Wei Guo, MD is a family physician in Metairie who combines Western allopathic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine techniques, including acupuncture, as an integral part of his patient care.
Dr. Guo grew up in Fuzhou, China. His father is an internist, and his mother is a teacher. Dr. Guo completed his undergraduate, medical school and orthopedic residency in China. While in China, he served as an attending orthopedic surgeon at a level 1 trauma center. His duties included spine surgery, trauma surgery, sports medicine and rehabilitation.
We asked Dr. Guo about how he chose to become a family physician. Dr. Guo stated, “During the time when I was an orthopedic surgeon in China, there was no concept or term of “Family Physician” or “Primary Care Physician”. My first experience of the family physician was 7 years after I came to the United States.” He continued, “I was a visiting clinician in the Orthopedic Department at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN in 1999. During which time, I only saw the patients who came for surgery on the day of surgery. They stayed for few days before or after discharge. I didn’t know where they were discharged to. I asked my faculty where the preop clearance was done and where did the patients go after the surgery. They told me that the preop were done by “their doctors” and after the surgery they went back to “their doctors”. I didn’t know what specialty “their doctors” were.
In 2005, Dr. Guo wanted to extend his expertise beyond orthopedics. He took the USMLE and was certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. He entered the general surgery residency program at the University of Southern California. Dr. Guo stated, “My colleagues in USC gave me the same answer when I asked about the patients status before and after surgery – they were cared for by “their doctors” who were “their family doctors”. Since I wanted to know my patients thoroughly, I told myself that I want to be one of “their doctors”. Then I found out “their doctors” were also called primary care physicians. I learned that family medicine residency programs train physicians to be a primary care physician. That’s the reason I changed from surgery to family medicine. That is the path of how I become a family physician in the US.” Dr. Guo completed his family medicine residency at the Kenner Family Medicine Residency Program in 2010.
Dr. Guo stated that his favorite aspect of family medicine is combining acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine and family medicine together to provide a higher level of care for his patients. He stated, “The way I grew up teaches me how to understand patients’ feeling and how to better understand their pain. This helps me to provide high level of care to patients. This also helps me communicate with their moods as well. My orthopedic and surgery backgrounds help me to explain thoroughly to patients in identifying surgical vs non-surgical treatments. I can also help patients understand the surgical process, post op complications and recovery process. I have found this helps to reduce my patients’ anxiety level and increase their medical compliance. My acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine training background helps me to open an additional door for patients with their medical choice.”
Dr. Guo has over 33 years of patient care as both an orthopedic surgeon and family physician and is licensed in both Louisiana and California. He is married to his wife whom he has known since growing up together in China. They live in Metairie and have one son who is interested in medicine and computers. In his free time, he enjoys singing, dancing, fishing, hiking, cooking and watching movies. Dr. Guo states that if he was not a physician, he would either be an acupuncturist or a chef.
Help us congratulate Dr. Guo on being recognized as our January member of the month!