Three Little Words That Can Do More Harm Than Good

There is a certain comfort that comes with the words “I feel fine.” The phrase provides a security blanket that assures us that if we are not feeling certain symptoms, we are “safe” for the time being. And if I am feeling fine, why do I need to see a doctor? I am not looking for trouble.
Truth be told, if you don’t see a doctor annually, you may not be looking for trouble, but trouble has a good chance of finding you.

We are taught as parents that one of our primary responsibilities is to make sure our children receive annual examinations and the necessary vaccinations. We spend thousands of dollars to take our pets to the vet and our cars to the dealership for regular oil changes and maintenance checks. And yet, as we get older, we forget that this proactive care is so essential when it comes to our own well-being.

What changes when we become adults? Well, for starters, many of us start leading much more sedentary lifestyles, with little to no exercise and absolutely zero regard to what we are eating between work and shuffling our kids to school, dance recitals, and soccer practice. The results are downright fearful with two-thirds of our population overweight, and one in every three people suffering with some form of diabetes. The onset of chronic illness such as heart disease and cancer runs rampant as our age increases, leading to 70% of all deaths. Snore at night? That heavy breathing should not be taken lightly—it may be a sign of sleep apnea, which could increase your chance of a stroke by 30%.

The fact is NOW MORE THAN EVER you need to see a doctor regularly, even when you think you are on top of your game. When was the last time you had an annual physical examination? For most of us, it was a lot longer than a year ago. And when we say a physical, we mean much more than blood work and an EKG. An adult patient deserves an adult evaluation. This includes:

  • A comprehensive review of your family history, including parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins, to determine which ailments and illnesses run through your family tree.
  • A lifestyle evaluation, reviewing your daily diet and level of activity. We examine everything from how many steps you take in a day to the number of fruits and vegetables you consume (or in most cases, don’t consume).
  • An Epworth sleep evaluation to screen for sleep apnea and identify any needs for treatment.
  • A mini mental evaluation which will explore the potential for memory loss and a Zung depression analysis, which will screen for any undiagnosed depression.
  • An extensive review of your occupational history where we look at all of your work settings and determine the need for any specific health screenings as a result of your job(s). If we do locate a form of illness or cancer, it is far more treatable in its earlier stages.
  • Lastly, a comprehensive exam while undressed which includes necessary rectal exams, prostate exams for men, and breast exams for women.

Is the annual exam a pleasant experience? I doubt it will ever top of the list of your favorite activities. However, by taking the time to have yourself checked out regularly, you can assure yourself that you will be able to continue to enjoy your favorite activities. From this exam, we put together a wellness program to make sure you feel fine for a long to come.

You don’t wait until your car breaks down before you get the oil changed. Why would you wait for your body to break down before you go to the doctor? By seeing a doctor on an annual basis, you not only add years to your life, but most importantly, you add life to your years.

May 19, 2011, CBS 3’s “Talk Philly” show

As seen on CBS 3’s Talk Philly show!
These days a trip to the doctor can mean five minutes with the nurse and even less time with the doctor. You get your diagnosis and prescription and you are sent on your way, right? Well what if you got a 90 minute exam, a plan for better health, the doctor’s cell phone number in case you have a question and even the opportunity for house calls. You can get all this and more at Prevention First. Here to talk about it is the founder of Prevention First, Dr. Marc Rabinowitz and his patient Sherry Kohn.
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Original Article

Bucks County Internist Named One of America’s Top Physicians

Dr. Marc Rabinowitz Featured in Consumer’s Research Council of America 2010 Top Physicians

(Southhampton, PA) – Dr. Marc Rabinowitz, a nationally-recognized internist for more than two decades, and founder of Prevention First Healthcare, has been named one of America’s Top Physicians by Consumer’s Research Council of America in its 2010 edition. This is the second time Dr. Rabinowitz has received this title; he was also featured in the 2008 edition.

To determine America’s Top Physicians, the Consumer’s Research Council of America utilizes a point value system for experience, training, professional associations and board certification; and recognizes the medical professionals throughout the Country with the highest scores to create an objective resource guide.

