Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Our Story

GFM Weight Management is the brainchild of Dr. Theresa (Tess) Garcia, a Family Physician who has practiced in Eastern Jackson County, Missouri for 20 years. All this time, she has seen many patients with weight problems and realized that what doctors have been advising patients about weight management – Eat Less and Move More – does not work. She has noted Level B medical evidence that shows that the most successful approach to weight management is the provision of multiple, frequent counseling sessions. The evidence is based on studies with numbers of sessions is from 12 to 20.

Having worked in ambulatory care, Dr. Tess knows that there is no way such counseling can be delivered in a regular doctor’s office environment. One doesn’t have enough time to counsel, and with a full patient panel, patients can’t come in frequently enough for the counseling to be meaningful (especially with as many overweight patients as most practices have). Some doctors send patients to registered dieticians; some have nurses do the counseling but the biggest problem is our society’s belief that being overweight is not a physiologic process but rather a reflection of the patient’s character or lack thereof. Our society, including our physicians or health professionals, believes it is the patient’s choice and if they only had the will power to resist eating and the energy to exercise more, they could CHOOSE to be slender and svelte. Nothing could be more untrue or more unfair.

It’s both untrue and unfair because obesity is a disease, controlled by hormones and each body’s metabolic setpoint. It doesn’t follow the Laws of Thermodynamics, is not a case of “Calories in equals calories out.” It cannot be overcome by being handed a list of foods you can and can’t eat. It must be managed and managing a complex hormonal disease cannot be passed off to allied health workers. Obesity is a disease, which like all diseases, must be treated by a physician. That’s why you need a practice dedicated to weight management. 

At GFM Weight Management, however, we are not focused on one patient at a time: we are working on families. Nothing makes you feel deprived like being on a diet. Well, no, there is one thing that makes you feel more deprived, and that’s sitting at the table eating your diet food while everyone else is eating the family meal. We want the whole family eating the same thing. And a bunch of families eating healthy foods makes the community healthier. We are focused on changing the community.

One final point: Dr. Tess does not promise that you are going to shed pounds like your cat sheds fur. She does promise that you will not leave the table hungry. She does promise to show you how to manage your weight for life.

Author
Dr. Tess Dr. Tess Garcia Dr. Garcia and her team provide a level of personal care that maximizes patients’ health and well-being. We treat the whole patient: spirit, body, and soul.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Anxiety

It is of interest that anxiety most commonly follows along with feelings of depression. Like depression, it can be shrugged off as just a symptom of the times we are living in, so we think it is not really a mental health condition.

Why choose the direct primary care model?

The biggest advantage to a patient who enrolls in a DPC practice is more time with his or her physician. Many research studies have shown that patients want more time and attention from their physician as well as easier access.

Fat Shaming

What is “fat shaming”?  It’s the attitude that our society has towards overweight people, essentially believing that they are overweight because they chose to be -- because they ate too much and did not exercise enough.

Urgent Care at Garcia Family Medicine

This is a true story.  One of my patients was preparing a birthday party for her daughter.  She was slicing avocados and proceeded to slice her hand.  Her husband said, “Quick!  Go to the ER!”  She said “No, I’m going to see Dr. Tess!”

So What Is Direct Primary Care?

It’s medicine the way it used to be, your Family Physician caring for you when you need to be cared for, not being shoved off to a lower level practitioner until you can fit into the doctor’s busy schedule when she can take time away from meeting...