What is a Family Practice?

What is a Family Practice?

Primary care physicians fall into one of two categories: family medicine doctors and internal medicine doctors. The most significant difference between the two is internal medicine doctors care for adults. A family practitioner is a pediatrician and internal doctor combined into one specialty. They can care for both children and adults. A lot of family physicians care for an entire family. However, a family practitioner can take care of an individual adult regardless of the family status.  Regardless of your age, it is important to develop a relationship with your physician.

Family physicians pay close attention to their patients’ lives. They are very family and community-based doctors. While there are the similarities between family medicine and other primary care specialties, the family physicians have a special opportunity to have an impact of the health of an individual patient throughout that patient’s lifetime. By possessing unique attitudes, skills, and knowledge, they can develop a strong relationship with a patient and their family and provide the comprehensive medical care to each member of the family.

Throughout a family physicians’ training, they participate in integrated inpatient and outpatient care. As part of their residency, they receive training in six major medical areas: pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, psychiatry and neurology, surgery, and community medicine. They also are trained in geriatrics, emergency medicine, ophthalmology, radiology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, and urology. Family physicians are more than qualified to help you and your family’s healthcare needs. They are the only qualified specialists to provide comprehensive health care from newborns to seniors.

The cornerstone of family medicine is an ongoing personal patient to physician relationship focused on integrated care. Your family physician is trained to look at the whole person rather than one specific organ system.

Many trends are occurring throughout years of family practice:

  • A lot of family physicians are leaving private practices for hospitals. There can be more of a financial risk for a physician that works for a private practice versus working for a hospital.
  • Fewer family physicians are seeing children patients now than they used. A portion of children’s health care being provided by family practices has declined significantly.
  • Family physicians are not seeing and taking care as many pregnant women as they used too. The number may continue to decline as more doctors take employed positions that are specifically for pregnancies.

Conflicts within family practice medicine have also occurred throughout the years:

  • Family physicians have had to fight turf battles within hospitals over privileges with internists, pediatricians, and gynecologists.
  • Hospital departments for family practices are not fully staffed.
  • Some physicians in other hospital departments are refusing to consult with family physicians.

Even though conflicts and changes have been made to family practices, they are always dedicated to treating the whole person and family. It will always be kept as a personal patient-physician relationship focusing on dedicated healthcare. In addition to diagnosing and treating illnesses, family physicians also provide preventive care. This includes routine checkups, health-risk assessments, immunization and screening tests, and personalized counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Family physicians stay with you throughout your lifetime and are dedicated to you.

At Gonzaba Medical Group in San Antonio, we offer complete family medical care under one roof! You can entrust your family with us because we are dedicated to primary care medicine. We have an outstanding team of physicians who share the same commitment to quality care and customer service as the founder of Gonzaba Medical Group. Our services include routine care, physicals, physical medicine and rehab, chronic illnesses, urgent care, laboratory services, disease management, patient education, and radiology services. Our primary care is also comprised of preventative care, wellness care, and well-woman care. Our gynecological exams include pap smears, mammograms, osteoporosis screenings, and other care regimes for women. We are dedicated to our patients and always believe that they come first.

If you are interested in using our primary care services with family physicians, visit our website and book an appointment today!

Your Guide to Open Enrollment

Your Guide to Open Enrollment

Open enrollment season is a period of time when people may elect or change the benefit options in health insurance and Medicare. The dates are October 15 through December 7. Current Medicare users can choose to re-evaluate part of their Medicare coverage and compare it against other plans in the health insurance market. After re-evaluating you can either add, drop, or switch Medicare Advantage or Part D plan. The Medicare Advantage plan is also known as the “Part C” plan. You cannot use Open Enrollment for Part A and/or Part B for the first time.

Medicare Plans:

Medicare is made up of several primary components or parts.

