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Dr. Raul Perez-Vazquez (Dr. Raul Perez-Vazquez / Courtesy)

As a physician specializing in internal medicine, Boca Raton’s Dr. Raul Perez-Vazquez says he is dedicated to caring for the community with the goal to practice medicine according to his high ideals. He and his wife, Dr. Sonia Gibson, an endocrinologist, have two sons, 17 and 14.

Dr. Perez-Vazquez, 41, was born in Utuado, Puerto Rico and educated at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Mexico, Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico and Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center.

He recently talked about his experience relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What have you seen in providing treatment and care for your patients with COVID-19?

“In terms of COVID-19-related ailments, we’re seeing different types of conditions during various stages of the virus. Fevers, body aches, headache, fatigue and gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, are some of the most common ailments during the acute infectious period. During convalescence, we are seeing fatigue and cyclical fevers, as well as, in some cases, persistent positive testing. For those who are not ill, we see the psychological impact of social distancing taking the forms of increased anxiety, depression from isolation of loved ones as well as insomnia. These types of stressors can be brought on by the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a primary care provider, addressing these conditions and concerns has become the norm. The experience, I must say, has been, as in so many aspects of this pandemic, quite unique and hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Describe your open and safe office protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At my office, we have stringent protocols for safety, hygiene and disinfection in place. We are screening all patients prior to their appointments and have set up our waiting room to adhere to social distancing. Each individual who enters the office has their temperature taken by our staff and our office is maintaining a full stock of personal protective equipment, which is being used by our healthcare providers. Our clinical settings are safe to provide care. We are also offering telehealth, which is an excellent tool allowing us to continue providing care, while at the same time, keeping patients safe at home. Our patients appreciate the ease in using our telehealth system as well as the accessibility and the option of avoiding unnecessary contact during social distancing implementation.”

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As an internist, what advice would you give people to stay safe and avoid catching the virus?

“Wear a face mask when in public, avoid crowded places, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer. Follow rules and guidelines from trusted government agencies and scientists.”

What is one of your hobbies outside of medicine?

“I enjoy cooking Puerto Rican cuisine. For such a small island, Puerto Rico has a rich culinary history; its secrets and their application to dishes thrills me. I also can’t leave grilling out. My wife is Argentinian and experiencing the South American grilling techniques and learning them, mastering the charcoal, the perfect temperature and their effects of different cuts of meat and foods is truly something I enjoy a great deal.”

What motivates you to face each day? “The uncertainty of what lies ahead each day motivates me to provide the best treatment possible to my patients. My goal is to employ the characteristics of people I admire and learned from during my lifetime. I also focus on using time efficiently and I’m determined to accomplish favorable outcomes with patients and in personal relationships. We have to be resilient in overcoming life’s obstacles and in trying to have a positive, happy outlook.”

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