Here's to a Happy New Year & a new endeavor!

So 2012 has arrived!  Despite predictions that it will be our last year on Earth (the Mayan calendar reportedly ends on 12/21/12!), I hope to pursue a goal of educating friends, family, & other followers in matters of health.  I am a Family Physician who has practiced in St. Petersburg, FL since 1990.  I currently run a solo Family Practice office & conduct clinical research as well.  I attempt to provide full service medical care to my patients & their families.  I see patients in the office, care for them in the hospital, & assist during their surgical procedures.  Though I "survived" a 3 year residency in Family Practice (now renamed Family Medicine), I no longer practice the full scope of medicine for which I was trained... for many reasons... most of which have to do with legal issues, reimbursement issues, time constraints, etc.  I have found myself extremely frustrated by our present medical environment, & I fear that the incredible medical industry which was built up from the 1960's to the 1990's, has been in a downhill spiral since the late 1990's.  I worry that in a world where we have the most medical knowledge, we lack the ability to appropriately communicate & deliver high-quality medical care!  I see a lack of understanding of basic scientific principles, & a lack of critical thinking, as well as a lack of true "caring" from our "caring professionals."  I see an ever growing dependence on "cookbook" medicine & clinical pathways which attempt to treat patients as diagnoses rather than as individuals!  I have witnessed the shift from the 1990's when primary care physicians such as myself provided a "medical home" for the patient... caring for him in the out-patient, as well as in the in-patient (hospital) setting, to the present time when many primary care physicians no longer provide hospital care.  As you may know, there is now a push to get patients "in & out" of the hospital as quickly as possible, thus the industry has created a new specialist... the Hospitalist... who only cares for hospitalized patients, & thus has no other appointments or phone calls to distract from doing that job as quickly as possible.  The problem is that this significantly fragments the patient's care, as there is no longer a primary care physician who has full knowledge of & involvement with all aspects of that patient's medical care.

Because of these concerns & frustrations, I have sought ways that I might educate people to be better at navigating the health care system, & thus to become better consumers of health care.  To that end I have been broadcasting a radio talk show: Let's Talk Medical with Doctor Gigi.  The show airs on Fridays on WTAN 1340-AM from 3:30-4:00PM in the St. Petersburg/Tampa area.  Computer access to live broadcasts, as well as to the recorded podcasts, is available via The format of the show is education in regards to medical issues.  This involves any & all aspects of medicine, including preventive care, diseases, immunizations, economics, insurance, & politics... to name but a few!  I do not propose to be an "expert" in any of these arenas, but 21 years of active practice have certainly given me an abundance of experience in most things medical!  The radio show allows for people to call in (727-441-3000 or toll-free 866-TAN-1340) or e-mail ( with questions or concerns regarding the medical industry.  In the absence of callers, we simply talk about something medical which I think might be helpful for people to know or understand.  Though I CANNOT diagnose or treat people via the radio show, I CAN educate them.  As opposed to the impact of seeing & caring for one person at one appointment, the radio show offers me the opportunity to touch many people at once.

As an extension of Let's Talk Medical with Doctor Gigi, I intend to use this blog to expound upon issues, & to post information which followers might wish to see in print.  I will also use it to "correct" myself... as I am far from perfect, & as live broadcasts inherently lend themselves to occasional errors!

So despite the predictions that the end of the world is near, let's undertake a new endeavor in regards to health.  Let's spend some time together... on the radio, or on a podcast, or even on this blog... and Let's Talk Medical!  Hopefully it will educate you to take better care of yourself, or perhaps to better understand a loved one's illness.  You just might be a better patient, a better healthcare consumer, & you just might learn to be your own best advocate in times of health, as well as illness!

Here's to our health!

Dr. Gigi

PS  Happy New Year, & Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!
              That's French for:  Let the good times roll!!!
                          And yes, I am from Louisiana!