  • Part A: this plan is often called the hospital insurance plan because it pays for your care while you are in a hospital. It also pays some of the costs you stay in a skilled nursing facility or if you get health care at home. Lastly, it covers hospice care for people who are terminally ill.
  • Part B: this plan pays for doctor services, outpatient hospital care, and home healthcare that is not covered by in Part A.
  • Part C: this covers hospital services, doctor office visits, prescription drugs, and includes benefits such as dental, vision, and hearing coverage.
  • Part D: to join this plan it must be run by an insurance company or other private company approved by the Medicare. Each plan can vary in cost and the drugs covered. This plan covers your prescription drugs. If you take drugs now or if you do not and your health changes or you need more medicine, this plan will help pay and protect you from high drug costs.

Why consider re-evaluating your current Medicare Plan?

Choosing health insurance is no longer a one-time decision for most Medicare beneficiaries. Each year, insurance companies can make changes to Medicare Plans that can impact you personally and financially. It can impact monthly premiums, deductibles, drug costs, and provider or pharmacy “networks”. A network is a list of doctors, hospitals, or pharmacies that negotiate prices. There are three benefits to re-evaluating your current or new Medicare plan:

  1. You can switch to a better prescription drug coverage. Open enrollment even allows you to add a new drug coverage for the first time. This can help if you have crucial medications that you need and you can get them for a better price. It can also ensure that your drug plan still covers the drugs you need.
  2. You can save money and keep the doctor you already go to. Switching Medicare plans can potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year, especially if your current plan has out-of-pocket costs. Remember to check your doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies are still in the “network” you are a part of. If your insurance company has changed your plan’s provider or pharmacy network for the next year, you can use open enrollment to switch to a plan that will cover your current doctors, hospital, and pharmacies in the “network”.
  3. You can find a higher quality plan. You can check the quality of your plan during the open enrollment to make sure that you are getting the benefits and low costs you need.

At Gonzaba Medical Group in San Antonio, we accept Medicare plans. It is important to be educated on the open enrollment to make sure you can get everything you need. At Gonzaba, we offer primary, specialty, and chiropractic care. We also have a complete radiology center and a physical therapy and rehabilitation program. We have everything you need to treat your health care needs and can provide you all of the diagnostic and laboratory services. If you are interested in coming to us, visit our website to learn more or give us a call at 210-921-3800. Our mission is to provide an innovative system of medical care that delivers with integrity every day.

Healthy Aging Awareness Month: Tips on Aging

Healthy Aging Awareness Month: Tips on Aging

As you get older, it is essential to take care of yourself. Trying to stay healthy as you age can be a challenge. Through Gonzaba Medical Group, we created a program called Strong65. It was created for San Antonio seniors to engage in healthy lifestyles. By signing up for this program, it will give you membership to social events, access to fresh produce and vegetables, and special giveaways. Join the Strong65 family and be a part of a community that focuses on the fun of aging all together!

There are many ways to stay healthy while aging. Here are some tips:

