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Murfreesboro Medical Clinic & SurgiCenter is committed to meeting the needs of Rutherford County’s growing community. In the midst of a global pandemic, now more than ever, primary care is critical in caring for our citizens. 

Elizabeth Bunch, D.O. is board-certified by the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians.She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2013 before receiving her medical degree from Lincoln Memorial University in 2017. Originally from the Florida panhandle, she fell in love with Tennessee while receiving her degree in the state. Dr. Bunch completed her residency training in Murfreesboro and says she is excited to continue serving the area. Dr. Bunch will be practicing at MMC’s Garrison Drive Location.


Kayla Wienczkowski, M.D. is a board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. She graduated from Lipscomb University in 2012. She then completed her medical degree and residency as Chief Resident at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. After spending 7 years in the mountains of East Tennessee, Dr. Wienczkowski says she is excited to move back to Middle Tennessee,where she was born and raised. Dr. Wienczkowski will be practicing at MMC’s newest location in Murfreesboro located on Shelbyville Pike.

To learn more aboutMMC’s newest physicians or to schedule an appointment, visit mmclinic.com.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: News  | Category: News

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic & SurgiCenter is proud to announce the addition of Kayla Wienczkowski, M.D. to its Pediatrics Department.

Dr. Kayla Wienczkowski is a board-certified Pediatrician.She graduated from Lipscomb University in 2012. She then completed her medical degree and residency as Chief Resident at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University.

After spending 7 years in the mountains of East Tennessee, Dr. Wienczkowski says she is excited to move back to Middle Tennessee, where she was born and raised. In her free time, she enjoys running, gardening, and spending time with her husband and Great Dane.

Dr. Wienczkowski will be practicing at MMC’s newest location in Murfreesboro located on Shelbyville Pike.

For more information about Dr. Kayla Wienczkowski or to make an appointment, visit mmclinic.com/pediatrics or call 615-867-8020.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: New Physicians  | Category: News

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic & SurgiCenter is proud to announce the addition of Elizabeth Bunch, D.O. to its Internal and Family Medicine Department.

Dr. Elizabeth Bunch is board-certified by the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2013 before receiving her medical degree from Lincoln Memorial University in 2017. Originally from the Florida panhandle, she fell in love with Tennessee while receiving her degree in the state. She completed her residency training in Murfreesboro and says she is excited to continue serving the area.

Dr. Bunch lives in Murfreesboro with her husband, Louis, and their two dogs. They enjoy spending time on the lake, exploring Nashville and game nights with friends.

Dr. Bunch will be practicing at MMC’s Garrison Drive Location.

For more information about Dr. Elizabeth Bunch or to request an appointment, visit mmclinic.com/IFM or call 615-867-8010.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: New Physicians  | Category: News

Skin Health & COVID-19

July 15th, 2020

Hand washing and mask wearing are more necessary and common during this time. However, many people are reporting that these actions are having an effect on their skin. 

Is your mask causing breakouts on your face? Have your hands become dry with all of the extra hand washing and sanitizing? MMC Dermatology’s Ruchi Patel, PA-C answers these common skincare questions and more.

How can we take care of our skin and prevent breakouts when wearing masks?

To help reduce breakouts, I recommend continuing your daily skin care routine including washing your face with gentle cleansers twice daily. Wash your cloth masks often and change out disposable ones as well to decrease dirt and oil that can clog your pores. If you continue to have breakouts, we would be happy to see you in dermatology to determine if prescription treatment is needed.

With increased hand washing & sanitizing, how can we protect our hands from dry/cracked skin?

After washing your hands, apply a gentle hand cream. We typically recommend CeraVe, Cetaphil, or Aquaphor based on how dry your hands feel. The same can be done after hand sanitizing.  Try to avoid hand lotions with fragrances or dyes as this can cause more irritation on your skin. 

Do we still need to wear facial sunscreen when wearing a mask and why?

YES! I recommend applying sunscreen with SPF 30+ to your whole face before putting on a mask since the mask can move throughout the day. We still need to protect our skin from harmful UV rays. 






Ruchi Patel, PA-C - MMC Dermatology

Ruchi has been a Board Certified Physician Assistant since 2015. She has worked in family medicine and dermatology in Alabama and Tennessee. Ruchi joined MMC in January 2019, where she provides a variety of clinical services to patients of all ages for acute and chronic dermatologic diseases and concerns. In her free time, Ruchi likes to read, travel, and spend time with her family, friends, and dog.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: News  | Category: News

Summertime & Sunscreen

July 7th, 2020

Summertime means spending more time in the sun! Next time you head out for your fun summer activities, remember to take steps to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. In this article, Ruchi Patel, PA-C of MMC Dermatology answers some commonly asked questions about sunscreen, so you and your family can take on the summer with confidence!

