Get to Know

Internist

Michelle Uttaburanont

Michelle Uttaburanont

Internist

Dr. Uttaburanont sees patients at our Makena location in Temecula, CA. You can learn more about her by clicking the link below.

What is your medical school background? 

I grew up in California, San Marcos area.  I went to school in Vista from kindergarten through high school. I did my undergraduate degree in biology at UC Irvine. After that, I did a masters program in applied physiology at Rosalind Franklin University in Illinois. I went to medical school at Chicago Medical School, and my residency in internal medicine at Wayne State University, Detroit. 

What is internal medicine and how does an internist differ from a family medicine MD?

Internal medicine is the medical specialty dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult diseases. Internists are skilled in the management of patients who have undifferentiated or multi-system disease processes. Internists can care for hospitalized and ambulatory patients. Internists are trained mostly in hospital medicine, where we help those in more acute medical issues. However, we also do participate in outpatient medicine. 

Because internal medicine patients are often seriously ill or require complex investigations, internists do much of their work in hospitals. Internists often have subspecialty interests in diseases affecting particular organs or organ systems.

You love food & cooking. Why is cooking your favorite hobby/ activity? What is it about cooking you enjoy most?

I taught myself how to cook mostly because I LOVE GOOD FOOD. My mother never liked to cook, and so I actually learned to cook while in University watching the cooking network, and following recipes from Rachel Ray. 

I find cooking a relaxing hobby. I can change recipes and experiment with recipes and ingredients and create new, healthy and great tasting food. This is the greatest reward. I love to make healthy tasty food for my family, and enjoy watching them eat well, and appreciate it. Food brings families together, and I love that. Many times, when at restaurants, I love to try to replicate yummy dishes, and add my own flare. 

I find cooking easy, relaxing and fun. I love to make new recipes all the time, and rarely make the same meal twice. There is just too much to taste to keep eating the same foods all the time!

Has your love & knowledge of food helped in your clinical practice as far as things to recommend to patients trying to eat/ live healthier?

Yes! I try really hard to eat healthy myself, but as I said before, I love good food. So, I have become creative in making healthy choices for meals for myself and my family. However, it is very important to keep the flavor. Just because it is healthy does not mean it can’t be super yummy. Using flavorful things like spices, and vinegars, etc. can really make a meal delicious yet healthy. My love of food and cooking has really shown me that everyone can maintain a healthy lifestyle with diet. 

We can enjoy all types of foods in moderation, and to really maintain a healthy lifestyle, we need to love what we do in our day to day lives. Eating great, healthy, flavorful foods can help me and my family stay healthy, and hopefully I can help my patients do the same. 

Back in the clinic, how would you describe your medical philosophy? 

I think that medicine needs to be as preventative as possible. This is the key to keeping healthy and staying healthy. I love to see my patients at least once a year for a complete physical. This is where I really get a chance to do a complete head to toe exam, and talk about cancer screening, and vaccines etc. 

This is very important to make sure that my patients remain healthy, and we have done a great comprehensive exam/testing to screen at least yearly.  I also really try to evaluate medications, and try to work with my patients to try to get off medications, if possible. 

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