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MRNA VACCINES CAN END THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

January 14, 2021

Any respiratory virus has the potential to become a pandemic. We have had influenza pandemics in the past, and we are always worrying about an influenza pandemic, but this is the first pandemic since 1918. The 2018-2019 influenza season was really bad with hospitals packed to capacity, but it did not reach pandemic level proportions. … Read more

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THE LOWDOWN ON LOW T

December 16, 2020

Is “manopause” real, and do the benefits of testosterone replacement outweigh the risks? Testosterone levels decrease by 1-3% per year starting at age 30 in men. When testosterone falls, men experience fatigue, loss of bone and muscle mass with an increase in fat, inflammation, joint pain, depression, irritability and loss of libido (interest in sex). … Read more

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DON’T FEAR THE HORMONES

November 17, 2020

Many women (and their doctors) are afraid of hormone replacement therapy. The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study followed over 160,000 postmenopausal women taking premarin (horse estrogen) and medroxyprogesterone (synthetic progestin) for fifteen years, and this combination resulted in a slight increase in the rates of heart disease and breast cancer. Premarin alone showed a decrease … Read more

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CURE YOUR ALLERGIES

October 12, 2020

It’s allergy season again (does allergy season ever end in Hampton Roads?) If you suffer from allergies, you may be miserable with itchy watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough, sinus headaches, earaches, dizziness, and fatigue. You may also get frequent colds, ear infections, and sinus infections. If you have asthma, allergies can cause … Read more

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SHOULD I GET A FLU SHOT?

September 14, 2020

I know that many people do not get an annual flu shot.  Some people hate to get it because they feel sick afterwards.  Others are just frustrated that even after getting a flu shot, they still get the flu.  Let me share some information about the flu shot and why I get one every year … Read more

Fountain Direct Primary Care - Dr. Emily O'Rourke

COVID-19 PREVENTION

July 14, 2020
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PREVENTING SEVERE COMPLICATIONS OF COVID19

April 16, 2020

The virus which causes COVID19 can produce severe inflammation called a cytokine storm, which can then set off a chain reaction which results in thrombosis (tiny blood clots), which can damage all of the organs in the body.  This process is known as DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation).  As we age, we become more prone to … Read more

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TREATING COVID19 WITH HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE AND AZITHROMYCIN

April 13, 2020

I have received many questions about azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine.  These medications have been on the news, and some politicians and reporters are touting them as miracle cures.  At this time, these medications are being used experimentally for treating COVID19, mostly on hospitalized patients with severe disease.  The studies which have been done are small with … Read more

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AHHH CHOOOO! IS IT ALLERGIES?

April 3, 2020

Hampton Roads, Virginia is one of the top two regions of the country for Allergic Rhinitis.  Tucked between the ocean and the mountains with a temperate climate, allergens swirl through the area all year long.  Many people experience a flare of their allergy symptoms during one or more seasons, but some people have symptoms year-round. … Read more

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SHOULD I GO TO URGENT CARE?

March 16, 2020

In a typical insurance-based primary care office, patients are scheduled months in advance, and there are no appointments available if you get sick or injured.  When patients call for an appointment, they are told to visit an urgent care, where they often wait for hours in a waiting room filled with patients with highly infectious … Read more

MONKEY MIND

March 5, 2020

This morning, my six-year-old son hopped into bed with me, and I asked him how he had slept.  “Not good,” he replied, “I was trying to sleep, but my brain was like ‘Oh, I want to talk to you! Oh, I want to talk to you!’”  Amused, I asked, “What did your brain want to … Read more

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LOVING AND CARING FOR YOURSELF

February 14, 2020

In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about self-love and self-care.  Some feel this is an indulgent waste of time, but it’s not all spa-days and bubble baths.  In reality, self-care is about taking care of yourself, investing in your physical and mental health, so that you can show up as your best self.  It … Read more

