MEET THE DIPLOMATE

megha teeka, md

 

Obesity Medicine is a passion of mine. During my certification, I delved deeply into its science and pathophysiology, understanding its intertwining elements of lifestyle, hormones, genetics, and cognitive factors. I’ve personally struggled with this and have a unique understanding. I love helping people improve their overall health, managing conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health problems through weight loss.

Why did you pursue obesity medicine certification? Obesity, being a complex disease, has fueled my passion for evidence-based medicine. This drove me to pursue certification, aiming to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire spectrum of the condition. My goal is to adeptly counsel patients on nutrition and behavior, and support them in achieving their health objectives. Additionally, I sought to delve deeply into medication management and post-bariatric care, areas that were not extensively covered in my training, ensuring a well-rounded and informed approach to tackling obesity and its complexities.

How do you currently incorporate your obesity medicine training into your practice? In alignment with my primary care private practice, I offer a specialized weight management program for patients aiming to address obesity. My objective is to provide comprehensive support by addressing nutrition, exercise, behavioral aspects, and employing motivational interviewing techniques to assist them in achieving their health goals. Through this personalized approach, I aim to guide and empower patients on their journey towards improved well-being and sustainable lifestyle changes.

Why do you believe obesity medicine certification is valuable? Meeting Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements and preparing for board exams have afforded me a profound understanding of obesity medicine. Remaining committed to certification and actively participating in the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) ensures that I stay abreast of recent data and advancements in newer medications. This ongoing commitment not only enhances my knowledge but also equips me to provide the latest and most effective care for my patients.

What is your greatest success story so far?  A patient with diabetes was initially managing the condition with a substantial amount of insulin. Through medication adjustments, the introduction of appropriate medications, dietary modifications, increased physical activity, and motivating the patient, we witnessed remarkable progress. In a matter of months, the patient no longer required insulin, and their medication regimen reduced from 10 medications to just 2. This transformative journey left the patient feeling more energetic, rejuvenated, and with a positive outlook towards life.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your practice?  The primary obstacle I face is the lack of insurance coverage for visits aimed at diagnosing obesity. Additionally, employers often do not include obesity coverage benefits in their plans, and patients may struggle to access essential medications due to financial constraints. This inequity disproportionately affects individuals based on socioeconomic status, hindering the ability to manage obesity-related comorbidities effectively. My aspiration is for obesity to be recognized as a chronic disease, addressing these disparities and ensuring comprehensive and accessible care for all individuals, regardless of their economic status.

What do you wish other physicians knew about treating obesity? Many physicians are already aware that weight loss is a complex process, and it goes beyond simple factors like motivation or effort on the part of the patient. Even when individuals are earnestly trying to lose weight, progress may be elusive due to the myriad of other factors involved. Recognizing the intricate nature of weight loss is crucial, as it highlights that success is not solely contingent on motivation or effort, fostering a more comprehensive understanding within the medical community.


ABOM does not endorse or maintain control over any physician or affiliated entities featured in this section.  ABOM makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees, either express or implied, regarding the quality of care, performance, knowledge, services, inactions, actions or treatments (collectively “services”) provided by any such physician or affiliated entity and shall not be liable for any damage, loss, or other injury resulting from such services.  Individuals are encouraged to consult other sources to verify or obtain additional information about any such physician or affiliated entities.

 

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