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Name: Jeffrey Quinn Dowis
Hometown: Cornelia, GA
Specialty: Aerospace Medicine and Family Medicine
Place of Practice: US Air Force and Private Practice
Why did you want to become a doctor?
I had a traumatic brachial plexus (the cluster of nerves in your neck which go to your arm) injury about 10 years ago, which at the time left me without the use of my right arm for 6 months. I literally could not even shake hands with someone without using my left hand to pick up my right arm. After many failed attempts, I was fortunate enough to finally find a surgeon who repaired my nerve, and gave me back full function of my arm (which has long since fully recovered). I knew then and there, actually waking up from my surgery and finally feeling the muscles fire again, that I wanted in some way to be able to help others in the same capacity.
What sets you apart from other doctors in your field?
I wouldn't say this sets me apart from other in my field, but I would say that it sets me apart from other specialties. Family Medicine doctors tend to be the touchy-feely, Birkenstock wearing, hippies of the medical community. We like to take things generally at our own pace, which for me is often up to 30 minutes per patient. As strongly as I hate typing out Progress Notes, I LOVE sitting down face to face with my patients and coming up with a care plan that they have a hand in creating; It's actually my favorite part of the job.
What are your tips for living longer?
1. Weight loss doesn't have to be a mystery, or needlessly complicated. For most healthy adults, it's a simple equation of burn more than you take in, and do so on a consistent basis. If you want to lose 50 pounds for example, give yourself a realistic goal time-wise of about one year. This amount of time is long enough to allow the body to avoid going into a caveman mode and gaining it all back. It's a simple equation: It takes 3500 calories to burn one pound of fat.
Most adults only require around 2,000 calories per day to be alive and carry on a normal life. If you only eat, or take in 1500 calories per day, you will burn 500 extra calories per day, or 3500 per week. After
50 weeks, or right at one year, you will have met your goal with ease.
This can be further increased by adding exercise, or when the time is right and you have some momentum behind you, discussing certain medications with your doctor that can help you burn fat more efficiently.
2. Try this for a day: With every person you encounter, before you speak to them, silently say "I appreciate you" or "I love you". This has the effect neurologically of opening parts of your mind you might not otherwise have access to, and can completely eliminate conflict.
You might be amazed at the results! In the same vein, find something to laugh about every day, even if it's yourself!
3. Train your brain, for quality sleep. We usually spend our whole day at a hectic pace, in work mode, multi-tasking and being maximally efficient. We then come home and switch to home mode, which is still the same hectic pace of taking care of our partners and children’s needs, not to mention things like paying bills, and keeping the house clean, or any number of things. Then, at a pre-determined time on the clock when we expect to magically and instantly switch over into sleep mode. This isn't possible, because the brain actually needs time before sleep to go through a mental shutdown process. It needs time to transition from hectic mode to rest mode. Most of us can't accomplish this at the pace we might like, so many of us turn to sleep aids to "knock ourselves out". Sleep aids are actually intended to be a short term use, and in that setting can be quite beneficial.
However, in the long term nothing compares in efficacy to training your brain to efficiently go through its shut down process through various mental exercises, designed to shift the focus from the events of the day, to random thoughts that bear no correlation with those events. There are many, whether it's from the simple "sheep counting" exercise we all know, to more complex tasks (one I advocate is the color game: Think of as many items of a certain color as you can, for example you might pick the color yellow. You then might list "school bus, road signs" "caution lights" etc., until you exhaust that color and move on) all have the same goal, to ease the transition from hectic mode to sleep mode and achieve quality sleep at a natural pace.
4. Don't be afraid to seek help or counseling. Whether it’s a through a professional or just someone you respect and trust, it’s always reassuring to have someone else in your corner. They might just have that crucial piece of information you need to solve a problem or be able to point you in the right direction.
5. Don't waste a moment worrying about what others have, and you don't. Instead, make a focused effort each day to take just one full minute to silently "count your blessings". Try to use social networking as a tool only.