Stress Relief:

The All-Natural Tips That Make Your Life Easier

At Your MD, our practice philosophy is a merging of two worlds: It’s Eastern Philosophy meets Western Technology! Many of our patients suffer from stress at some point in their lives – and we find that the Eastern philosophy part of that equation is particularly helpful in dealing with it effectively. We recommend the book “The Naked Buddha,” to our patients. The book contains easy and clear stress reduction strategies. However, even people with only occasional stress can benefit from these techniques. Here are a few fast ways to de-stress when things are at their worst.

Make the “Have Tos” Into “Wills”

People often become overwhelmed when they think of all that they need to accomplish. Sometimes it may feel like there is a constant litany of “have tos” running through your mind. However, you can greatly reduce stress by simply altering those “have” statements into “will” statements. Instead of saying “I have to do ten loads of laundry,” say “I will do the laundry.” The things you have to do tend to create stress and a miserable feeling of pressure. However, the things that you will do are simply scheduled activities – no stress involved since you’re already committed.

Avoid the Urgency Trap

Many people get extremely stressed out because they always feel a sense of urgency. While there are certainly some things that do require urgent action, many tasks do not. If you always move through your day in a big hurry because of how much you need to do, cut yourself a break by simply slowing down. Walk at a more measured pace. Leave five minutes earlier than usual to avoid the feeling of crushing urgency while you drive. Remember, every single thing you do is not urgent – and remove that urgency stress from your life!

Eat For Stress-Busting Success

Did you know that a few simple dietary changes could reduce your stress levels? Leafy greens help your body to produce extra dopamine, the”feel good” brain chemical that helps alleviate stress. Some people tend to reach for sugary snacks when they’re feeling stressed – but it’s the very worst thing you can do. When you’re stressed, blood pressure may spike up- and the sugary foods will only make it worse. Complex carbs such as oatmeal will help fill you up while allowing a bit of sweetness, and it won’t negatively impact blood sugar levels. Try salmon for a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Those fatty acids can reduce inflammation, which may in turn help keep the stress hormones at bay. 

Are you suffering from stress? The first thing to do is to accept that the stress is real, and that you need to combat it. Use the natural tips above to help keep stress out of your life – and out of your body. Feel free to call us anytime to schedule a consultation or appointment to discuss further ways to beat stress!


About Your MD

Your MD is an innovative medical practice that places a high priority on patients’ time and on the quality of their medical care. At Your MD, our physician, Dr. Joe McDonald, will not rush your appointment – so you can discuss all your health issues in depth and collaborate on the best course of treatment.

Dr. McDonald is an evidence-based physician, which means that no medication is prescribed, no test is ordered and no instructions are given unless they have proven results elsewhere. Dr. McDonald favors high-quality research to offer patients clinical decision-making that reduces multiple attempts at treating the same complaint.


Accepting new patients. We take all major insurances including Medicare–(240) 560-5100


Check it out! Doc Joe, Washingtonian Top Doctor recipient November 2018, has opened a new Medical Spa.  Using the same boutique style of medical care, Doc Joe presents you to Kaizen MediSpa. 

Kaizen MediSpa is a small and intimate medical spa designed for personal attention, your comfort and results. The process starts with an in-depth consultation with either Dr. McDonald or Deidre Fisher, FNP. Based on your wishes, a plan is formulated utilizing a number of our state-of-the-art treatments.

You’ll never feel rushed at Kaizen MediSpa. You are always welcomed to ‘hang-out’ in our meditation room prior to and after each visit.


Call Now For A Free Consultation
(240) 428-6800

Facial Frenzy! 20% off all Medispa services this Saturday! Appointments still available…message us!

Safe Snow Shoveling!

Flu Shot - A Must!Let the kids shovel snow………..

I was raised in Oregon, Wyoming, and Colorado. I’m pretty sure I’ve moved several tons of snow in my life and I’ve never had a heart attack. However, as I get older I look at snow a little differently and you should too. Hospitals in areas that get a lot of snow report up to a 20% increase in heart attacks as a result of shoveling snow.

