Q. What is an Infectious Disease Specialist?
A. An Infectious Disease Specialist
helps to treat resistant infections. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are becoming
more and more common, affecting patients in more profound ways. These seriously
ill patients are at risk for more acute complications. In addition to patient
care, I work with Infection Control Specialist Karen Frahm to decrease hospital
infections, reminding people to wash their hands, and be aware of at risk
Q. When do you treat patients?
A. As an Infectious Disease
Specialist, I work with the patient’s primary physician. Many times the
physician will refer patients to me when a disease becomes complicated. In the
past, infectious disease specialists were known as the primary care for HIV/AIDS
patients. Now, the treatment available allows them to have their own primary
physician manage their care. Many times I am called to assist in the hospital
setting when an admitted patient becomes infected with a disease while in the
Q. How much of your practice revolves around the HIV/AIDS community?
A. I am not sure how much of my Bay
City practice will deal with HIV/AIDS patients. Previously in Toledo Ohio,
HIV/AIDS patients represented about 15 percent of my practice. Today, HIV/AIDS
patients can often be cared for by their primary physicians.
Q. What diseases stand out to you as being most common?
A. People who have surgery can be
classified at high risk of becoming infected. Fortunately, the numbers are very
low, but if a patient does become infected, there is a good chance I will be
seeing that person. Some of the most common diseases I see are tuberculosis,
pneumonia, and MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphyloccocus Aureus), which is a
mutated, very aggressive strain of staph infection.
Q. What made you want to specialize in Infectious Diseases?
A. Infectious disease many times can be cured and
other diseases are “controlled.” It always interested me from that standpoint,
knowing there was the high chance I could cure an individual of his or her
infection. I see a lot of interesting and challenging people and I enjoy the
Q. What are some things that can
be done to prevent infectious diseases?
Many times being diagnosed with an infectious disease is just
bad luck. However, by maintaining proper hygiene; i.e., cleaning scrapes,
washing hands, be aware of other infected patients, people can prevent diseases.
The most preventable is the hospital-acquired infection, and we are continuing
to work towards that. The vast majority of infections happen outside the
hospital with the common flu and cold. Inside the hospital, patients are more
prone to bacterial infections.
Q. What types of tests/procedures are performed for infected disease
A. By doing a complete history and
exam of the patient, I can usually get a good idea of what disease they have.
After diagnosis, I can follow-up with a specific treatment plan. Depending on
how sick the patient is, blood cultures can be administered and sent to the lab
to determine the type and strain of bacteria. Bacteria are getting more and more
unpredictable, so by testing with a panel of antibiotics, we can determine
proper treatment. Most viral diseases are left untreated and rely on the immune
system to fight off the disease. With bacterial infections, antibiotics help the
I am hoping to be a help to the hospital and the community. As
things become more and more specialized and complicated, I hope to help the
primary physician and other services to better prevent diseases while patients
are admitted to the hospital, and treat those in need.
Dr Stuart can be reached in his office
the West Side Medical Mall, Suite 8
4175 Euclid Avenue, Bay City.
(989) 667-3185 (Office)
(989) 929-2391 (Pager)