Southern New Mexico Medical Association cares about you

March 14, 2011 • Business, Local Business Review

For more information, please call Southern New Mexico Medical Association at 575-623-1442. They are located at 303 West Country Club Road.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Doctor Fred B. French of Southern New Mexico Medical Association knows 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.

Dr. French is 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.

Dr. French was born in Roswell. He is married with four children. He studied at the [auth] University of 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 Gastroenterology at the University of New Mexico before returning to Roswell. Dr. French is Board Certified in Gastroenterology and has been practicing in Roswell for 29 years.

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.

Dr. French and the 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).

“Dr. Rachal returned to Texas in December 2010 leaving Dr. French as the only Board Certified Gastroenterologist for Roswell and the surrounding communities. Dr. French and SNMMA entertained the possibility of utilizing Locum Tenens (a healthcare provider who is serving as a temporary relief or substitute) as a temporary solution to the loss of a specialist but because of the sporadic times the same Locum Tenens physician would be available and issues related to procedure and patient follow-up care, it was decided that we would not enter into this type of disconnected patient care. At SNMMA, we are acutely aware of the long term gastroenterology patient care we provide and the relationship of working with the patients’ primary (PCP) physician to enhance continuity of care providing the patient with the best medical care possible.

“As a result of the need in our community for a Board Certified Gastroenterologist, Southern New Mexico Medical Associates has begun an earnest recruitment for a Physician and a Nurse Practitioner to fill the void in gastroenterology care for our community.  In the mean time, Dr. French will continue to take new patients and assume care for Dr. Rachal’s patients until the new Physician or Nurse Practitioner is found,” says Kelly Minard, RN, Practice Manager.

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. The clinic is located at 303 West Country Club Road.

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.

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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