AMA: Starting Small Can Lead to Big Changes in Patient Lives

AMA: Starting Small Can Lead to Big Changes in Patient Lives
AMA: Starting Small Can Lead to Big Changes in Patient Lives

(HealthDay News) — A patient and her physician shared her story of health transformation during a special session at the 2014 American Medical Association (AMA) Interim Meeting in Dallas.

A local Dallas family physician, Christopher Berry, MD, and his patient, Brenda Jones, discussed her care. The patient had type 2 diabetes and weighed 350 pounds in 2009. She relied on insulin to control her diabetes and did not have consistent care at the time.

Jones came to Berry through a local clinic. Berry gave her two goals: to eat 2,000 calories a day and keep a log. With his help, she was taken off insulin injections after losing weight. Community programs were able to teach her about portion control and nutrition. "Doctors need to realize how our culture that we come from affects us," Jones said, according to a news release issued by the AMA. "It would be beneficial to not overwhelm the patient with a whole bunch of information – if you give too much, too fast, [we] just shut down," she said. "If you could have five minutes of every visit and give a patient a recipe, some kind of nutritional advice, then maybe somebody is going to make a difference in their lives."

"The truth is, we're only going to see a slight percentage change in what the outcomes are in terms of the numbers," Berry said, according to the AMA release. "It's not going to be an enormous sea change, and that can be frustrating to physicians who want to see change. But what Brenda represents is how it does matter."

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