Top Doctors 2008
Carrying a few too many pounds? Who isn’t? According to this year’s top doctors, you may be part of Delaware’s No. 1 epidemic. “One of the most alarming trends we are seeing is a skyrocketing rate of obesity and morbid obesity,” says Dr. Joseph Rubacky of Dover Family Physicians. He is not alone in his observation. Every doctor profiled here cited the issue as the state’s biggest health concern. The reason? Obesity leads to diabetes and hypertension, it puts you at risk for various cancers, and it could lead to easily avoidable things such as the need for knee and hip replacements. More than one in five adult Delawareans are obese. That doesn’t mean we need to be. According to Dr. William Funk of Newark, anyone can change their health—with the right guidance. Herein, the top doctors share their best advice.
Research assistance by Jaclyn Smagala and Stephanie Ostroff
(page 1 of 11)
Note: The physicians named in the list earned the greatest number of nominations in a survey of their medical peers. The physicians profiled received the most votes in each county. Many excellent practitioners did not make the list. Their exclusion should not diminish their fine reputations.
Joseph F. Rubacky III, DO, Dover
Rubacky is a disciplined military man, yet he nonetheless recommends a cheat treat once a week while modifying a diet. All good things come in time, he says. Before joining Dover Family Physicians in 1989, Rubacky served as a major in the United States Air Force and earned a Surgeon General’s medal for revamping the emergency room at Homestead Air Force base in Florida. A fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Rubacky has served as chairman of the family practice department at Kent General.
Philosophy of Care “My philosophy of care is holistic, which was at the foundation of my training in osteopathic medicine. By its very nature, we look at the entire patient and family and the impact of disease on them.”
Best Health Advice Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, eat a diet low in fat and maintain a body mass index of 25 or less. (BMI is a measure of fat calculated from a person’s weight and height.) Consume alcohol only in moderation and quit smoking.
On Exercise “In addition to the obvious benefit to the heart, exercise is a great mood lifter and energy booster.” Start by walking, but, “Don’t walk like a Delawarean. Walk like a New Yorker. New Yorkers walk twice as fast.” Older patients recovering from an illness or surgery should work with a trainer. All school-age children should play a sport or engage in outdoor activity for two hours a day. Inactive people 40 years or older should consult a doctor before starting an exercise regimen.
On Diet Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables to six or more servings a day. Eat nothing white (bread, flour, rice). Eliminate fried foods. Don’t drink sodas, sports drinks or high-calorie beverages. Eat fish at least twice a week. Eliminate sweets and junk food from your home. Skip fast food and school lunches. “And when you eat out, eat only half of the meal.”
Keeping Current Rubacky subscribes to more than a dozen journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Journal of the Medical Society of Delaware, which address such issues as newborn nursery care and medical care, critical care, coronary care and emergency care. Rubacky also subscribes to Journal Watch and Physician First Watch, Internet services that send daily emails from more than 100 leading journals.
The most exciting thing in medicine Technology. Rubacky’s office recently converted to an electronic health record, which integrates all elements of a patient’s health history, including medications, lab work, X-rays, scans and EKGs. His Dover Family Physicians is a test site for the new Delaware Health Information Network.
Page 2: Family Practice | Gregory A. Bahtiarian, DO, Lewes