Internal medicine specialists – critical to an aging population

In a community favored by seniors, internal medicine specialists are an important part of its professional, service-providing network. The reason for that is that as the aging process continues, some individuals find themselves balancing more than one particular health concern. Internal medicine specialists are skilled in managing the health of those patients as it requires a complex approach with a careful thought process.

“Ideally you are able to spend more time with your patient, have an opportunity to reflect on your findings, and come up with a rational explanation for medical problems,” explained Dr. Richard Reynolds, one of the internal medicine specialists affiliated with the new medical group, Fallbrook Healthcare Partners. “Internal medicine is a thought-driven specialty.”

Reynolds describes a family practice physician’s job as “very difficult,” because they see varied illnesses, conditions, and injuries throughout the day and have to practice in different disciplines. To do that, a physician needs an amount of knowledge across the board, but has to recognize when a patient should be seeing a specialist, whether in internal medicine, or another field.

“They have to determine when a patient needs to be referred out,” said Reynolds.

Typically, Reynolds said it is older (geriatric) patients or those with chronic or more complex problems that are “better served by an internist.”

“Many of the patients we see have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and/or pulmonary issues,” he explained. “These conditions require an intellectual approach.” Reynolds also holds a specialty in pulmonary medicine.

Reynolds, who has lived in Fallbrook since 1994 and enjoys its rural charm, served as Head of Internal Medicine and Clinical Director of Internal Medicine at the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton for 17 years. In his role there, he trained many Navy physicians, although he was trained in the private sector.

“The Navy has a well thought out, highly regulated training program; they do a great job,” said Reynolds.

After retiring from the Navy in 2003, Reynolds, a father of four, went into civilian practice in Fallbrook. This also provided an opportunity for him to enjoy his pastime of working with his Arabian horses. “It’s relaxing to me,” he said.

When Reynolds heard Fallbrook Healthcare Partners was being formed this year, he was the first physician to join the group and began seeing patients on Dec. 9 in the offices located at 591 E. Elder Street in Fallbrook (across from Fallbrook Hospital, which used to house the Graybill Medical Group internal medicine office)

“I have a fondness for this community and an allegiance to Fallbrook Hospital and wanted to do what I could to support and nurture the hospital,” said Reynolds. “I feel it is extremely important to keep our hospital – the absence of it would create a major problem.”

In January, two more physicians will join the practice – internal medicine specialist Dr. Alexander Delgadillo and family practice physician, Dr. Christopher Toupin.

Delgadillo was in private practice near Chicago, Ill. and decided to relocate, with his family, to Fallbrook.

“Fallbrook is a lovely area; the people are friendly and warm,” he said. “I am impressed with the care given by everyone at Fallbrook Hospital; there is a genuine sense of dedication and devotion to the work that is being done there. I have a good feeling of belonging.” In addition to being board-certified in internal medicine, Delgadillo has a fellowship in pulmonary medicine.

Delgadillo’s outlook is the same as Reynolds’. “I believe that all patients should be treated with compassion and professionalism. They should feel comfortable and know their concerns are being heard, confident that all is being done for them that can be done, and answers to their questions will be available.”

Toupin, who will provide a board-certified family physician option for patients with Fallbrook Healthcare Partners, was educated in and practiced in the Chicago area.

This team of physicians has a collection of talents and state it is their goal to provide Fallbrook residents with local, high-quality healthcare.

“The most satisfying aspect of my job is being able to establish a rapport with my patients and form friendships,” said Reynolds. “In internal medicine, you realize there are a lot of things you can’t cure – but you do what you can to make sure the patient has a better quality of life, however you can and for as long as you can.”

Fallbrook Healthcare Partners opened on Dec. 9 and is being registered with all insurance plans. Visit or call (760) 731-8989 for more information.

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