“I try to look at the patient’s whole life and understand what’s going on…”
An experienced internist who practices in Westborough, Dr. Elisabeth Brewer truly enjoys getting to know her patients and helping them deal with their health problems. Many of her patients have been with her for most of their adult life. “When you start off in medicine, you often have younger patients,” she explains. “As you keep practicing, your patients grow older with you. Now I am even treating the sons and daughters of my patients, which I think is pretty special.”
Dr. Brewer believes that lifestyle management is an important way to help her patients avoid health problems that can lead to diabetes, hypertension and other problems. “We know that a lot of major health problems are caused by poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking – that’s why helping patients live a healthy lifestyle is more important than ever.”
When it comes to weight loss, Dr. Brewer likes to employ strategies that can help patients over the long term. “The old way would be to tell people you need to exercise more and lose weight, but that never worked very successfully. Now, the idea is to be more collaborative with the patient and understand what keeps them from exercising. For instance, the patient may say that they work all day and have to take care of the kids when they get home. So I will ask them, ‘do you have a lunch hour? Could you walk three days a week for 20 minutes?’ I learned that if you can incorporate exercise into a patient’s lifestyle, you have a lot better chance of success. The idea is to come up with one or two things a week that are doable, and then build off that to be successful.”
For Dr. Brewer, working closely with her patients is a very important part of the way she practices medicine. “I try to look at the patient’s whole life and understand what’s going on with their job, their schedule, and their family. Knowing these things is really essential, and helps me develop a treatment plant that works best for each individual patient.”
During her free time Dr. Brewer enjoys spending time with her husband, three children and two Labrador retrievers. She also likes the outdoors and enjoys hiking, biking and gardening. Dr. Brewer is also a big sports fan and enjoys following the Red Sox and the Patriots.
Board Candidate: American Board of Internal Medicine
University of Virginia Medical School, Charlottesville, VA, Medical Education
Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, MA, Internship
Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, MA, Residency
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