  • Stay Active:
    • Regular exercise is one of the most significant keys to physical and mental wellbeing. Staying active can keep you fit enough to maintain independence as you age. It may also prevent or provide relief from common chronic conditions. Do exercises that you will enjoy. Some people are not the type to stick to a regular gym routine. Instead, go for a walk or bike ride every day. Incorporate aerobic balance and muscle strengthening into your own routine. Choose what works best for you and get moving!
  • Eat Healthy Foods:
    • In the US, most adults consume more than double the recommended daily allowance of sodium. Most sodium comes from pre-packaged foods and restaurants. Eat foods such as fruit, vegetables, and whole-grain foods. Try to avoid sweet, salty, and processed foods. Every person has different dietary needs, so remember to consult your doctor before you change your meal plan.
  • Keep Actively Learning:
    • Cognitive decline is a regular part of aging, but there are ways to slow down that decline. Studies have shown that a lifestyle that includes cognitive simulation through active learning slows down the decline. Never stop learning new things and challenging your brain. Take dance lessons, try to learn a new language, attend lectures, read, or practice a new instrument.
  • Maintain Your Relationships:
    • A good number of older adults live by themselves. Living alone is the strongest factor of loneliness. As you age, there are life events that can cause social isolation such as retirement, health issue, or the loss of a spouse. Maintain communication with your family and friends. You could also take the time to reach out to friends or family that may be lonely or isolated.
  • Sleep:
    • Older adults need just as much sleep as younger adults. Lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk, and memory problems. Develop a regular sleep schedule with a bedtime routine. You can try to keep your bedroom dark and noise free to prevent you from waking up too early or in the middle of the night. Also, stay away from caffeine late in the day because that can cause an issue in your sleep schedule.
  • Practice Prevention:
    • Many accidents that happen to older adults can be preventable. The accidents that can occur are illnesses, falls, chronic illness, depression, and frailty. To prevent illness, get your yearly shots and wash your hands after using the restroom and before handling any food. To avoid a fall, walk through your home and do a safety checklist, wear appropriate footwear, get your vision checked, use assistive devices, and take your vitamins.
  • Reduce Stress:
    • No matter what age, stress can cause a severe decline in your health. However, as you age, our stressor’s change and so does the ability to deal with stress. Long-term stress can damage brain cells, lead to depression, affect memory, cause fatigue, and decrease the ability to fight off illnesses. Even though we cannot avoid stressful situations entirely, you can learn better techniques to cope with stress. Talk to a loved one or counselor about your stress and try new relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques can be yoga, meditation, and controlled breathing.
  • Make Community Connections:
    • Older adults who engage in community activities feel healthier and less depressed. Join a program that will keep you social and moving, such as the Strong65 program through Gonzaba Medical Group.

Want to learn more about how Gonzaba Medical Group could help you stay healthy as you age? Visit our website: https://gonzaba.wpengine.com/.

The Importance of Physical Therapy for Seniors

The Importance of Physical Therapy for Seniors

As you grow old, you can experience more pain and are vulnerable to more injuries. Physical therapy can help relieve pain and restore physical functions such as flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Some of the physical therapy treatments that can be used are stretching, walking, massage, hydrotherapy, and electrical stimulation. These are less impactful and do not require hard physical activity. The goal of physical therapy for seniors is to help them make daily tasks and activities easier. That also includes making them independent.

Physical Therapists:

They diagnose and treat everyone from newborns to seniors who have medical problems. Their goal is to develop a plan with their patient using a variety of treatment methods to increase a person’s movement, reduce pain, and restore all functions of the body. These treatments involve exercise and different movements.

Types of Physical Therapy:

  • Manual therapy: this is performed by the hands of the therapist to relax the patient, reduce pain, and provide more flexibility. This involves massaging the body’s soft tissues to improve circulation and relieve pain. Mobilization is the use of slow movements to twist and pull joints and bones into place. Manipulation uses fast, forceful movements to relieve pain and re-align bones and joints.
  • Cold therapy: this is used relieve pain, swelling, and inflammation. The treatment involves ice packs, ice massage, and compression.
  • Heat therapy: this loosen the muscles and improves blood circulation which is great for loosening stiff joints.
  • Hydrotherapy: this is a type of water therapy that can heal soft tissues, improve blood flow, and relax the entire body.
  • Electrical stimulation: using an electrical current to help with pain. It contracts muscles to relieve pain and loosen any tight joints or muscles.
  • Ultrasound: this uses high-pitched sound waves to reduce muscle spasms and relax the muscles.

Specific conditions found in seniors:

Physical therapy can be used to help patients with a variety of diseases and medical conditions. Most people over 65 have a variety of medical conditions such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s, etc. As well as treating these medical conditions, physical therapy can also help offset future symptoms with a variety of treatments such as aquatic exercises, hot packs, and electrical stimulation.

