Family Doctor Focuses on the Foundations of Health and Healthcare
Gordon Magonet, M.D., was originally drawn to the field of medicine because it allowed him to combine his interest in science and analysis with his interest in building relationships and, ultimately, helping people. Dr. Magonet was born and raised in Montreal, where he lived until he went to college and medical school in the U.S., before returning to Canada to complete his residency in family medicine.
The breadth of issues that family medicine offers intrigued Dr. Magonet. “I wanted to be the kind of doctor a patient could ask about any issues, from acute pain to ongoing conditions to what supplements to take,” he says. “It’s a general, foundation type of practice, and I get to share and help my patients handle their social, emotional and physical issues.”
Dr. Magonet was also attracted to the way family medicine is rooted in the old-fashioned notion of medicine and a doctor’s role in relation to his patients, plus its focus on overall healthy lifestyle, which lead him to pursue a fellowship in integrative medicine from the University of Arizona in 2009.
“I’m interested in helping people take care of themselves in situations that don’t require the help of drugs and surgery,” he says. “When I sit down with my patients, I look at their issues to help them take a proactive approach to their own health.”
Dr. Magonet, who came to East Jefferson General Hospital in 1997 when the hospital founded its Family Medicine Residency, says that when patients come to him with a variety of complaints, he starts with a hierarchy in order to treat their issues.
“I always start with sleep, because it’s really one of the foundations of our health,” he explains. “We talk about a person’s sleep patterns so I can see how much and how well he or she is sleeping. I find a surprisingly large number of people don’t get the quality of sleep they need.”
Then he focuses on both physical activity and diet, which he views as essential in his treatment hierarchy, and both of which are strongly affected by sleep. “So many health issues can be improved with proper diet and regular exercise,” says Dr. Magonet.
Next he will look at any counterproductive habits a person might have, such as smoking or excessive alcohol use, and importantly, “We’ll talk about stress and how it’s being handled,” he says, which often brings the conversation back to sleep. “A person’s stress levels can be affected by the amount of sleep he or she is getting.”
A strong believer in the healing powers of mind/body medicine, including meditation, Dr. Magonet discusses the different meditation modalities that are available by learning what appeals to each patient and fits his or her lifestyle.
“Before I recommend meditation, I ask my patients if they’re open to it. We’ll talk about the importance of breathing and I’ll teach them short breathing techniques,” he says, explaining that his goal is to “try to get people to do something that will help them manage their stress and ultimately improve their health.”
Whether he guides patients through meditation, provides relief from a persistent issue or just improves their diet, Dr. Magonet enjoys the way his family medicine practice allows him to build strong, long-lasting relationships with his patients.
“I know I can’t change whether someone has a family member who is sick or alleviate stressful issues at their job,” he says, “but building relationships with my patients allows me to be aware of these things and I believe that sharing those issues with them has real value.”
Gordon Magonet, M.D.
East Jefferson Family Practice
4228 Houma Blvd., Suite 200
Metairie, LA 70006
Doctorate: Harvard School of Medicine
Residency, Family Medicine: McGill University
Board Certification: Family Medicine
Fellowship, Integrative Medicine: University of Arizona
Memberships: American Academy of Family Physicians (Fellow), American Board of Family Medicine (Diplomate), American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (Associate Member)