At MD 2.0, we provide patients with superior primary care. We want to be the first to know about any health concerns that may arise. Primary care is performed and managed by your personal physician, Dr. Poncy or Dr. Lubarsky who are available to you 24/7.
Drs. Lubarsky and Poncy believe in more than just treating you when you are sick. Our preventative medicine doctors want to ensure you are healthy year round by promoting a healthy lifestyle, yearly executive level physical exams, and helping to prevent disease.
At MD 2.0, our concierge physician practice focuses on providing high quality care and individualized attention to each patient. Our model allows us to spend more time with each patient, allowing us to work closely with you on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and complex illnesses.
Board Certified Internist in Jupiter, FLDr. Amir Lubarsky's love of medicine allows him to listen compassionately and intently to his patients in order to provide the best outcomes.
Board Certified Internal Medicine Doctor in Jupiter, FLDr. Morgan Poncy is a board certified internist who was raised in the Jupiter area.
One thing our primary care doctors in Jupiter were not sad to lose during the pandemic was the ancient tradition of handshaking. It’s not because we’re anti-social. Quite the opposite, in fact. We love meeting new people, as well as seeing people we haven’t seen in awhile.
When people avoided each other, wore masks, and bumped elbows instead of shaking hands when they did meet, the incidence of other communicable diseases plunged. Science says the reduction in handshaking played a big role in that.
Statistics tell the story
Last fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported, “Following widespread adoption of community mitigation measures to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the percentage of U.S. respiratory specimens submitted for influenza testing that tested positive decreased from greater than 20 percent to 2.3 percent and has remained at historically low levels (.2 percent versus 1-2 percent).”
During the 2020-21 flu season, the CDC estimated that about 600 Americans died from the virus. That's opposed to about 22,000 deaths in the 2019-20 flu season, and 34,000 in the season before that.
In April of this year, Scientific American reported that the influenza virus had virtually disappeared worldwide.
“There’s just no flu circulating,” Greg Poland, who has studied the disease at the Mayo Clinic for decades, told the magazine.
Other infectious illnesses, including colds, influenza-like illnesses (ILIs), gastrointestinal illnesses (like infectious diarrhea), hepatitis A, meningitis, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), saw similar declines.
Handshaking spreads germs
One study from the University of Colorado, Boulder, found a typical person’s hand had about 150 different species of bacteria living on it. Others have revealed that the most common bacteria found on hands is fecal coliform. That’s because studies show that up to 95 percent of people don’t wash their hands well enough after using the toilet.
“I don’t think we should ever shake hands again,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House health advisor, said last year at the height of the pandemic. He later clarified that he was “somewhat serious.”
But he’s not the only medical professional who wishes humans had never begun the tradition. And not just because of the risk of passing on the coronavirus.
“It’s never been safe,” Gregory Poland, a Mayo clinic physician and professor specializing in infectious diseases, told the Minneapolis Star recently.
The practice carries the risk of transmitting a host of germs, including norovirus, food poisoning, and “hand-borne transmission of fecal bacteria,” he said. “We’re not talking about a minor issue,” he added. “Would you lick someone’s hand?”
It’s not so much the handshaking as what we do with our hands afterward: touching our eyes, noses, and mouths, experts say. This is what can lead to infection with all these other illnesses.
Unfortunately for our communal health, handshaking is a tradition that goes back millennia. It crosses many cultures, from Babylonia to Rome to present-day Europeans and Americans. National Geographic noted that ancient artifacts show people shaking hands.
Some other cultures have never used the handshake when meeting others. Many in the Arab world simply touch their palms to their hearts. The Japanese bow. Hindus place their palms together in the Namaste greeting.
Nevertheless, handshaking in our culture is a practice that may never go away, pandemic or no pandemic.
“It’s very deeply ingrained in the social fabric,” Juliana Schroeder, a management professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has studied handshakes, told USA Today. “It feels like something will be lost."
Keeping it clean
If you want to go back to shaking hands when greeting someone, at least remember the lessons learned as a result of the pandemic.
According to the Florida Department of Health, one of the most effective ways to stay healthy is also the simplest: effective hand washing. So here’s a refresher from them on how to do it right.
When to Wash:
- before, during, and after preparing food
- before eating food
- before and after caring for someone who is sick
- before and after treating a cut or wound
- after using the toilet
- after changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- after touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- after handling pet food or pet treats
- after touching garbage
- when they are visibly dirty
How to Wash:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water, either warm or cold, turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between our fingers, and especially under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel, or air-dry them.
Our primary care doctors in Jupiter have been receiving worried calls from parents about the possibility of their children contracting myocarditis and pericarditis from the COVID-19 vaccine.
We’d like to reassure you that the possibility is remote. Here are the facts.
Myocarditis is inflammation of the muscle of the heart. A related condition, pericarditis, is inflammation of the tissue that forms a sac around the heart. Either one is an indication of the body’s immune system responding to an infection or some other trigger.
This relatively rare condition can occur with many types of infections, especially viruses, including COVID-19. It can also occur with heavy metal poisoning, radiation treatments, some medications, and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
It also can occur after certain vaccinations, like smallpox. Now, it has been reported with two of the vaccines for the coronavirus, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. (The effect hasn’t been seen with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.)
