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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Updated 11:28 a.m.:

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill R...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Why you should talk to your doctor and why doctor should listen


courtesy of University of Pennsylvania archives
Dr. William Osler, co-founder of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, advocated a strong doctor-patient relationship.

“The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient with the disease.”

This quote is from the renowned physician and teacher Sir William Osler, co-founder of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who lived and practiced from the mid-19th to the early 20th century. During his time, antibiotics were unknown, surgery was still an extremely dangerous proposition and public health measures such as hand washing and the importance of a clean water supply were just beginning to take hold. The wide array of diagnostic methods and treatments we take for granted today were mostly nonexistent.

Yet Osler understood and taught that a strong doctor-patient relationship – whether achieved within minutes or over a period of years – was crucial to diagnosing and treating illness. He knew that it was in fact the cornerstone of outstanding medical care.

“Listen to your patients,” he advised. “They are telling you the diagnosis.”

In today’s high-tech medical world, with its ever-expanding litany of blood tests and imaging studies (not to mention countless medications), it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that a doctor’s most powerful tool remains listening to patients. This becomes particularly challenging in a seemingly always-rushed environment, where time is in short supply and the tendency is often to keep things moving in assembly line fashion.

Yet as physicians, we still rely on our patients to tell us their stories. Given the chance, patients often paint a picture to guide their doctors toward the proper diagnosis and treatment. Having patients feel comfortable enough to do this is a precious trust that doctors cannot take for granted.

Part of every medical school and residency curriculum today includes instruction on patient-interviewing skills and a newer focus on developing and maintaining a strong patient-provider relationship. Many health-care organizations, such as the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, also conduct formal training and observation programs to promote solid and enduring patient-provider bonds. No blood test or expensive piece of diagnostic machinery will ever replace this relationship as the engine that drives exceptional medical care.

This is why I believe that having a primary-care doctor is so important to your overall health. Knowing and trusting your provider makes it easier for you to give us a deeper, more comprehensive picture of who you are. It also allows us to better reflect this in your chart for when you need to see other providers.

Our job in treating you, the patient – either preventively or for a specific illness or injury – requires that we know you as a human being. And no two human beings are completely alike, even if they suffer from the same disease or disorder.

Osler, the grand old father of modern medicine, understood this better than most. His words to his fellow physicians about not forgetting such a basic tenet still ring true today, nearly 100 years after his death: “Every patient you see is a lesson in much more than the malady from which he suffers.”

Dr. Robert Russo is an internal medicine physician at the Redwood City Center of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation and column editor Arian Dasmalchi provide this monthly column.

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