Dr. James Mansfield, an internal medicine physician at East Jefferson General Hospital, dedicates much of his practice to the treatment of what he refers to as “the New Orleans trio,” which includes the lifestyle diseases diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
“These diseases can be managed and even prevented with diet and exercise,” Dr. Mansfield says. “It’s my job to counsel and help my patients effectively adjust their lifestyle to manage these conditions.”
Dr. Mansfield attended Louisiana State University School of Medicine, where he also completed his Internal Medicine residency. He says that he “has always been interested in medicine,” and attended a medical conference at Emory University during high school, which he says, “set [him] on the path” toward medical school. He completed a similar program during college, where he spent two weeks in Australia at a medical conference that included lectures, hands-on procedural lessons and observations.
“I chose internal medicine, because, though I was also interested in surgery, I’m more of a thinker than a procedural person,” Dr. Mansfield says. “I like how internal medicine gives me a vast knowledge of the entire body, its organ systems and the way they all interact.”
Dr. Mansfield joined EJGH in Sept. 2015, and he says that much of his practice is composed of wellness visits, where he helps patients “manage chronic issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and also discuss their overall health, diet and exercise.”
He focuses on preventive medicine, performing cancer screenings, arranging colonoscopies and administering vaccines of all kinds. “It’s a problem-based practice,” Dr. Mansfield says. “I do a lot of medication management and counseling, and I make recommendations for my clients about healthy diet — specifically foods like raw fruits and veggies, and lean proteins, grilled chicken and baked fish. I advise them to avoid fast foods, but I say it’s not my job or my right to deprive them of life’s pleasures! You’re allowed to have a treat or the occasional piece of fried chicken, but just make sure you’re practicing moderation, moderation, moderation.”
Dr. Mansfield also talks to his patients about how to incorporate exercise into their everyday life. “It’s important to start small, like walking a few blocks, and eventually work your way up to walking several miles,” he says.
Though he treats patients of all ages, the majority of Dr. Mansfield’s patients are aged 65 or older, and he says his greatest challenge is managing people’s misconceptions and offsetting anecdotal advice. “I often treat patients who haven’t been properly counseled in the past or educated about their own health, and what they should and shouldn’t be doing,” he says. “A great part of my job is educating these patients.”
It can be a challenge to dispel healthcare myths, but Dr. Mansfield says it is particularly rewarding when he can raise his patients’ awareness about their own wellbeing. “It’s great when a patient leaves an appointment with a smile on his or her face and thanks me for helping them learn something,” Dr. Mansfield says. “It’s great to have a patient tell me I’ve taught him or her something they had never heard before.”
3800 Houma Blvd., Ste. 325
Metairie , LA 70006
Medical School: Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana
Residency: Internal Medicine, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana