Caregiver: Take Care of Thyself

A case study in Executive Health

When Andre Machado, MD, PhD, turned 40, it hit him. He should have his first physical.

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“I went into it believing I was healthy,” explains Dr. Machado, Chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Neurological Institute. Having had a surgery to repair a congenital condition when he was younger, Dr. Machado had not otherwise experienced any health issues.

Dr. Machado decided to try out Cleveland Clinic’s Executive Health Program, geared toward providing busy staff and executives with comprehensive physical exams. He was surprised when he learned from Roxanne B. Sukol, MD, MS, that he wasn’t actually as healthy as he’d imagined.

“Dr. Sukol, in her own very powerful and effective way, told me I was actually not in good shape ― but rather on a path to becoming diabetic and facing other long-term consequences,” he says. “Dr. Sukol was able to read me quickly and saw that I was taking better care of my work than of myself.”

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Over the course of the next year, Dr. Sukol skillfully used that insight to “trick” the busy chairman into understanding that he needed to be healthy in order to do his job well ― and care for his family.

“She now tracks my progress every year and redirects me to eating better and to more regular exercise,” Dr. Machado relates. “I had no personal health goals. Now I do. I am better now in every measure than I was 10 years ago.”