Growing up in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, Seena Shekari, D.O., always wanted to pursue a career in medicine. While attending the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, he considered the fast pace of emergency medicine or the operating room as an orthopedic surgeon. But, he recalls his “light-bulb moment” occurred during a family medicine rotation in his fourth year of medical school while on rounds with a resident at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem. The resident was having difficulty communicating with a woman with uncontrolled diabetes, and he asked Seena to visit her and try to persuade her to take insulin.
“After explaining diabetes to her, she asked me if I would teach her how to use insulin,” says Dr. Shekari. “That experience made me realize that my strengths lie in interacting with patients, explaining difficult medical issues to them, and then helping them to take care of themselves. That experience is a big part of the reason I chose to specialize in family medicine. I learned that day that the continuity of caring for patients over a lifetime was more fulfilling to me than the fast pace and limited patient contact of emergency medicine or orthopedic surgery.”
After graduating from medical school, Dr. Shekari completed a family medicine internship at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, New York City, where he served as a team physician for several high schools in Queens, including track and field meets at the Armory in New York City.
A bicycling accident that resulted in a broken leg and six weeks of recuperation gave him time to consider his next step – a return to the Lehigh Valley to complete his family medicine residency at St. Luke’s. During the next two years, he commuted from his home in Glen Rock, New Jersey, where he lives with his wife, Lori, a consultant in New York City. When necessary, he stayed with family in Bethlehem, including his older sister, Tiana, who had opened her own family medicine practice there. He also served as a team physician for high school and college programs in the Lehigh Valley, including those of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, from which he had graduated in 2005, and where he met Lori.
Since joining Valley Medical Group in Dumont in June 2012, Dr. Shekari says he is enjoying forming connections with his patients, his Glen Rock neighbors, and his Bergen County community. Dr. Shekari’s hobbies include basketball, swimming, golf, and reading crime novels.
“I like being the family doctor for my patients and providing continuity of care for them,” he says. “I worry when one of them misses an appointment.”
Dr. Shekari points out that many patient visits to the Dumont center are for the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, which gives him great opportunities to use his sports medicine background and osteopathic training.
Doctors of osteopathy (DOs) undergo medical training in all the same subjects as medical doctors (MDs) with about 200 additional hours of training in the art of osteopathic medicine. They offer patients all the benefits of modern medicine -- including medications, technology, and surgery -- with the additional benefit of hands-on therapy through what is known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. Osteopathic hands-on techniques help attune the body’s natural structures and functions to alleviate pain, restore motion, and support healing.
Valley Medical Group in Dumont, located at 40 Washington Avenue, provides the full spectrum of primary care, including urgent care for illnesses, non-life-threatening emergencies, and sports and minor injuries, including burns, cuts, fractures, and sprains; physical examinations and treatment for acute and chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension; women’s health services, including gynecologic well care and Pap smears; and preventive care, including immunizations, cardiovascular risk assessments, smoking cessation assistance, and screenings for cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Specialty services include the Candela Gentle YAG™ laser system for safe and effective cosmetic treatments.
Many businesses, both large and small, contract with Valley Medical Group in Dumont for comprehensive occupational health services, including physical exams, injury care, drug screenings, and alcohol breath tests.
Testing provided on site includes influenza A and B testing, blood tests, urinalyses, pregnancy tests, electrocardiograms (EKGs), hemoccult tests, finger stick glucose tests, rapid strep tests, and X-rays. Same-day appointments are available, and appointments for routine care may be requested on line.
Valley Medical Group in Dumont is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday and holidays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information or to make an appointment, call 201-387-7055 or click on Request an Appointment.