According to the American Board of Medical Specialties, certified physicians demonstrate “exceptional expertise in their particular specialty.” Doctors with Family Medicine certification must complete a three-year residency after medical school, so they are specialists just like Internists or Pediatricians. Thereafter, they must pass a certification exam every 7-10 years and complete yearly continuing medical education to maintain this status. Meridien Research’s Dr. Gigi C. Lefebvre has passed her Boards in 1990, 1997, 2003, and 2013.
Family practitioners are able to care for a wide-range of patients with acute or chronic illnesses, and often administer preventative medical services. “Board certification in Family Practice means I have experience in all of the medical specialties,” explained Dr. Lefebvre, Principal Investigator for Meridien Research’s St. Petersburg clinic. “As a Family Practitioner, I am a ‘jack of all trades’ though not the master of any one. This all-inclusive approach allows me to provide comprehensive care for patients of all ages with different diseases.”
Taking Better Care of Themselves
Dr. Lefebvre believes in educating her patients in order to empower them, so they have more control over their personal health. An educated patient is able to understand their disease. They can effectively follow directions and incorporate preventative habits into their life. Informed patients are also better able to describe their symptoms and how illness impacts their lives, giving the physician a better understanding of how to treat that patient as an individual rather than in a “cookbook” fashion.
“Educating the patient is a major interest of mine,” said Dr. Lefebvre. “I do it so they know how to make better judgements and how to take better care of themselves. In research, we have the benefit of time to educate our patients, and I think they appreciate the personal attention they receive at Meridien. In private practice, we must make time to educate our patients. I want patients to have a voice, so in the end the treatment is a joint decision between the patient and me.”
A Wide Range of Research Experience
Dr. Lefebvre is able to conduct a wide range of research, more so than some because of her experience in many areas of medicine including:
- Preventative Care
This list in not comprehensive, but shows that she has experience in multiple specialties, which is why her curriculum vitae has a long list of varied trials including these areas, as well as vaccination trials, mental health studies, and women’s health studies.
Physician as Student
One of the benefits of conducting clinical trials is the continuous education it provides to the researcher. “I am a much better doctor for doing research,” said Dr. Lefebvre. “Researchers use tools that are specific for making a diagnosis, whereas in private practice we use less specific criteria, and sometimes a ‘best guess’ to be quite honest.”
“Doing research also let’s me know what is on the horizon with regard to medicine and healthcare in general. I am on the cutting-edge when it comes to new medications, novel uses for old drugs, and even when generic drugs are likely to hit the market. This benefits the patients in my clinical trials, as well as those in my private practice. I enjoy practicing both aspects of medicine.”
Dr. Lefebvre has been a part of vital research in the medical community. During her 11 years with Meridien Research, she has personally been involved with 20 novel drugs that have made it to market. Her accomplishments in clinical research and in private practice confirm her commitment to care for her patients.
For more information on Dr. Lefebvre and the research studies she is conducting currently in St. Petersburg, call 727-347-8839 or click here.