New primary care physician at Crouse talks about shifts in the medical industry and shares 10 tips for people to stay healthy
By Chris Motola
Q: How did you come to work at Crouse?
A: I’m a board-certified family medicine physician. Crouse got word that I was available; they knew me, I knew them. It seemed like a good fit. I truly appreciate the professional working relationships with all my colleagues at Crouse Medical Practice. Many have known me through the years, and to be part of this team is very special to me. There is great leadership here and the administration has been so supportive. It is a blessing to be here.
Q: What kinds of patients do you see?
A: At Crouse Medical Practice, I’m a primary care physician seeing patients 18 and older. In my new practice at our Manlius office, I’m enjoying the best of both worlds: I’m able to see my former patients and also welcome new individuals to my practice.
Q: With the changing shape of the medical industry, have you experienced the role of primary care changing during your time in practice?
A: With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, there’s definitely been a shift toward preventive care. This is particularly gratifying for providers who’ve concentrated on primary care, with its main purpose of keeping people as healthy as they can be for as long as possible. We know that lifestyle choices can play a major role in preventing certain diseases or conditions. If we advise our primary care patients on how to make healthier choices, and to work with them to monitor existing conditions, we’ve played a role in keeping them healthier. Aside from the patient care model, preventive care also helps to reduce our nation’s overall healthcare spending. The CDC has estimated that chronic diseases that are avoidable through preventive care services comprise about 75% of healthcare spending in the U.S., totaling billions of dollars.
Q: Any other changes as a result of the Affordable Care Act?
A: An unintended consequence in this shift toward more preventive services has also increased the need for primary care physicians and providers, locally across the state and nationwide. Many physicians are now at or nearing retirement age, and the number of new younger doctors to take their places is not keeping pace with the need. Crouse Medical Practice is actively recruiting additional physicians, as well as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, to proactively service the needs of our community.
Q: What tactics do you think work for attracting people like you, or in your case keeping you, in areas with shortfalls?
A: For a primary care physician like myself, great satisfaction comes about when we can do the best and what’s right for our patients. A practice needs to provide employed physicians and all providers with an environment in which we can achieve longevity of service, an exceptional continuity of care and build a strong rapport with patients.
Q: How do you go about building good rapport?
A: In any healthy relationship, trust must exist. And this is especially true in the patient-provider relationship. You can build immediate trust with patients, and individuals in general, through active listening, showing you care and treating each patient and family member with respect and dignity.
Q: You’re from downstate, but you’ve been in the CNY community for a while.
A: I graduated from Upstate in 2001. I finished my family medicine residency at St. Joe’s in 2004. I worked at the Syracuse Community Health Center until 2007, then opened a private practice. I worked at a local nursing home and urgent care. So, I’m going back to my primary care roots.
Q: What are some of the differences working in those different contexts?
A: There’s a balance when you’re doing urgent care, geriatric care or primary care. You get to see the full spectrum of healthcare, everything from common problems to acuity. The most important common thread is preventive care and the doctor-provider relationship.
Q: What do you see as the primary care physician’s role in preventative care?
A: Preventive care is the most important aspect of the primary care provider’s role. It’s vital for a physician to invite a patient into a partnership in order to establish individual wellness goals and achieve the best health possible. The partnership needs to be built on mutual trust and respect.
Q: What kind of an impact are you trying to have on local health?
A: It would be really great to be known as a community doc who cares for and respects patients and to expand Crouse Medical Practice’s reputation for exceptional primary and specialty care. Crouse Health is also working diligently to help expand access to quality care in our community; I’m proud to be a part of this effort.
Q: What do you advise patients to do in order to stay healthy?
A: I actually have 10 tips, which you can find on a blog post I did recently for the Crouse Connects blog: eat healthy; exercise; get plenty of sleep; have regular medical and dental exams; practice personal safety; schedule regular screenings; don’t smoke or do drugs; drink alcohol in moderation; wear sunscreen and avoid excess sun exposure; and strive to achieve positive mental and emotional health. As a primary care physician, I can help my patients make better choices that are preventive in nature.
Q: When you’re not caring for patients, how do you relax?
A: Spending time with my family and gaming with my kids. I also love music — it’s one of my biggest pastimes…guitar, anything from classic rock to more upbeat pop, to hard rock, especially from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.
Name: Paraskos ‘Perry’ Araouzos, M.D.
Position: Primary Care Physician at Crouse Medical Practice in Manlius
Education: SUNY Upstate Medical University
Affiliation: Crouse Health
Career: Syracuse Community Health Center (2004-2007), family physician; FamilyCare Medical Group, PC (2007-2010), family physician; James Square Nursing (2007-2012), attending physician; Family Medical Care of DeWitt (2010-2012), family physician, owner; Immediate Medical Care of CNY (2008-2013), urgent care physician; St. Joseph’s Health (2013-2019), urgent care physician
Organizations: American Academy of Family Physicians
Family: Married, two children
Hobbies: Music, science fiction, Marvel movies