By Camille Gillies
Who says the days of doctors getting to know their patients are a thing of the past? Ailis Merroro, M.D., of Temple Terrace Family Physicians on N. 56th St., says that focusing on the whole person is a primary goal of her practice.
“So much of medicine today is geared toward acute issues only,” Dr. Merroro explains. “Patients come in and want only to get a prescription, but I want to know the root cause of their complaint. Sometimes the answer to their problem entails giving them more education rather than just a prescription. I like to focus on each aspect of a person in addition to diagnosing and treating disease.”
Dr. Merroro, a Board-certified family physician who joined Temple Terrace Family Physicians in November, fits right in with the philosophy of George Davis, D.O., who opened the office in 2004.
Dr. Davis, a family practitioner, also believes in taking a more comprehensive approach, a style his patients seem to appreciate because his office, in a survey by The Tampa Tribune, has earned the title “Best Family Practice in Northeast Tampa” every year since 2007.
He maintains that communication is key, which is one of the reasons he is so enthused about having Dr. Merroro join the practice. A graduate of the Ponce School of Medicine in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Dr. Merroro speaks fluent Spanish. Dr. Davis feels Dr. Merroro is a great addition to the office and is already being embraced by the office’s patients who feel more at ease discussing their health issues in their native language.
After receiving his medical degree from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in Des Moines, IA, completing his residency at the Flint Osteopathic Hospital in Flint, Mich., and serving in the U.S. Navy, Dr. Davis moved to Tampa in 1989.
Upon graduating from medical school, both Drs. Davis and Merroro worked to repay their medical school scholarships. Dr. Davis served for four years as a Medical Officer in the U.S. Navy. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA.; Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan; and at the U.S. military base in Mount Fuji, Japan. In 1991, he served in Operation Desert Storm and was stationed in Bahrain, where he helped construct a 500-bed fleet hospital to treat wounded and ill soldiers.
“In medical school, I did an elective rotation at the University of South Florida and I liked it here,” says Dr. Davis who has now been practicing in Tampa for 22 years and lives in Tampa Palms with his wife and son.
Dr. Merroro discovered Tampa as a result of the National Health Service Corps, which paid for her medical school education. She chose Tampa as the location to fulfill her scholarship’s two-year service obligation, and liked the city so much that she decided to stay. She recently married and lives in West Tampa.
Nurse Practitioner Camille Caldwell, ARNP, completes the team of providers at Temple Terrace Family Physicians. Caldwell has been an accredited registered nurse practitioner for 18 years, having earned her Master’s degree in nursing from USF. She says she thrives on the family practice environment and treats everything from acute to chronic problems.
“I especially enjoy women’s health,” she mentions, adding that many of her patients are the result of referrals from other patients. She has been with the practice for 6 years and has worked in the Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Room at Tampa General Hospital on Davis Islands.
Technology Enhances Service
Temple Terrace Family Physicians professes to be a compassionate practice, yet it also is technologically savvy. Unlike many medical offices that still have paper files lining their walls, this practice has employed an electronic medical records system for more than seven years.
Hate filling out forms in the waiting room? New patients can download forms on their computers, complete them when they wish and take them to their appointments, which they also can make online. In addition, the office utilizes e-prescribing, which Dr. Davis says is an efficient and accurate method of communicating with the patient’s pharmacy. Via computer, the doctor sends prescriptions directly to the patient’s preferred pharmacy, where medications are then filled and ready when the patient arrives to pick them up.
The office also boasts an internet-based patient portal, a system that allows patients access to their personal medical files and keeps them up to date with lab results, ranging from blood work to pap smears. Access is available simply by logging onto the portal with a secure password. In the near future, Dr. Davis says, the portal will offer email capability and will be another means of communication between providers and patients.
Additional features of the practice include performing minor surgical procedures, which some family practices do not do in their offices, sending patients elsewhere for things like stitching a cut. Here, sutures, biopsies and the removal of moles and lesions can all be performed in the office. Although X-rays are not available on site, lab work is, which eliminates the need to go to another center for your blood work.
A member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, Dr. Davis also treats patients for weight problems. He says that he uses an individualized approach, completing necessary health histories, exams and lab work. He then prescribes medication as appropriate and offers exercise and nutritional counseling. The office also is equipped with a scale made specifically to measure body mass composition.
For more information about Temple Terrace Family Physicians, call 899-2015 or visit TTFP.net. The practice is located at 13311 N. 56 St., in the University Grove Office Park on the east side of N. 56th St., just south of Fletcher Ave.