Why does this happen? Unfortunately we aren’t all well conditioned athletes (If you are a marathon runner you can stop reading). Shoveling snow puts a tremendous amount of strain on the heart and the cold weather can make it worse by causing a constriction of blood vessels and an increase in blood pressure. So, if you aren’t usually doing the equivalent of a several mile run, you should consider hiring somebody to shovel your walk. Also, pushing a snowblower can be equally as stressful to your heart.

As a reminder, if you are shoveling, the so-called classic signs of a heart attack are a squeezing pain in the chest, shortness of breath, pain that radiates up to the left shoulder and down the left arm, or a cold sweat. Other signs that are equally common include jaw pain, lower back pain, unexplained fatigue or nausea, and anxiety. It doesn’t always present like this. If you are short of breath and overly fatigued, take note and rest as well.

Here are some tips for safe shoveling:

  • Warm up your muscles before starting. Stretch a little.
  • Shovel many light loads instead of fewer heavy ones.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Drink plenty of water before during and after.
  • Don’t feel that you need to clear every speck of snow from your property.
  • Head indoors right away if your chest starts hurting, you feel lightheaded or short of breath, your heart starts racing, or some other physical change makes you nervous. If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911 or your local emergency number.

I know we don’t usually get a ton of snow in the DC area, but it is often more than you think. Kids in your neighborhood need the money and a little physical work is good for them. Exercise regularly and save the big work out for the kids.

Enjoy the winter and the pretty snow. Don’t let it cause you a big problem


About Your MD

Your MD is an innovative medical practice that places a high priority on patients’ time and on the quality of their medical care. At Your MD, our physician, Dr. Joe McDonald, will not rush your appointment – so you can discuss all your health issues in depth and collaborate on the best course of treatment.

Dr. McDonald is an evidence-based physician, which means that no medication is prescribed, no test is ordered and no instructions are given unless they have proven results elsewhere. Dr. McDonald favors high-quality research to offer patients clinical decision-making that reduces multiple attempts at treating the same complaint.

 Now accepting new patients.  We take all major insurances including Medicare – (240) 560-5100

Physician, Coach, Teacher…….

Doc Joe

Doc Joe

It is pretty common to see physicians write about how hard it is to practice medicine in our current environment. It is true that there are many obstacles to providing quality care, but this isn’t about that. I still love this job and I believe that the principles taught by the forefathers of our profession ring true today. I find that some health care providers have lost sight of what is important and many patients don’t know what “good” means in reference to health care and are unsure about what is fair to expect from their doctors.

So, what should patients’ expect from their physicians? I think it should go without question that they should expect quality health care. This means a practitioner of evidence based medicine. A patient should be able to trust that their doctor stays current on research and guidelines, follows up in a timely fashion, is accessible, and actually listens to them. However, this is just the beginning.

I have had the good fortune of growing up with football. I played all the way from grade school through small college ball in Kansas. My perspective is that of an average at best player. Through the years I had good, bad, and a couple great coaches. I have grown to realize that the best coaches were truly talented teachers. They were able to break down complicated concepts and explain them to a wide group of intellects. Along the way they taught valuable life lessons and developed young men. It occurs to me that the physicians I have respected the most, those that provided the best care, were the best teachers.

I would encourage physicians in training to really embrace the art of teaching. Medicine becomes more complex everyday. Patients are flooded with bad information from an almost infinite number of sources. It is our job to take the time to truly teach patients’ about their health, disease, prevention, and medicine. This takes time and may mean that taking care of 3,000 people in 15 minute increments is simply not possible.  But we owe this to our patients. A patient that understands their health is more likely to trust in their care plan, be compliant, and have reasonable expectations.

I am often asked by friends and family, how they can find a “good” doctor. I have had patients tell me, “You’re the best doctor I’ve ever seen.” (plenty have said otherwise J.) I answer,” You don’t know that, you just think I’m nice. I could be messing all kinds of stuff up.” Sometimes it is good to get a reference from another doctor, but it is hard to know if that has anything to do with quality of care or golf handicap. It is a difficult question. I would encourage patients to look for a good teacher. Look for a doctor that finds a way to take the time to answer questions, to listen, and to explain care plans. In short, try to find someone resisting the 15 minute appointment block. It may be hard, but most worthwhile things are.

