November 2017

CHAPALA MED’S Monthly Health Newsletter 
November 2017 Health Newsletter
Greetings dear readers. October has been another busy month for our practice and local activity in the Chapala Lakeside area. It really seems that there is no such thing as a “LOW” season anymore. We’ve continue to make some changes and improvements to our office building. Our team was also heavily involved in the Rotary Club of Ajijic’s CATRINA 5k to benefit the fight against breast cancer by supporting Salvati Foundation A.C.’s work with early detection and support of breast cancer patients.
November is American Diabetes month and we’ve tried to best advise and guide our patients whom have diabetes on how to best control it and try to limit the damage that the elevation of blood glucose can cause to organs such as the eyes, feet, kidneys, heart and brain. If you or somebody you know has diabetes, being proactive and empowering them with the knowledge on how to limit the damage that diabetes causes can save the diabetic a lot of pain and suffering. Regular check ups and a guided plan with your doctor can help maintain a good quality of life and independence for a long time and even dramatically reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.  
In this newsletter I’ve included articles that I believe will be of great interest and value to the EXPAT population of the Lake Chapala area as well as the Guadalajara metropolitan area. Please feel free to share this newsletter with anybody whom you believe may benefit from the information or articles included within it.
This month Chapala Med celebrates it’s 5 year anniversary of providing care to the patients of the Lakeside area.  It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you all in whatever capacity we could.  Thank you for that that honor.  More information on our anniversary and the future of Chapala Med is included below as well as the news that is now out in the open about the NEW HOSPITAL that Chapala Med will be a part of.



Nov. 5th marks Chapala Med’s 5 year anniversary. I am grateful and very humbled as I reflect upon the time since we started our practice.
Spencer McMullen, Dr. Rafael Arenas of
Cirugía Total Cirugía Plástica,
Dr. Victor Youcha (Chiropractor),
Lucy Torres and all the doctors in our network have played a huge role in making this project become what it has today and the vision of what it will be in years to come. We doctors receive little, if any, business training and we have had some growing pains especially
since we’ve moved to our current location. We try our best to remedy any situations that have been brought to our  attention. We;d  like to remind all of our readers that constructive criticism not only welcome but it is encouraged.  As we go forward,  we look forward to being part of the new RIBERA MEDICAL CENTER HOSPITAL’S partner to provide primary care and help save lives as best we can.
I believe that we not only have have an excellent team but the best office team with the mindset of fomenting a legacy of excellence in service and the most compassionate care.  I can say that the entire office team and the doctors in our network pledge the following:


“We pledge to you that we will provide purposeful medical care catered to the purposes of your lives. We will cure sometimes, treat often, and comfort always.” We’ve incorporated a phrase in the pledge that i read in a recent interview from my favorite author and physician, Dr. Atul Gawande.


Thank you Lord and thank you all for the privilege of providing care and service to the community.


Below is a link on more valuable information about DIABETES and what you can do to get it under control.

Aspirin, NSAIDs may lower colorectal cancer risk, study suggests 


A population-based study in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests long-term use of low-dose aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce colorectal cancer risks. Robert Rich, M.D., who heads up the AAFP Commission on Health of the Public and Science, said the data do not show a clear relationship between use of the drugs and cancer prevention, and the US Preventive Services Task Force and the Academy have recommended against routine use of the drugs in patients at average risk for colorectal cancer.
CDC reports 3rd 
 dose may help control mumps outbreaks
I have seen an increasing number of patients with Mononucleosis Syndrome in my practice in the past 2 years. The same viruses (CMV and EBV) that cause the MUMPS are the ones that cause the mumps.
The Chapala Lakeside community has many of the same characteristics of those of a U.S. college campus. I feel that it is the appropriate community for which this recommendation is for.


College students who received a third dose of the measles, mumps and rubella
during a mumps outbreak at the University of Iowa in 2015 were 78% less likely to develop mumps, compared with their peers who had only received two

doses, CDC researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. The findings also showed a 9.1 times increased risk of mumps among those who received their second

dose at least 13 years before the outbreak, compared with those who had their second
dose two years before the outbreak.

