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May 21, 2012



More than 70 Temple University School of Medicine students and over a dozen medical faculty joined Dr. Larry Kaiser, CEO and Dean of Temple’s healthcare enterprise, and FOX-TV’s Dr. Oz in the MERB on May 19 to promote the important health message that a lifestyle of prevention and proactive management is vital to good health. Together, they delivered a “15-Minute Physical” to hundreds of people from throughout the region who came to Temple on a sunny Saturday to receive a free health screening – and to meet the host of the nationally syndicated The Dr. Oz Show in person. Also participating in the event was Fox 29 medical correspondent “Dr. Mike” Cirigliano.


For each participant, Temple Health volunteers measured key indicators of two of the most serious and prevalent diseases in the nation: heart disease and diabetes. The indicators included: a lipid panel (HDL and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides), blood glucose level, blood pressure, and waist size. Within 15 minutes, Temple students and physicians gave participants a summary of their medical report and provided a brief counseling discussion advising them whether they are in optimum health, should address any of the conditions, or follow up with their primary care physician. Dr. Oz and Dr. Mike each met individually with many of the day’s participants to reinforce the message that, once you discover these risk factors, you have considerable power to prevent them from leading to disability and disease.


Tena Richardson at Dr. Oz's 15-Minite Physical event

Tena Richardson at Dr. Oz's 15-Minite Physical event


Tena Richardson, lead security guard at the MERB’s front desk and an employee of Allied Barton, knows about the importance of knowing your numbers. “I’m a diabetic and I check my blood sugar levels two or three times a day. Today’s event was a good opportunity to have a professional do it,” she said, while also admitting that the chance to meet Dr. Oz also played a part in attending! “I have perfect cholesterol levels,” Richardson beamed, noting that she has them checked every three months by her endocrinologist.


(from right) TUSM students Dilan D. Patel and Natish Harid

(from right) TUSM students Dilan D. Patel and Natish Harid


First-year TUSM students Dilan D. Patel and Nitish Harid both enjoyed the opportunity to volunteer their services during the day’s screenings. “We learn a lot about interacting with patients through role-paying in our ‘doctoring’ curriculum, but this is the kind of event that gives us the opportunity to practice clinical interactions with actual patients from the community,” said Patel, a Florida resident originally from London. “We’re getting early clinical exposure to what patients are all about – taking real histories and physicals, consulting about diseases, and discussing aspects of their lifestyles,” added Harid, a New Jersey resident originally from India.


At the conclusion of the day’s event, Dr. Oz presented a “Health Data Report Card” to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Philadelphia Health Commissioner Donald Schwarz, MD, MPH. Among the alarming findings: 43% of participants were obese, 43% had high blood pressure, and 40% were borderline diabetic.


Dr. Oz called results like these “ammo” to use when confronting policymakers with pressing health issues, and their costs and implications. Dr. Oz said he uses his television program as a “bully pulpit” to motivate people to become more vigilant about their health, but added that change also requires clinicians – the “troops on the ground” – to offer the kind of guidance and encouragement that helps their patients implement and maintain healthier behaviors.


Kathleen Reeves, MD, TUSM’s Associate Dean for Student Affairs, thanked Dr. Oz for choosing Temple University Health System as the place to offer his 15-Minute Physical, and to present his Health Report Card. “Temple’s teams of multidisciplinary health professionals salute your service in spreading the vital health messages of awareness and prevention. Today’s event highlights that we are all allies in a common cause – engaging our communities and helping them to stay healthy and to be their best,” said Reeves.


“As a longstanding provider of world-class healthcare to patients throughout the region, Temple is the perfect partner to teach prevention – and the perfect bridge to help community residents take what they learned from the event and put it into action in their lives,” added Dr. Reeves.


The screening event was a potential life-saver for two attendees who came for screening, one who was discovered to have a dangerously low hemoglobin count, and the other who had severe hypertension. Both were sent to Temple University Hospital for emergency care.