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Q and A with Nurse Jessica

What does "Medical Supervision" mean? Who better to answer than Jessica Lemos, LVN, who is the program nurse for the medically supervised Doctors' Weight Management Program. We caught up with her and asked her a few questions about medical supervision, what it takes for patients to be successful in the program as well as some of her own strategies for managing her weight. Here’s what she told us:
 
Q:  How long have you been with The Doctors’ Weight Program? What is your role there at the program? What does “medical supervision” mean? 

A:  I have been with the program since 2017.  I help manage patients' health at the Doctors' Weight Management Program. Patients entering the program go through an application process which helps us understand more about their needs. Medically, we want to make sure they are losing weight at a healthy pace and that their body responds well. With rapid weight loss, patients often have medication adjustments that need to be monitored closely and with a supervised program like ours, patients can feel secure in knowing that both the program doctors and I keep a close watch on this. Along with the supervision from our physicians here at the program, Christopher Donner, MD, FACP, FACE and Anne V. White, DO, our patients have lab work done in our clinic to provide us with a clear understanding of how their body is responding to their weight loss. 

Q:  What do you see are things that make patients successful in losing weight? Keeping momentum during weight loss? and keeping it off?

A:  I have had the pleasure of watching people through the entirety of their weight loss journey. The people who are most successful are those that commit to being 100% on the diet in Phase 1 and stick to the plan we put in place for them. Those that are receptive to coaching from their Health Educator have shown to have an easier time with this transition. It gets hard for some and the added support from the Health Educators and classmates is the support that most people need to keep going. The most crucial part of a patients journey is the transition from meal replacements to "other foods". Phase 2 is where patients are most nervous about protecting their weight loss. In my experience, patients that are compliant in Phase 1 of the program have an easier time maintaining their weight in Phase 2. 

Q:  How do you manage your own weight?

A:  I've noticed as I've aged that it's become harder to maintain my weight. The first step I've had to take is eating out less and preparing more meals at home. I have also taken on the Healthy Solutions Diet mentality of incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my everyday diet. With a baby at home, time management is key. It's a never-ending commitment to myself and family to stay healthy and model healthy choices.

Q:  What are some of your favorite things about working at the DWMP?
 
A:  There are quite a few, but one of the most rewarding things, as a nurse, is seeing so many patients improve their quality of life by losing weight and making lifestyle changes. For example, going off medications, walking up stairs with ease, playing with grandchildren/children, surfing again, are all things that people loved doing but were crippled by weight gain. They get their life back! 

I also love the camaraderie between all my co-workers and patients. I can see that patients really trust us with their health and are gracious and appreciative once they see that we have their best interest at hand.