Getting the Most Out of Your Doc Visit

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Dr. Jen Mushtaler (OB JEN)

We all know that scheduling timely and routine visits to the doctor is an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle.  However, many patients feel like their visits to the doctor are rushed. Here are some helpful tips from the insiders to help you get the most out of your appointment.

Scheduling is key.

First step to a successful visit is in the scheduling. Make sure you let the scheduler know what you need to address with the doctor so that your doctor can schedule the appropriate amount of time. Otherwise, your doctor may then be rushed to give everything full attention, and sometimes additional procedures need prior authorization with insurance. In our office, we try to schedule patient’s appropriate time based on the stated reason for the visit.

Plan head so you are not rushed.

Second, make sure you are not rushed for your appointment. We have had patients try to squeeze something in before they have to pick-up children or make a work meeting or another appointment. Ask the scheduler what is a reasonable amount of time to allot for your visit. Also, some days of the week may be more or less busy in the doctor’s office and may require more time. Many things can happen at your appointment time to get even the best planned schedules behind, so give a little extra wiggle room in case.

Bring a list of your medications with you.

Bring an accurate list of your medications with you to your appointment. Better yet, bring all your prescriptions and any vitamins with you. Some medications can interfere with each other or worse, be harmful, so you want your medical providers to have an up-to-date and complete list. Also, be sure your provider knows if you have stopped medications as well. New to the doctor? Bring a written list of any medical issues and previous surgeries.

Bring a list of questions for the doc.

Most of my patients are great about jotting down questions for their visit on their phone or I-pad or an old-fashioned piece of paper. I love it and encourage all patients to do that. It is easy to get nervous or even side-tracked during a visit and then remember after you left that you wanted to ask about something that did not get covered. Also, let your doctor know at the beginning of the visit that you brought your questions. It helps us to plan the time during your visit to allow for discussion.

Getting additional tests?

Ask your doctor specifically what labs they will order so you can make sure that those labs are drawn. Then make sure you know the timeline for your results and how those will be communicated. Some offices are able to let patients check their own results online. In our office, we notify patients of results. I am not a fan of no news is good news because I have seen results get lost that need follow-up.

Getting a new prescription?

Confirm with your doctor what medications are being ordered. Most prescriptions are now faxed electronically, but to be your own best advocate you should know what medications you are taking, old and new. Also, sometimes pharmacies will offer to substitute generics and that’s when some mistakes can happen.

Check prescription coverage with your insurance company.

Another helpful hint, if you know you will be needing a particular type of medication, check to see what the level of coverage is with your insurance company. Different medications may have different co-pays, so if your doctor knows what is covered at tier 1, they may be able to help guide you to something more affordable and just as effective. Unfortunately, we don’t have that information and it is certainly not our intention to prescribe a medication the patient will be unable to take because of costs. For example, birth controls are covered by insurers now, but not all name brands or types may be covered by a particular plan. Don’t forget to have your pharmacy of choice ready to give your doctor’s office as well.

Happy scheduling!

Remember, the best way to get the most out of your appointment is to make sure that both you and your doctor’s office have scheduled appropriately and that you are prepared with an up-to-date list of medicines and concerns to be addressed.

To schedule an appointment with Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas, visit www.capobgyn.com or call 512-83-OB-JEN.


Summer News from Capital Ob/Gyn Associates

Thank you so much for your referrals, your praises and your online Yelp’s! Summer 2012 comes with several exciting updates. We are proud to announce our growing staff and team of physicians as well as our lovely expanded office space. Don’t worry though! We are keeping our comfortable and cozy feel.  Please join us for our open house in August and come see for yourself. In the meantime, read on to learn more about what’s new at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates!

Our Expanding Staff and Team of Physicians

Welcome Dr. Jane Braunstein and nurse Susan Paschall.  Dr. Jane Braunstein joined the practice in June 2012 and looks forward to meeting both new and existing patients.

Dr. Catherine Browne and her family are settling in nicely and loving the Austin community. Since joining the team in October 2011, Dr. Browne’s gentle demeanor and reassuring manner have been a great fit at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates.

Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler (OB JEN) is so happy with the growth and success of Capital Ob/Gyn Associates. She still finds time to stay active in the health and fitness arena. Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas sponsored the Skeese Greets Triathlon and the Couples Triathlon. She and her husband Trent were spotted last weekend participating on the Couples Triathlon course as Team OB JEN. They make quite a team as weekend warriors!