What types of sunscreen do you recommend?

The best type of sunscreen is the type you will be consistent with using. We recommend using broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreens containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide with an SPF of 30 or higher. 

Are there any sunscreens to avoid?

Ones to avoid may be those with oxybenzone, as it may cause harm to coral reefs, as well as ones with vitamin A, or retinyl palmite, as it can cause skin irritation when exposed to sunlight.

How often should one reapply sunscreen? Do reapplication times differ when in water?

You should reapply broad spectrum 30+ SPF sunscreen every 2 hours when you are outdoors or if you sweat/get wet. Water proof or water resistant does not mean you do not have to reapply it whether you are the lake,pool, or ocean.

Do you treat skin health or sunscreen application differently for children vs. adults?

I typically treat adults and children the same regarding sunscreen application and sun protection. Even if sunscreen is marketed toward children, the active ingredients are usually the same as ones for adults. Both adults and children who are going to have sun exposure should wear a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves, and use broad-spectrum sunscreen.







Ruchi Patel, PA-C - MMC Dermatology

Ruchi has been a Board Certified Physician Assistant since 2015. She has worked in family medicine and dermatology in Alabama and Tennessee. Ruchi joined MMC in January 2019, where she provides a variety of clinical services to patients of all ages for acute and chronic dermatologic diseases and concerns. In her free time, Ruchi likes to read, travel, and spend time with her family, friends, and dog.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: News  | Category: News

As physicians and medical professionals, we take an oath to protect humans and take care of all, no matter who they are or what they look like.We have a sacred responsibility to heal.

This is best exemplified by the analogy of caring for a wound. We clear out the infections from a wound either by washing it profusely or by literally cutting out the infected tissue. Then, we sew the skin back or allow the wound to heal from the bottom up if the area is too unwell.In order to foster healing, at times, we even have to take medications or use special products to provide a scaffold for healing. Either way, the skin will bind itself back together when we provide a clean, healthy, stable environment for healing to occur.

In this time, as has been since the dawn of our nation and our people, racism is a festering infection that lies deep within our society. It is a wound that continually reopens as we have not truly rooted out all of the illness. Our hope is that we truly debride the wounds,take our antibiotics, and allow for a lasting and true healing of our people and our society.

As an organization, Murfreesboro Medical Clinic denounces all forms of prejudice, but more specifically we denounce racism and racial injustice. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters with black and brown skin that have been victims of injustice. Our physicians and staff are committed to ensuring that racism is not tolerated within our organization or our community.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: News  | Category: News

Face masks are now required in many public places to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. For people with hearing loss, though, this may be easier said than done. 

That's because face masks add extra challenges for people with hearing impairments:

  • It's harder to understand people when they're speaking to you with a mask on their face.
  • If you wear hearing aids, the ear loops may tug on your hearing aids and cause other problems.

"I have yet to figure out a way to remove my mask without the hearing aids also coming off," explained Martha Malan, of St. Paul, Minn. She normally wears hearing aids and eyeglasses. Now she also has to contend with elastic ear loops on the backs of her ears. "It's a challenge."

Wearing a mask with hearing aids

If you wear behind-the-ear hearing aids, you will likely encounter some problems trying to wear a standard face mask with elastic ear loops. The ear loops may tug at the tubing that connects the hearing aid to the speaker that sits in your ear (known as the dome). You also may inadvertently pull your hearing aids out and drop them when removing your mask. What's a hearing aid wearer to do? 

Because there are so many types of hearing aids, we recommend you first reach out to your hearing care provider who may have solutions they've come up with when talking to other patients. Also, we've seen lots of creative workarounds floating around out there, including:

  • Wearing a mask with soft fabric ties to relieve the pressure on the ears, instead of elastic
  • Using a special mask extender with buttons or other holders to attach the mask loops onto, on the back of the head, instead of the ears (many medical practitioners now use these, since they have to wear tight-fitting masks all day)
  • Using simple tools like plastic s-hooks to loop the mask onto, instead of your ears

"There have been calls for the public to use transparent face shields, rather than masks, which may offer a solution. But the public has yet to adopt this solution," said Kevin Munro, PhD, professor of audiology at the University of Manchester in the U.K.

Speaking to people with hearing loss when wearing a mask

In medical settings

People with hearing loss also face challenges when trying to listen to someone who is wearing a mask. In medical settings, where stress is running high and provider-to-patient communication is tantamount, this can lead to frustrating scenarios on both sides.

