IRONWOOD — Women attended a “lunch and learn” at Aspirus Grand View Wednesday to learn health tips.
Dr. Tarek Khalife, of the obstetrics and gynecology department, offered a “crash course” on women’s health. The event is part of a series of lectures that have been taking place over the past three years through Aspirus.
“We try to do these every quarter,” Dave Sim, marketing manager for AGV, said. “We try to find topics that are of interest to people, and come up with providers who have the time to present on the topics.”
Wednesday’s lecture broke down women’s health into three categories — health maintenance, pre-menopausal transition and making the most out of visits with health care providers.
According to Khalife, there are “necessities” for patients to do and know when visiting a health care provider.
“With women’s health, know what to expect and what to be screened for at each stage of life,” Khalife said. “This is a necessity for patients.”
With people living longer and healthier, he said health care is changing and patients shouldn’t stop keeping up with their health just because they are older.
Health maintenance was discussed for patients 13 to 65 and older, with specific discussions and vaccines, tests and screenings for patients in each age grouping.
“Detecting it earlier makes treating it easier, and helps you live a healthier life,” Khalife said.
“We make recommendations,” he said. “Patients make decisions,” he said.
Attendees learned about changes the body goes through with pre-menopause and menopause, and also how to make the most out of visits to the doctor.
Khalife advised attendees to “be clear as to why you want to see a health care provider” when having a problem, and to be assertive about being involved with the process by asking questions.
Patients are also recommended to bring a list of symptoms with them, including when they started, how often they occur, what it feels like and what makes it feel better.
Lists of medications, including over the counter drugs, pain medication, vitamins and herbal supplements, should be presented to the provider, as well as why they are being taken.
Khalife spoke about trying to complete a health history, including previous illnesses, surgeries and other medical procedures .
“I also like people to think about bringing a support system with them,” Khalife said. “For example, if a doctor were to talk about the risk of cancer, some patients can only focus on that word and miss other parts of the conversation. Having that support system will help the patient focus and be consoled, if needed.”
Khalife also told attendees to talk with their doctors about making their wishes known during procedures to make themselves more comfortable, and not to be afraid to ask for simple explanations.
“Medical terms can be confusing, so ask for explanations so you can better understand,” Khalife said.
After leaving an appointment, he urges patients to learn more about diagnoses through the Internet and public libraries, but asks them to use “trusted resources.
Also, don’t hesitate to call back, and a second opinion is always an option,” Khalife said.
According to Sim, future lectures will be scheduled.
“Our providers are great to be willing to take time out their busy schedules to do this,” Sim said.
For more information about future lectures, call 906-932-2525.