Sentara Primary Care Physician Is Your Healthcare Partner
Debra L. White-Coleman, M.D.
Sentara Internal Medicine Physicians
“When I was a child, my mother studied to become a nurse,” says Debra White-Coleman, M.D. “I was fascinated by her nursing books and assumed I would follow in her footsteps. But one day in my high school chemistry class, I had an epiphany—I should go to medical school instead.” The rest, she says, is history.
An Internal Medicine Doctor—and Partner
Dr. White-Coleman says internal medicine was the right path for her because she enjoys interacting with patients over a long term. She can help them manage and even prevent health problems.
“Being an internist gives me the time and space to explain to people what is going on with their mind and body. I partner with patients and help them make choices that will lead to improved health.” She believes power comes from knowledge; the more patients know about their health, the more likely they are to take action, including:
- Taking a prescribed medication as needed
- Losing weight
- Changing their diet
- Adding exercise to their routine
Knowledge Is a Powerful Healthcare Tool
Dr. White-Coleman believes giving information helps patients understand what’s going on with their health and allows them to be in control. “I’ve had patients come in with a condition, like high blood pressure. They have success with medications but forget to get it refilled and end up with a relapse,” says Dr. White-Coleman.
“I’ve learned the importance of taking time to educate and reinforce why patients need to take certain steps. I’m committed to working with my patients, answering questions and empowering them with knowledge about their health. Once they understand the reasons behind the instructions, they can take steps and begin to see lasting results.”
Dr. White-Coleman says it is rewarding when patients see a health improvement. “I recall one patient who came to see me because of her diabetes,” she says. “Over the course of our conversations, she understood why she needed to exercise and lose weight to improve her health. She embarked on that path and managed to get off insulin for good.”
Delivering Primary Care Services in Woodbridge
At Sentara Internal Medicine Physicians, Dr. White-Coleman offers well visits, care for chronic conditions, health assessments and preventive care. “I think it is important to get ahead of health problems. Wherever possible, we want to monitor and prevent problems from ever taking root,” she says. “Weight concerns, for example, are critical to discuss and address. Extra weight can cause or worsen so many health problems.”
For patients who experience illness, like strep throat or flu, she also offers same-day appointments. Some patients have chronic conditions that require a long-term doctor-patient partnership. Dr. White-Coleman works closely with patients who have:
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol or heart concerns
• Thyroid issues
When she’s not working, Dr. White-Coleman enjoys reading spy novels. She also participates in the women’s ministry and deacon’s ministry at her church and enjoys time with her husband, four grown children and six grandchildren.
Dr. White-Coleman is a member of the American College of Physicians and board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She received her medical degree from Howard University. She is accepting new patients at Sentara Internal Medicine Physicians, located at 2280 Opitz Blvd, Suite 250, Woodbridge, Va.