You are More Than Just a Patient Number

By Lehigh Regional Medical Center –

patient numberLehigh Regional Medical Center pulmonary rehabilitation services help improve quality of life for people with chroniclung disease such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis and lung cancer.

The multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation team includes respiratory therapists, exercise professionals, dietitians and other clinicians who provide a customized approach to meet the needs of each individual.

These comprehensive services provided by the multidisciplinary team ensure individuals have the tools they need to manage their condition effectively — from thorough assessment by a trained respiratory therapist and supervised exercise, to relaxation and breathing techniques.

Meet Dr. Lazaro Bravo
Board Certified in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of pulmonary diseases, Dr. Bravo joined the Lehigh Regional Pulmonary team in November of last year. Since that time he has provided excellent care to many patients with various pulmonary and sleep disorders including: COPD, Asthma, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Bronchiectasis, and lung cancer.

Dr. Bravo chose to focus his education and training on pulmonary diseases because he found the disciplinary to be exciting and challenging. When patient present with breathing and/or sleeping problems Dr. Bravo makes it his goal to determine the underlying cause. This includes getting to know the patient’s medical history and considering any and all factors that may increase symptoms. Taking time to get to know each and every patient enables him to develop a treatment plan that will provide the best outcome for each individual.

“Most physicians manage disease process in a very cookie cut form of medicine. Applying a one size fits all approach to each patient. Though this can work and is very time saving for the physicians, I feel it robs patients of quality care.” Dr. Bravo used the example of a physician that enters the patient’s examining room, says hi, reviews the previous office visit, says bye and has the nurse explain the lists of tests he has just ordered. This is certainly not the approach that Dr. Bravo takes with his patients. “I feel that if you listen to the patient, an art that is unfortunately lost more and more each day, they will tell you what the problem is. You just have to help the patients to read in between the lines to see how their history and current symptoms may be preventing them from getting better, or worse deteriorating their health.”

The treatment plans for patients that seek care at Lehigh Regional is just as unique as each individual patient. According to Dr. Bravo, “Just like diagnosis, treatment is also highly individualized, taking into account the whole person and not just their symptoms.

Always putting the patient’s needs first, he explained, “There are some disorders that, even though I can treat, are best served with a multidisciplinary approach. In these cases I will still manage the patients but will take my cue from all other specialists involved.”

Dr. Bravo offers the following advice on ways to minimize your risk of developing pulmonary issues, “I have five simple rules that I share with all of my patients. Rule #1 is, don’t smoke. I follow that up with rule number two, which most people laugh at but I find serious enough to repeat: really, don’t smoke. Rule number three, quit smoking if you are a smoker. Rule number four, exercise, it is good for your overall health. And last but not least, if you have a chronic lung disease, follow up with your doctor, as they tend to be more astute on picking up worsening lung function with the appropriate testing than what a patient may feel.”


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