2018 Issues 1 & 2, Quarterly Newsletter


2018 Issues 1 & 2www.ElCaminoWomen.comApril 6, 2018



It’s been a busy 6 months since our last newsletter in October of 2017. A belated Happy New Year’s to all of you! One of my New Year’s resolutions was to have a little more self-compassion. By end the of January, still overwhelmed by office related work, I decided to combine our first and second newsletters! That gave me an extra 3 months—and now it’s done. I encourage you all to be kinder to yourselves in 2018, and if that wasn’t one of your New Year’s resolutions, it’s okay to make it one now.

There have been a lot of staff changes since Thanksgiving of last year. We appreciate everyone’s patience as our new staff have caught up to speed. If you have any future concerns please let us know here or email Shar, who has stepped up as our new office manager.

Aside from some staff changes, we’ve celebrated the 2 year anniversary of Dr. Balassiano joining our practice and also Dr. Gupta’s 1 year anniversary! We look forward to a great 2018, filled with good health, compassionate care and joy. Sarah Azad, MD

In this issue:

Practice Updates—including Dr. Teng’s Maternity Leave

We’ve run out of space, check out our new digs

Intermittent Fasting: Something new (or old?) in weight loss

Mona Lisa Sundays

Getting your Skin Ready for Summer — Guest Post by Dr. Soohoo

Telemedicine is coming to El Camino Women’s Medical Group

Follow up on Vaginal Dilators: the Milli

Carequality: The Pros (and Cons) of Sharing your Medical Records

A New Primary Care Physician in Town


We lost three of our medical assistants near the end of 2017, and one more in early 2018. Our office manager also resigned in early 2018. It’s taken some time, but we are back at full staff and focusing on improving your experience with our office. Your feedback means a lot to us and is always welcome.

We are also very excited about the arrival of a new baby this summer! Dr. Teng will be out on maternity leave from the end of June to mid-September. Drs. Balassiano, Gupta and I (Azad) will be fully covering the office and hospital while she’s out. We wish her a safe and healthy delivery and wonderful time with her new addition.

Starting July 1, 2018, we will begin charging for forms needed by patients. Outside of a quick work/school note, every form required for us to fill out will cost $30. These services are not medically-related but usually for patient’s Human Resource departments and disability insurance programs. Medical insurance doesn’t cover these services and given the healthcare climate we live in, we can no longer provide these services without charging for the administrative cost to the practice.



Having moved into our current suite 8A in April of 2015, we’ve long outgrown this space. It’s been exciting working on our future space in the new IMOB going up across the street. Our new suite will be on the 6th floor with beautiful views of Mountain View out of all our exam rooms. We look forward to being able to provide our full services in an appropriate space when we move in the summer of 2019!

We’re looking forward to more exam rooms, a conference room for additional classes as well as sufficient space for all of our physicians and staff.   We’ll keep everyone updated as completion dates become more accurate.


Probably the most common New Year’s resolutions fall into the weight loss catogory. You may have tried them all: low calorie, low fat, low carb and yet you have another New Year’s resolution to hit a goal weight.

Instead of focusing only on what you’re eating, Intermittent Fasting focuses on when you eat.

When fasting intermittently, a person cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting. Nearly every cultural and religious tradition has some form of fasting. The recent days of Lent include an element of fasting just as so many other traditions do. Some include 24 hours of fasting, some 12-16 hours, some longer.

Everyone already engages in some type of fasting, primarily when we sleep, which traditionally ends with a “breaking of the fast” or more commonly called “breakfast”.

There is convincing data that shifting the timing of your meals, even if keeping the calories and types of food the same, can have weight loss benefits. Intermittent fasting is most effective in people with insulin resistance and elevated body set weights (the weight your body wants to stay at whether you eat too much for a few days or starve yourself for a month, you end up back here).

There are various ways to engage in intermittent fasting. The main concept is to avoid calories. Water, plain tea or coffee are okay. Up to 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream during your fast are also allowed to add to your plain tea or coffee.

One of the most common is to fast 16-18 hours per day at least 5 days a week. Since you may spend 6-10 of those hours sleeping, this only mean skipping one meal and not snacking. If you stop eating at 7pm, sleep, wake up and skip breakfast (maybe just a cup of coffee) and then have lunch at 1pm and dinner around 6p and start fasting again at 7pm, that’s 18 hrs of daily fasting. For most people, during the work week, this is a very reasonable lifestyle. During the eating window you have to make sure to have at least 1200 calories, so that you don’t also lower your metabolism.

Another way to fast is to fast 24 hours twice a week. For some people, trying to break through a weight loss plateau find extending a fast to 36 or 48 hours helps them get back to losing weight. For people who’ve been building up their insulin resistance over years and years, those longer fasts may be needed to lower your body set weight.

Want to learn more? There’s a lot of information out there on the internet, but I recommend you start with Dr. Fung, either at his website, this related website, or by reading his book on the topic.


Have you been thinking about getting the MonaLisa Touch treatment? This hormone-free, low risk treatment has been yielding fabulous results for our patients suffering from vaginal dryness and related changes after menopause or treatment for breast cancer.

At the request of some patients, we’ve scheduled a series of Sundays to allow patients to come in for treatment without taking time off work, or for those coming from a distance.

Click here for more information on the treatment. We’ll be seeing patients on May 6th, June 17th, and July 29th from 9-12:30 for MonaLisa treatments or for free consultations if you just want more information.