Health and Lifestyle Fair at The University of Texas 7.20.12

Tomorrow, the Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas Staff will be participating in a health and lifestyle fair at the University of Texas at Austin.  They look forward to meeting over 24,000 staff members and employees at UT and educating women of all ages about health and wellness.

Barta Boys Update

Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas would also like to thank all those who lovingly supported and donated to the Barta Boys. We are pleased to report that the boys are making a miraculous recovery. We can’t wait to welcome Barbara back to the office later this month. Our professional and caring office staff creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere at the practice, ensuring your comfort each and every visit.

Our Expanded Office Space

If you haven’t been to the office in the last few months, you’ll see that we’ve moved a little down the hall! Our new space has allowed us to grow our team at our same convenient location, suite 325. We are located at Parmer and Mopac next to the St. David’s Austin Medical Center on Renfert Way.

Open House August 16th What better way to tour our new office space, meet our new staff members and chat with our physicians than an Open House! Guests are invited to join us at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates on Thursday, August 16th from 4-7pm. Hors d’oevres and beverages will be served. Visit our website for directions.

All of our physicians are accepting new patients and look forward to seeing you soon at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas! To schedule an appointment with any of our physicians, call 512-836-2536 or visit www.capobgyn.com.


The Vitamin D Deficiency Pandemic – Not so Fast!

Some researchers have warned that vitamin D deficiency is akin to a silent epidemic. However, recent data from the Institute of Medicine reveals that the majority of people are getting enough vitamin D and calcium. Although quite plausible, there is not enough data to support claims that vitamin D can help
protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, MS or pre-eclampsia of pregnancy to name a few.

What are the recommendations for vitamin D and calcium intake?

It is recommended that young women ages 9-18 consume 1300 mg/day of calcium and 600 IU/day of vitamin D. Healthy women ages 19-51 including those who are pregnant or lactating should consume 1000 mg/day of calcium and 600 IU/day of vitamin D. Women ages 51-70 should consume 1200 mg/
day of calcium and 600 IU/day of vitamin D. Women older than 70 years should increase their vitamin D consumption to 800 IU/day in addition to 1200 mg/day of calcium.

Should I take a calcium and/or vitamin D supplement?

Most individuals can achieve the recommended amounts through proper diet and nutrition, and it only takes 10-15 minutes of sun exposure to generate your daily vitamin D requirements. Research shows that most people get 600-900 mg of calcium daily from diet alone. There is also a recommended upper safe limit of 2000 mg/day of calcium and 4000 IU/day of vitamin D. Excess calcium and vitamin D has been associated with calcifications in blood vessels, kidney stones, cardiovascular risk and surprisingly falls and fractures. Some natural food sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, and fortified milk. If you are going to supplement your diet, check for USP verification on the label.

Should I have my vitamin D level checked?

Only those persons at risk for vitamin D deficiency need to have their levels screened. At risk persons include pregnant and nursing women, obese individuals, darker skinned individuals, persons who have undergone prior bariatric surgery, persons with Crohn’s disease, and persons with osteoporosis.
There are several other serious medical conditions in which vitamin D testing is also recommended so speak with your doctor first.

Don’t have one? Come see OB JEN at Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas.
www.capobgyn.com


Pap and a Piece of Chocolate

I am going to let you in on a little secret. I have been practicing obstetrics and gynecology for over ten years now, I have cared for thousands of women through all manner of women’s medical issues, I have been pregnant and delivered two wonderful daughters, and I still dread going to the ob/gyn for my exam.

Will my ob/gyn use the plastic or the metal speculum? Did I shave too much or too little? Oh, fiddlesticks! I just realized I totally forgot to shave my legs, and I will have to leave my socks on because I am way overdue nail polish on my toes. Oh please Lord let my deodorant be working extra hard today because I can’t stop thinking about plastic or metal and now I am beginning to perspire and my
appointment isn’t until this afternoon. Yes, ob/gyn’s dread their own ob/gyn exams, too.

A few years ago my young girls became accomplished statisticians. They had concluded with reasonable probability that if we were going to visit the pediatrician, one or both of them would be statistically likely to receive a shot. Not wanting them to dread (read violently resist) going, I proposed that if they
received a shot, we would go for a treat of their choice afterwards. It worked!