Symptoms of either myocarditis or pericarditis can include chest pain, shortness of breath, or an abnormal heartbeat (racing, pounding, or fluttering).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 300 million doses of the mRNA vaccines—Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna—have been administered in the U.S. Of those, there have been 323 cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or both, all in individuals under the age of 30.
Nearly 80 percent of those have recovered from the symptoms. Nine patients are still hospitalized, with two remaining in intensive care. No deaths have been reported from the condition.
It usually appears within days following the injection of one of the mRNA vaccines, and occurs more often following the second dose. Reported cases have occurred predominantly in male adolescents and adults 16 years of age and older, according to the CDC.
Jeremy Asnes, chief of pediatric cardiology at Yale Medicine and co-director of the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital Heart Center, says the incidence is incredibly rare. He adds most patients who report symptoms recover quickly.
“I think that the most important message at this point is that we are still recommending eligible people older than 12 follow the vaccine recommendations from the CDC,” he said.
“While we are taking these reports of myocarditis very seriously, we—along with the CDC—continue to feel that the benefits of being vaccinated against COVID-19 far outweigh the very small risk of getting myocarditis related to the vaccine itself.”
Comparison with COVID-19
A study conducted with U.S. military medical centers released by the Mayo Clinic in late June found that the greater risk for heart damage and death continues to be infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus versus the vaccines. Up to 60 percent of those who become seriously ill with COVID-19 experience some type of injury to their hearts. And nearly one percent of athletes who were previously deemed fit reveal myocarditis on their MRIs after even mild cases of the virus.
“Hypersensitivity myocarditis following vaccination is rare, with the exception of smallpox vaccine,” said Leslie Cooper, chair of the Department of Cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. “The risk of myocarditis after receiving mRNA vaccine is far less than the risk of myocarditis following actual COVID-19 infection.” Cooper is the senior author of the study.
To illustrate his point, the CDC calculates that for males between the ages of 18 and 29, 60 cases of myocarditis would occur for every million doses of the vaccine. Those vaccines, however, would also prevent 12,000 infections, 530 hospitalizations, and three deaths.
In comparison with the 323 non-fatal cases of myocarditis following the injection, the CDC reports that adolescents and young adults now constitute 33 percent of all new COVID-19 cases. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 7.7 million people ages 12 to 29 have been infected. And 2,767 of those died.
It’s important to remember the other effects that can occur from infection with the COVID-19 virus:
- About 25 percent of those who contract it report lingering symptoms. These include chest pain, shortness of breath, muscle pain, and fatigue. Oddly, these so-called long-haul symptoms tend to occur just as much, if not more often, in those who had only mild or no symptoms of COVID-19.
- The highly contagious and more dangerous delta variant is spreading rapidly in this country, especially among younger people. They tend to be more socially active and are less likely to be vaccinated.
So far, all reported cases of myocarditis, pericarditis, or the extremely rare (fewer than 10) cases of a dangerous blood clotting disorder reported with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine seem to far outweigh the advantages of getting the vaccine.
“People of all ages should choose to get a COVID-19 vaccine because the risks are extremely low compared to the benefits,” said Mayo’s Cooper. “Additionally, the growing body of research shows that vaccine-associated myocarditis resolves quickly in almost all cases.”
My husband and I have been patients of Dr. Poncy for over ten years and have been extremely pleased and happy for him. He is not only a brilliant internist, but also a wonderful person. Now that he and his partner, Dr. Lubarsky, have opened the concierge practice it is better than ever. The nursing staff is superlative as is the front office staff. The office is very well appointed and comfortable. We feel very fortunate to have such a competent and caring physician.
About 11 years ago, I first met with Dr. Poncy. I came away from my appointment with him confident he understood my problem and contributed some thoughtful suggestions. Over the years, he has never changed. The outstanding staff Dr. Poncy has put together, along with his partner, Dr. Lubarsky, are the best! I honestly feel, when I have an appointment, it is like visiting "family".
I recommend Dr Lubarsky emphatically. He is a true professional: thorough, compassionate and an excellent diagnostician!
We have been concierge members for only 6 months but so far we have been very pleased. The office atmosphere is very relaxed and the doctor is able to give us the time we need. Time in the waiting room is minimal and we have been able to obtain spur of the moment appointments with no difficulty. We are happy that we joined
The new practice has a very warm, friendly, feeling to it. We don't have long waiting times. Everyone is very prompt.
I have been a patient for over 30 years. I actually look forwarded to a visit. Pleasant, professional in every way, I consider myself very lucky.
A great Dr. & great staff, minimum wait time. Spends as much time with you as you need. Same day appointments.
Dr. Poncy has been my primary care doctor for over 8 years. I've known Dr. Poncy for over 8 years. My neighbor recommended him for my diabetes and heart problem. The staff at Dr. Poncy's office is always very pleasant and Dr. Poncy is very patient to my concerns.
I have been a patient of Dr. Lubarsky since 2004. He has been such a great physician to me and my wife for several years. Recently, I was hospitalized at Jupiter Medical Center. My wife contacted him and he immediately responded and came to the hospital. Without Dr. Lubarsky's support, I don't think I would be at the health level I am at today.
I'm a big fan of Dr. Lubarsky! After moving from New York, I researched area Internist throughout Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens. Dr. Lubarsky was a home run!