An Old-Fashioned Doctor: Dr. Lynn Belsky Helps Her Patients Be Their BestOct 01, 2010 ● By Peggy Malecki
“Old-fashioned doctor.” It’s a term associated more frequently with small towns and doctor bags than with a modern physician comfortable with high-tech diagnostics and online medical records. But Dr. Lynne C. Belsky of Living Well Medical, LLC, in Northbrook, says she is just that: an old-fashioned doctor practicing new-fangled medicine.
“My driving force is not just to treat people when they are ill, but to prevent illness by helping people obtain optimum health,” explains Belsky.
Medicine came naturally to Belsky, whose father, Dr. Abe Chervony, led family discussions about the topic at the dinner table. “My dad was an old-fashioned kind of internist,” Belsky recalls fondly, noting that he instilled in her the importance of being a caring doctor and a teacher. “He loved practicing medicine, and his patients appreciated him for who he was as a person and what he did as a doctor. Because of him, I always thought I’d be a doctor.”
Today, Belsky honors her father’s tradition in a modern way: She is a concierge, or boutique, doctor. For a retainer fee that includes an annual exam and extensive blood work, Belsky is available 24/7, answers her own phone, calls patients back directly, and can usually be seen the same day for at least 30 minutes per visit.
Belsky prefers to call herself a “personal” doctor, similar to a personal trainer for the body, but also looking after the wellness of mind and spirit. She says many of her patients come to her because they are frustrated with long waits and short visits at traditional medical offices. “The current model of medicine allows 15 minutes for a doctor to see a patient, which is not enough time to teach them about their illness or treatment,” advises Belsky.
Her own indirect path to medical school helped inspire the beliefs and values Belsky holds true in her practice. After high school, she danced in New York with the Joffrey Ballet, earned a degree in physical therapy (PT) from Northwestern University, and went on to practice outpatient PT in orthopedics, sports and pediatric medicines.
Then, her father passed away, and Belsky found herself re-examining her career and her life. “I realized I really wanted to know about the whole body and be able to incorporate my knowledge of healing from a muscular/skeletal sense, in terms of healing the whole person,” she says.
So, in her 30s, Belsky entered medical school, becoming board certified in internal medicine. She built a successful practice with a large medical group, following the current economic model of medicine but feeling that she was losing touch with why she became a doctor. She wanted to spend more time with each patient, educating them and helping them follow the path to wellness.
Belsky’s solution was to go into practice for herself, and she opened Living Well Medical in 2008. Here, she integrates traditional Western medicine with nutrition and other holistic approaches, and is open to patients who choose to complement her care with acupuncture and other non-traditional therapies.
“Optimal health does not just happen as you sit there and hope to be healthy,” advises Belsky, who practices yoga and regularly dances hip-hop, zumba and ballet. “The time I have as a concierge physician allows me to teach my patients about the disease process, how a vitamin or mineral works in the body, and how a person heals from a specific injury or disease. Through this teaching element, I create a partnership with the patient. The time we have together allows it not to be a one-way conversation.
“I love learning,” Belsky continues. “I love listening to new information and figuring out how I can explain it to patients. Having lived a life prior to medical school, I see medicine, and helping others to be the best they can be, as a part of life.”
Contact Dr. Lynne Belsky, Living Well Medical, LLC, 1535 Lake Cook Road, Ste. 306, Northbook 60062. Call 847-418-2030 or visit LivingWellMD.com.