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Making Healthy Choices

Updated: Mar 14

By Rachel Dutil | Photos by Jessica McCafferty


One of the things Dr. Anita Bodrogi enjoys most about her work as a family practice physician is that she gets to witness humanity up close. Bodrogi and her husband, Glenn Lyons, operate InHealth Family Medicine on Court Street in Plattsburgh.


Bodrogi explained that patients tell their doctors all sorts of intimate and important details about their lives. “It is a privileged window into humanity,” she said, adding “It can range from poignant and inspiring, to frightening and heartbreaking.” 


Bodrogi moved to the North Country when she was nine years old. As an adult she worked as an actress, performer and dancer in New York City. She trained in classical ballet and was managing a restaurant when she opted for a complete career change. “Initially I thought I would do physical therapy. Having been a dancer it made a lot of sense and was appealing to me, so I went back to school,” she offered.

“I had a very important mentor who suggested, ‘Why don’t you become a doctor?’” Bodrogi recalled. “I responded, ‘Because I’ll be 40 by the time I finish my residency.’ Well, you’re going to be 40 anyway. What’s the difference?” she countered. “That was eye opening. It changed my path.”


Manual Medicine 

Bodrogi studied medicine at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine on the Old Westbury Campus of New York Institute of Technology on Long Island. She did her residency at Wyckoff Hospital in Brooklyn before returning to the North Country with her family in 2004. 


Bodrogi is board certified in osteopathic manual medicine and family practice. Osteopathy is an American branch of medicine originated by Andrew Taylor Still. The first Osteopathic Medical School opened in 1892. Still was an anatomist who started to treat patients with his deep understanding of the relationship between structure and function, Bodrogi explained. Osteopathy uses manual techniques that help to improve circulation and relieve pain and tension in the musculoskeletal system. It is also used to improve all physiologic functions: respiration, infection, nerve function, and digestion.


At osteopathic medical school, students take the same curriculum as at other medical schools but must also take 200 hours of osteopathic manual medicine to obtain their degree. Bodrogi explained that while many Doctors of Osteopathy (DO) do not use manual medicine in their practice, she is proud to offer it in addition to traditional family health. 


“One of the things I’ve learned in my career, is that most of the things that people are dealing with in family practice, what lands them at our front door, has to do with the whole person,” Bodrogi said, adding that she was trained in the bio psychosocial model during residency which she finds very helpful in her practice. The bio psychosocial model recognizes that people are an amalgam of their genetics, social condition, race, gender, and life experiences. “People come in as a whole person. If you think you are just going to treat their blood pressure, you’re in for a very difficult day. You have to deal with the blood pressure, and it is also essential to know that their kid may be in jail, or their husband ran away with their neighbor, or they suffered childhood sexual abuse.”


Amazing staff 

In the early days of her practice, a friend told Bodrogi, “The hardest thing in your business is going to be the people who work for you.” Her friend was right. “It is a relationship with your employees. Those are challenging,” she said, adding that although it is a different relationship than one has with a spouse or children, it is still a meaningful, important one.


“Over the years I have had the good fortune of coming up with an amazing staff. Right now, our staff is committed and high functioning,” she offered. InHealth Family Medicine has four providers: Bodrogi and Lyons, Laurel Colvin, FNP, and Robin Beach, RN, BSN. Beach focuses on cosmetic treatments such as laser therapies, Botox, and dermal fillers. InHealth also employs an office manager, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), two medical assistants, and two receptionists. Bodrogi and the office manager balance each other well with their different strengths.


“This is my home away from home,” Bodrogi said of her office. “It has to be a place where I am happy to be because what we do is really, really hard. I can’t come here and have other stressors that impede my ability to be joyous and free,” she emphasized the culture in her office. “It really matters. We take it very seriously.”


Six years ago, when one of her employees was pregnant, Bodrogi made the decision to let her bring her baby to work with her. It allowed her employee to save money on childcare and gave her the opportunity to bond with her baby. “It was good for the

mother-child bond, and it was like having everyone in the office on anti-depressants,” she recalled. “It felt a little radical, but it was the right thing to do.” Since then, two more employees who have had babies brought them to work with them. The babies stayed until it was too much. The timeline was a little different for each baby. “It was fantastic,” Bodrogi said of the unusual policy. 


Dying breed 

InHealth Family Practice is one of only a few remaining privately owned medical practices in Plattsburgh. In the early 2000s many practice offices were bought up by hospital groups. “The school of thought was that you can’t make it on your own; it’s too complicated and the insurance companies are too difficult to deal with,” Bodrogi explained. “For a lot of different reasons, I want to be independent, and I don’t want to work for a hospital. I want to work for my patients and my family.”


For her business to be profitable, the office is busy. Bodrogi credits her staff for working through “nightmarish paperwork” required by insurance companies.


“The expectations for internal medicine and primary care are very high, particularly in a community that has few specialists, most of which are overburdened,” Bodrogi said. It is difficult to get patients in for necessary appointments and procedures because wait times are sometimes up to 12 months. “It means that in primary care, we have to handle more. Now I’m an endocrinologist, I’m a rheumatologist, I’m a neurologist.”


Diet and exercise are key components of wellness and health, but Bodrogi said she understands how hard it is, particularly in the North Country in the winter to follow healthy habits. “I have a great deal of compassion for people in the North Country. It is a hard place to live.” She feels a responsibility as a health care provider to educate her patients on how to connect with healthier choices. The North Country is a region with a rich farming tradition and lots of locally-grown foods. “To be truly well, we need to first start where we are. If we cannot accept where we are, we cannot change. I think of this as a pathway to self-love. A little self-love goes a long way to healing our lives,” Bodrogi concluded.


InHealth Family Medicine 

96 Court St.

Plattsburgh, NY 12901

518 562-2369









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