ERMITAGE – As a physician, veteran, and mother, Dr. Veronica Santee is able to connect with her patients on many levels.
Santee enlisted in the military through the Medical Professionals Scholarship Program and received her medical degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1996. She went on to completed his family medicine residency at the Madigan Army Medicine Center in Fort Lewis, Wash.
After residency, Santee spent four years at Fort Polk, Louisiana, prior to the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. During this time, Santee worked with soldiers and their families, from treatment injuries while working with children.
“I really have to do a bit of everything,” she said.
Her time at Fort Polk also exposed her to a more rural setting, an experience that eventually led her to the Mercer County area after several years of active duty and on the reservations.
Currently, Santee focuses on family medicine, in which she is board certified. With family medicine, Santee can work with everyone, from elderly patients to parents to parents’ children.
In some cases, Santee said she can work with other doctors to determine the best treatment for a patient. Other times she may draw on her own experience as a mother, for example when patients are concerned that their child has a health problem or is developing normally.
“Any time a mother comes in with a worry about her child, it’s a worry I’ve had at some point,” Santee said.
Santee’s interests include women’s health, chronic disease management and weight management.
In terms of women’s health, Santee said some patients will intentionally postpone their doctor’s visit. But while men may avoid a doctor’s visit because they think something isn’t serious enough, women may avoid a doctor’s visit for a different reason.
Since women are traditionally the caregivers of the household, Santee said some patients would put off medical care for themselves because they are busy raising a family or caring for a friend or relative. having a health problem.
“It’s kind of like, ‘I’ll take care of myself after I take care of this first,'” Santee said.
Attitudes are changing among female patients as women take a more proactive role in their health care. More and more women are also asking questions or worrying about life changes, such as menopause, weight gain and fatigue.
In terms of weight management, Santee said a mix of activity and better eating habits can be beneficial, such as apps that can not only measure a person’s calorie intake, but also measure calories.
Eliminating unhealthy options such as fast food that may be more convenient is another important step, especially cutting out foods and drinks high in high fructose corn syrup.
“We say stay outside the supermarket because that’s where you’ll find foods like fruits and vegetables,” Santee said.