The Flu Vaccine and Risk For Pneumonia


Flu season is here. I’ve already seen a good number of cases in the past couple of weeks in my office. One of these patients did progress to acquire severe pneumonia that required hospitalization for care Most people don’t know but contracting the Influenza A/B virus is a major risk factor for contracting community acquired pneumonia(CAP).
Vaccinations for influenza cut the risk for hospitalization for pneumonia approximately in half, according to a prospective case control study published online October 5 in JAMA.
Spreading Dr. Atul Gawande’s Gospel 

Dr. Gawande’s book,
BEING MORTAL has helped shape in large part my philosophy and manner in which I practice medicine. After reading this book I have had the “HARD CONVERSATIONS” with my patients and parents. I only wish some members of my family had read his book before my mother was at the end of her journey on this earth. I believe my mother’s suffering and agony could’ve been for the most part avoided. This is MY WAY of spreading the
BEING MORTAL gospel of Dr. Gawande and helping others and their families hopefully avoid suffering at the end of life.  Hospice does not mean “GIVING UP”. In fact, patients who chose hospice care over surgery or chemotherapy for some diseases live 25% longer than those who do.
Imagine if there was a pill called HOSPICE, who wouldn’t take it?
Sunday mornings I regularly listen to NPR’s
ON BEING podcast.  I was delighted to hear that their guest one week ago was Dr. Atul Gawande. I am posting a link to that interview as well as a link to a PBS/FRONTLINE documentary on the very subject of his book. For those of you whom have not had the chance to read his book, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you at least listen to the podcast or view the documentary.
FRONTLINE follows renowned New Yorker writer and Boston surgeon Atul Gawande as he explores the relationships doctors have with patients who are nearing the end of life. In conjunction with Gawande’s new book, Being Mortal, the film investigates the practice of caring for the dying, and shows how doctors – himself included – are often remarkably untrained, ill-suited and uncomfortable talking about chronic illness and death with their patients.



I guess you can say that the rumors have been laid to rest and the news has now been made official. The project that I have been hinting at that I am involved with is a hospital that will be called RIBERA MEDICAL CENTER and an article was featured in the latest issue of THE GUADALAJARA REPORTER as shown above.
By the end of 2018 we are planning on having the first and most complete hospital in the Chapala-Ajijic area.

The article does have some information that needs to be corrected.  The RMC will be modeled after the VMC(VMC) and the investors and administrators of the project are the same group who own and operate VMC. I have been named Medical Director and will be in charge of recruiting the medical staff (doctors & nurses) as well as their and the hospital’s compliance with all the local, state and federal health codes and standards including keeping adequate medical records that are compliant with the law.

There will be little need to go to Guadalajara for almost any type of medical procedure, surgery or intervention. You’ll be able to have everything from a knee surgery to a cardiac pacemaker placement to a colonoscopy and everything in between. We’ll have a state of the art MRI, CT scanner, lab, pharmacy and Cardiac Cath lab as well as an ICU and fully functional operating rooms.

The ground-breaking ceremony is slated to start in a couple of weeks and the hospital will be fully operational in approximately 12 months. The hospital will accept all national and international insurance policies. It will be up to the Mexican Government to come to terms with the hospital in order for the hospital to accept SEGURO POPULAR patients. IMSS has it’s own hospitals and I don’t foresee any deals between a private hospital and IMSS but that is not to say it isn’t possible.

Chapala Med will be part of the RMC health network providing primary care to the local community.  The RMC and CHAPALA MED staff will pledge the following:

“We will pledge to preserve our humility, integrity, and all the values which brought us to the practice of medicine. We will engage in honest self-reflection, striving for excellence but acknowledging our limitations, and caring for ourselves as we care for others. We will seek to heal the whole person, rather than merely treat disease, committing to a partnership with our patients that empowers them and demonstrates empathy and respect. We will cure sometimes, treat often, and comfort always.”

I’d like to thank all whom have entrusted their healthcare to CHAPALA MED for the past 5 years. It’s been obvious that third parties outside of the Lake Chapala area and Guadalajara have taken note of Chapala Med’s trajectory and the standards the physicians and healthcare providers in our network have set. We’ve raised the bar and taken a leadership role in healthcare in the Lakeside area. Thank you.


Chapala Med | | (331)950-9414


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