"Masks pose two obvious problems for patients with hearing loss: the patient cannot gain any cues from lipreading, and the voice of the healthcare provider is attenuated and distorted," note the authors of the study "How do medical masks degrade speech reception?", published in The Hearing Review. (In this context, "attenuated" means a mask lowers the volume of a person's voice.)

When combined with the clamor in many hospitals—and the lack of visual cues because the wearer's mask is blocked,—speech could be "close to unintelligible" for many hospitalized people with hearing loss, the study noted.

To help, the authors provided this checklist for talking to patients with hearing loss in medical settings:

  • Reduce the room's noise and get the patient's attention
  • Ask how the patient prefers to communicate
  • Speak slowly and clearly 
  • Do not shout (this can be painful to a person with hearing loss)
  • Make sure hearing aid wearers are using them
  • Consider using a portable hearing aid amplifier
  • Rephrase remarks if not understood
  • Take turns while speaking to the patient
  • Do not talk while walking
  • If obtainable, masks with clear plastic make lip reading easier

"Speakers often naturally try to compensate by projecting, but a more effective approach is to speak more clearly, with greater enunciation," explains Nicole Marrone, PhD, associate professor in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the University of Arizona.

In public settings

When out in public, such as at a shopping trip, these tips can't always be followed. But, for example, if you and your spouse are both wearing masks, make sure your spouse is aware they must speak more slowly and clearly to you. And speak up for yourself when talking to strangers, letting them know you can't hear well and need them to speak more clearly. 

If you're the one trying to speak to someone with hearing loss, "use some creativity to get your meaning conveyed, instead of repeating the same misunderstood phrases over and over again," recommends Dr. Mandy Mroz, AuD, president of Healthy Hearing. "Don't underestimate the power of body language, eye contact and slowing down speech to be more clear."

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: ENT  | Category: News

Information from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

With virtual meetings becoming a critical tool for U.S. workers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people with—and without—hearing loss may experience new communication challenges.

By taking some simple steps, virtual meetings can be more effective: 

  • Make Time for Introductions. Start each meeting with a few minutes of general conversation. This allows people to share information and updates with one another, unrelated to the meeting agenda, before focusing on the specific meeting topic. This can give people with hearing loss a few minutes to make sure they can hear everyone appropriately and make any necessary adjustments to their equipment.
  • Use Video. Whenever possible, use a virtual meeting platform that allows webcams to be used, and encourage all participants to use them. Visual cues help people with and without hearing loss understand conversations.
  • Check Lighting. Participate on video calls in a room with good lighting. When using a webcam, it is best to have lighting in front of you rather than behind you. If all of a room’s lighting (electronic or natural) is projected from behind a person and toward a webcam, it makes their facial features difficult to see, limiting the use of visual cues.
  • Keep Your Mouth Unobstructed. Try to keep hands, hair, and clothing away from your mouth/face. Project when speaking so that listeners have the best opportunity to hear and understand.
  • Use the Mute Button. When you aren’t speaking, keep your microphone muted. When multiple people are participating in an online meeting, background noise from each participant’s home as well as sounds of typing, eating, and so forth, can be highly disruptive. 
  • Wait Your Turn. Don’t interrupt others, since it is harder to shift listening from one speaker to the next in a virtual meeting. When it’s your turn, be as concise as possible and then allow the conversation to shift to the next person. Waiting your turn ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to express their thoughts without having to try to talk over another person. 
  • Share Your Screen. If the meeting is focused on a particular document or resource that you are presenting, consider sharing your screen, so that all attendees can view the document or resource in real time. Use your computer mouse to help highlight key areas or information you are discussing, or use the mouse as a digital pointer, calling attention to the section you are discussing. 
  • Record Your Meeting. If you are the meeting organizer, consider recording the meeting. Let attendees know that the meeting is being recorded and where they can access it after the meeting. Because some attendees may experience network connection issues or have their calls dropped, it is useful to be able to share the recording with attendees for those people who missed a segment of the discussion or presentation.

For people with hearing loss, these additional tips for virtual meetings may be helpful:

  • Use Earbuds/Headphones With Your Computer or Other Device.Many ear buds and headphones have noise-canceling technologies that can make it easier to hear the dialogue in the meeting, without needing to increase the volume, and reduce the background noise of your setting. You may want to experiment with different styles of headphones to identify which style affords you the best listening experience.
  • Sync Up With Hearing Aids. If you wear hearing aids, ask your audiologist if there is a connectivity option that would allow your hearing aids to connect via Bluetooth directly to the device you use for virtual meetings. 
  • Speak Up. Remember that good communication is a universal right for all. Be sure to talk to your employer and advocate for yourself if you are not able to hear or understand. If you are struggling to hear, there may be others who are struggling as well. You don’t want to miss important assignments, information, or updates during and after the meeting.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: ENT  | Category: News

Osteoporosis in Women

May 13th, 2020

What is osteoporosis and who does it affect?