  • Stroke patients: constraint-induced movement therapy is used. That is where you are forced to use your weaker body part. Mental practice involves rehearsing the movements without doing it. This can help stimulate the part of your brain that controls movement to help improve functionality.
  • Arthritis patients: specific treatments used by physical therapists can help reduce pain and offset any future pain that may come.
  • Parkinson’s patients: to help treat this disease, patients are told to preform exercises that improve trunk flexibility to avoid any robotic movements that the disease produces.
  • Incontinence patients: they are taught how to find the right muscles and use them correctly. An example of a treatment that physical therapists could use is exercising the pelvic muscle to strengthen it and control the bladder.
  • Alzheimer’s patients: using exercise can help improve memory. They also use a technique called “mirroring” where the physical therapist serves as a mirror to show the patient how to move.

Physical therapy for seniors can help their health in every way and prevent future health care issues. These are non-invasive treatments that go with what you can handle. If you are a senior and recovering from an illness or injury visit Gonzaba Medical Group in San Antonio. Our staff in our physical medicine and rehabilitation program are committed to providing patients with safe and effective treatments. Our staff will develop a patient plan that is individually designed just for you! The physical therapists offer home exercise programs, ergonomics education, back safety and lifting education, functional capacity evaluations, and work conditioning programs. Learn more by visiting our website. We have multiple locations and make sure to check if the location you choose has our physical therapy pr

National Physical Therapy Month

National Physical Therapy Month

Physical therapy is used to treat people of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform activities in their daily lives. This month, it is National Physical Therapy Month. We would like to recognize all the health physical therapist’s provide for people that need it. Here is some information on what the physical therapy profession is all about:

Role of a Physical Therapist:

Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques that will promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore functions, and prevent disability. Also, physical therapists work with people to avoid the loss of mobility before it even occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for more active and healthier lifestyles. They provide the care for people in a variety of different places including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. A state license is required in each state in which the physical therapist practices.

The Physical Therapy Job:

It is a dynamic profession with an established theoretical and scientific base. It uses a widespread of clinical practices in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of physical function. They take on leadership roles within professional and community organizations that promote rehabilitation, prevention, health maintenance, fitness, and wellness. They also play a crucial role both in developing standards for physical therapist practice and in improving healthcare policies to ensure availability, accessibility, and optimal delivery of health care services. Physical therapy is covered by federal, state, and private insurance plans. As clinicians, physical therapists engage in an examination process that includes taking the patient/client history, conducting a systems review, and performing tests that measure to identify potential and existing problems.

Establishing Diagnoses:

To develop plans of care, prognoses, and diagnoses, physical therapists perform evaluations, synthesizing the examination of data, and determining whether the problems to be addressed are within the scope of physical therapy. Based on the physical therapists’ judgments and the patient goals, they provide interventions (the interactions and procedures used in managing and instructing patients), conduct re-examinations, modify interventions as necessary to achieve anticipated goals and expected outcomes, and develop and implement discharge plans.

Educational Requirements for becoming a Physical Therapist

They must receive a graduate degree from an accredited physical therapist program before taking the national licensure exam that allows them to practice. They have the most specialized education to help people restore and improve motion. Today, physical therapists are required to complete a graduate degree, either a masters or clinical doctorate from an accredited education program. A growing majority of programs offer the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. Currently, 199 colleges and universities nationwide support 212 approved professional physical therapy education programs. Now, 96% offer the DPT.

Licensure Requirements for becoming a Physical Therapist

After graduation, candidates must pass a state-administered national exam. Other requirements for physical therapy practice vary from state to state. It depends on the state regulations governing physical therapy.

Employment Outlook for Physical Therapy

There is a high demand for physical therapists in the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for physical therapists is expected to grow by 36% between the years 2012-2022. It is much faster than the average for other occupations. The high demand depends on different states and area of practice, but the unemployment rates are low across the whole country. The need for physical therapy is expected to stay strong in the foreseeable feature as the U.S. population grows and ages, which leads the demand for physical therapy services to keep on growing.

At Gonzaba in San Antonio, our primary care services offer physical therapy. It is compromised by preventative and wellness care. We understand that physical therapy is vital in protecting health and preventing any health conditions that can affect motor functions. Visit our website or one of our locations to see how physical therapy can help you.