A Cum Laude graduate of LaSalle University, Dr. Rabinowitz received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Temple University, Alpha Omega Alpha in 1986 and went on to be an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the School before entering in private practice in 1991. In addition, he served on the Medical Executive Committee and Board of Directors for Holy Redeemer Hospital, as well as the Board of Directors of the Patients and Physicians Alliance.

Branching out from traditional medicine, Dr. Rabinowitz formed Prevention First Healthcare, a concierge medical practice designed to promote proactive care through education, counseling, comprehensive screenings, and continuous one-on-one communication between the patient and doctor. Prevention First patients receive comprehensive 90-minute physicals, nutritional counseling, exercise training, smoking cessation, regular testing, house calls if needed, a personal assistant to handle all referrals and insurance matters, and most importantly, Dr. Rabinowitz’s personal cell phone number which can be used at any time necessary.

For more information about Dr. Rabinowitz’s practice, Prevention First Healthcare, please visit or call 215-PREVENT (215-773-8368)

A Number With The Power To Save Your Life

In a world of super-sizing and excessive indulgence, the term “Body Mass Index” can sound like a real bummer. But this simple number is much clearer than a crystal ball when it comes to seeing your future.

Your body mass index is easy to compute; take your weight and divide it by your height (in inches) squared, then multiply that number by 703. Remember that 1 foot = 12 inches. Let’s say that you are 5 foot 9 and weigh 165 pounds. Your BMI would be 165 divided by 69 x 69 (4761) x 703, equaling 24.4.
Ideally, we determine a normal body mass index at 25. Anything over 25 is labeled as overweight and anything over 30 is classified as obese. If your body mass index is over 25, you are not alone. Two out of every three Americans is labeled overweight. The scary thing is that studies have proven that for every five points you accrue above 25, you could be shortening your life by two years. Obesity can lead to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and it is the number one leading factor when it comes to contracting chronic illnesses, such as heart attacks, sleep apnea, strokes, certain cancers and diabetes. A six foot, 300 pound man could be shortening his life span by 8-10 years if he does not change his habits.

John is the perfect example of this. A patient of mine for many years, I watched as he packed on the excess weight, eventually carrying many more pounds than he should. As expected, with the excess weight came the arrival of sleep apnea, swollen legs, high cholesterol, and continuous fatigue preventing him from completing everyday activities. John identified the issue and put prevention first. How? We started with nutritional counseling. This is not dieting; this is not deprivation; it’s healthy eating, It involves figuring out delicious heart-smart substitutions for his favorite foods and correcting portion sizes. Then, we taught him simple, easy steps to increase his everyday activity—for example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the end of the lot. John hates exercise, but by following these tips, he was getting fit without even knowing it.

Just by making simple changes in his diet and his life, John lost 50 pounds over an eight-month period. His sleep apnea improved significantly, meaning better sleeping patterns and less fatigue. His cholesterol went down, meaning no more expensive medications. His legs are no longer swollen and he feels as though he can accomplish so much more in a day than ever before. Naturally, both he and his wife are overjoyed at the difference in his quality of life.

The result is wonderful, but not at all surprising. I recently returned from a conference on personalized preventative healthcare presented by the National Institutes of Health. Through many extensive studies, the NIH concluded that while genetics will always play a role in the onset of chronic illness, obesity plays a huge factor as well. Furthermore, they have found that exercise and healthy eating have proven to be just as effective as expensive medications, if not more so, in battling diseases such as diabetes. While those who have stock in the pharmaceutical companies may not find this news so enlightening, it certainly reinforces those who invest in their own healthy lifestyles.

Try it for yourself. Start by cutting out sugary sodas and lattes, many of which can pack 200 calories or more on your daily diet. Also, walk an extra 500 steps a day. Just by following these two tips daily, you should see a positive result in a matter of weeks.

My practice, Prevention First Healthcare, offers exercise and nutritional counseling to all of our patients. We also provide healthy treats, including whole grain muffins and dark chocolate, and information on how to shop heart-healthy. By fostering healthy lifestyles, we have found that people look at healthcare more as a pleasure and not a chore. Our practice is geared around proactive care to ensure a longer, better life, all for less than your average monthly cable bill. It may sound too good to be true, but I can assure you that John and many of our other patients can attest to the power of putting prevention first.