“It’s really important to me that my patient’s care is a team effort …”
When she was growing up in the Philippines, Dr. Shirley So’s father would ask her, “What good deed did you do today?” Now as an internist at Reliant Medical Group, Dr. So has an opportunity to do many good deeds. “I think one of the reasons I became a doctor is that I love working with people and if I see 25 patients in a day it gives me the opportunity to do 25 good deeds,” she explains. “It’s great to be able to come home from work knowing that you were able to help someone in some way.”
In her practice, Dr. So really values the time she gets to spend with patients. “I think if you can spend more time with a patient then it’s easier to build a rapport with them. Learning more about a patient helps you build more trust, and then it’s easier to involve them in more of the decisions that affect care.”
Dr. So believes preventative medicine is very important in keeping her patients healthy. “It’s really just as important as treating disease. If you can prevent disease getting started when people are young they can be healthy for a long time. For instance, right now we see 18-year-olds with obesity problems, high blood pressure and diabetes. This is all preventable if we can teach them to change their diet and lifestyle and lead a healthier life.”
One of the things Dr. So enjoys the most about Reliant Medical Group is the electronic health record. “One of the main reasons I came here was the fact that this organization has a great electronic health record system. It’s very useful for spotting patient trends and doing patient research. One of the neat things we can do for patients is send prescriptions directly to the pharmacy, and they can pick it up right after their appointment. It’s one of the ways we make being a patient here easier.”
Dr. So believes it’s important to involve patients in decisions about their care. “It used to be that the doctor would make all the decisions but now we have a lot of choices for diagnosis and for treatments – there’s not only one approach to a problem anymore. It’s really important to me that my patient’s care is a team effort and that the patient is the most important member of the team.”
When she has some free time on the weekends, Dr. So enjoys reading short stories, watching TV and attending Bikram Yoga classes.
Board Candidate: American Board of Internal Medicine
University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines, Medical Education
St. John's Episcopal Hospital, Far Rockaway, NY, Internship
St. John's Episcopal Hospital, Far Rockaway, NY, Residency
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