Then I had a wonderful thought! What if my patients were to receive a small treat to ease the anxiety of coming to the ob/gyn? Something sweet and thoughtful that acknowledges that you might not have really wanted to, but you came in to take care of yourself? Sitting in a jar on the table you will ALWAYS find an assortment of small chocolates. Please help yourself, and we won’t tell anyone if you take two pieces.
We know, we understand; you were very brave.

To schedule an appointment with Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas – Home of Pap and a Piece of Chocolate – please visit www.capobgyn.com or call 512-83-OB-JEN.


OB JEN "On Air" with Kathryn Bonner!

OB JEN is honored to be featured as a monthly radio guest on KLGO The Word 98.5/99.3 – Spirit Walking with Kathryn Bonner.  Each month, Dr. Jen Mushtaler covers topics with Kathryn Bonner that are essential to healthy and complete living. 

Featured in July, OB JEN engaged with Kathryn in a two-way dialogue about Postpartum Depression.  Listen to a replay here

In August’s show, OB Jen and Kathryn Bonner discussed hot flashes and the body temple.   Replay is coming soon!

Next Show: September 21st, 2:30-3pm
KLGO The Word 98.5/99.3
You can catch OB JEN on air with Kathryn Bonner again on September 21st from 2:30-3pm on KLGO The Word 98.5/99.3.  Tune in!

About the Show:
Spirit Walking with Kathryn Bonner is a refreshing approach that is truly needed because of the stressed out busyness that seems to be a part of today’s hectic culture. Kathryn has a show that will blow fresh winds of renewal into the hearts of those listening. Her show is all about women, for women! For you guys out there, come check it out too, as you will surely learn something of interest about us, if not; you will certainly get a great laugh!

Kathryn covers all sorts of things such as women’s health, wellness, marriage, movies, ministries, your body temple, Biblical teachings, struggles, raising children, dating, miracles, passion, purpose, how God speaks, creativity, dreams, mission work, finances, freedom in Christ and so much more! Kathryn will also interview experts, authors, speakers, Christian life coaches, doctors, and ordinary women making an extraordinary difference in the world!

Kathryn is an author, a speaker and a Life Purpose Coach. She knows the power of breaking through the fears and stepping fully into your faith by the gift of coaching.


OB JEN in NSIDE Magazine!

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Jen Mushtaler was featured in NSIDE Magazine’s July/August issue.  Read the article to find out how OB JEN got started in her medical career and what the future holds for Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas!

Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler grew up fascinated by science. Her father was a NASA engineer who worked on projects like the Mars Land Rover, Hubble telescope and Mission Control.

In school, classes would always stop to watch the space shuttles launch into space.

With a mathematics teacher for a mother and surrounded by engineers, astronauts and PhDs, Mushtaler thought she would become an engineer.

In fact, she did, earning a degree in electrical engineering at UT. However, she soon became drawn to medicine and continued on to medical school at UT Southwestern Parkland Memorial Hospital.

“It brings together science, innovation and healing people,” Mushtaler says of her chosen field. “The surgical specialty of ob/gyn was truly my calling. For me, there is very little that rivals the miracle of birth.”

The incredibly important journey of pregnancy and childbirth, along with general women’s reproductive health, is clearly something Mushtaler deeply loves and respects.

After 10 years of private practice experience, in October 2010, she founded Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas, which operates on a collaborative philosophy of partnering with women in their health care needs, rather than the more traditional medical atmosphere of doctor and patient. The office setting is warm, intimate, compassionate and private.

“Each woman presents with her own unique health concerns and philosophies, so care plans are developed to address that uniqueness while adhering to the highest professional standards,” Mushtaler says. “My patients are so pleased with the atmosphere and the high level of care we offer. I sincerely hope there continues to be a future for this style of practice in the new age of medicine before us.”

Mushtaler is excited about today’s advances in minimally invasive surgery, which allows her to routinely perform major gynecological surgeries in an outpatient setting. Complete cancer resections and lymph node samplings are being done robotically.

“Patients avoid lengthy hospital stays and recoveries,” she says, “and the cosmesis is beautiful.”

She chuckles when answering a question about a “typical day.”

“There is nothing typical about ob/gyn, managing my own practice, balancing marriage, two wonderful young daughters and time for athletic endeavors,” she says. “I often find myself thinking, ‘Well, that was an exciting day. I wonder what will happen tomorrow!’”

