LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The purpose of getting men into gowns is to keep them healthy and out of the emergency room.
But today, THV11’s Craig O’Neill actually goes into the emergency room, and it may just be our most beneficial trip to date.
Doctor Lee Wilbur escorts a patient into the St Vincent's ER. No gurney, no frantic attendants, no sirens or dramatic music. This consultation is the emergency room norm.
“People come into the ER for everything and we joke sometimes it's the “everything department” not the emergency department,” said Dr. Wilbur. “Probably about five percent of what we do is acute medical or acute trauma about 95 per cent is primary care.”
And even with emergencies, Dr. Wilbur looks for ways to make healthy changes.
“A patient comes in, let’s say for a minor traumatic injury, a knee injury or an ankle injury but they happen to struggle with weight. I may choose at that point to talk to them about weight loss about smoking cessation about better nutrition and that's how I really try to get through to men.”
Yes an ER is a busy place, focused on treatment but also prevention.
“This is my personal approach that I found to be very effective, is I attempt to build a partnership with a patient. And the reason I do that is I want to empower my patients.”
To know that numbness and inability to move an arm or leg or foot and a headache can mean stroke. That pressure on the chest like an elephant sitting there means heart attack.
In an emergency room, timing is everything.
“We can do amazing things in the first three hours.”
But going to the ER is not your answer.
Dr. Wilbur is patient, the staff efficient, the facilities top flight, but truthfully they'd rather not see you.
“We talk to our patients about prevention. We talk to our patients about lifestyles modifications so they don't have to come into the emergency department.”
This trip behind-the-scenes of the ER shows yet another reason why Real Men Wear Gowns. It's important to see your doctor regularly and be aware of any warning signs for something more serious.