USE YOUR BRAIN TO TRANSFORM YOUR BODY

January 3, 2020

Last year, about half of my patients and I engaged in a 12 week wellness challenge for improving both physical and mental health.  Those who remained committed lost weight and lowered their blood pressures, blood sugars and cholesterol.  They were excited about increased energy, fewer medications, and the ability to tuck in their shirts.  In … Read more

THE SEASON OF GRATITUDE

November 13, 2019

Thanksgiving is coming, and it’s supposed to be a day focused on gratitude.  However, your first thoughts may have instead filled you with anxiety and overwhelm.  The planning, the cleaning, the cooking, the in-laws, the travel, the overeating.  Our brains are wired for negative thinking, and this helped our ancestors survive in an unpredictable world.  … Read more

DO I NEED AN ANTIBIOTIC?

October 1, 2019

It’s cold and flu season, and both are caused by viruses.  Viruses cause the majority of illnesses, most of which make us feel absolutely miserable from head to toe, often with fever, body aches, weakness and fatigue.  Some of them cause vomiting and diarrhea.  Others cause runny nose, headache, sore throat, and cough.  These infections … Read more

BUSY

September 5, 2019

It’s Back-to-School time, the season of busy.  Following the summer vacations, relaxation, and time home with family, we catapult ourselves into after-school activities, athletic practices and games, school projects, PTA, scouting, etc.  We wear our busy like a badge of honor.  When acquaintances ask how we are, we exclaim, “BUSY!”  We believe that this sense … Read more

REGULAR VS. DIET SODA

August 14, 2019

Whether you’re at the beach, on a boat, or at a BBQ, summertime is all about sipping on sodas.  It can be hard to resist a cold, sweet, bubbly beverage on a hot day.  You’re probably already aware that soda contains a ton of sugar and that sugar can increase your risk of obesity and … Read more

HEALTH INSURANCE IS NOT ACTUALLY INSURANCE

April 1, 2019

Honestly, I have never been a big fan of insurance.  I am not much of a gambler, and paying for insurance feels like betting on my own misfortune.  I have never purchased insurance for a cell phone or appliance.  I would rather save the money and make an effort to take care of my possessions.  … Read more

IT’S NOT “JUST A VIRUS”

October 22, 2018

During my urgent care shifts, I see 20-30 people with viral upper respiratory infections. They are all feeling miserable, and they just want to feel better. They want an impressive-sounding diagnosis to justify their suffering to themselves, their spouses, and their bosses. They want a prescription medication which will immediately cure their illness, so they … Read more

FEMALE PHYSICIANS PRIORITIZE PATIENTS OVER PROFITS

September 3, 2018

Gender politics aside, let’s talk about why the way doctors get paid matters to you as a patient. Female physicians don’t just get paid less because they prioritize their families, they get paid less because they prioritize patients. In the fee-for-service model, doctors are paid per patient visit, so the more patients they see, the … Read more

WHAT I LEARNED FROM 1000 MINUTES OF MEDITATION

August 12, 2018

The first time I tried meditation, I thought it was a waste of time. I was an intern, and as usual, I had a long list of work to complete. I wanted to get my discharge summaries dictated, but instead, I was being forced to count my breaths. I suppose I did waste my time, … Read more

HOW TO PERMANENTLY LOSE WEIGHT – PART 2: THE DRAMA

August 5, 2018

I was miserable for the first two months of my “diet”.  Although I physically felt better and was pleased to see the numbers on the scale dropping and to feel my body shrinking, I was in a state of emotional turmoil.  I grimly ate my grilled chicken and salmon and salads and steamed broccoli while … Read more

HOW TO PERMANENTLY LOSE WEIGHT – PART 1: THE SCIENCE

August 5, 2018

As a family physician, patients are always coming to me for help with weight loss.  Until this year, I felt incapable of helping them since I was struggling with my own weight.  During my first three years as an attending physician, I had two babies and thirty pounds of excess weight accumulated while pregnant and … Read more