Beach-loving Family Medicine Physician Promotes Prevention
Kerry L. Partis, M.D.
Sentara Family & Internal Medicine Physicians
“The most rewarding part of my work is helping people,” says Kerry L. Partis, M.D. “I get great satisfaction from patients telling me that I solved a problem that had been bothering them.”
Dr. Partis recently joined Sentara Family & Internal Medicine Physicians, where she treats patients ages 5 and over. She especially enjoys providing care to geriatric (senior) patients.
“As patients age, they have different—sometimes extra—healthcare needs,” says Dr. Partis. “My role as their physician is to promote good health and habits to help them prevent illness or injury.” The medical needs of an aging population can be more complex. Treating them requires patience and listening on the part of the physician.
Routine Care Critical to Good Health
Settling into her practice, Dr. Partis realized that many patients hadn’t had a physical exam in five or more years before coming to see her. She believes in the power of prevention and hopes more patients will seek routine care.
“I noticed that many people were taking their medical concerns to urgent care clinics, rather than to a family medicine provider,” says Dr. Partis. “Patients need to understand that while urgent care is convenient, it should never replace routine medical care.”
“Establishing a bond with a physician is critical, especially for aging adults,” says Dr. Partis. “Illness can be prevented when a patient develops a rapport with their provider.”
Patients can expect a longer-than-average initial visit with Dr. Partis. She takes a thorough family and personal health history to better understand her patients’ health and risks. “I use this information with routine blood work or other tests to manage, even prevent, problems like high blood pressure and diabetes,” says Dr. Partis.
Her Practice Puts Emphasis on Listening
In a rushed world, Dr. Partis offers an environment where patients receive her undivided attention. “I treat people the way I want to be treated,” she says. “I'm thorough and take the time necessary to truly listen. Many patients tell me it is rare not to feel rushed during a doctor appointment.”
In her Moyock, North Carolina, practice, Dr. Partis works closely with other providers who share her philosophy. Dr. Dipes Ray, internal medicine physician and Dr. John DiMichele, pediatrician, both provide routine check-ups and chronic disease management.
“Because of the number of quality providers in our practice, patients can be seen quickly,” says Dr. Partis. “We often have same-day availability for more pressing concerns like a urinary tract infection (UTI), sore throat or persistent cough.”
The providers also evaluate and treat medical conditions like high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. Each year, they sponsor free clinics for flu vaccines, blood pressure measurements and glucose readings.
Sentara Specialists Are There When Needed
While Dr. Partis provides the full spectrum of primary care, there are times when patients require an extra level of specialty. In these situations, Dr. Partis works with Sentara specialists including cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons and endocrinologists.
“Sentara has a very strong network of well-trained specialists. We have established good relationships with these specialists and will refer patients if and when they need it,” says Dr. Partis. “Specialty care is available at Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City as well as at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.”
Once a patient has been referred for specialty care, Dr. Partis remains their healthcare partner. She continues to be their primary physician and manages any follow-up care with assistance from a system-wide electronic medical record.
“The electronic medical record means I can follow my patients wherever they go within the system and answer any questions they have about general or specialty care,” says Dr. Partis. “I really appreciate that Sentara has the resources to support me and my patients.”
She Enjoys the Perks of Sun and Surf
Dr. Partis is originally from eastern North Carolina and enjoys the proximity to her family who remain there. She and her husband wanted to be both close to family and to the beach.
“We are beach bums when we aren’t working,” says Dr. Partis. “Beachcombing, bike riding, exploring — we are really enjoying the region and all it offers. Patients will likely find me relaxing on the beach reading a good crime novel when I’m not in the clinic.”
Dr. Partis is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine. She received her training from the American University of the Caribbean and completed her internship and residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Medical Center in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
She spent three years practicing in Plymouth, North Carolina, before joining Sentara Family & Internal Medicine Physicians.