Indeed, Mushtaler is incredibly active, counseling by example for her patients, as well as her daughters. She encourages women’s fitness and athletics, and is highly involved with causes such as LIVESTRONG, breast and cervical cancer awareness, triathlon training and much more.

Affectionately known as “OB Jen,” she constantly updates her blog at www.whosyourobjen.com with news and resources on these topics.

“I swim, I bike, I run because I believe there is a strong relationship between the physical and nutritional lifestyles we choose and our complete health,” she says.

In fact, her expertise with women’s fitness issues has led to her invitation to speak in forums such as the GOTRIbal podcast, which focuses on female endurance athletes.

“You don’t have to completely stop training when you get pregnant,” Mushtaler told GOTRIbal CEO Tanya Malasch. “You shouldn’t be going hard, but get out there for the love of it, and continue your base.”

Mushtaler recommends training at about 80 percent of your maximum heart rate while pregnant to stay safely in your aerobic zone; and for pregnant women who decide to begin a fitness routine, she recommends beginning very moderately and building up.

“I try to get them started by walking,” she says. “My recommendation is 30 minutes a day, five days a week. I do not recommend training in the anaerobic zone, as that has been shown to compromise blood flow to the baby.

“My patients come in all shapes, sizes, lifestyles, and no matter where they are in their health needs, I want them to feel empowered and encouraged.”

“Dr. Mushtaler is amazing,” says Tessa Spencer, who has been a patient for three years. At 35 years old, Spencer discovered she was pregnant, which came as a big surprise.

“Dr. Mushtaler and I worked out a plan of treatment for me and the baby, and she monitored me weekly,” Spencer says. “I had a very high-risk pregnancy, and she spent a lot of time talking to me and helping me make the right choices for my baby.”

Spencer had a Caesarean delivery at 34 weeks, but she and her baby were able to go home in two days.

“I always feel a sense of being at home with a good friend when I am with Dr. Mushtaler,” Spencer says. “She treated me and my baby with respect and love. I really felt she cared about us as individuals, not just patients.”

Such experiences and outcomes are very rewarding to Mushtaler.

“I find it particularly rewarding that my patients know that my interests are synonymous with theirs and trust that if medical intervention is needed, I will use it judiciously,” she says. “I love the long-term relationships I have developed with my patients and the opportunities to heal by simply listening, by medicine and by surgery when it is needed. The relief to a patient following a successful surgery and delivering healthy babies to happy, healthy mommies are equally gratifying.”

For more information, contact Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler and Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas at 512-83-OBJEN or visit www.capobgyn.com.


What's New in May!

OB JEN was thrilled to be a part of another GOTRIbal Podcast last week!  Back to speak with the ladies about “Knowing Your Bod,” OB JEN addresses some of the following questions:

1. Your position is plainly that women Can and SHOULD train during pregnancy.  Can you elaborate on that?
2. You have children of your own…  what was your experience training, or exercising for fitness, while you were pregnant?
3. To wax or not to wax, what’s the best thing to do?
4. What are the top three things we can do to manage our menstrual cycle as we get closer to a race?

Listen to OB JEN’s conversation here (and don’t forget, she’s always open to your questions and concerns!): GOTRIbal Podcast.

Check out this swag!

Coming up this Sunday, May 8th is the Skeese Greets Tri: 300 m swim, 11.1 mi bike and a 2 mi run.  OB Jen is excited to be a sponsor of this race and will be helping out at packet pickup on Sturday (today) between 11 and 3.  Hope you all are able to get outside and enjoy this Texas spring — before it becomes a Texas summer!

Here’s a shot of OB JEN Team in action:

Gorgeous, ladies.

 Please visit Dr. Mushtaler’s practice website at www.capobgyn.com or contact 512-83-OB-JEN to schedule an appointment with OB JEN.


Tune in tonight! OB JEN on GOTRIbal 8pm Central.

Dr. Jen will answer your questions LIVE tonight!

Tonight at 8PM Central – Dr. Jen Mushtaler answers your questions on how to be a healthy endurance athlete!

Dr. Mushtaler will be talking with the women of GOTRIbal about “all things” health and fitness.  GOTRIbal is an organization that empowers female endurance athletes  by allowing them to connect with other women around the world! From pregnancy to menopause, OB JEN has the answer.

