Can you remember the last time you walked into a doctor’s office and felt comfortable? At ease? Cared for, not just as a patient in an office, but as a person?
Since 2005 Dr. Srinivas Seela and Dr. Harinath Sheela of the Digestive and Liver Center of Florida have made it their goal to improve the way that healthcare providers interact with their patients one visit at a time. Most recently, Dr. Seela Ramesh, who also shares the same philosophy, has also joined the practice in order to better serve the community.
In addition to providing comprehensive, state-of-the-art gastroenterology and hepatology medical care services under one roof, all three physicians received training from some of the finest schools in the country. Dr. Seela and Dr. Sheela trained at Yale University School of Medicine, and Dr. Ramesh trained at Virginia Commonwealth University. They have taken every step to create a warm, caring environment for patients, especially during the month of March, which is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in America. Although completely curable if found early enough, more than 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease every year, with almost 50,000 people dying yearly from the cancer.
“It’s a terrible disease, but a completely preventable one, which is why this month is all about the importance of prevention,” says Dr. Seela. “Cancer prevention screenings are only available for a few types of cancer so it’s vital we use the opportunity to help everyone we can.” Dr. Sheela agrees: “It’s estimated that as many as 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if men and women aged 50 and older were screened routinely. That is why we put so much emphasis on patient education.”
From the moment the doctors begin to talk about their patients, it’s easy to see that they care. Dr. Seela says they have done everything within their power to create a “unique medical culture” at their office, including a strong commitment to continuing medical and patient interaction education. “Patient care and satisfaction is the center stage of our practice; everything we offer is guided by those principles,” says Dr. Sheela.
The doctors have also put an emphasis on patient education and communication, citing those factors to be two of the largest perceived factors lacking in many offices. “Most patients are frustrated not knowing what will happen to them,” says Dr. Ramesh. “We strive to explain their disease in simple terms, and show them the steps involved in treatment to empower them to be in charge of their health.”
Their Web site hosts a plethora of information in a unique “Patient Resource Center” and patients may also choose to sign up for their newsletter, which features a “Patient’s Corner” where common questions are answered in everyday language. They’ve recently launched a patient appreciation day as well where patients can visit the office and mingle with doctors and staff. “We have also started an ongoing patient support and help groups for those patients with specific medical conditions,” says Dr. Ramesh.
By talking with patients, the doctors have also found that when it comes to colorectal cancer, many are unaware of the risk and what exactly is involved in screening. For instance, many were unaware that women are at risk for colorectal cancer as well.
Screening generally involves a colonoscopy, and although some patients are concerned when they learn they need one, after sedation many report that they don’t even remember the procedure. “Most of the time patients are happy they went through the screening process, because now they have an answer,” says Dr. Seela. “Most patients report the test itself was easy and are willing to recommend it to others,” says Dr. Ramesh.
“It’s estimated that 40 percent of the age group at the greatest risk for developing colorectal cancer have not been screened appropriately,” says Dr. Sheela. “We prevent cancer every day by making sure our patients get their appropriate screenings.”
And it all goes back to caring about what they do, and more importantly, who they’re doing it for. “When you walk into our practice, you become a part of our family,” says Dr. Ramesh. “Before any treatment begins, it’s our job to put you at ease.”
“In our practice, we provide exceptional care without exception,” says Dr. Seela.
Lake Underhill Office
7975 Lake Underhill Rd., Suite 360, Orlando, FL, 32822
3000 N. Orange Ave., Suite C, Orlando, FL, 32804
407.384.7388 – www.DLCFl.com
Article by Corey Gehrold