Index -- WPGYN Newsletter -- Volume 12, Issue 2, June 2015
As you should all know by now, I am scheduled to retire the first week in September.
It is very hard to say good-bye to all of you. It has been an honor and a pleasure to be part of your lives and to have you as a part of mine. I am very grateful that I chose a career that has been so gratifying in so many ways. But time moves on, and I recognize that it is time to make a major change in my life direction. I believe it is better to do this while my husband and I are both healthy and capable of embracing change before our options become limited.
I have had many questions and comments since my announcement. I really appreciate the congratulations and well wishes. Some of the logistical questions I will try to address in the rest of the newsletter. Some of the more personal ones, I will address here.
My favorite comment—”You’re too young to retire!” — Keep telling me that! It puts a smile on my face. In fact, I am only a few short months away from 65. And my husband, a huge advocate for my retirement, is 75. After 43 years of a wonderful marriage, he would like to come out ahead in the competition with my demanding career.
I also look forward to participating in medical missions throughout the world. On the occasions I have done this in the past, I have found it extremely rewarding. While working, I have been unable to commit the extended blocks of time that many of the more important missions require.
Will you stay in the area? — No. My husband and I are moving to a retirement community in Winter Haven, FL. I fell in love with the fantastic facilities and beautiful lake setting. I grew up in FL and have old friends and distant cousins who live there. Our older daughter, who lives in Panama City, Panama, will be only a few hours away instead of the current 10 hour travel time. Unfortunately, our younger daughter lives here, but that will give me an excuse to visit.
“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”
Eeeck! There is so much that is so private and so personal in those records! You certainly don’t want them to get into the wrong hands, like your boss, or your boyfriend or your next-door neighbor. You always trusted Dr. Sutherland, Dr. Litwin, and their colleagues to keep your records safe and secure — so what happens now? Fear not. Dr. Sutherland has arranged for the El Camino Women’s Medical Group to take custody of her patient records effective September 5, 2015. Dr. Sarah Azad and Dr. Amy Teng, as the custodian of your medical records, will maintain their privacy in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which is a federal law that provides for privacy and security standards for medical information.
How do I get a copy of my medical records?
Of course, you have the right to access your medical records, and to transfer them to the doctor of your choosing. You may request a copy of your medical records from Dr. Sutherland now and the El Camino Women’s Medical Group after September 7 by filling out a Request for Medical Records form. The request must be in writing and signed. The office will supply you with copies of the records within 15 days. The charge for this service is $40. The records will not be copied until the fee is paid, and will be provided on a disc. Copying records is a very labor intensive process, especially after 20 or 30 years of care. Please request only those records that you or your next physician actually needs.
Do I own my medical records?
No, the medical records do not belong to the patient. Medical records are the property of the medical provider (or facility) that prepares them. This includes films and tracings from diagnostic imaging procedures such as x-ray, CT, PET, MRI, ultrasound, etc. The patient has a right to view the originals, and to obtain copies under California Health and Safety Code sections 123100 - 123149.5.
What if I don’t want my records to be transferred to a doctor I will never see?
Your records will still be included in the transfer to the new custodian. This is essential to maintain the integrity of the records. It is important for Dr. Sutherland and her former colleagues to have future access to the records should the need ever arise. Furthermore, since Dr. Sutherland and Dr. Litwin have been using electronic medical records since 2010, we are unable to remove a patient’s chart from the electronic medical record even if we wished to do so.
How will my privacy be protected?
The custodian of the records will not allow any unauthorized access to your records. Access to the records requires a user name and password and all access into any chart is electronically recorded. The HIPAA Privacy Rule applies to "protected health information," (PHI) which includes all "individually identifiable health information" that is transmitted or maintained in any format or medium. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the federal agency in charge of creating rules that implement HIPAA and also enforce HIPAA.
Can I delete a portion of my medical record?
No. If you feel there is an error in your medical record, it can be corrected by adding an addendum. Please consult with Dr. Sutherland if you feel there is an error that needs to be fixed.
Why Did Dr. Sutherland Choose El Camino Women’s Medical Group?
The hardest thing about my retirement is saying good-bye to so many wonderful friends and patients, and making sure that I am passing them on to a group of physicians that will continue to care for them as I and my former colleagues always strived to do. The El Camino Women’s Medical Group is very similar in philosophy and execution to Women Physician’s Ob-Gyn Medical Group.
El Camino Women’s Medical Group is a group of women practitioners who understand the importance of listening and being partners in decision making. The group was founded in 2009 by Dr. Sarah Azad. I first became familiar with her in 2010 when I stopped doing Obstetrics. Many of the nurses on Labor and Delivery, whose opinion I respected, chose Dr. Azad as their favorite Ob-Gyn practitioner in our area. Seeing the benefits of a coordinated small group practice, she added Dr. Amy Teng in 2014. Dr. Azad has now mentored Dr. Teng for the past year and will continue to do so. This allows Dr. Teng to benefit from Dr. Azad’s experience and allows the group as a whole to move forward with the same philosophy of comprehensive and compassionate women’s health care. The group has also added a psychiatrist, Dr. Rania Awaad, who is on the faculty at Stanford and has an interest in women’s mental health. They also boast a nutritionist to work with patients with PCOS, high lipids, diabetes, or weight management and a lactation specialist for postpartum moms. They will be adding another Ob-Gyn before the end of the year and are in the process of adding another site south of Mountain View.
