It’s not always about leaving with a prescription, it’s about leaving with information. At the end of the day I want my patients to go home with things to think about – ideas – and then we can take the next step together.
Dr. Natasha Deshwal
A leader in women’s health
Dr. Natasha Deshwal’s family practice offers women in Bedford, Nova Scotia a variety of treatment options all under one roof.
With the area facing a female physician shortage, Dr. Deshwal saw an obvious need that wasn’t being addressed. She decided to develop a clinic where women could receive care that was tailored to their particular needs and level of understanding.
“I had a sense that there had to be a better way,” said Dr. Deshwal.
She established the Bedford Basin Women’s Health Clinic in 2010. The blossoming clinic focuses on females that seek advice and preventative health care such as well woman exams, contraceptive and menopausal counseling.
One of the many advantages that the clinic has to offer is that it provides an opportunity for women to receive comprehensive care under one roof. The clinic consists of a team of health professionals including a paediatrician, general practitioner with an expertise in cosmetic procedures, dietician, psychologist and massage therapist.
“The clinic is unique not because of what it offers, but because of how it offers it,” said Dr. Deshwal. “Having a team means we’re better able to provide the best possible care to each patient.”
In the early stages of her career, Dr. Deshwal completed a three-month contract at a family medicine practice outside Halifax where she worked shifts at a walk-in clinic. She quickly learned how many young female patients were making appointments for Pap smears – a test for cervical cancer and other diseases. These ‘in and out’ appointments left little opportunity for these women to receive counselling around sexual health and other issues important to women’s health.
Bedford Basin Women’s Health Clinic incorporates education, proactive health care, and access to other health services such as psychology, dietary and massage therapy which may complement conventional medicine or be used independently.
“It’s not always about leaving with a prescription, it’s about leaving with information,” said Dr. Deshwal. “At the end of the day I want my patients to go home with things to think about – ideas – and then we can take the next step together.”
New patients to the clinic don’t need a referral to access the services. The clinic works in conjunction with a patient’s family physician and transfers the patient’s information back to their family doctor unless stated otherwise.
The clinic is not exclusive to women; the team provides the same comprehensive approach to care for men and children.
Dr. Deshwal’s goal is that each patient leaves her practice with information that empowers them to be a leader in their own health.