No question is off-limits- if you are wondering about something in particular, odds are you aren’t the only one!  If there is a question you’d like to ask in addition to those below, please tune in tonight.   You can also connect with past podcasts here

OB Jen will discuss the following common questions from female athletes:

  • Can I run during my pregnancy?
  • What exercises do you recommend during pregnancy?
  • I am a competitive athlete, but my OB said I have to stop.  Is this true?
  • Does my heart rate really have to stay below 140 bpm?
  • What special dietary modifications do I need to make?
  • I am worried about weight gain.  How much weight do I need to gain?
  • I was told not to do sit-ups.  Is this true?

Can’t wait to connect with you all on the call tonight.  Follow the link to the podcast call at 8PM Central and have your questions ready!

Visit Dr. Mushtaler’s practice website at www.capobgyn.com or contact 512-83-OB-JEN to schedule an appointment with OB JEN.


Countdown to ZOOMA Austin Race Day!

OB JEN is a proud sponsor of the ZOOMA Women’s Half Marathon & 5K!

Coming up on Saturday, April 16, the ZOOMA Austin Half Marathon & 5K races feature a challenging course through the Texas countryside and a fabulous post-race party with mini spa treatments, wine tastings, live music, and shopping at The Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort.

Highlight’s of this year’s race include:
◦Complimentary training programs
◦Water, energy drink and runners’ food along the course and finish line
◦Commemorative gift for all half marathon race finishers
◦Post-race massage and shopping at ZOOMA After-Party Expo
◦Wine from Barefoot Wine & Bubbly at the ZOOMA After-Party Expo
◦Live music at the ZOOMA After-Party Expo

OB JEN at Packet Pickup
Leading up to the race, meet and mingle with OB JEN and her friendly staff at Thursday’s packet pickup! OR keep an eye out for OB JEN “strutting her stuff” along the Half Marathon course. Dr. Mushtaler is a “weekend warrior” out to have a fun and fantastic race on Saturday morning!

ZOOMA Austin Half Marathon & 5K
Packet Pickup
Thursday, April 14
Luke’s Locker Downtown
3pm – 7pm

Additional details about the ZOOMA Austin Half Marathon & 5K can be found on their website www.zoomarun.com/austin or by visiting their Facebook page.

This is a fabulous “girls weekend” event that you don’t want to miss!

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jen Mushtaler, affectionately known as OB JEN, by visiting the Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas Website.  www.capobgyn.com


Fundraising with Team LIVESTRONG

OB JEN is proud to announce that she will be participating in the 2011 LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon and Half Marathon!  Not only will Dr. Mushtaler be running the half marathon on February 20, 2011, but she is also generously participating with Team LIVESTRONG to raise $500 for the LIVESTRONG Foundation and cancer awareness.

By fundraising just $500 for Team LIVESTRONG, OB JEN has joined a group of committed individuals dedicated to inspiring and empowering people affected by cancer.  Participation on Team LIVESTRONG for the LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon or Half Marathon includes:

  • Paid Marathon or Half Marathon Race Entry
  • LIVESTRONG Racing Gear (Nike Tech Shirt and Cap)
  • Personal Fundraising Website
  • Fundraising Support Resources & Materials   
  • Commitment to Fundraise $500 for Team LIVESTRONG

Rather than running alone, OB JEN has chosen to fundraise and run with one of the many teams in the Austin community — Team Upbeat!  You can join OB JEN and the Team Upbeat Runners by signing up here: http://runaustin.livestrong.org/marathon2011/teamupbeat

You can also run as an individual or create your own team by clicking here.  ALL you need to do is sign up for Team LIVESTRONG — they will take care of the rest! 

If you would like to donate directly to OB JEN, please click on Dr. Mushtaler’s personal fundriasing page.

In addition to the LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon and Half Marathon, Team LIVESTRONG will participate in 17 major athletic events around the world, host four events in the United States and once again serve as a proud charity partner in the World Marathon Majors.  With Team LIVESTRONG you can walk, run, ride or tri in the fight against cancer.  Learn More at www.teamlivestrong.org.  

LIVESTRONG provides support to guide people through the cancer experience, bring them together to fight cancer—and work for a world in which our fight is no longer necessary.  They have been fighting since 1997 to improve the cancer experience and make cancer a priority.

As a runner and triathlete herself, Dr. Jen Mushtaler has a special passion for working with female atheletes — helping them stay healthy and reach their fitness goals!

For more information, contact 512-83-OBJEN.  To schedule an appointment with Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas or learn more about OB JEN’s practice, visit www.capobgyn.com.