Good luck and health to you, Joe


If you live in the Bethesda, Maryland area and need a primary care physician, please call my office at (240) 560-5100 to set up an appointment!  

We are accepting new patients and take most insurances!  (We also have a very affordable hybrid Concierge model.  Call my office for details!)

 (For more information, go to http://www.yourmdllc.com)

Accepting New Patients & Taking Insurance

Doc Joe in his reception areaIf you live in the Bethesda, Maryland area and need a primary care physician, please call my office at (240) 560-5100 to set up an appointment!  

We are accepting new patients and take most insurances!  (We also have a very affordable hybrid Concierge model.  Call my office for details!)

 (For more information, go to http://www.yourmdllc.com)

Flu Vaccine is Better Than A Shark Cage!

Doc Joe

Doc Joe

I know it seems early, but flu season is almost upon us. This gives me an opportunity to discuss one of my favorite topics, flu vaccine. Even if you don’t get the flu shot and are adamant about never getting it, keep reading, you might learn something interesting regardless.

Lets start with what you’ve probably already heard. The influenza family of viruses causes the “Flu”. They are particularly nasty and can make anyone sick. The virus infects and largely affects the nose, throat, and lungs. Mainly, droplets that are made when people cough, sneeze, or talk spreads the flu. They can get to your mouth/nose/eyes through the air or you touching something with your hands and then your face.

The flu causes one to feel awful with symptoms such as fever (not always), cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, and less commonly nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some people even have to go to the hospital and worse yet, die. The wonderful thing is that there is a vaccine to prevent or lessen this disease. Amazingly, some people make the choice to not get the vaccine!!! How can that be!?! Here are some of the reasons I hear on a regular basis with my responses.

  1. I don’t ever get sick.
    1. That’s what everyone says before they get sick. At some point most people are going to be exposed and it is better to be protected.
  2. I’ve never had the flu.
    1. Right, that’s great. Lets keep it that way, because it really stinks.
  3. The flu vaccine made me sick and/or gave me the flu.
    1. This simply can’t happen. It is impossible. If you think this happened, you were just really unlucky and were going to get sick anyway. Really. I promise. The vaccine is a killed virus, so it cannot cause disease. Getting the flu from a flu vaccine would be a little like getting eaten by a lion that has been killed. You might get some soreness at the injection site. You also might feel slightly under the weather as your immune system arms you against the flu after the vaccine. You will not get the flu.
  4. I had the flu and it wasn’t that bad.
    1. No, you probably had a cold. In general you know when you’ve had the flu and it is a significant event that takes a lot of time to recover from. You want to avoid it if you can.
  5. I’ll get the vaccine next year.
    1. Great, that will protect you next year. What about this year?
  6. They pick the wrong flu anyway.
    1. So, the flu comes from the far East and other fun places and has to do with pigs and birds, but not bears oh my! Regardless, it does vary from year to year and a bunch of really smart people analyzes patterns to help develop the influenza vaccine every year. They do an amazing job and usually come pretty close. Pretty close you say? Pretty close is good, because this is a little like horseshoes. Being close helps to make it so if you do get the flu, it will be less severe than if you had no vaccine at all.
  7. I got the vaccine last year.
    1. Great!! Did you get the flu last year? Unfortunately, the flu does change yearly, and the vaccine is changed to accommodate that, which means you need the vaccine yearly.
  8. I hate needles.
    1. I hear you. They are really small and it is quick. There is even a nasal spray vaccine that is suitable for some people. Plus you’ll hate having the flu more.
  9. I take lots of vitamin C.
    1. Honestly, you shouldn’t, but that is a blog for another day………
  10. Getting the flu isn’t that bad.
    1. It is awful. It often lasts for a couple of weeks and can lead to pneumonia and even death. But hardly anybody dies of the flu, right? Wrong!

Deaths in the US per year
Shark attack:                 ½
Prostrate Cancer:     29,480
Breast Cancer:          40,000
Melanoma:                  9,710
MVA:                          32,000
Flu:                           Up to 49,000, averaging about 33,000!!!!

And while it may be mostly older people, it does cause death in a significant number of younger people as well.

