Intekhab Syed, M.D., Brings the Latest Medical Science to Sentara Clarksville Family Medicine
"I'm not here to tell patients what to do. My role is to educate you about your health and then let you make your own decisions," says Intekhab Syed, M.D., a family medicine physician at Sentara Clarksville Family Medicine.
Dr. Syed provides the full spectrum of primary care to patients of all ages, from birth through later adulthood. "I want to hear about your health goals, and I'll help you reach them - respecting your choices along the way," he says.
Finding a Passion for Family Medicine
Dr. Syed's path to medicine began the day he was born. "I was born in India, and my mother passed away because of a medical error she experienced while giving birth to me," he says. "My father always wanted me to be a doctor so I could help people like my mother."
After his mother's death, Dr. Syed lived with his grandmother in India for several years before moving to Kenya with his father. From there, they moved to Madagascar and Holland before settling in Canada. He first became interested in science and medicine during high school in Canada.
"When I started high school, I'd hardly had any exposure to science. Yet by the time I was in 12th grade, I was tutoring my fellow students in science and math," he says. "Once I understood how I could help people as a doctor, I developed my own passion for medicine. It wasn't just my father's dream for me anymore, it was mine."
He chose to specialize in family medicine because he wanted to care for patients of all ages and backgrounds. "I enjoy treating a wide range of medical conditions, based on the latest available science," he says.
Preventive Care and Evidence-Based Medicine
After completing his family medicine training in a rural area, Dr. Syed was eager to join the team in Clarksville. "Working in a rural area, I understand that patients can't always get in to see specialists quickly when they have a problem," he says. "I'm very comfortable addressing a variety of medical problems. I can often begin treatments while patients are waiting to see a specialist who can continue their care."
He practices preventive care - addressing medical concerns before they become serious problems. He works with patients to make sure they get routine preventive care, including:
- Screening for health conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Vaccinations for infectious diseases such as flu, tetanus or whooping cough
- Referrals for cancer screenings, such as mammograms and colonoscopies
- Counseling about lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, tobacco use and alcohol use
- Discussions about medications, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines like aspirin or ibuprofen
Dr. Syed uses evidence-based medicine, providing treatments that have been proven effective by recent research. "I regularly look up the latest evidence to make sure I'm giving the most up-to-date information to my patients," he says. "Medicine is always evolving. I want to treat you based on what we know today, not what was recommended yesterday."
Dr. Syed studied biochemistry as an undergraduate at York University in Toronto, Canada, before attending medical school at Avalon University School of Medicine in Curacao, in the Caribbean. He completed his medical residency at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania. Dr. Syed is board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.
He enjoys treating patients in Clarksville, where many residents live in other places for part of the year. "I love meeting people from all over the United States," he says. "It's a great community, and I'm happy to be part of it."
When he's not working, Dr. Syed enjoys traveling and hiking in the mountains with his wife, who is a civil engineer. He also plays tennis and recently started teaching himself to cook.