Another reason I like El Camino Women’s Medical Group is their commitment to education. Many of you have enjoyed the quarterly newsletter which we have produced for over ten years. ECWMG produces up-to-date information on important or new topics in women’s health in the form of their on-line blog. If you like the newsletter format, let them know, and they might be open to continuing it.
Many of you have had questions regarding their expertise in menopause. Although these physicians have not been through menopause themselves, their relatively recent training makes it easier for them to be up-to-date with the rapidly changing guidelines and the new options. In fact , Dr. Teng published an article for their blog entitled “Menopause — What Else Can I Take Besides Hormones?” in March of 2015. I completely agree with everything she said.
Some of you have mentioned that you would like to see a practitioner who does gynecology only, and not have to deal with rescheduling due to patients in labor, or waiting rooms full of pregnant women and coughing children. I appreciate that concern, and I evaluated practitioners doing gyn only to look for a good fit for my patients. Unfortunately, I found no one I felt I could recommend.
Finally, I think many of you will be pleased with the wide range of insurances they accept. See below for a listing.
· HMO*, POS, EPO, PPO, USAccess
· HMO*, POS, EPO, PPO, Covered CA plans
· NOT ACCEPTING: Pers Select Basic, Pers Select Choice
· HMO*, POS, PCIP, EPO, PPO
· HMO*, Open Access, POS, EPO, PPO
· HMO*, POS, EPO, PPO, Covered CA plans
· HMO*, POS
United Health Care
· HMO*, POS, EPO, PPO
Other PPO Plans — Amera-net, Assurance Health, BCE Emergis (PPO and EPO), Beech Street, CCN, Choice Care, Corvel, First Health, Galaxy Health Network, Health Plan, Humana, InterPlan, Moda Health, MultiPlan, Pacificare, Health Alliance, Nippon Life Insurance, Oxford Health Plan, PFMC, PHCS, Private Helath Care Systems, PPO Next, SaaGii, Starmark, UMR, UniCare, Western Growers Assurance Trust
*Please note that we can only see patients with HMO plans that are affiliated with the Physicians Medical Group of San Jose.
Phone: 650-396-8110 Fax: 650-336-7359
Mondays through Thursdays: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Fridays: 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Saturdays (two per month): 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
The office closes for lunch from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
A message from Dr. Amy Teng
My goal is to continue the high quality care that Dr. Sutherland has provided to the community over the last 32 years. I grew up in the Bay Area and attended high school here in Mountain View. My father was the first physician in our family and instilled in me a passion for taking care of other people. Building lasting relationships with my patients brings me great joy, and I am committed to helping them gain the knowledge they need to make the best decisions for their health. I believe I share Dr. Sutherland’s philosophy of providing comprehensive, yet personalized care for women throughout their lives.
To give you a little more background about myself, I received my bachelor’s degree in Physiology from UCLA, which is where I also met my wonderful husband. I then attended medical school at Midwestern University in Chicago. After deciding we couldn’t bear the Chicago winters anymore, my husband and I moved back to California. I completed my residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCSF Fresno, where I discovered a passion for minimally invasive surgery. Outside of work, I enjoy skiing, tennis, traveling, and raising awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. I am extremely fortunate to have joined Dr. Sarah Azad at El Camino Women’s Medical Group in August of 2014. Dr. Azad is also committed to providing excellent care and taking the time to build quality patient relationships. Coming back home and caring for the women in our community is a privilege, and I look forward to establishing lifelong relationships with many of you.
Amy Teng, DO
For more information on Dr. Teng,
including Education, Awards, Professional Memberships, and Areas of Interest,
visit her website at http://www.elcaminowomen.com/about-us/about-dr-teng.
What is the difference between an MD and a DO?
In the United States, there are two types of physicians that practice medicine. Most physicians hold the Doctor of Medicine degree (M.D.), while osteopathic physicians hold the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (D.O.). Other than teaching osteopathic manipulative medicine, the medical training for an M.D. and D.O. is virtually indistinguishable. D.O. physicians complete conventional residencies in hospitals and training programs, are licensed in all states, and have rights and responsibilities, such as military service, that are identical to M.D. physicians and surgeons. The AMA's current definition of a physician is "an individual who has received a 'Doctor of Medicine' or a 'Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine' degree or an equivalent degree following successful completion of a prescribed course of study from a school of medicine or osteopathic medicine."
I’ve loved caring for patients and having the opportunity to learn from the incredible physicians, it’s been my pleasure to work with at Women Physicians for the last 24 years. With Dr. Sutherland’s retirement, it has opened an opportunity for me to take a brief leave of absence to explore other avenues to work as a nurse practitioner perhaps in women’s health here in Mt. View, or in palliative care, cancer care, global health or even gerontology. At this point, I plan to return in early 2016 and am looking at several options.
Barb shares Dr. Sutherland’s view that Dr. Sarah Azad and Dr. Amy Teng provide the kind of comprehensive, individualized, compassionate commitment to caring for the whole woman. It is the model for how to best care for people and she will be seeing them for her own women’s health care.
The best way to reach Barb is via email: Barb@NurseBarb.com or to follow her public page on FaceBook @NurseBarbDehn where she will post regular updates on her plans.
Thanks so much for allowing me to be a small part of your health care.
Questions and Comments
I’m sure that many of you have questions and comments that I haven’t yet thought about. After all, I’ve never done this before. If I’ve missed important issues, I’ll try to cover them in a subsequent newsletter or email. Please send us an email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Life is no brief candle to me.
It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible
before handing it on to future generations.”
George Bernard Shaw
Information on this website is for educational and reference purposes only and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice.
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Women Physicians Gyn Medical Group