East Texans looking to receive free answers to a variety of medical questions don’t have to rely solely on information they may find on the internet.

The Walk With a Doc program will resume in Tyler on March 23, once again allowing doctors and patients a chance to discuss health-related topics and build relationships outside of the clinical setting.

“In our world of really, really short physician visits, you don’t get a chance to connect as well as you would like with patients because of the time limits that you have,” said Dr. Li-Yu Mitchell, president of the Smith County Medical Society, the organization that runs the program locally. “In the Walk With a Doc (program), the doctor is out there giving a little health talk for less than 10 minutes and then walking with participants and answering more questions or just talking about their day.”

Angela Driggs, executive director of the Smith County Medical Society, said since the Walk With a Doc program began in Tyler in September 2014, more than 300 people have participated.

Although the physicians involved with the Walk With a Doc program won’t diagnose or prescribe attendees medication, they can answer general questions attendees may have about specific health topics.

Health topics discussed during this spring’s walks range from general skin care to heat stroke to breast cancer and more, Mrs. Driggs said.

“We feel like it serves our mission to promote the health of all residents in the area, while we are encouraging high standards of medical professionalism,” she said.

This year, while the program was on pause, the Smith County Medical Society held a Cook With a Doc program. Dr. Mitchell said they plan to resume this summer. She hopes programs such as these will help improve the health of all who choose to attend.

“This is a very unhurried scenario where you’ve got a doctor wearing shorts and a T-shirt, and he’s an average person that you feel less intimidated about,” Dr. Mitchell said. “It’s like going to church and being around people you can connect with and not feel intimidated.”

Twitter:@TMT_Augusta

Closer Look:

The walks begin at 6 p.m. and start at the Rose Rudman Trail at the New Copeland Road trailhead. Organizers said parking is available near the starting point at the Capitol One Bank, 4321 New Copeland Road. Friendly dogs, parents with strollers and children on bicycles alsoare welcome to attend.

Below is a list of the doctors who will be participating and the topics they will discuss. In the event of bad weather, the topic and speaker will be rescheduled. For more information, contact the Smith County Medical Society at 903-593-7058.

March 23, Mack Stewart

Topic: General Skin Care

April 6, Eldor Brish

Topic: non-surgical treatment options for chronic low back pain

April 13, Tom Lambert

Topic: Insect Dermatitis

April 20, Brian Mendenhall

Topic: Heat Stroke

April 27, Christina Bratcher

Topic: Thyroid Disorders

May 4, Svetislava Vukelja

Topic: Breast Cancer

May 11, Ketan Patel

Topic: Sleep and Your Health

May 18, Nicholas Andrade

Topic:TBD

May 25, Michael Ford

Topic: Keeping Your Eyes Healthy

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