February 2018

CHAPALA MED’S Monthly Health Newsletter 
February 2018 Health Newsletter
Greetings to our patients and readers of our newsletter. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The good news? It is also one of the most preventable.  Making heart-healthy choices, knowing your family health history and the risk factors for heart disease, having regular check-ups and working with your physician to manage your health are all integral aspects of saving lives from this often silent killer.  FEBRUARY IS HEART HEALTH MONTH.  Make a difference in your community by spreading the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encouraging those around you to have their hearts check and commit to heart-healthy lives.  
As always I’d like to relay information in this newsletter and include 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.
With that being said, I’d like to address a concern that seems to have been on the minds of so many members of this community.
This community is relatively small and tight-knit and thanks to social medial, the local web boards and a subscription based online newsletter THE LAKE CHAPALA REPORTER (not affiliated with the GUADALAJARA REPORTER), many have approached me in person and online in regards to an interview published in THE LAKE CHAPALA REPORTER regarding a “CARDIOLOGY SCAM” being perpetrated in Ajijic. The article was based on an interview with well-known attorney, Spencer McMullen and his recent experiences with some cases he’s handling for his clients.  I reached out to Spencer and asked to interview him for an article in this newsletter to provide further clarification on the topic and dispel any myths or erroneous associations with doctors and medical practitioners whom strive to be as honest, transparent and ethical when providing care to their patients.
Unfortunately we tend to rely more heavily on hearsay, fabricated testimonials or or rumors than on statistical or fact-based information when it comes to seeking sound medical advice. Doubting or hesitating to seek medical advice or attention in a timely manner can put your life at risk, especially when it is related to your heart health.  I hope that our readers will take the time to read this interview and share it with anybody who may have questions or doubts as to whom the article in the
LAKE CHAPALA REPORTER is  referring to and whom it is not.
This issue will include articles contributed by Dr. Cherry
Adjchavanich and Adrian Chaurand Morales PhD our director of Palliative Care.
In closing I’d like to remind our readers of our
MISSION STATEMENT so that you are all aware of what we are striving to accomplish everyday and hold us to this mission.
Santiago R. Hernandez M.D. 
Heart attack symptoms in men vs. women? 
Risk factors, signs for heart attack different in women
Although heart disease can often be thought of as a problem for men, heart disease is the most common cause of death for both women and men in the United States. One challenge is that some heart disease symptoms in women may be different from those in men. Fortunately, women can take steps to understand their unique symptoms of heart disease and to begin to reduce their risk of heart disease
People at low risk for heart trouble may not need routine ECGs
EKG’s and STRESS TESTs are
NOT for all patients. Avoid unnecessary testing that could lead you down an expensive and worrisome path that may lead to


more questions than answers. Below are up to date links for current guidelines
for cardiac screening.


The deadly flu epidemic sweeping the US is still spreading – Below is a link to an article with everything you need to know about the current epidemic in the U.S. that is affecting Mexico too.


 It’s not too late to get vaccinated !


Flu Virus Can Trigger A Heart Attack
The flu doesn’t just make you feel lousy. A study published Wednesday finds it can increase your risk of having a heart attack, too.
“We found that you’re six times more likely to have a heart attack during the week after being diagnosed with influenza, compared to the year before or after the infection,” says study author
Dr. Jeff Kwong, an epidemiologist and family physician with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Public Health Ontario in Canada.
5 ways to de-stress and help your heart


Doctors don’t know exactly how chronic stress affects the heart. Most likely, stress triggers inflammation, a known instigator of heart disease, but that hasn’t been proven. “I think the conventional opinion is that stress is bad for your heart, but the data are much murkier,” says Dr. Deepak Bhatt, director of the Integrated Interventional Cardiovascular Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Palliative Care at Chapala Med
Meet Dr. Adrian Chaurand Morales.

I graduated in Psychology from the Universidad Autónoma of Guadalajara. I lived in Barcelona, Spain for seven years, where i developed my Ph.D. on clinical and health psychology, my thesis was focused on complicated grief and depression. After being a Lecturer and research assitant at the University of Barcelona and the
Integrative Relational Psychoterapy Institute on grief, loss and trauma, i worked on palliative care for

the Catalán Institute of Health and the Red Cross.

I currently live in Guadalajara, where I´m the director of Chaurand Health Group Our institution main programms are Palliative Care (Hospice home care) and Duelo por Mexico (Bereavement support).
In addition, I´m working on my first book and on training programms for Latin America on palliative care and grief couselling. You can follow me through social networks.
My working Model
As a psychoterapist my work mainly focus on adjustment processes, grief and depression.
Based on an epistemological constructivist perspective my training on Integrative Relational Model (Payás, 2010) relies on respect for the needs and pace of the consultant, on supporting each person from empathy, knowing their own life framework and on helping them to become more aware of what hey´re living.
From this model we believe that every person create its own comprhension of their world based on their personal history and experience. From this perspective, grief is not understood as a serial process of phases that all people go through until reaching the same goal, but as a complex experience that each person goes through in their own way. Confronting and judging are completely outside our method, in contrast, companioning (wolfelt, 2005), authentic presence, attunement (Erskine, 1999, 2011) and a strong confident therapeutic relation is offered to help people seeking for professional support.
What do I offer in Chapala?
  • Palliative Care
Palliative Care is a multidisciplinary (nurse, physican, psychologist, nutritionist) specilized  helath programm that focuses on improving the quality of life of patients and famiies who face the process of an advanced disiease and/or the end of life.
  • Psychoterapy / Grief Counseling
From next week i
will hold office hours for psychological support at
Chapala Med’s Ajijic offices
on Thursdays from 9:00 to 2:00 p.m
family said,
 “Do everything”
If your loved one has reached the end-stage of life, do the right thing. Click below for an insightful article.

