Services

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is the process of restoring function or skills to a person who has experienced loss due to illness or injury. Physiatrists are medical doctors who are board certified in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The training in this specialty is unusual because the focus is on dealing with the illness or injury from the patient’s perspective, rather than focusing on the pathology of the illness or injury itself.

People often want to go home after serious injury or illness, rather than stay longer in the hospital for in-patient rehabilitation programs. Personal Physician Group LLP can bring all the services of an in-patient rehabilitation program to you, in the comfort of your own home.

Our rehabilitation team is made up of physicians, physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, registered dieticians, rehabilitation nursing and case managers. Other specialties such as neuropsychology, cardiology, orthopedics, neurology and others are added to the team as needed.

The staff at Personal Physician Group LLP is experienced in managing stroke, spinal cord and brain injury, spinal fractures, joint replacement, degenerative neurologic illnesses and many others.

We can assist you in every aspect of training and managing the patient’s in-home staff, which allows you the comfort of knowing your loved one is well cared for while you are at work, raising your family or traveling away from home. Personal Physician Group LLP staff is available 24/7 for our patients’ needs.

Having two medical problems at once is a difficult challenge for patients and their families. We understand that issues of the mind are medical problems, just like any other. We offer compassionate medical care without judgment or irritation with behaviors that are simply symptoms of the illness itself.

We work with our patient’s physicians and therapists to manage all of the medical issues, both physical and emotional/cognitive. We are experienced in providing medical care for patients with bipolar illness, dementia, thought or mood disorders and developmental delay.

Personal Physician Group LLP is structured to provide all the time we need to work with our patients, families and guardians. We do not push our patients with time deadlines. Medical care can be delivered calmly, in the home or office, without rushing or frightening our patients.

Dancers, musicians and visual artists have special medical needs. These artists earn their living through their bodies, and even small decrements of function can be catastrophic. Performing and visual artists have unique occupational medicine exposures that can generate unusual health problems.

It is very rare for us to stop an artist from rehearsal or performance as a part of medical treatment. We understand that stopping those activities at critical times in the season may be catastrophic. We know that most performers and artists do not have the luxury of taking time off – no work means no income! Principles of “relative rest” and occasionally altering the performance can often be enough to allow performers and visual artists to get through critical times.

Dr. Clearman, Executive Director of Personal Physician Group LLP, has always had a special interest in performing and visual artists, writers and designers and has been working in Arts Medicine since the 1980s.

Dr. Clearman and the Arts Medicine team are committed to the care of the Houston artistic community and are willing to give our services to full-time performing and visual artists who would not otherwise be able to receive medical services. Once a month, Personal Physician Group LLP sponsors a free Arts Medicine Clinic from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The Arts Medicine Clinic also has other volunteers: physical therapist Jennifer Hochnadel PT DPT from Affiliates in Physical Therapy and massage therapist Ken Newby MTR also serve the arts community via this clinic.

Lack of funds should not prevent professional artists or performers from getting help for your medical problem. If you are a dance, music, performance or visual arts student and require financial help for medical care, you may be eligible for this clinic.

To find out if Arts Medicine Clinic is right for you, please call our office at 713-524-9800.

Medical Team Management

In-Home Hospital Care refers to coordinating a medical team to provide hospital-level of care in a home setting. Personal Physician Group LLP accepts stable post-operative or medically ill patients for In-Home Hospital Care after an evaluation and approval by one of our physicians for feasibility and safety.

We can provide 24-hour physician staffing (Vigil Services), and procure nursing, respiratory care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, dietary care, etc. for patient care in the home or hotel.

This is a great option for a wide variety of medical and post-surgical patient issues including internal and external orthopedic fixations, wound care, chemotherapy regimens, dialysis, pulmonary problems (including ventilator management), cardiac illness, long-term infections, frequent laboratory draws, central and peripheral IVs, surgical drains, and many other types of medical needs usually managed in a hospital setting.

In-Home Hospital Care relieves the anxiety of separation from family for ill or injured children, reduces confusion and disorientation in the elderly when removed from home, and can allow early hospital discharge for almost anyone.

Allow us to help navigate the complicated world of medicine.

Personal Physician Group LLP can:

  • Assist you in selecting the finest physicians
  • Cut through wait times to get you in to busy physicians’ offices
  • Accompany you to appointments, through procedures or surgeries
  • Assure pain control and maximum patient comfort
  • Act as your diplomatic but effective guide within “the system”

Doctors enjoy working with us because we do our best to make everything easier for them. Our medical staff will be with you every step of the way, to ensure the medical system acts on your behalf.

