Internal medicine doctor gifted at listening to patients
Dr. Rhu-Jade Raguindin practices internal medicine for Steward Medical Group and Melbourne Regional Medical Center. (Photo: Steward Medical Group)
Dr. Rhu-Jade Raguindin practices internal medicine for Steward Medical Group and Melbourne Regional Medical Center.
Q: Why did you go into this career?
A: As a young boy, I was interested in science and math. I had good grades and my mom wanted me to be a scientist, but I decided I’d rather be a doctor. I had the ability and saw this as a prestigious career.
Also, I had a bachelor’s degree in psychology, which helped me learn how to listen, how to understand and relate to people. Sometimes my patients just want to talk; they want someone to listen to them more than anything else. My background helps me meet that need.
Q: What services do you provide?
A: I practice internal medicine. Included in my services are wellness exams, preventative care — adult and geriatric. I work with my patients to diagnose and manage such chronic conditions as diabetes and hypertension. I also treat patients with short-term illnesses, such as upper respiratory infections, UTIs and the flu.
Q: What makes this area of medicine fulfilling for you?
A: It’s actually very fulfilling, because my job is to solve problems that can have life-or-death consequences. Few things can be more fulfilling than saving someone’s life.
I once diagnosed a patient with cancer that was, fortunately, curable and he survived.
For me, it was straightforward and I did not have difficulty diagnosing his illness. But my patient was very grateful and felt I was the best doctor in the world.
I humbly told him that anyone who finished med school could have found the diagnosis, but he still thought I was special.
Before I left my previous practice, he came to our front desk and asked to see me one last time. He didn’t have an appointment but asked if I could come to the front so he could thank me again for the care he had received over the years.
These are the things I definitely appreciate about being a physician.
Q: When did you realize this was the right medical career path for you?
A: It started with clerkship in my fourth year of med school. This was the time we started seeing patients in the hospital. The training was very hard.
There were only three kinds of days: pre-duty, duty and from duty. You work eight hours on the first, 24 hours on the second and five more hours after the 24-hour call. Then you repeat this cycle for the entire year without holidays or vacation. I actually had fun, and it was during this time that I realized I was made for this.
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Q: What’s the latest advancement in your field that will benefit patients?
A: It’s the way we prevent or treat disease by using advances in genetic research. Examples include gene-based therapy to treat certain types of cancer and pharmacogenomics, where genetic makeup helps us determine the best medication for the patient.
Q: Best advice for current and potential patients?
A: Basically, most of the problems we encounter in primary care are lifestyle-related diseases that are preventable. One example is Type 2 diabetes, which is due to an excess in the consumption of carbohydrates.
Once I diagnose a patient with Type 2 diabetes, the first thing I do is educate that patient on the need to eat healthier by reducing the intake of carbohydrates, and to engage in regular exercise.
I try to avoid medications as much as possible because I will just be enabling an unhealthy lifestyle.
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Name: Rhu-Jade Raguindin, MD “Dr. Jade”
Where you’re based: Steward Medical Group and Melbourne Regional Medical Center
Education: I earned my medical degree from the University of the City of Manilla in the Philippines. I did my residency at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, New York.
Professional background: After I finished medical school in the Philippines, I practiced there from 2004 and 2007. I have been practicing in Titusville from 2010 until now.
Address: Steward Medical Group, 240 N. Wickham Road, Suite 304, Melbourne, FL 32935
Phone: (321) 308-5050
Contact: Cathy Pague, Marketing Manager
On the Web: melbourneregional.org
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