By Caelin Grambau, University of Pittsburgh English Writing & Spanish double major
Dr. Sandra Indacochea Sobel has always been an advocate for patient care within medical communities, and now her newest initiative, a direct care program focused on metabolic health, is helping to show patients how metabolic healthcare can be implemented into everyday life.
Most interactions that patients have with their doctors are short. They are focused around medicines and plans that may help provide quick solutions to long term problems a patient is experiencing. Dr. Sobel, a local Latina physician, triple-board certified Endocrinologist, metabolic health expert and founder of Summon Health, has formed a new program to combat that experience.
Her direct-care endocrine medical practice offers patients longer appointment times, ranging from 45 to 60 minutes. Within these appointments, Dr. Sobel provides a range of personalized care via thoughtful and engaging conversations, resulting in treatment recommendations that are specific to each patient, rather than treatment plans that pull from an algorithmic approach to disease management.
“What can we do from a lifestyle perspective?” is one of the biggest questions that Dr. Sobel asks both of and to her patients. She considers this question especially when she speaks about metabolic health and direct treatment within Latino communities.
“[I am] able to draw upon my experiences growing up [in a Latino community]. We also have to recognize that when we say Latino, it’s a very heterogeneous group. We come from different countries, we all bring our own cultural impacts through food, through our music, but even so, we still as a whole have a higher prevalence in several metabolic health conditions. For Latinos, and in general for everybody, when there can be some type of connection with their provider, that helps drive home the message,” Dr. Sobel says.
This connection then comes into her practice by way of conversation, Dr. Sobel explains. Little things, like having a physician who can speak your native language, help to improve that connection even more.
“Even if there’s a sense that the person you’re working with wants to understand and can understand what your life is, that establishes a really important trust that is necessary in a health-based relationship when you are trying to really improve whatever the medical condition is,” She says.
She also stresses the importance of connecting with patients over lifestyle choices. Every patient has different needs and different lifestyles, and factoring that in is an important part of taking care of one’s health in the best way possible.
Dr. Sobel gives real life examples of healthy lifestyle choices in each appointment. Her space even includes a teaching kitchen, which she utilizes to cook with patients, helping to show the ways in which they can make small changes for maximum improvements to their metabolic health.
“Having a comprehensive approach is necessary,” she says. She encourages talking about disease prevention and other metabolic health issues with both your family and your provider. Planting seeds of prevention and lifestyle changes now helps to create healthier lives for patients in the long run, and can be as easy as starting a conversation.
Get in touch with Dr. Sobel:
Dr. Sobel’s practice, Summon Health, is located at 5119 Coral Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15224. To get in contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (412) 278-7960. To schedule a complimentary consultation, click here.