Focus on Wellness, Lifestyle Helps Patients See the Big Picture

Dr. Joyce Gottesfeld

Dr. Joyce Gottesfeld, who grew up in Boston and went to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, joined CPMG right out of her residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 18 years ago. Since then, she has been a very active member of the organization as well as an outspoken advocate for patient health and wellness.

“I’m very into health, exercise and wellness — and I like to look at the big picture because people can tend to focus on the small things and don’t always see the forest for the trees, when I’d rather have them focus on their top health priorities,” she says.

That big-picture philosophy includes encouraging smart lifestyle choices such as weight management, a healthy diet, regular exercise, smoking cessation, and good sleep hygiene. It also focuses on chronic illness prevention and recommended health screenings. Sometimes, people come in and they’re fixated on something they saw on a TV show or the news, like Ebola, she says. While those things can be worrisome, patients benefit more by paying attention to preventing common illnesses like the flu or chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.

The greatest patients ever

Dr. Gottesfeld is unabashed about her admiration and appreciation for her patients, some of whom she has seen for nearly two decades.

“I have the greatest patients ever. I just love them,” she says. “As a doctor, you can make a small difference, like educating a patient about the benefits of sleep — or you can make a huge difference, like finding a cancer. And meanwhile, in the midst of these health struggles, these women are continuing to run their own lives, take care of their families and manage their careers. They’re amazing.”

Support network provides valuable resources

The network of specialists and education available to Dr. Gottesfeld are some of the reasons she loves going to work every day. She can focus on helping her patients stay well, thanks to strong support from other physicians and resources available electronically — such as weight control classes or the most up-to-date information about smoking cessation medications, for example.

“Smoking is a risk factor for cervical cancer, so if I want to help a patient quit, I can rely on our internal electronic resources for the most recent research and recommendations,” she says. “And beyond that, it’s great to know you’re part of an integrated organization versus being out on your own in private practice. I can’t tell you how important that is."

Leading by example

In her off time, Dr. Gottesfeld practices what she preaches and leads a healthy lifestyle. “I recently ran the Chicago Marathon,” she says. “I ran it in four hours, which is my personal best, so I was pretty psyched about that.”

She also advocates a healthy lifestyle and discusses relevant health topics in her blog and in podcasts on Total Health Radio.

Learn more about why Dr. Gottesfeld enjoys working for CPMG.

Learn more about working for CPMG.