Hillcrest Doctors Dine, Disseminate Information to the Public
Hillcrest Hospital holds 12th annual Dinner with the Docs event Thursday at Executive Caterers.
Hundreds of area residents on Thursday did what any of us would do if given the chance to dine with six doctors — pick their brains.
Physicians welcomed general questions at Hillcrest Hospital's 12th annual Dinner with the Docs, but attendees at the Executive Caterers-hosted event framed their queries in a timely fashion. Less than a week after Merck & Co. said it restored ample supplies of its previously problematic shingles vaccine, Zostavax, audience members Thursday night asked the experts every shingles-related question under the sun.
Moderator Dr. Jeffrey H. Lautman said only half the shingles questions were addressed, and that he could have done an event solely on shingles.
Since Dinner with the Docs is presented through Hillcrest's Chronic Care/Diabetes Community Program, the shingles questions made sense. Still, their frequency became a running joke about an hour into the program. A question possibly inspired by "4/20," the unofficial marijuana holiday, produced the night's largest amount of laughter.
"Can a doctor give a prescription for marijuana," moderator Dr. Jeffrey H. Lautman read from an anonymous card.
Dr. Scott Burg, the panel's rheumatologist, rattled off a list of states that have approved medicinal marijuana, predictably excluding Ohio. He added that, "Most of the medical marijuana that is effective is taken by mouth, not smoked. It's taken by tablet."
Though the event provides a social platform for some attendees, its purpose is no laughing matter. Karla Lindsey, Hillcrest's coordinator of community outreach, said the event grew from about 70 people to nearly 400 because people value talking to physicians in a relaxed environment.
"I think the best thing that can happen is when someone hears someone else's question, they might not have thought to ask that or it prompts something they've been wondering about," Lindsey said. "I just think it's the wealth of information that they can hear at one time."
Burg was joined by five doctors, including cardiologist Dr. Avrum Jacobs and Dr. Edward Nemet, a podiatrist. The men fielded anonymous questions, as well as those from identified audience members.
Burg broke down the difference between osteoporosis and osteopenia, while endocrinologist Dr. Jay Morrow tackled a question regarding medication versus bariatric surgery for Type 2 Diabetes.
"Under most circumstances, I would not recommend bariatric surgery as a first-time treatment," Morrow said. "The still-cornerstone treatment is diet and exercise."
Lindsey said Hillcrest amped up its emailing and outreach efforts to attract more people to the event. That's helped the flow of information within the community, along with the hospital's visibility.
"They tell their friends, you've gotta come to this," Lindsey said.