Odalys Croteau, MD - Internal Medicine

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4.9 out of 5 stars - 131 total ratings

“You need to establish healthy habits to prevent future chronic health problems.”

As a child, Dr. Odalys Croteau thought that a career that combined the sciences and problem-solving would be ideal for her. “I also had an interest in helping others. It was all those things that led me down the path of studying and practicing medicine.”

As an Internal Medicine physician, Dr. Croteau likes to build strong relationships with her patients. “For me, it’s very personally and professionally rewarding to practice primary care,” she explains. “I love to have those long-term relationships with patients so I can engage them with their care.” Dr. Croteau says that the most important diagnostic tool is what the patient is telling her. “My patients are my teachers,” she explains. “I find that diagnostic imaging and laboratory testing are invaluable to the care of the patient, but cannot tell the same story as an open and trusting patient. It takes time, commitment, and a great listener to build a trusting and long- term doctor-patient relationship. For me, it is important to find a balance so that I can deliver individualized, evidence-based medicine and maintain personal connection and trust with my patients.”

One of the most common problems that Dr. Croteau treats as a primary care doctor is obesity. “Treating obesity can be challenging because you can’t just prescribe a pill, there also needs to be a lot of counseling,” she explains. “Patients need to understand that since they didn’t put the weight on overnight, they can’t take it off overnight. That’s why behavioral and lifestyle changes are so important.  My goal is to guide and educate my patients so that they can make informed decisions about their mental and physical health so that they can live a healthy life. You need to establish healthy habits to prevent future chronic health problems.”

Mental health is also a big issue that Dr. Croteau treats. “It’s a problem for many people. I often talk about coping mechanisms that can help patients,” she explains. “In addition, I can provide information about relevant websites and other mental health resources that they can access. I can also help patients establish themselves with one of our mental-health providers who can do both therapy counseling and also prescribe prescription medications, if needed.”

For Dr. Croteau, nothing is more rewarding than making a difference in a patient’s life. “For me, having that unique opportunity never gets old,” she explains. “When a patient comes back and tells me that I made a difference in their life, it really makes my day.”

On the weekends, Dr. Croteau enjoys spending as much time as possible with her husband and two children. In the summer months, they enjoy boating, biking and fishing at their lake house in Maine and as well as many winter sports.

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