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News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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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