How do you like to hydrate? Whether grabbing a 1.5 liter bottle of water at the Oxxo is your style, or if you prefer to warm up with a mug of hot camomile tea, or even take in your water while you crunch on raw broccoli in your water-rich salad, it’s all good.

We’ve all heard that water is important in keeping you hydrated on a hot day, but what about when it’s a cool and comfortable 65 degree sunny day in Lake Chapala? Do you still remember to replenish and feed your body the hydration it needs and deserves? If not, perhaps you should invest in a favorite travel water bottle that you’ll love keeping by your side all day, both in and out of your home.

Water plays an important role in helping your body cells to be efficient to helping your skin look radiant and young.

Unsure how much water to drink? It may or may not be 8 glasses of water a day. Aim for drinking enough fluids until your urine is the color of “paja”. That’s Spanish for “hay”. And you thought this was just a medical newsletter. You just learned a new Spanish word! Look at you go! Now let’s celebrate with a glass of water: Cheers to you and your health!

Dr. Cherry

Adjchavanich M.D. )


The Healthcare providers & Staff at Chapala Med 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.” 


After reading the published interview with Spencer McMullen about the “CARDIOLOGY SCAM” in the Lakeside area and being questioned by a hand full of patients about the article, I contacted Spencer to try to clarify some of the points that were discussed in Lisa Jourgenson’s article in her online news article.

Here are some of the points I pressed Spencer on his answers in regards to his interview. I agree with his recommendations but I was left disappointed by the lack of specific information that he could or would give “ON THE RECORD”.  I understand the reasons why he was not forthcoming with such information and we must keep in mind that liability laws are very different here in Mexico than they are in the U.S. or Canada and that Mexico has one of highest (if not the highest) number of journalists whom have been targets of violent acts due to “naming names and pointing fingers”.

Why didn’t you give the specific names of doctors, clinics and Guadalajara hospitals involved in the scam ?

Mexican laws protect criminals. I’d make that information public if somebody was willing to indemnify me. Otherwise all I can do is identify which hospitals or doctors have the most civil or criminal cases against in a private consultation in my office. 

Why is it that some private hospitals charge higher deposits to EXPATS (Americans and Canadians) than they do to Mexican patients?

There have been cases in the past where EXPATS have bilked both private hospitals and their doctors of their fees. They simply skipped town without paying their bills. So, some doctors and hospital try to protect themselves by raising their rates by doing this. I mean, some patients ask to be taken to a hospital knowing well that they cannot or are not willing to pay for their care. There’s not much the hospitals can do other than trying to illegally detain the patients to until they pay.

The doctors are like waiters in a restaurant and they cannot check the patron’s credit rating or vet them before they order the most expensive meal on the menu.

So if you can’t publicly give information what can you advise the EXPATS of the Chapala Lakeside area  to protect themselves ? 

  • They need to be responsible and establish care with a primary care doctor whom has a good reputation for providing care by established guidelines.
  • They need to ask the doctor if he has hospital privileges and which hospital(s) the doctor normally hospitalizes his/her patients at and if there are a list of options as far as prices and services are concerned.
  • They can ask lawyers to check and see if there are any civil or criminal cases against the doctor or surgeon but it is time consuming and may be expensive.
  • Is the doctor preforming major surgeries here in Lakeside where it is illegal?
Are there any RED FLAGS that EXPATs should be aware of?
Yes, of course there are.  Some of the following behaviors should be suspicious and you should get a second opinion.
  • “You need to go right away or you might die”
  • The patient is isolated from family, friends or not allowed to contact another doctor for an opinion.
  • Doctor has an establish pattern of “PASSING” the patient along to his/her family member, whom is also a doctor, for treatment or multiple surgeries.
  • Getting a PRICE QUOTE and then being charged double or triple what the doctor originally stated without a logical explanation. Some doctors may charge more for their fees than what some insurance companies are willing to pay them. The doctor should state whether or not he/she agrees to be paid according the the insurance company’s pay scale.
  • Demanding to be paid to a THIRD PARTY’S out of the country account and by WIRE TRANSFER.
  • Asking to sign over the deed to a home or property in order to be released from a hospital
  • Advertisements not listing the names of the professional(s), licence number, no physical address or telephone land line.
What about going to physicians listed on the American or Canadian Consulate’s  list of recommended doctors ?
Those lists are not up to date and some of the doctors on those lists have been retired for quite some time.
Thank you for your time Spencer.  Sure. anytime.


As a doctor I trained in the U.S., I am still learning everyday how the public and private healthcare systems work down here. I don’t have all the information which seems to change every 3-6 months or so. Yes, there are some doctors (based on their resume’s and level of expertise) whom have a more solid and positive reputation and may thus charge more. Just like most other professions. It has been my experience that if you have concerns about what an ethical and well-established physician may charge in most areas of Mexico, you can
click on the link below which is the Mexican GNP HEALTH INSURANCE PAY SCALE.


I hope this helps patient’s estimate more or less what they may have to pay if they self-insure or what a premium Mexican insurance company is willing to pay your doctor.

Chapala Med |  | (331)950-9414


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