Patients’ Choice Awards by General Internal Medicine Group

March 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

Operating out of regional offices in the Virginia cities of Fairfax and Arlington, General Internal Medicine Group, PC, has been treating a regional patient base since 1983. Widely recognized for commitment to excellence, the dedicated medical professionals at the General Internal Medicine Group have been singled out for recognition by a wide variety of respected consumer groups and industry authorities. For example, five of the Group’s valued physicians were recently awarded top honors by the healthcare information exchange organization Patients’ Choice.

Offering evaluations of some 700,000 physicians currently practicing in the United States, Patients’ Choice compiles more than 200,000 patient feedback reports each month to rate significant elements of quality treatment, including doctor-patient face time, general bedside manner, degree of diagnostic follow-up, and overall courtesy of office staff. Patients’ Choice Awards are given only to doctors and dentists who have achieved near perfect scores in these reviews. In addition to the quality of their patient feedback, Patients’ Choice Award winners must be free of legal sanctions and hold a current medical or dental license. The award is designed to be quite exclusive and an exceptional honor. In 2012, only 5 percent of the nation’s 830,000 practicing physicians were accorded Patients’ Choice Awards by their clients.

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How Photorejuvenation is Used to Treat Blemished Skin, by General Internal Medicine Group

February 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

Photorejuvenation is a technique used to treat skin conditions, including rosacea, age spots, discoloration, acne scarring, broken capillaries, and wrinkles.

The non-invasive, light-based treatment uses gentle pulses of light energy from a hand-held instrument to penetrate superficial skin cells and destroy unwanted pigments. The strength of the energy can be controlled so that the light energy specifically targets damaged or discolored skin cells on the surface while leaving the underlying skin unharmed.

The pulses of light weaken the structure of the discolored cells and break down the blood vessels on the surface so that the visual effects of skin damage are minimized. The procedure also promotes collagen growth, leaving skin rejuvenated and with visible reduction of its imperfections.

About the author: With locations in Arlington and Fairfax, Virginia, General Internal Medicine Group has experts in a wide range of medical fields. General Internal Medicine Group is the only medical practice in the state recognized by the NCQA as a Level III Medical Home.

General Internal Medicine Group: Diabetes Explained

January 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Diabetes occurs in the body when blood sugar levels are constantly above a healthy level. Affecting more than 25 million citizens in the US alone, it is the most common disorder of the endocrine system. Common symptoms of diabetes include dizziness and fatigue, increased urination, excessive yeast infections, extreme thirst and hunger, blurred vision, slow healing sores or cuts, and sudden weight gain or loss.

There are two types of diabetes. Diabetes 1 is caused by a body’s inability to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin is responsible for breaking up sugars in the bloodstream. Type-one diabetes typically shows up in the system of young people under the age of 20. With type-one diabetes, the human body makes little to no insulin or has stopped responding to the chemical’s effects, which leads to serious health complications.

Pre-diabetes is a forerunner to diabetes 2 in which abnormally high levels of sugar may be detected in the bloodstream. Oftentimes, this can be due to poor diet or lifestyle choices. People with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes might not display serious symptoms.

About the Group: General Internal Medicine Group is an award-winning health team based in North Virginia. The practice has been committed to providing its patients with high-quality, comprehensive, patient-centered medical care since 1983.

General Internal Medicine Group: Osteoporosis Explained

December 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Osteoporosis is a common disease in adult women that results in a loss of bone density. Over time, the human body stops growing, and the bones eventually go through a phase of lessening. Osteoporosis is when bones become weak or brittle, which may make it easier for fractures to occur. It may also cause a loss in height. Pain may result from seemingly every day activities such as sitting, coughing, or hugging.

Although the disease is four times more likely to occur in women than in men, both sexes are at risk for developing osteoporosis if they fail to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In some cases, young people have been diagnosed with osteoporosis as well. Key risk factors include genetic or family history of osteoporosis, light bone structure and body weight, history of frequent bone fractures, smoking, and certain medications.

Before the onset of osteoporosis, some people are diagnosed with osteopenia. Osteopenia is detected with a bone density test at the doctor. In the case of a diagnosis of osteopenia, doctors have a few treatment options that can slow the rate of bone loss. The treatments often include calcium and vitamin D supplements, special exercises, medication, and injections.