Space is limited and preference will be given to those scheduling all three treatments with the first beginning on May 6th. For any questions or to schedule, please email Shar at moc.n1709366437emoWo1709366437nimaC1709366437lE@ra1709366437hS1709366437


The Menkes Clinic and Surgery Center

Guest Post by:

Lillian Soohoo, MD

Dermatologist, Menkes Clinic

With beautiful spring weather already here, now is a good time to focus on your skin and prepare for summer!   Where to start?  A complete, total body skin exam to check for any suspicious skin lesions is an important first step.  Since skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in humans, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that all adults receive a complete skin exam every year.  This is the best way to catch skin cancer in its earliest and most curable stage. 

At The Menkes Clinic, we are board-certified dermatologists who strive to offer the highest level of dermatologic care to our patients in a friendly, state-of-the-art practice.  In addition to a thorough skin screening and treatment of all skin conditions, we also help our patients create a daily skin care regimen tailored to their skin type.

We are highly experienced in formulating a skin care plan that is appropriate for you.  This includes the three basic goals of skin care:  cleansing, protecting and correcting your skin.  Our practice treats patients of all ages from newborns to adults, with a keen understanding of the different needs of women in their 40s, 50s and beyond.  For example, our personalized skin care approach adjusts for women over 50 who look best with smooth, slightly “shiny” texture rather than a matte finish to the skin.  Light reflection from th skin looks fresher, and is actually the opposite of a matte finish.  Therefore, avoidance of powder foundations and products is key for improving the appearance of mature skin.  Other common skin concerns such as acne, brown spots, broken capillaries, and fine lines can also be effectively treated with little down time and no surgery.  

At  The Menkes Clinic, we want our patients to look refreshed and natural-appearing.  With summer fast approaching, let us help you maintain healthy, beautiful skin.

The Menkes Clinic & Surgery Center

Andrew Menkes, MD

Lillian Soohoo, MD

Krystle Wang, MD

For an appointment:  650-962-4600






We’ve been working with our Electronic Medical Records company (eClinicalWorks) to set up Telemedicine in our office. The hope is to allow certain visit types to be conducted while you remain in the comfort of your home. Telemedicine visits will be limited to visits that focus on discussion of results or consults on new issues that do not require a physical exam. Our Telemedicine feature will also be replacing most of our return phone calls. Often, you have questions you’d like answered that same day. This can be difficult for us to get to and dedicate proper time to without a scheduled time. Booking Telemedicine slots for these types of questions will ensure that patients have their questions addressed in a timely manner. We are still working out bugs and testing it, but hopefully Telemedicine will be live by July 1, 2018.


There was a lot of interest in our article on Vaginal Dilators last year. The Milli, a new device developed by Materna Medical, received quite a bit of attention. Having sold all their initial devices and completed patient use and feedback surveys, they are preparing to launch their improved model in the summer of this year. You can sign up with them to be kept in the loop.


Electronic Medical Records have brought a lot of change to medical care. A lot of wonderful things are now possible with records being digitized, like the patient portal. Patients can see and reference their lab and imaging results from their laptop or an app on their cell phone. Electronic messaging between patients and physicians is another benefit to having electronic systems in place.

Data sharing between different offices has changed. Unlike the age of the paper record, when a record can be faxed and becomes paper again in the second office, electronic records can be dispersed to many people and seen from multiple different computers that can stretch across cities and states.

For all your different physicians to be able to access all your records brings so much value to your care. Everyone knows what diagnoses you have, what treatments have been planned and can see what labs have already been done (and what the results are). However, we find in our office as gynecologists, that there are often very private details of life that you may not want shared with every other physician you visit.

Carequality is a new medical record exchange that aims to help share patient’s medical records between different offices. El Camino Women’s Medical Group joined Carequality in March of this year. As each of you check in for the first time since we’ve joined, you’ll be given a consent form to let us know two things: 1) are you okay with us sharing your information with Carequality? And 2) are you okay with our office accessing your data that’s in Carequality from other participating offices?

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation/Sutter, the Stanford Healthcare, and Kaiser Northern California are all also in the process of connecting with Carequality. Being able to see our patient’s records in these systems will be of great benefit to best coordination of care for you. Ultimately, however, your privacy and autonomy are paramount in our office. Please let us know if you have questions about this endeavor and also feel free to choose how you want your information shared that’s best aligned with your values and healthcare goals.


With the looming shortage of primary care physicians, it can be hard to establish care with a new physician when you need to. After so many recent retirements of primary care physicians in the community, we’re excited to welcome a new Family Medicine Doctor to the El Camino Community.  Dr. Razan Taha will be joining Elite Medical Group this week and will be seeing patients on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Dr. Taha was born and raised in Damascus, Syria. She obtained her medical degree from Damascus University which is the top medical school in Syria in 2008. Dr.Taha then moved to Omaha, Nebraska and completed her family medicine residency at Creighton University, in Omaha, Nebraska in 2013. She then served at a community Health Center in Turlock for the past 5 years before moving to the Bay Area. Her medical interests include preventive medicine, women’s health, diabetes and hypertension. You can reach out to her new office to schedule an appointment.


Address:2500 Hospital Dr. Bldg 8A
Mountain View, CA 94040

1685 Westwood Dr. Ste 3
San Jose, CA 95125




Email (billing):moc.n1709366437emowo1709366437nimac1709366437le@gn1709366437illib1709366437




pop up imaging stating that ECWMG is not accepting new patients starting 3/1 and you can ask to be put on a wait list.