Patient Advocacy

House calls are requested for a variety of reasons. A concierge physician house call in the privacy of your own home eliminates the difficulties of finding the doctor’s office, traveling there and parking, the lack of privacy, the exposures to illness in the waiting room–and waiting for the doctor. Personal Physician Group LLP doctors arrive at the location of your choice on time, and your doctor’s examination occurs in the quiet, comfort and security of your own space.

With travel time and waiting eliminated, busy executives and community leaders can easily obtain their yearly physical, get a flu shot, EKG or lab work, or discretely manage health problems. Those who are frail, weak, elderly or immuno-suppressed are spared the exposures and fatigue of standard office visits.

High-profile families requiring extreme privacy are guaranteed confidentiality by home visits. We can provide you with an alias and collaborate with your security staff to further protect your privacy if you require complex medical testing or hospitalization.

Physicians at Personal Physician Group LLP can work with your existing team of physicians to ensure your doctors are kept informed and involved in your care. We can act as an extension of your physician’s eyes, ears and hands to optimize the care program he/she has designed for you at home. On a case-by-case basis, we can often facilitate a home visit from your own physician specialists as a part of Personal Physician Group LLP home care service.

In addition, we can provide all the services detailed in the In-Home Hospital section (under Medical Team Management, above), and we can facilitate the procurement of a wide variety of services to improve daily comfort of our patients such as an in-home beautician for hair, nail care and make-up. We can help arrange for a driver, personal chef, child care, personal shopper – almost anything!

Needing mechanical ventilation no longer means staying in the hospital. Personal Physician Group LLP physicians, nurses and therapists will come to your home for all aspects of your medical care.
There is a tremendous gap in the medical services available for those near the end of life who wish to continue active disease treatment until the very end. In most cases, active treatment aimed at a cure is not permitted while receiving Hospice services. Federal Medicare regulations limit the medical services a person receiving Hospice can have, and state the person must have less than 6 months life expectancy.

For example, a person continuing to receive cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or some types of radiation would not be eligible for Hospice services, even though the prognosis is for less than 6 months. Unfortunately, this rule often prohibits patients from obtaining the wonderful in-home palliative care and pain management programs that Hospice can provide.

Personal Physician Group LLP is honored to serve those who are near the end of life and need medical care and support, but do not meet hospice requirements. Our End-of-Life service provides symptom management, pain control, a full range of comfort strategies and palliative care, while receiving active disease treatment. We are dedicated to patient-directed medical care; if our patients want active treatment until the end of life, we will ensure it is provided while attending to their every comfort.

We can also provide a physician at the bedside 24 hours per day with our Vigil Service (see description below) to reassure the patient and family, if requested.

At the request of patients or families, Personal Physician Group LLP will locate the latest research and experimental treatment options anywhere in the world, for any illness. We can arrange for and accompany patients to second or third opinions in any location.

During hospitalization, a frustrating and common occurrence is waiting:

waiting for orders to be written…

waiting for test results…

waiting for your doctor’s visit to ask questions…

…it can seem endless!

A private duty nurse cannot eliminate waiting for busy doctors caring for many patients at the same time. With vigil services, we assign a physician to you, and you only. Your vigil physician will be at your bedside 24 hours a day.

Our extensive experience in working with surgeons, internists, cardiologists, oncologists and other specialists allows us to work collegially to care for you quickly and competently. Our knowledge of hospital and ambulatory care systems enables us to “work the system” to assure you the best care at all times. We can slash through wait times and get results quickly.

By remaining at the patient’s bedside 24 hours a day, the vigil physician will act quickly to intervene if the patient’s clinical status changes. This is the highest level of care available–you will feel the difference it makes in the care you receive!

Musculoskeletal Medicine & Pain Management

The body possesses an amazing ability to heal itself when biomechanical problems are corrected. The human body is a constantly moving system, and pain and disability result when movement is stopped or altered due to injury, illness or life events. Our goal is to actively involve our patients in understanding their own kinesiology so that they can learn how to correct it and live without pain.

Whenever movement is lost, the result is pain and decreased or lost function. As anyone who has endured a 2-hour meeting, plane flight or car ride knows, the body needs to move to feel well. Understanding how to work within this physiology is critical to musculoskeletal health.

Our Musculoskeletal Care clinic is for people who have problems with dysfunction in the bones, joints, muscles, connective tissue, neurologic or vascular systems. The problem may be pain, weakness, poor control, stiffness, change in sensation (feeling) of part of the body or any other symptoms in these body systems.

