Three Wise Men

April 19, 2014

Today's story is about the three wise men. I saw the three wise men this month and, while each wise men's story was uniquely different, they share one commonality. First, I should give you a little background on these three wise individuals. They weren't always wise. As a matter of fact, they just recently attained their "wise man" status.

Prior to becoming wise, each of my three patients had been quite ordinary. I don't mean that as an insult. What I mean as that they were ordinary patients, taking an assortment of medicine for an assortment of medical conditions. Some were taking medications to control their cholesterol, some to control their blood sugars and others to control their blood pressure. Of course, their knees or backs hurt so they were also taking an assortment of anti-inflammatory medications.

One thing they all had in common was that they hated seeing me!  Yes, ...

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Walking the dog

April 18, 2014

Yesterday, I addressed the fact that many of my patients pay more attention to what they feed their pets better than to what they put into their own bodies. Today, I want to continue to explore the relationship between man and his pet in order to try and figure out why pets get more attention to nutrients, exercise and healthcare than humans.

“Jack, I really need you to start exercising. Your blood pressure and cholesterol are both quite elevated, and exercise and weight reduction will help.”

“Doc, I walk my dog everyday!  Isn’t that enough?”

If you were to watch Jack walking his dog, you would see Jack walk 50 steps and then wait while Fido takes a leak or just sniffs the bushes. This process of walk, sniff, pee goes on for 30 minutes or more and Jack feels like he has ...

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Careful what you swallow

April 17, 2014

I've been suffering from "Writer's Block" for the last few months. Having published well over 1,000 articles, I've run out of steam. Mr. Wonderful was in to see me today and, as usual, has reenergized me.

Mr. Wonderful has been the inspiration behind many of my articles. He's also the reason I'm back in the gym, walking 10,000 steps a day and have rewritten my own "Wellthy Plan."  Thanks, Mr. Wonderful!

Over the next few weeks, I hope to produce a series of articles meant to awaken the spirit of "Living Wellthy" in my readers. Today, I want to focus on a sign I recently read at Bentley's Corner Barkery, a local pet store. The prominently placed sign was entitled "Food Policy" and listed:

  • "No Food or Treats made in China"
  • "No Corn, Wheat or Soy, No Fillers"
  • "Real Meat, No ...
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April 16. 2014

First Published February 16, 2011

We are all jugglers. At every age and stage of life, we juggle from the time we get up to the time we go to sleep. Some of us are really proficient at juggling, others struggle. Often, the young juggler finds the act of juggling entertaining, even exhilarating. As time passes and life becomes more complex, juggling becomes stressful. By now, you are probably confused, wondering where I’m going and if you should close out of this blog. Stay for a minute more.

We juggle personal, family, work and social issues. Think of each task you have to do today as a baton in the air. When you catch it, you need to finish it so you can catch the next one. In your early life, you have just a few batons in the air. In time, you add new ones. So your wife asks you to buy ...

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Fear of vaccines

April 11, 2014

The following link will take you to an excellent article on vaccines and the unfounded culture of fear that hampers their use.

Please share this articles with your family and friends.

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Incontinent of urine?

April 9, 2014

The following is copied from an email I received from Women’s Physical Therapy in Lake Zurich:

"Erase" the Myth!  Urinary Incontinence IS NOT a Natural Consequence of Aging!    

There is nothing natural about urinary incontinence! Although it is very common, it is not 'normal'.  Studies have shown that many men and women wait up to four years before mentioning incontinence to their physician. Talk to your doctor today about scheduling an evaluation with a WPTI pelvic dysfunction specialist and learn how physical therapy treatment can address this issue before it worsens! 

WPTI therapists treat men, women and children with orthopedic conditions and pelvic disorders, for one full hour in a private room. We educate incontinence patients about their condition, including dietary/lifestyle changes and home exercises, while providing superior customer service.  Visit the WPTI website at

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How old is too old?

April 8, 2014

Jodi, the daughter of a dear old patient of mine, called to discuss her mother’s misery. Her mother is in her 80s and no longer enjoys life. She has a bad heart, bad lungs and a very bad back. Her back pain keeps her awake at night. She moves from the bed to the chair and back again. She can’t get comfortable doing anything. The surgeons are helpless; she is not a candidate for any procedure. The pain specialists are running out of tricks. How old is too old? Only the patient who has lived too long really knows.

In olden times (the first 10 years of my practice), patients died from natural causes, such as pneumonia, heart attacks or heart failure, kidney disorders and cancer. Over the last 30 years, my profession has gotten much better at rescuing people from death. Death is reversible. Often, the patient who would have died just 20 years ago gets a new lease ...

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April 4, 2014

Frustrations of the primary care physician should be a wakeup call

Stephen C. Schimpff, MD wrote the above excellent article that touches on many of the frustrations I experience on a daily basis. In reality, most of my time restraints come from wasted time spent on obtaining prior authorizations, documenting medically meaningless data in the electronic record (required to get reimbursed by the insurer) and dealing with an endless stream of paper work and regulations generated by Medicare and the various insurers.

At some point in my career as a family physician, the powers that be changed my job description from caregiver to clerk. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a way to shed the role of clerk and practice unencumbered by paperwork and the inane rules and regulations of our government and insurers. ...

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Be prepared

April 1, 2014

While I have written about this subject in the past, I feel it deserves to be revisited. The better prepared you are for an office visit, the more you will get out of it. The following are my top recommendations:

  1. Come prepared with clear objectives. Define your top first and second problems by going through the: who, what, when, why and how of your issues and know what you want. If you are having chest pain or breathing problems, that is number one!
  2. Stay on track. So many of my patients come in for one specific problem and then do the “Oh, by the way, while I’m here” spewing forth six other problems. It is hard to do justice to seven chronic medical problems during the course of an office visit. Attend to your top two and setup time to do the next two.
  3. Prioritize your list. It is important to know what the top two are.
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March 28, 2014

While Dr. Centor’s article, Patients do not always arrive with a diagnosis, targets the physician, its story is important for everyone to understand.

In July of 2012, I wrote about anchoring. Anchoring is to be avoided at all cost. When I started in medicine 32 years ago, we had the ability to write “rule-out” in front of the most probable diagnosis.

“Rule-out” was a beautiful concept. It told everyone involved what the physician was thinking while leaving room for other potential diagnosis. Unfortunately, the term “rule-out” has been banned. So much for the good old days!

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"The information provided on this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your physician or health care provider for your specific health care needs."


Dr Segal is the owner of Lake Zurich Family Treatment Center. Dr Segal has no ownership, stock or other financial interest in any pharmaceutical or device company. Dr Segal has served as a speaker for GSK, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Sepracor, and Pfizer. Dr Segal has served as an Advisor for GSK, AstraZeneca, MannKind, Midmark and Atcor.


Recent Posts

  1. Three Wise Men
    Saturday, April 19, 2014
  2. Walking the dog
    Friday, April 18, 2014
  3. Careful what you swallow
    Thursday, April 17, 2014
  4. Jugglers
    Wednesday, April 16, 2014
  5. Fear of vaccines
    Friday, April 11, 2014
  6. Incontinent of urine?
    Wednesday, April 09, 2014
  7. How old is too old?
    Tuesday, April 08, 2014
  8. Frustration
    Friday, April 04, 2014
  9. Be prepared
    Monday, March 31, 2014
  10. Anchoring
    Friday, March 28, 2014

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