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Doctor On Demand Provider Spotlight: Dr. Audrey Powell

Dr. Audrey Powell is a Texas-based provider who has been with Doctor On Demand for over 2 years. She completed dual residencies in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee, and has seen hundreds of patients throughout her career. Read on to learn more about Dr. Powell, her experiences with Doctor On Demand, and a few tips on how to live life well.

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A Doctor’s View of Emergency Rooms and Doctor On Demand

Have you ever had to go to an emergency room over the weekend because you were feeling sick and your doctor was unavailable? While heading to the ER may seem like the easiest option when you need care immediately, did you know that Doctor On Demand can effectively treat many common reasons people go to the ER, and in less time?

Dr. Tony Yuan is a physician with Doctor On Demand as well as an ER doctor in the San Francisco Bay Area. This means that he treats dozens of patients a day either in person or over video, giving him a unique perspective on these two treatment settings. We chatted with him a bit to gather his take on their similarities and differences, as well as some guidance on when to use which. (more…)

Q&A with Dr. Cottrell – Is strep throat contagious?

Dr. Amy Cottrell is board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is an active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Memphis with a degree in Biology. She then received her medical degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and finished her residency in Family Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

Is strep throat contagious?

The bacteria that causes strep throat is passed through oral and nasal secretions when breathing, coughing, sneezing, or contacting infected surfaces, like doorknobs and tables. It is also passed on by sharing food and drinks. This is why it is so important for kids and adults alike to wash their hands frequently and avoid sharing meals or drinks when they are sick. You are typically contagious for two to three weeks if not treated, but this is reduced to 24 hours after starting antibiotics. Viruses also cause symptoms that can mimic strep throat, and your Doctor on Demand physician can help figure out the best treatment for you. Remember, viruses aren’t treated with antibiotics, but the precautions to prevent the spread are the same.

The pain and fever related to the infection can be treated with over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or tylenol. Salt water gargles, warm tea with honey or chicken soup also help alleviate sore throat pain. Popsicles and ice cream are another favorite and effective intervention for sore throat pain. You will likely need to adjust your diet to soft foods like jello, yogurt, oatmeal or warm pasta. Hydration is a very important part of the treatment for any infection, especially when there is fever. You should also replace your toothbrush after 2-3 days on to prevent re-infection.

Q&A with Dr. Elliott – Seasonal tips for staying healthy

A graduate of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Dr. Tania Elliott completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and fellowship in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Winthrop University Hospital on Long Island. Dr. Elliott has a wide range of experience and can help with everything from providing general medical advice to choosing appropriate over-the-counter remedies to consulting on how to prepare for upcoming travel.

What’s your favorite tip for staying healthy during cold & flu season?

There are some well recognized and simple steps that can be taken to help prepare you and your loved ones for this special…and “germy” time of the year.

First and foremost: make sure that you and your family members get adequate sleep. Many of us live very busy lives, and when time gets limited, we have to admit that we often borrow from hours that should be dedicated to sleep. However, studies have shown that lack of sleep can decrease our immune system, and therefore increase our risk for infections such as cold and flu.

In addition, I recommend eating whole, nutritious meals, washing your hands frequently, disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, and getting your flu shot early in the season. If you or your family are experiencing symptoms that you are concerned about, you can reach out to one of our Doctor On Demand physicians to discuss treatment strategies.

Q&A with Dr. Elliott – What to avoid during a cold

A graduate of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Dr. Tania Elliott completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and fellowship in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Winthrop University Hospital on Long Island. Dr. Elliott has a wide range of experience and can help with everything from providing general medical advice to choosing appropriate over-the-counter remedies to consulting on how to prepare for upcoming travel.

Are there any food or drinks that I should avoid when I have a cold?

It’s true that coffee, caffeinated sodas, and energy drinks are best avoided when you have cold, since your body needs rest and sleep instead of the stimulation of caffeine.

Cough and cold medicine often contain decongestants, which should not be mixed with caffeine. When mixed, it can lead to sleep issues, palpitations, and even spikes in blood pressure. Plus, lots of headache medicines contain caffeine, so you want to make sure you read the labels on multi-symptom medications.

Choose water, juice, broth, herbal tea, and be sure to eat nutritious meals packed with fresh fruits and vegetables. Hot water with fresh ginger is great to both soothe your sinuses and boost your immune system.Some people feel that dairy increases their mucus production,but this is actually a myth!

And if your cold isn’t clearing after a few days, it’s a good idea to check with a doctor to be sure it isn’t something more serious.

Q&A with Dr. Elliott – Winter allergies

A graduate of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Dr. Tania Elliott completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and fellowship in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Winthrop University Hospital on Long Island. Dr. Elliott has a wide range of experience and can help with everything from providing general medical advice to choosing appropriate over-the-counter remedies to consulting on how to prepare for upcoming travel.

Can you have allergies in the winter?

Winter allergies are our Indoor Allergies. So the more time we spend indoors, the more likely it is for our winter allergies to flare. Dust Mite, Cockroach, Mice, and Pet Dander are the most common indoor allergens. Plus, gas fireplaces, heaters, scented candles, and wood burning stoves are all sources of irritation to the nose and lungs that can act just like allergies or a cold to your immune system.

Chronic exposure to these irritants and allergens can lead to inflammation in your nose and lungs, which is a setup for infection. Doctor on Demand can assess your home, help you identify your triggers, and get your symptoms under control.