“I enjoy the challenge of caring for people and helping them manage their health problems.”
As the chief of the Infectious Disease division of Reliant Medical Group, Dr. Robert Bessette uses his knowledge to diagnose difficult diseases and help prevent serious diseases from spreading.
In Infectious Disease, early diagnosis is especially important. “A timely diagnosis can have a big effect on the severity or mortality of many illnesses,” Dr. Bessette explains. “There is usually an excellent outcome if a diagnosis is made quickly and therapy is appropriately applied. Some illnesses can be a mystery at first and it’s fascinating to find out what the problem can be. Sometimes it takes a lot of investigation and research – diseases are an evolving process and often the answer isn’t apparent at first.”
When working with his patients, Dr. Bessette’s goal is to provide a personal, comprehensive evaluation of each patient’s problem and then apply the most currently available medical knowledge to solve it. “I enjoy the challenge of caring for people and helping them manage their health problems. I have always found medicine fascinating, everything about it. Most importantly, it’s a great way to help people.”
One of the biggest issues physicians working in Infectious Disease like Dr. Bessette face is resistance to antimicrobial agents such as antibiotic drugs. “Many patients don’t realize that antibiotic drugs are only useful for curing bacterial infections, not illnesses caused by viruses. In dealing with this problem you just have to educate patients on why their specific illness does not warrant antibiotics and try to explain the dangers of their unwarranted use. Fortunately, we seem to be making some progress on this problem now.”
Dr. Bessette has always enjoyed practicing in Worcester, finding it challenging and rewarding. “I see a large spectrum of infectious diseases here because of the cultural diversity of the population and people’s ability to travel back and forth so easily these days,” he explains. Dr. Bessette also enjoys the camaraderie of the other physicians he practices with. “I work closely with the primary care doctors at Reliant Medical Group as well as my colleagues in Infectious Disease. The ability to consult with other physicians so easily and coordinate care really benefits the patient. We’re all very proud of the work we do here.”