Ohio doctor goes walking with patients to encourage exercise, improve his accessibility

CLEVELAND – Doctors around the world are taking note of an Ohio physician’s idea to walk with groups of his patients to encourage exercise and make himself more accessible.

Dr. David Sabgir came up with the Walk With a Doc program in 2005, two years after going into private practice in Columbus, and the idea has been adopted in 35 communities and is expected to spread to many more, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported Saturday.

It caught the attention of physicians in Jamaica and a heart specialist in Italy, and doctors are hoping to get the program up and running in more than 250 other places as far away as China, Portugal and South Africa.

The program started with a 2.2-mile (3.5-kilometre) hike on a spring day in suburban Columbus. Sabgir, a graduate of Miami University in Oxford and the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, had grown tired of spending so much time urging patients to exercise and seeing so few of them follow his recommendation. He decided if he invited them to walk with him, maybe more would get involved. It would be a win-win with no major expense: The walking could help people lose weight or fight the effects of disease and age, and it would give him time to provide quick answers to their health questions.

Story continues below

杭州楼凤

“Our goal is simple – to transform medicine,” the Worthington native told the newspaper. “We want everyone in the world to have access to this.”

His nurse made fliers to build interest in that first walk, and 101 people showed up.

“We were seeing a lot of these people who were intimidated to go to health clubs or really do anything without the supervision of a doctor,” Sabgir said. “They didn’t want to be seen on a treadmill next to someone running an 8-minute mile when all they were doing was walking. And I think they liked that immediate, unconditional accessibility to a physician.”

He briefly stopped the program in 2006 because he was concerned that its expansion was taking too much time from his practice but resumed walks the following year. He also met with a Cleveland Clinic official who became a supporter of the program, and the Clinic eventually developed Walk With A Doc chapters in seven northeast Ohio communities.

Participants praise the benefits of the hikes, including the chance to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and the access to a physician in an informal setting.

“How often do you get to meet a doctor one-on-one and just talk for 45 minutes?” said one regular, Helen Gillispie, 60. “You can ask them anything on the walk.”

___

Information from: The Plain Dealer, 杭州桑拿按摩论坛杭州夜生活cleveland杭州龙凤

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation