Dr Alvarez is a family physician at Greenfield Health and practices both in their east- and westside clinics. Stride Strong PT has been a long-time supporter of Dr Alvarez, dating back to when she had her solo practice, Partners in Wellness. We admire her ability to connect with her patients on a personal level, and how she takes the time to know and understand their health concerns. Some of our practitioners have even chosen her as our primary provider – she’s just simply a great Doctor! Here’s our recent interview with her:
Q. How long have you been a practicing GP?
A. I have been a physician for 24 years. I’ve seen so much change in the field of medicine – seeing the day research was finally dedicated to women’s health regarding the use of hormone replacement therapy , to the use of narcotics to treat the 5th vital sign of pain in the 90’s , right up to the opioid epidemic we have today.
Q. What spurs your love for medicine?
A. I have a deep appreciation for the body’s amazing ability to heal itself. I find the most satisfaction in taking a holistic approach to treatment of patients with both chronic and acute disorders – how disease affects my patients emotionally and socially in addition to how it impairs them physically. I value follow up appointments and treatment plans, which allows for a continuum of care, so they achieve the best health outcomes. This continuity we have in primary care is a real honor.
Q. What are the important principles of your practice?
A. I have a large emphasis on face to face time – I like getting to know my patients. I am also a big believer in physical medicine and physical therapy. I find a hands-on evaluation is rewarding, and yet as of late, I find that listening via telehealth visits can still provide the working relationship to help my patients improve in their health. I believe Telehealth has improved our ability to provide ongoing care, in a way that allows a patient, if preferred to feel safe at home during their visit.
I really believe in an integrative practice for pain management, so I refer my patients to specialists in acupuncture, massage therapy, psychotherapy, and physical therapy when necessary. I believe a collaborative care approach is necessary to take care of my patients.
What I have found in working in a variety of settings from busy urban clinic in Texas to the academic and rural community based clinics of New Mexico, there is one constant – greater health outcomes are directly related to patient and provider communication, and also team Collaboration – of primary care providers with specialists. I appreciate the specialists who will take my call every once and a while to go over a care plan for a complicated case.
I value connection, and that takes time. I am grateful that the practice style of Greenfield health allows for this. Time set aside to call a patient back or reach out to a specialist on their behalf. I have really found my niche of like-minded providers to share patients with here in Portland – there are so many more outdoorsy people here. I love this because I am an active person myself and I really advocate exercise for health.
Dr Alvarez can be reached at Greenfield Health, Tel: (503) 292-9560.