Osteoporosis causes bone to lose its calcium content and strength, leading to increased risk of fractures, especially in the hips and spine.  Hip fracture requires major surgery, and spine fracture causes height loss, stooping posture and lots of back pain!  Osteoporosis affects mainly women after menopause, but also men, especially those over 50. 

Why are women more prone to getting osteoporosis?

Men reach a higher maximum bone mass than women because of testosterone, which builds bone more than estrogen, so on average women have smaller and thinner bones than men.  Men can and do get osteoporosis, though, especially if they have used prednisone.  The rapid drop in estrogen after menopause puts women at an especially high risk of osteoporosis and then fracture.  

How can one be proactive and prevent osteoporosis?

Women reach their highest bone strength around age 30, so ensuring young people get enough vitamin D and calcium can help reach their best bone strength.  Tobacco use, heavy consumption of alcohol and frequent or long-term use of prednisone or other steroids weaken bone and increase risk of fractures as well.  Older men and women can prevent osteoporosis by getting lots of weight-bearing exercise like walking and continuing to supplement calcium and vitamin D.  

Are there ways to treat or reverse the effects of osteoporosis?

While bone loss cannot usually be completely reversed, bone strength can be increased and risk of fracture lowered by taking one of several prescription osteoporosis medications.  Pills taken once a week or once a month can slow down bone loss.  Injections taken once or twice a year are an option when the pills cause stomach upset.  Daily injections taken for two years are the most effective treatment, and are prescribed for patients who have had fractures despite taking one of the other treatments.  

How can osteoporosis be detected? What can one look for and what steps should you take?

Osteoporosis doesn’t hurt and doesn’t cause any problems unless you break a bone!  Because you can’t feel it, you have to find it with a bone density screening test.  It takes about 5 minutes, is completely painless and not in an enclosed space, and exposes you to less radiation than a chest X-ray.   The bone density test result can be normal, low bone mass (also called osteopenia), or osteoporosis.  Everyone should take calcium and vitamin D, and some with osteopenia and all with osteoporosis should get prescription medicine to strengthen their bones. 






Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: News  | Category: News

Skin Cancer Awareness

May 8th, 2020

Skin Cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer!

What everyday steps can you take to care for your skin?

Cleaning your skin daily with a gentle cleanser, moisturizing with a good moisturizer (I recommend ZO Daily Power Defense or Elta MD AM/PM Therapy, which are both sold at Kattine Aesthetics) and of course, sunscreen!

Why is sunscreen important? What should you look for when choosing a sunscreen?

Sunscreen protects against harmful UV rays that cause skin cancer. You want to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out, use a SPF of 30 or higher, and reapply every 2 hours! We usually recommend the mineral based sunscreens.

How can you perform skin cancer checks at home?

Performing a skin check at home is a great idea and should be done on a regular basis. The American Academy of Dermatology has some great resources on their website about how to perform them on yourself and what to look for (www.aad.org).

You want to look for the “ABCs”

A-      Asymmetrical lesions

B-      Lesions with irregular Borders

C-      Color (dark, irregular, red, white, blue, etc)

D-      Diameter (lesions larger than a pencil eraser)

E-      Evolving lesions

What differences are there between skin cancer types?

Skin cancers are divided into two categories – Melanoma and Non Melanoma. Non melanoma skin cancers are often successfully treated with surgical intervention. Melanoma skin cancers may require both medical and surgical intervention along with closer monitoring.

Why is an annual skin cancer screening important?

Annual screenings are important to check for any worrisome lesions. Especially for people with a long history of sun damage or a family history of skin cancer!

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month! Schedule your annual skin cancer screening with MMC Dermatology today by calling 615-867-8220 or visiting mmclinic.com/dermatology.






By MMC Dermatology Provider Hope Brown Owen, FNP-BC

Hope is a board certified Nurse Practitioner, who received both her undergraduate and graduate degree from Belmont University. Prior to earning her Master's degree, Hope worked as a RN in dermatology. Hope joined MMC in February of 2016, and specializes in medical dermatology. In her free time she enjoys working out, reading, and spending time with family.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: News  | Category: News

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As of September 23rd, face coverings are still required at all Murfreesboro Medical Clinic locations until further notice. MMC is dedicated to the health well-being of everyone who enters our buildings. We believe that this requirement is still in the best interest of our community, patients and staff.

While this may not be convenient, our goal is to protect our community. Everyone is encouraged to bring their own face coverings to enter the building. If patients or visitors do not have a face covering they will be given one. Any person who chooses not to comply with this policy will have their appointment rescheduled. Thank you for understanding. 

Your health is our mission.

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