Internal Medicine

At Westchester Health, our Internal Medicine Department consists of board trained and certified physicians who specialize in providing a broad range of comprehensive care, managing both common and complex illnesses in adolescents, adults and the elderly.

Internal medicine physicians (or internists) focus on getting to know their patients and their families, forming valuable patient-doctor relationships that last for years, even decades. Applying scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis and treatment of the entire spectrum of health issues, their primary responsibilities include health maintenance, screening for disease, treating acute and chronic medical conditions, managing patients with multiple, complex medical problems, and serving as consultants to other disciplines such as surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and family medicine.

Our internists all have extensive experience in their field, using the latest technology and techniques to diagnose, treat and provide preventative care for all types of illnesses, injuries and medical conditions, including asthma, arthritis, depression, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, infections and musculoskeletal conditions.

Also referred to as doctors of internal medicine, internists are not to be mistaken for interns, who are doctors in their first year of residency training.

Prevention as well as treatment

At Westchester Health, our focus is not only on the evaluation and treatment of health problems but also on preventative care. Our internists can perform yearly physicals which will include age-based recommendations and vaccinations if needed. Your individual risk for disease will be discussed and together, you will come up with a plan for screening and prevention.

In addition to providing the highest quality care, our internal medicine physicians collaborate with the other specialists in your healthcare team to coordinate and implement a total treatment plan that is customized for your specific needs to achieve the best possible outcome. We also focus on educating you and your family about the lifestyle changes you can make to control, improve or even eradicate your particular condition.

Well-skilled in a variety of treatments

An internist provides expert advice and medical proficiency across a broad range of health issues, such as prescribing medicine for both acute and chronic illness, removing foreign bodies, administering IV fluids, giving cortisone shots and vaccines, draining fluid from joints, cleaning and bandaging wounds, biopsying skin growths, removing sutures, performing routine well-visit checkups and referring patients to appropriate specialists when needed.

Internal medicine sub-specialties

Internists can choose to focus on general internal medicine or they may undertake additional training to sub-specialize in one of 19 areas of internal medicine. Cardiologists, for example, are doctors of internal medicine who sub-specialize in diseases of the heart.

Internal medicine sub-specialties include:

  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Hematology
  • Hematology and Oncology
  • Infectious Disease
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Oncology
  • Nephrology
  • Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine
  • Pediatric Endocrinology
  • Rheumatology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Transplant Hepatology

What makes Westchester Health’s Internal Medicine Department different?

At Westchester Health, we firmly believe that good treatment starts with good listening. We also believe that the best patient is an informed patient, and that patient education is critical to your long-term health.

From the first time you arrive at our offices, we spend as much time with you and your family as is necessary to make sure you understand your injury, illness or medical condition, the diagnostic tests we are recommending and all of your treatment options. Throughout your journey with us, we will continue to explain our recommended course of treatment and answer any questions you may have so that you understand what to expect.

Whether you have been with Westchester Health for years or are new to our practice, you quickly recognize that our Internal Medicine group truly cares about each and every one of our patients. When you need us, we are here for you.

Always at the forefront of medicine

The world of medicine continues to change and evolve, especially regarding the field of internal medicine. As part of Northwell Health, our internists participate in its Department of Internal Medicine training programs, making sure they are continually up-to-date on the newest breakthrough treatments for our patients’ healthcare needs.

Internists are experts at treating a variety of conditions, including:

Arthritis

Arthritis refers to joint pain or joint disease and is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, affecting women more than men and commonly occurring as people get older. Typical symptoms include swelling in the joints, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and difficulty walking or climbing stairs. Medications, physical therapy and sometimes surgery help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disease that causes the airways to become inflamed, making it hard to breathe and causing coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and/or chest tightness. For many asthma sufferers, their symptoms are brought on by triggers such as dust mites, animal dander, mold, pollen, smoke, bronchial infections and physical activity. The best way to manage asthma is to avoid triggers, take medication to prevent symptoms, and know how to treat an asthmatic episode (asthma attack) if it occurs. Working with your Internist to establish an individualized asthma action plan will enable you to control your asthma and continue to be active.

Diabetes

The most common endocrine disorder, diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are too high. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in your blood. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin at all. With type 2 diabetes (the more common type), your body does not make or use insulin well. Over time, diabetes can cause serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, blindness, pregnancy complications and kidney failure. Diabetes can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, gender or lifestyle. There is no cure, but a variety of medications and lifestyle changes can help manage diabetic symptoms and improve your overall health.

High blood pressure

High blood pressure (hypertension) is the most common cardiovascular disease, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and death. Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood against the walls of the blood vessels. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. A reading of 140/90 or higher on two separate occasions signals high blood pressure. You can have high blood pressure for years without any symptoms. You can control high blood pressure through healthy lifestyle habits such as exercise, a healthy diet, quitting smoking and taking medicines, as needed.

High cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of fat (lipid) in your blood. If you have too much cholesterol, it can build up in your arteries and lead to dangerous blood clots and inflammation that can cause heart attacks and strokes. To lower high cholesterol, physicians will usually recommend losing weight, eating heart-healthy foods, quitting smoking and daily exercise. Oral medications called statins are also an option.

Immunizations

Immunizations, or vaccinations, prevent many life-threatening diseases and are essential to maintaining public health around the world. Vaccines trigger the immune system to respond to the foreign agent and thus build immunity. Vaccine-preventable diseases include measles, mumps, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, diphtheria and rubella, shingles and some types of pneumonia.

Sinusitis

Sinusitis (sinus infection) occurs when the mucous membranes (linings of the sinuses) become inflamed. There are two types of sinusitis: acute and chronic. Acute sinusitis refers to a temporary inflammation of the sinuses lasting less than four weeks. Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when symptoms have gone on for more than 12 weeks or occur more than three times in one year, despite medical treatment. The treatment of sinusitis depends on the cause, severity and duration of symptoms.

Smoking cessation

If you smoke, one of the most important things you can do for your health is to stop smoking. It has been shown to be a contributing factor in heart disease, stroke, cancer, emphysema and blood clots. There are many over-the-counter and prescription medicines that can help you quit. Also, every state has a QuitLine (800-QUIT-NOW) along with local smoking cessation resources.

Weight control counseling

Since overweight and obesity typically coexist with type 2 diabetes, weight management counseling is an integral part of our internist’s responsibilities. The key to of treatment for overweight and obesity revolves around lifestyle intervention, which involves counseling patients on specific ways they can change their diet, increase their physical activity and alter their relationship with food.

Additional conditions treated and services offered:

  • Depression screening and care
  • Diagnosis and treatment of uncommon illnesses
  • Geriatric care
  • Headache management
  • Heart disease, in-office EKGs
  • Infectious disease
  • Outpatient and inpatient care for diseases
  • Preventive health maintenance exams
  • Thyroid disease
  • Women’s health

To learn more, please read our blogs on these subjects.

Blog