“I think the fact that pulmonary medicine is always changing is one of the things I like about it.”
Dr. Daniel Steigman has been with Reliant Medical Group virtually his entire career. When he was a teenager, his first job was working in his father’s pizza business, located near Fenway Park. “Occasionally when I was in medical school and even during my residency, I would deliver pizzas to Brigham and Women’s and other hospitals in the area. Of course, after I became a doctor, I told my father he had to find another deliveryman…”
As a pulmonologist, Dr. Steigman treats a lot of chronic illnesses, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). “By and large, COPD is a disease of smokers,” he explains. “The most important thing a person with COPD can do is stop smoking. You can’t get back the lung function you have lost, but at least it won’t decrease as quickly. Unfortunately, even people who have quit smoking for ten or fifteen years can develop problems with COPD. Although we can’t cure COPD, we can do a lot of things to make people feel better and decrease their number of exacerbations.”
Dr. Steigman and the other pulmonologists at Reliant Medical Group also treat many patients with sleep apnea, a disease that affects people’s ability to breathe while they are sleeping. “One out of every 20 men in the country has sleep apnea, so it’s a very common problem. With proper treatment, you can make life-changing improvements in people’s quality of life. People with sleep apnea have very disrupted lives due to lack of sleep. But with treatment, their symptoms go away and they can start leading a normal life again.”
In his practice, Dr. Steigman enjoys taking advantage of the latest technology, such as computerized health records. “It’s a lot easier to get information with our new electronic system. Now anywhere, anytime, I can get the information I need about a patient. It’s also improved documentation and decreased the possibility of medication errors. We also have the ability to look at X-rays online. The technology just makes everything a lot easier – for everyone involved.”
Dr. Steigman enjoys the fact that medicine is always changing and progressing. “We’re always looking for different ways to do things in Pulmonology. New medications and treatments are always coming out. The way we do things now wasn’t the way we did things five years ago, and it won’t be the way we’ll be doing things in ten years. I think the fact that pulmonary medicine is always changing is one of the things I like about it.”
In his free time Dr. Steigman enjoys playing with his two children, going to Red Sox games, traveling and just being with his family. “They keep me busy, just like my patients.”
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