sure.>>I would say, first of all, read up about
what family physicians do, I think that’s important.>>Okay.>>But then my next best recommendations would
be, find yourself a family doctor that you can trail and kind of see and follow them
along so that you can see hands-on as to what they do and I think that would be the best
way for you to see if family medicine is a good choice for you.>>Sure, nothing like that experience. Okay, thank you, Dr. Nasir, for answering
all of our questions tonight. Thank you also to our specialists from Penn
State Health who have been taking all of our phone calls tonight. Back to you, Debra.>>Thanks, Christina. So we’ve heard about the benefits of seeing
a family medicine doctor, but what does it take to become one. We found out.>>Welcome, guys. It’s the first day of your home away from
home for the next three years.>>Just like the first day of school, this
is the first day of class for new family medicine residents.>>We are training the next generation of
family doctors. So, I’m preparing them to go out after they
leave here and provide care in communities to which they serve.>>It’s really exciting. I’ve been working up to this point for the
last several years and it’s really nice to actually be here.>>It’s really exciting to get to interact
with the other residents, as well as my co-residents and meet them finally for the first time.>>I’m giving the tour. So, this is our team two nurses.>>At Penn State Health, Nyes Road Office
there were several new residents learning the ropes.>>We have residents here that are starting
on nights, that are starting on sports medicine, really getting used to the feeling of being
called doctor and having to make those decisions.>>I’m on nights. So, my first two weeks I will be in the hospital
from 6 pm until whenever they let me go home in the next morning. So, there, and then I switch to being on the
day shift. So, I’m going just to be in the hospital for
the next month or so.>>So we have onsite services here.>>Over the next three years these residents
will learn what it means to be a family medicine doctor. As the name implies, taking care of the entire
family.>>There’s not many specialties where you
can see such a breadth of patient population, where you can manage kids and you can manage
adults and then you’re able to build those long-term relationships with patients and
that’s really exciting for me.>>I really enjoy the role of being a community’s
doctor and getting to know people, getting to know their families, watching how kids
grow and families develop and kind of being part of their story.>>Some already know where they want to practice.>>I’m originally from Philadelphia, so I
come from an underserved community. So being here in Hershey and being able to
practice and learn and develop into a doctor in the community setting I feel like I’ll
be able to go back and really serve the community I come from.>>Hello, Miss Rosey. How are you?>>Dr. James Kent will return to his hometown
to practice. The place where it all began.>>My dad’s a family doc and two of my sisters
are family doctors and I guess some people try to keep up with their older siblings. But when my youngest sister went to medical
school then I thought, well, maybe I can go to medical school too.>>Dr. Kent starts his third and final year
of residency.>>When I swallow my spit my butt is itchy.>>Yeah.>>And my ears hurt sometimes.>>Okay.>>He has developed close relationships with
his patients.>>So we treat the entire spectrum of the
human condition, from prenatal care, to birth, to parenthood, to pediatrics, to delivering
your baby, to end of life care and all the way through. And it’s important to me to see some pediatrics,
to see some teenagers, to see some middle age people, to see some geriatric patients. That’s the rewarding part. Hi.>>Dr. Kent will finish his residency in June,
then he plans to practice family medicine in Franklin County, his hometown. And joining us again is Dr. Ruffin. Now, when you were welcoming the students,
the residents that day, you had said it was 35 years ago, it’s hard to believe.>>Yes.>>35 years ago that you started your residency. Why did you get into family medicine?>>Oh, unlike Dr. Mendez-Miller, who went
to it because of the family exposure and the calling, I had no exposure to it. I went to medical school really focused on
trying to prevent suffering from cancer and was focused on oncology and then surgery. But then I found family medicine and it was
really that comprehensiveness, the relationships, the continuity and the diversity and also
the fundamental issue, preventing disease. Finding them early, which is where I found
that best fit and that’s why I went in to family medicine.>>Some may ask, because when you try and
get in touch with your family medicine doctor they’re not always in, so what is the team
approach like, do they share everything with everyone in that office?>>So it should — it should be a team effort
and really the team effort is from the person that answers the phone, to the person that
greets you at the front door, to the person who puts you in the room, the nurse and the
