Top Docs: Profiles

Meet 11 of our 2007 Top Doctors.

October 2007

Dr. Mervyn Lifschitz

Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism
Rose—Practicing for 25 years

Colorado Statistic The incidence of Type I diabetes is on the rise in Colorado. The increase from 1978 to 2004 was 2.3 percent per year.

"I've been thinking a lot about the statistic of diabetes on the rise, and I want to emphasize lifestyle. Diabetes is very important, and treating it is not about the latest drugs. Building relationships with patients and affecting changes in diet as well as exercise are more important to me than showering people with the latest drugs. Even though Type I diabetes has a genetic predisposition that requires insulin injections, lifestyle adjustments are necessary to control it. In order to find this treatment balance, some people require a major discussion about not going to the grocery store at midnight. It's a challenge to get the single guy who hits the bar to drink five beers to change his habit and go to the gym instead. When I see a patient, I take the history and I make the follow-up calls—without a computer in my office—so the patient knows I'm listening."

Scary Thought "I love practicing medicine, but I don't like that medicine has become a business. That's why doctors don't have time for their patients. Physicians are seen as a cost unit. Cutting costs means cutting time with patients."

Best Health Advice "I grew up in South Africa. When my mother needed groceries, I biked to the store and bought the essential basics. I got my exercise, and we ate basic foods. What people need now are exercise and basic food. Fruits and vegetables should predominate in the diet. Prepared foods should not be part of any diet plan."