New Medications to Bring Cholesterol Levels WAY Down.

By Dr. Philip Bretsky

Were you aware that there are two new medications approved to treat high cholesterol levels? Traditionally, patients and physicians have relied on the statin class of medication to lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. The most well known of these is Lipitor (you may have seen the commercials). The newer medications are delivered by injection and are in a class called PCSK9 inhibitors.

The new PCSK9 inhibitors can achieve LDL levels far lower than can be achieved by even the highest intensity statins. Whereas one might expect to lower an LDL to under 100mg/ml or under 70mg/ml with Lipitor, studies show that the PCSK9 inhibitors can achieve LDL levels below 25mg/ml. In one study 9% achieved levels under 15mg/ml!

But we must need some cholesterol in the body, right? It must serve some function and, correctly, some researchers are concerned that very low levels of LDL could adversely affect the production of sex steroid hormones and adrenal hormones which rely on cholesterol.

However, a recent study (http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/69/5/471) analyzed 5,234 patients treated for up to 2 years and examined the occurrence...Read more

Exciting Changes at Santa Monica Primary Care

If you’ve been to Santa Monica Primary Care lately, you may have noticed the construction happening around our office. Back in February we began building a new office space that will double our size! The final phase of this construction is almost complete, and soon our full office space will be open with new services and providers. Come see the new space as we continue to grow and offer our patients the best, most comprehensive care on the Westside.

In addition to our expansion, our office is also very proud to announce that Sandra Ovadia, MMS PA-C will be joining the team as our new Physician’s Assistant! Sandra comes to us from the Cedars Sinai ER Department, where she regularly treated patients for illnesses, wounds, and injuries. Sandra also has extensive experience with OBGYN care and procedures, and will serve as our main provider of all Women’s Health services. She has over 7 years of experience providing excellent patient care, and we are very excited to have Sandra join our team.

Sandra will be joining our staff beginning June 6th, 2016. She will be taking over for Jennafer Piccolo PA-C, who has left our practice to work at a cosmetic spa in...Read more

Improving the Connection Between Patients and their Physicians

By Dr. Philip Bretsky

I recently read an article that described the importance of having a strong and trustworthy relationship with your physician. For obvious reasons, this connection leads to better medical outcomes because patients feel more comfortable communicating with their doctors about personal and sensitive topics. I believe that there are a number of intangibles that make a connection more likely. Helpful to me has been a wide array of life experiences that has afforded me the ability to meet and interact with a lot of different people with a variety of lifestyles.  Everything from my Dad’s graduate students when I was a kid, to living in India for two years, to working with the homeless in London and doing clinical HIV research in the early 1990s. Each of these experiences helped me form a non-judgmental approach to medicine and a general understanding of life’s difficulties and challenges.

Also, being independent and not working for an institution reduces the external pressure that I have. I am not working to attain any health system’s stated goals or measures of quality. I’m focused on what the patient wants and what is best for...Read more

Santa Monica Primary Care is Expanding

We are happy to announce that we will be expanding our office in 2016. We have taken over the space next door, and we will be combining the two spaces to create one large primary care office. With construction already underway, the new office will be completed in early summer 2016.

In late March, we will move our offices next door temporarily. We will continue to see patients as scheduled and offer all of our usual services. We will stay next door for about 6 weeks while our original office space is remodeled to combine with the new space. Once completed, our new office will feature more exam rooms, a business office, and a new waiting room and reception area. We will also be adding additional providers, as well as new services for our patients care and convenience. Stay tuned for news on new providers and services.

We are excited about our expansion, and we look forward to welcoming our patients to our new improved office. Visit our website and our Facebook page for updates on construction, new services, new staff, and special promotions.

Dr. Bretsky Featured In New Book

We are proud to announce that Dr. Bretsky has been featured in a new book about the benefits of having a good primary care physician, and the positive relationship that patients share with their doctors.

“The Patient’s Playbook,” written by Leslie D. Michelson, explores how to select a primary care physician who will provide excellent treatment as well as coordinate care through the different stages life. Dr. Bretsky was profiled in the book by one of his patients, who praised the doctor for being “really open and warm” and “paying close attention to his patients’ care.”

Dr. Bretsky also provided the author with expertise to help patients achieve better outcomes when choosing a doctor. He emphasized the importance of providing his patients with a positive experience, and addressing their needs when coordinating care. He is referenced in the book as an example of a knowledgeable and compassionate physician who has demonstrated the benefits of proper medical care for his patients’ wellbeing.

The book has been reviewed by numerous health care professionals, and has been described as an invaluable resource for both patients and their caregivers....Read more