Southern New Mexico Medical Association cares about you

November 30, 2010 • Business, Local Business Review

Doctors Lindy T. Rachal and Fred B. French

Doctors French and Rachal of Southern New Mexico Medical Association know you have a choice of hospital for your colonoscopy. Roswell Regional Hospital offers you the opportunity to have a colonoscopy performed by an experienced Board Certified Gastroenterologist, without the risks associated with general hospital anesthesia!

“It is this ability to provide more complete, accurate and thorough care for patients with GI conditions, which distinguishes Gastroenterologists from other physicians that provide some similar services,” says Dr. French. “Gastroenterologists perform higher quality colonoscopy examinations and consultative services when compared to other physicians. This means more accurate detection, fewer complications from procedures and fewer days in the hospital for many GI conditions managed by the trained GI specialists.” – From the American College of Gastroenterology.

Both Dr. French and Dr. Rachal are Board Certified. According to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), “Board Certification is a meaningful indicator that a doctor has the knowledge, experience and skills necessary to provide high-quality patient care. ABIM certification is recognized throughout the world as signifying excellence in the practice of Internal Medicine and its subspecialties.”

What it means to be Board Certified in Internal Medicine- Gastroenterology?

A gastroenterologist is an Internist who specializes in diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive organs including the stomach, bowels, liver and gallbladder. This specialist treats conditions such as abdominal pain, ulcers, diarrhea, cancer and jaundice and performs complex diagnostic and therapeutic procedures using endoscopes to visualize internal organs. ~ From the American Board of Internal Medicine.

The physicians at Southern New Mexico Medical Association are Doctors Fred B. French and Lindy T. Rachal.

Dr. Fred B. French, MD

Dr. French was born in Roswell. He is married with four children.

He studied at the University of [auth] Florida and New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. Dr. French then was a graduate student in Biochemistry at NMSU. He attended Medical School at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and served his internship and residency at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in San Diego, California.

He completed his Fellowship in Gastroenterol-ogy at the University of New Mexico before returning to Roswell. Dr. French is Board Certified in Gastroenterology and has been practicing in Roswell for 25 years.

Dr. Lindy T. Rachal, MD

Dr. Lindy Rachal, MD, F.A.C.P., Board Certified in gastroenterology, joined Southern New Mexico Medical Assn. in April, 2009.

Dr. Rachal started his higher education at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Medical School was at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and his internship and residency was at the University of Texas Affiliated Hospital in Houston.

Dr. Rachal then served as Chief Medical Resident and Instructor in Internal Medicine, earning his Fellowship at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Rachal had been working in Houston, TX prior to moving to Roswell. He says he wanted a change and the big city just got “too big.”

Dr. Rachal’s specialties include:

•  Colon cancer screening

•  Rectal bleeding

•  Chronic constipation

•  Stomach ulcers and/or acid reflux

•  Gallbladder disease

•  Disorders of the small and large intestine

Colon cancer

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death amongst women and men in the United States. Last year approximately 150,000 people developed colin cancer in the US and approximately 50,000 people died of that disease. This is an unfortunate statistic because colon cancer is one of the most preventable of all cancers.

In 2001 Medicare recommended that all adults, starting at the age of 50, should have a screening colonoscopy followed by a surveillance colonoscopy at ten year intervals. It was further recommended that individuals with a first degree family relative with colon cancer (mother, father, siblings, or child) should start cancer screening at the age of 40 (or sooner) and have surveillance exams every five years. If one has a history of colon polyps, a colonoscopy should done every three to five years.

Recent studies have called into question the effectiveness of colonoscopy in finding pre malignant colonic lesions.

It is the intent of this article to clarify some of these issues.

Colonoscopy is the gold standard for detecting and removing pre malignant colon polyps.

In competent, well-trained hands, colonoscopy will detect 90 to 95% of polyps.

No test is 100% accurate, but colonoscopy is the best test for colon cancer screening. The effectiveness and success of colonoscopy depends on several factors. These factors include the experience of the physician doing the test, his or her training and the effectiveness of the preparation.

An effective colon cleansing prior to the exam is of the absolute importance as small polyps or even cancer can be missed if the colon is not extremely clean.

The doctors and staff at Southern New Mexico Medical Assn. go to great lengths to describe the preparation for a colonoscopy so that the exam is complete and will not have to be repeated due to an inadequate preparation.

The experience and training of the physician doing the colonoscopy cannot be overemphasized. Training in gastrointestinal endoscopy over an intensive 2 to 3 year gastrointestinal fellowship assures that the gastrointestinal specialist has extensive experience in performing most if not all endoscopic procedures, both diagnostic and therapeutic (such as polyp removal.)

If you have questions about colon cancer, call Southern New Mexico Medical Assn. at 575-623-1442 or toll free (888) 353-4175. They will be happy to field any questions that you may have. You can call today for your consultation.

You may also visit their web site at for more information.

Their Roswell office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until noon and 1:30 to 5:00 p.m., they are open Friday’s from 8:00 a.m. until noon.

Ruidoso office

Southern New Mexico Medical Association’s Ruidoso office, offering Family Practice, Gynecology and Pediatrics, is located at 208 Porr Drive, with Dr. Frank J. DiMotta and his staff. The Ruidoso phone number is 630-1214.

Dr. French also travels to Ruidoso every other week to see patients and performs procedures at Lincoln County Medical Center for his patient’s convenience. Please call the Roswell office to make an appointment to see Dr. French in Ruidoso

Dr. French says, “Our goal is to provide the people of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas with state of the art care in the field of gastroenterology and urology – and to provide that care in Roswell as well as the patients’ hometown.”

Kelly Minard, RN is the practice manager and can be reached at the Roswell office.

Southern New Mexico Medical Assn. has a well-trained clinical staff that includes an RN and CMA’s. The staff prides themselves on their friendly service and they are always willing to help with patient questions or concerns. The billing department has seasoned personnel that are knowledgeable about insurance coverages and their different plans.

Southern New Mexico Medical Assn. accepts Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans.

They also accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit cards.

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