So, contact your primary care physician, go to a CVS, get it at work, or wherever, but get a flu shot as soon as you can. It is the right thing to do for your health. For more information check out: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm

I’m sorry this blog was so long. I feel pretty strongly about this vaccine. I’ll keep it shorter next time. J

Take some time for yourself, sleep more, eat better, and get some exercise!

 If you live in the Bethesda, Maryland area and need a primary care physician, please call my office at (240) 560-5100 to set up an appointment!  

We are accepting new patients and take most insurances!  (We also have a very affordable hybrid Concierge model.  Call my office for details!)

 (For more information, go to http://www.yourmdllc.com)

10 AWESOME AND LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY

Flu Shot - A Must!I am still amazed at our human body.  Here are some interesting facts about our fascinating anatomy.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Your body is many things: a mechanical device, a walking chemistry set, a sustainable life form, and an ever-changing biological phenomenon. There’s a lot to know about the body.

Were you aware of these ten amazing facts?

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1. For every pound of fat gained, you add seven miles of new blood vessels.

New tissue needs blood supply, so your vascular system expands to accommodate it. This also means your heart must work harder to pump blood through the new network, which may reduce oxygenation and nutrient replenishment in other tissues. Lose a pound? Your body will break down and reabsorb the unneeded blood vessels from the previous tissue.

2. Muscle tissue is three times more efficient at burning calories than fat.

This is why possessing more muscle should be a training goal for most people. More muscle = more calories burned = less fat = being more fit looking. Simple goals and simple math.

3. You are taller in the morning than in the evening.

When you crawl out of the sack in the morning you are at your tallest. On average, you are approximately one half inch taller when you wake in the morning, thanks to excess fluid between within your spinal discs. While you are sleeping, these fluids replenish. During the day your body has to deal with the stress of standing, so the discs become compressed and the fluid seeps out. This results in you losing a small amount of extra height.

 human body facts, human body trivia, anatomy trivia, biology trivia

4. Your stomach manufactures a new lining every three days to avoid digesting itself.

As a part of the digestive process, your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid (HA). HA is a powerful corrosive compound also used to treat various metals. The HA your stomach secretes is also powerful, but mucous lining the stomach wall keeps it within the digestive system. As a result it breaks down the food you consume, but not your own stomach.

5. Your body produces enough heat in only thirty minutes to boil a half-gallon of water.

Your body is the epitome of a study on the laws of thermodynamics. You produce heat from all that is going on – exercise, metabolizing food, maintaining homeostasis – and as you sweat, exhale, excrete, and urinate (lovely thoughts, all of them).

6. Human bone is as strong as granite, relative to supporting resistance.

Would you believe a matchbox-size chunk of bone can support 18,000 pounds? Compared to concrete, human bone is four times greater in support strength.

7. Your skin is an organ.

Just like the liver, heart, and kidneys, your outer covering is an organ. An average man has enough skin on his body to cover approximately twenty square feet. For an average woman it is approximately seventeen square feet. Approximately 12% of your weight is from your skin. And, your skin replaces 45,000+ cells in only a few seconds. It’s constantly growing new skin and shedding old skin.

human body facts, human body trivia, anatomy trivia, biology trivia

8. By the age of eighteen your brain stops growing.

From that age forward it begins to lose more than 1,000 brain cells every day. Only two percent of your body weight is occupied by your gray matter, but is uses up to 20% of your overall energy output (it needs carbohydrates). Your brain works continuously and never rests, even when you’re asleep. Aside from producing REM dreams, your brain works overtime to replenish its ability to function normally during your daytime waking hours.

9. There are more than 600 individual skeletal muscles and 206 bones in your body.

If all 600+ muscles contracted and pulled in the same direction, you could lift over twenty tons of resistance. Additionally, the adult skeleton is composed of 206 bones, but at birth an infant skeleton contains approximately 350 bones. Over time, some of the 350 bones fuse together and eventually grow to the 206 adult figure.

10. You need to consume a quart of water each day for four months to equate to the amount of blood your heart pumps in one hour.

human body facts, human body trivia, anatomy trivia, biology trivia

Additionally, over a lifetime, at your normal (resting) heart rate you will have pumped enough blood to fill thirteen oil super tankers. To further expound on this fact, on average, your heart beats 40,000,000 times per year. Doing the math, over your lifetime (both men and women averaged), that results in 2,600,000,000 heartbeats (two billion, six hundred million). This does not even factor in your increased heartbeats due to your love of exercise.

