Every doctor in our network at Family Healthcare Associates is like family. That’s why we want to shine a spotlight on our amazing physicians so you can see the people behind the lab coats. This week we turn it over to Dr. Angela Nguyen, one of our primary care physicians in our north Arlington office, for a closer look.
Getting To Know Our Family of Doctors
Confession, I’m fairly new here—so I’m giving you a different perspective today. In May, I am coming up on my one-year anniversary with Family HealthCare Associates, so I don’t know a lot of the other doctors yet (it’s such a big group) but I look forward to meeting all of them.
I love what I do for a living. Like most of my patients, I grew up in Texas, except I was raised in Houston with parents who were into Chinese herbal medicine (things like acupuncture and cupping). I’m still very interested in it. In 2020, I even got certified in medical acupuncture, so I’m looking for ways to incorporate more eastern medicine modalities into my practice here. Acupuncture, for example, can help with a lot of different ailments like muscle pain, joint pain, fertility issues, or mood disorders. So, stay tuned for that as we figure out how to bill patients (not an easy task).
How did I end up in the Metroplex? After I earned my undergraduate degree at UT-Austin, I went to medical school at UNT Health Science Center. After my residency in Austin, I worked with a different group of doctors in Mansfield for a few years. But at some point, I realized that I wanted something different, so I began looking at other doctor groups. The family atmosphere here really appealed to me, so I made the jump.
One interesting part of my practice is I provide hormone therapy for transgender adults. I’ve found there is a pretty high demand for it here in Arlington as it seems most doctors in the Metroplex (outside of Dallas) are not offering it. There’s been lot of news lately about banning transgender care and hormone therapy in minors (30 states including Texas have restricted access to gender-affirming care for minors, or are considering it).
I am not trained in that. In my practice, I only work with adults, and it’s been very rewarding. I got my first exposure to gender care during my residency at the Kind Clinic in Austin. That was where I learned how to work with LGBTQ+ patients, and I really enjoyed it. After my residency ended, I wanted to keep doing it in Texas since a lot of my patients were unable to find a doctor who could help them.
As for some of the other hot issues around my office? The biggest one is definitely the new weight loss drugs. There’s been a lot of buzz about it in the news. Some celebrities have lost a lot of weight on a drug called Ozempic. Now you see commercials about it. Elon Musk tweeted he was taking another form of Ozempic called Wegovy. On TikTok, the hashtag #Ozempic has been viewed over 273 million times so it’s suddenly become very popular (even though it’s been around since 2018).
As for what it does, it’s a Type 2 diabetes drug, but they found one of its other benefits is it can be used for long-term weight management. I have patients asking me about it who gained weight during the pandemic and are still trying to lose it. When they come to me, I always suggest that they try improving their diet and exercise routine first, which are the tried and true methods—but some people have other circumstance that prevent that, which I understand.
Do I recommend it to my patients? I always give my patients the caveat: if it helps with hunger cues, consider what is going to happen if you come off of it. Your hunger cues will return and you may gain all the weight back you lost. Ideally, you are not on any medicine. That is always the goal. But all that said, obesity is a big risk factor for those with diabetes, so if I think it’s a good fit with some patients, I will recommend it (if their insurance plan approves it).
If you are considering trying Ozempic, I suggest you speak to your doctor to see if it’s right for you. That is one of the great things about Family Healthcare Associates—you can actually have a relationship with your doctor where you can ask them about it. With some other doctor groups, you would not get that opportunity.