other doctors. And a lot of us are working with nurse practitioners
and physicians assistants, who also help provide that care. So that’s the reason, they work together,
they talk together, they share the records together. So you don’t have to tell your story over
and over and over again and you have a relationship with that team of doctors.>>Now, do you find that more residents are
getting into family medicine or is there a shortage?>>There’s a severe shortage of family physicians
all across the country. Our discipline has an effort to try to promote,
so that 25% of students would wind up in family medicine every year. But right now it’s right about — anywhere
from 8 to 10% of students. So we have a significant shortage.>>And how much time do you need to spend
in school if you would like to be a family medicine doctor?>>So obviously you got to go to college and
then you’ve got to go to medical school, which four years and then you go into a residency,
which is 3 years. So it’s quite a long time. We try to create scholarships to promote,
so you can reduce the cost. And at Penn State we’ve created an advanced
accelerated three year program.>>And tell me, when you talked about Penn
State Health many different research projects are happening at Penn State Health, talk to
me, how does it work with family medicine?>>So it’s a little different, because we’re
not doing labs and test-tube and as it’s comprehensive, it may be as much as looking in the community. So why does central Pennsylvania have high
rates of heart disease and diabetes? The whole issue of addictions and opioids
use. Or how do we make the practice better, how
do we communicate more effectively, how do we bring other team members into our care,
like a nutritionist? How do we get better preventative services
delivered or like my research, how do we get newer preventative services, like, let’s get
rid of colonoscopy, which no one over 50 wants to have to do, but how about a simple blood
test? So, that’s where like I work with basic science
people to bring it to the patient and make it simpler and more deliverable.>>And you mentioned colonoscopy, as far as
like procedures like that, minor surgeries, is that something that a family medicine doctor
handles?>>Yes, we do a lot of simple procedures in
the office. A lot of testing in the office and a lot of
other types of things you can get right there, so you don’t have to go somewhere else to
get it done.>>Okay, that’s good to hear. Now, family medicine has been around for 50
years, how did it start?>>So think about 50 years ago, you may not
have been old enough to remember it, but the 60s is Vietnam, it’s social unrest, which
was mainly race then, and the population was complaining that medicine is too expensive,
it’s hard to get into and it’s very fragmented. There were heart disease specialists, diabetes,
endocrinologist, and they weren’t working together and they weren’t communicating, so
it really grew up out of a grassroots movement to focus on the family and the setting which
they live.>>And how do you think it will continue to
evolve?>>Now what’s going on right now, we have
an ongoing war, we have social unrest that’s not only race, but gender and gender identity
and economics. It’s access issues, the cost is — so we still
need and I think some of the struggle is there’s just not enough of us and we keep pushing
to grow more and build teams and partner together.>>And when I was reading about family medicine
I had seen that it was originally called family practice, when did it change, why did it change?>>So it grew out of general practice, family
practice, but that doesn’t really make a lot of sense to what we do. We provide care and medicine to family, so
family medicine was a much better fit. And it was just an evolution of the name.>>And, I guess, what is the main benefit
there with working with Penn State Health and having the opportunity, I guess, to work
with specialists?>>So at Penn State Health at the Hershey
Medical Center it’s the opportunity to work with a specialist, to train and influence
students and have residents working right alongside them, as well as being in the community
and provide care directly to the patients in the area.>>Okay, a lot of really good information,
Dr. Ruffin. Basically, the bottom line is, family medicine
doctor provides coverage from ages from newborn all the way to seniors.>>Even preconception, so how can you get
pregnant safely and then deliver safely and all those transitions through life and all
the struggles that families go through. They’re there to help make you survive and
get through and be as vital as you can.>>Okay. Thanks again for joining us this evening.>>Sure.>>And we also want to thank you, our viewers,
for sharing your stories and sending in your questions. If you would like more information about a
family medicine practice, call Penn State Health at this number, 1-866-284-7615 or visit
online at hmc.pennstatehealth.org. We want to thank you for watching tonight
and we wish you good health. [ Music ]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *