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Meet Mary Beth Miller, M.D.

Dr. Mary Beth Miller is new to the South Bay, but she has a long history as a primary care doctor. She spent 16 years as the only doctor in the rural town of St. Francis, Kansas, located near the Colorado border.

“When you’re a doctor in a small town you do everything,” explains Dr. Miller. “You’re the ER, you’re the pediatrician, you’re the coroner. From birth to death I’ve seen all the ways that the disease process can be cured or go on and lead to something else.”

Dr. Miller lists heart disease, arthritis and depression as the most common problems affecting seniors today.

“Depression is really epidemic among seniors. All of the loss they see and the emotional toll of dealing with their own health issues,” says Dr. Miller. “When you’re young, you never buy into the idea that getting older is going to happen to you.”

“The real art of medicine is communication. The ability to say things in ways that are meaningful to your patients.”

The best treatments for these problems of old age, says Dr. Miller, also happen to be the best prevention.

“Good nutrition is always important,” explains Dr. Miller. “So is staying as active as you possibly can. If you can’t walk, you can use a bike pedal exerciser that you can pedal while sitting in your living room chair.”

Dr. Miller says she loves being able to make a difference in a patient’s health by communicating in a way that means something to them.

“When I get to know a patient I want to figure out how is this person going to want to hear things from me,” says Dr. Miller. “I like to find the little pearls; the one thing that turns on a light bulb in somebody’s head. For example, one pearl that resonates with some people for weight control: The best part of a piece a cake is the first bite, every bite after that is never as good. So have the first bite but don’t have the rest.”

Unlike many doctors, Dr. Miller went to medical school while she was married and had three young children.

“I always wanted to be a doctor,” says Dr. Miller. “The first time I was accepted to medical school my husband wanted me to wait and focus on our relationship. Thirteen years later, my passion to be a doctor still burned and my husband grew convinced that I should follow my dream.”

Dr. Miller has been practicing medicine for 20 years. She is with the Torrance Memorial Physician Network and her office is located at 3333 Skypark Drive in Torrance. To make an appointment or ask the doctor a question, call 310- 784-6300.