Dr Angela Murphy graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1993. In 2000 she qualified as a Specialist Physician and joined the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the then Johannesburg Hospital. She also saw patients in the Endocrinology Practice at the Wits University Donald Gordon Medical Centre. In 2004 she moved her private practice to Life Springs Parklands and in 2008 to Netcare Sunward Park in Boksburg. She stopped work at Johannesburg Hospital in 2005.

Dr Murphy currently sees patients at the Sunward Park Medical Centre. Her main interest is diabetes and she now sees patients on the CDE(cdecentre.co.za) diabetes program as well. She is passionate about treating the diabetic patient ‘to target’. As she says: ‘I insist we try and achieve values for sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight that are set by both our own national(www.semdsa.org.za) as well as international guidelines.’ To do this she advocates a very holistic approach including the correct medication, nutritional advice, concrete advice about exercise and attention to any underlying psychological problems. ‘Over 50% of diabetics suffer from depression although in my experience it is higher. It is vital to treat this appropriately in order to control the sugar.’

In 2005 managing diabetes became a much more personal experience when Dr Murphy’s daughter (then 2 years old) was diagnosed with diabetes.

One of the reasons for moving to Sunward Park was to join the Netcare Bariatric Centre of Excellence team led by surgeon Dr F Schutte. Patients contemplating bariatric surgery (sasomonline.co.za) for weight loss need to be assessed to see if they are suitable candidates. ‘A BMI above 40kg/m2 is the basic requirement; if it is between 35 and 40kg/m2, the patient must have 2 or more co morbid illnesses, e.g. diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea, hypertension.’ Surgery is not the best option for everyone and it is important that patients have all information beforehand.

Most overweight or obese patients seen do not have surgery and Dr Murphy works out a comprehensive plan for each patient. She uses a network of professionals to take the patient from being ‘unable to lose weight ‘to achieving success. There is no quick fix or magic formula, but she notes that frequently patients are not doing all the right things.

It is a difficult field but she rises to the challenge enthusiastically.

Another chronic condition seen frequently by Dr Murphy is thyroid disease: both under and active. ‘Managing thyroid problems is not always straight forward. To complicate matters, patients frequently have other conditions present too, e.g. depression, menopause, iron deficiency. Most thyroid patients will make a good recovery but this road can take several months and I need to build a trust with the patients so that they can believe me when I say they will get better.’

Many patients with menstrual irregularities and postmenopausal queries consult Dr Murphy and she may work in conjunction with the gynaecologist. Their fields overlap as well with the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis(osteoporosis.org.za).

Then there are the rarer patients with pituitary or adrenal disorders who present needing expert management.

Dr Murphy runs a dynamic and varied practice in her field of special interest, Endocrinology. She firmly believes patients have a right to good care and professional treatment. This philosophy starts at the reception and many a patient has been offered tea or coffee when waiting to see the doctor!

Dr Murphy is excited to work in a centre with a biokinetic gym, dietician and podiatrist – all of whom compliment her management of patients.

 

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