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Meet Primary Care Physician, Dr. Michael Yu

Senior Living: What is your background?

Dr. Yu: I finished my training at Harbor UCLA County Hospital in 2004. After my training I treated the underserved population in the South Bay area. I worked at community clinics and free clinics, including one where I became Medical Director. Recently, I joined the Torrance Memorial Physician Network on Skypark Drive in Torrance.

SL: Do you see many seniors in your practice?

Dr. Yu: The majority of my patients are 65 and older. I try to focus on their unique needs such as extra care, extra attention and additional help keeping up their health maintenance.

SL: What is your biggest concern with senior patients?

Dr. Yu: I’m surprised how healthy my senior patients are. My biggest concern for seniors is for their psychological well-being. Social isolation can be a problem when family members live far away and a seniors’ mobility is limited. They don’t go out too much and have a hard time keeping themselves busy. I observe many seniors with symptoms of depression.

SL: What do you do to help?

Dr. Yu: I try to identify what sort of things they are missing out on. What is it that they would like to do but can’t? How can we get them doing that thing again? We look into community resources and try to find ways to help them get involved. I love to see my patients get excited about finding renewed purpose in life.

SL: What’s the most common mistake that seniors make with their healthcare?

Dr. Yu: The belief that as you age, every problem needs to be taken care of by medication. I’ve seen seniors on 10 to 20 different medications. In a lot of cases, they’re not sure what they’re taking, why they’re taking it and what side effects are possible. In my experience, a lot of health complaints are due to side effects of medication for other health problems and not related to actual physical illnesses.

SL: What’s the solution to the medication problem?

Dr. Yu: Education both for patients and physicians. As physicians we have to update ourselves on warnings and side effects of medications alone and in combination to identify problems in our patients. For seniors, it’s important to ask about their medications and understand the benefits and the side-effects.

SL: What’s your advice to seniors?

Dr. Yu: Learn how to maximize your time with your doctor. Write down why you’re coming to see the doctor and what you hope to achieve with your visit. Bring all your medications. Write down any questions you have. Then refer to your notes during your visit.

You can reach Dr. Yu’s office at (310) 784-6300.

Categories: Healthy Living,News

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