Precautions should be taken from an early age to prevent osteoporosis, especially in high-risk groups. A regular exercise program in combination with a balanced diet will keep the whole body healthy and fit. Conducting weight-bearing exercise at least three times a week, such as walking or jogging, is also advised. A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, which is found in milk and dairy products, green leafy vegetables, fish, and whole grains, also helps defend against the onset of osteoporosis.

About the Group: General Internal Medicine Group is based in North Virginia and is dedicated to optimizing health and well-being for all patients.

Scheduling Immunizations for Healthy Travel

November 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Presented by General Internal Medicine Group

Staying healthy during foreign travel is essential to ensuring that travelers make the most of their opportunities to leave the country. In order to ensure optimal health during voyages abroad, travelers should take the following precautions:

—Consult with a physician four to six weeks prior to leaving. This time window is necessary to ensure that any necessary vaccinations have adequate time to become effective.

—Inquire about travel-related illness that does not require vaccination. While many travelers will not require pre-travel inoculations, they may want to discuss travel-related conditions such as motion sickness, jet lag, diarrhea, altitude sickness, and insect bites. Many physicians can prescribe or recommend treatments for these.

—Pack all medications in carry-on luggage. To avoid the risk of losing essential medications, travelers should keep medications with them at all times during transit.

—Follow CDC guidelines for eating and drinking abroad. Many sicknesses can be prevented by avoiding certain foods and drinks.

About GIMG

Fairfax and Arlington, Virginia-based General Internal Medicine Group offers a variety of internal medicine services, including immunizations for patients planning to travel abroad. Virginia patients also visit the GIMG staff for issues of cardiology, rheumatology, and endocrinology.

General Internal Medicine Group: What to Expect from a Physical Exam

October 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

A physical exam is the opportunity for patients to register any health concerns they have with their physician, who performs routine checks on a patient’s general health and condition and gets an impression of a patient’s lifestyle. It is tailored to a patient’s individual needs and may include screening or testing if there is specific cause for concern.

Questions about diet, exercise, smoking, sexual activity, and alcohol consumption are a standard way for a doctor to gain a picture of a patient’s lifestyle. The doctor will also check the patient’s medical history.

The basic physical exam includes checking the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. More specific examinations of the head, neck, body, joints, and heart will detect abnormalities or issues ranging from minor complaints to symptoms that need to be further investigated. Breast and pelvic exams are common for women, and a prostate exam is important for men.

In a standard physical, no urine or blood samples are taken. The physical is merely important for putting a patient’s mind at ease by checking for some of the most common complaints that, if present, can be more easily treated if caught in the early stages.

About the Author:

General Internal Medicine Group is located in Fairfax, Virginia, and is the only Level III patient-centered medical home in the state. With experts in endocrinology, rheumatology and cardiology, General Internal Medicine Group’s care goes beyond a basic physical exam to provide expert consultation on a wide range of medical conditions.

Executive Physicals are a Good Business Strategy: By Dr. Art Rubin, General Internal Medicine Group

October 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

A busy business executives requires a personalized health physical that is high-quality, comprehensive, and accommodating to his or her schedule. Routine health exams are an important part of health maintenance, and executive physical exams cater to the needs of modern businesspeople, allowing patients to spend more time with doctors and receive thorough, specialized attention.. Executive physicals are a good business strategy as well, benefiting both the individual and the company. A 2002 University of Michigan Management Research Center study found that executives who had regular physical exams filed 20 percent fewer health claims and missed 45 percent fewer workdays than executives who skipped physicals. Business executives are a crucial aspect of a company’s success, and executive physicals are a worthwhile investment to ensure the best performance of high-level employees.

An executive physical consists of a detailed medical history and comprehensive diagnostic tests. A battery of tests may screen for diabetes, thyroid disease, liver and kidney disease, cardiac and stroke risk factors, and so on. Once these tests establish a baseline of information about the patient, subsequent visits are less comprehensive. Executives may choose to augment their physicals with specialized services, such as nutritional and fitness assessments. For more information about the services provided at the General Internal Medicine Group, visit www.gimg.com/services.shtml.

About the author: Dr. Art Rubin and his business partner, Dr. Mary Jane Major, started the General Internal Medicine Group (GIMG) in 1983. Over the years, the founders have expanded GIMG to include over 20 physicians, including specialists in cardiology, endocrinology, and rheumatology. GIMG provides continuity in care for its patients at offices in Arlington and Fairfax, Virginia.