These are only ten things you probably did not know about body. Pretty amazing stuff! There is plenty more to know about the human body, and I recommend you discover these facts by being inquisitive.

Tom Kelso, currently an exercise physiologist with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, wrote this article.  I found it interesting so I thought I’d share with all of you.


About Your MD

Your MD is an innovative concierge medical practice that places a high priority on patients’ time and on the quality of their medical care. At Your MD, our physician, Dr. Joe McDonald, will not rush your appointment – so you can discuss all your health issues in depth and collaborate on the best course of treatment.

Dr. McDonald is an evidence-based physician, which means that no medication is prescribed, no test is ordered and no instructions are given unless they have proven results elsewhere. Dr. McDonald favors high-quality research to offer patients clinical decision-making that reduces multiple attempts at treating the same complaint.

 Now accepting new patients.  Call for your free consultation with Doc Joe – (240) 560-5100

An innovative membership medical practice

An innovative membership medical practice

Your MD ‘Veterans Free Medical Evaluation’ Fund

Picture 10

Doc Joe with Navy Pilot

Veterans are facing a crisis in our country and it is not getting any better. In fact, it is getting worse. A recent article in USA Today states, “ The Department of Veteran’s Affairs vast health network-beset by scandal last year over delayed care-has been listed as a high-risk federal program by congressional auditors for the first time.” This problem is more than a simple annoyance or delay. The real consequences involve pain, suffering and even death of our most vulnerable heroes. I have an internal medical practice located in Bethesda, Maryland that is poised, with a little support, to help veterans get the care that they need and deserve.

It is our plan to provide this help, free of charge, to veterans.

Our practice, Your MD, LLC is a concierge internal medicine practice. The nature of the clinic coupled with our true sense of patriotism and devotion to those who have served creates an ideal situation for providing the proposed services to U.S. Veterans. Joe McDonald, MD was raised in a military family. His father was a firefighter in the U.S. Air Force and his grandfather a pilot. Dwayne Wells, our business manager, grew up with a father that was a pilot in the Army Air Corp and Air Force as well. Dr. McDonald also completed much of his training in the VA system in Missouri and Kansas. As a concierge practice, we have tremendous flexibility in scheduling that allows us to take on this new endeavor and contribute to the health of our veterans.

There is a tremendous amount of bureaucracy and a bottleneck keeping veterans from getting the care that they need. There are two major groups that are negatively affected. One group is retiring veterans that require an initial exam before they can receive healthcare at the VA. In the past these exams had to be performed by VA physicians, which are severely backlogged. The backlog is evidenced by terrible veteran outcomes. According to a CNN article (4/23/14), 40 veterans died while waiting for their appointments in the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system. In that article, Dr. Sam Cooke, a retired VA doctor, estimates the number of veterans waiting on the “secret list” to see a primary care physician to be somewhere between 1,400 and 1,600 in Phoenix alone. Sadly, this is just a sampling of the problems in one state. This truly highlights the need to get veterans into the system as soon as possible so that they may receive the care they need. Policy has recently changed to allow private physicians to perform these exams. The second group of veterans we will help are those working to get disability-type benefits to cover injuries incurred during military service. Veterans can be charged thousands of dollars for the exam, record review and opinion letter when performed in the private sector.

We propose to perform these services free of charge to veterans. The cost of these exams, extensive review of records, and subsequent letters is to be absorbed by our clinic and offset by Crowdsource funding. A campaign is being launched in conjunction with AirCharity that gives people the ability to make donations of any size to help offset our costs. It is our hope that other businesses and charities will help us publicize this so that we may help as many veterans as soon as possible.

Our goal is simple: ‘Pay It Forward’ to our veterans for their service!

For more information on our project or how you or your organization can help, please contact Dwayne at (240) 560-5100 or via email at info@yourmdllc.com.

Help us help our veterans by click on our logo below and donate.

An innovative membership medical practice

Click Here To Donate! You to can ‘Pay It Forward’ to our Veterans!

 

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