To get the most help from a clinic visit, patients should be well-prepared and bring their completed paperwork, old records, x-rays, braces, orthotics and anything else which might be useful.

In 2002 the JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) responded to public distress over poor pain management in medical settings by establishing a new patient right: “Patients have the right to appropriate assessment and management of pain.”

Despite this new standard, just about everyone has some anxiety about suffering from pain as the result of a health problem. Many of us have had past experiences in which our pain was not adequately managed. The medical staff of Personal Physician Group LLP is expert in pain control and dedicated to ensuring our patients remain comfortable.

All pain can be controlled with adequate amounts of the right medications; the challenge is to manage the sedation and other side effects. Dr. Rebecca Clearman worked as a cancer pain specialist at MD Anderson Cancer Center – Personal Physician Group LLP can handle even the most difficult pain management problems.

A special challenge in pain management is controlling pain in people with current or previous problems with substance abuse. Often we find these patients are so afraid of relapse that they do not receive adequate pain relief for painful conditions such as surgery. ALL people deserve pain relief; our doctors are experienced in the necessary modifications to the usual pain protocols which persons with this medical history require.

In addition to using pain medications, we collaborate with the patient to select and utilize a variety of physical modalities, transcutaneous electrical stimulation, anodyne, acupuncture and hypnosis to facilitate pain relief.

Copied from the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture

ACUPUNCTURE: WHAT IS IT?

Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.

HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?

The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up in others.

The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments can therefore help the body’s internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, and in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.

The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body’s own internal regulating system.

The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.

WHAT IS MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE? IS IT DIFFERENT FROM ORDINARY ACUPUNCTURE?

Acupuncture is a very old medical art, and there are many approaches to learning and practicing it. Medical acupuncture is the term used to describe acupuncture performed by a doctor trained and licensed in Western medicine that has also had thorough training in acupuncture as a specialty practice. Such a doctor can use one or the other approach, or a combination of both as the need arises, to treat an illness.

WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF MEDICAL ACUPUNCTURE?

Medical acupuncture is a system which can influence three areas of health care:

promotion of health and well-being,
prevention of illness,
treatment of various medical conditions.

While acupuncture is often associated with pain control, in the hands of a well-trained practitioner it has much broader applications. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other medical treatment forms in many medical and surgical disorders. The World Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture in the treatment of a wide range of medical problems, including:

Digestive disorders: gastritis and hyperacidity, spastic colon, constipation, diarrhea.
Respiratory disorders: sinusitis, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, recurrent chest infections.
Neurological and muscular disorders: headaches, facial tics, neck pain, rib neuritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, various forms of tendinitis, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis.
Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.

Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems related to tension and stress and emotional conditions.

If you have questions about a specific illness or disorder not listed above, you can usually have your questions answered by medical acupuncturists practicing in your area.

HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?

The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required, and for health

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS TO THE TREATMENT?

Usually not. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. These should not cause concern, as they are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.

WHAT ARE THE NEEDLES LIKE? DO THEY HURT?

People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle.

Because your doctor carefully sterilizes the needles using the same techniques as for surgical instruments, or uses disposable needles, there is no risk of infection from the treatments.

DOES ACUPUNCTURE REALLY WORK?

Yes. In the past 2,000 years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is practiced widely in Asia, the Soviet Union, and in Europe. It is now being used more and more in America by patients and physicians. Acupuncture treatments can be given at the same time other techniques are being used, such as conventional Western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathic or naturopathic prescriptions. It is important that your physician-acupuncturist know everything that you are doing, so he or she can help you get the most benefit from all your treatments.

DO I HAVE TO BELIEVE IN ACUPUNCTURE FOR IT TO WORK?

No. Acupuncture is used successfully on cats, dogs, horses and other animals. These animal patients do not understand or believe in the process that helps them get better. A positive attitude toward wellness may reinforce the effects of the treatment received, just as a negative attitude may hinder the effects of acupuncture or any other treatment. A neutral attitude (“I don’t know if I really believe in this.”) will not block the treatment results.

ARE THERE ANY “DO’S AND DONT’S” FOR ME ON THE DAY OF A TREATMENT?

Yes. To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:

Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.
Does not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment.
Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance. This is especially important for the first few visits.
Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your regular doctor. Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) especially in the week prior to treatment will seriously interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.
Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your doctor to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and your problem.

 

To determine if Personal Physician Group LLP is a match for your needs, please call us at 713-524-9800 or complete the Contact Us form on our website.