Meet Dr. Ken Flora, Gastroenterologist with The Oregon Clinic

My name is Ken Flora and I’m a gastroenterologist at The Oregon Clinic Gastroenterology – East. My practice here at The Oregon Clinic
involves seeing patients with liver disease. Most of them have chronic liver disease,
some of them acute. Some patients have cirrhosis and have
complications related to that. Most patients I see have already had
their diagnosis made, so they’re coming to me to learn about their disease, determine a plan, and then to undergo
therapy. Unfortunately not always the most
popular of their physicians because a lot of liver disease is related to behaviors that I have to make the patients quit
and a lot of what we do in the liver clinic involves lifestyle
modifications and the patients are not always very
happy with that. On the other side we are tempting to treat diseases that are
curable and if we’re successful patients
return to normal health and their livers regenerate back to normal as well. In my opinion, the most important part of
my job is educating patients about what they
have, allowing them to understand how they got where they are, and that, for the
most part, they have options. Most of our patients come to clinic with
very little information and a lot of confusion, and the most rewarding part is when at the end of the visit the
patient sits back and in their chair and says, I get it now, I understand it, and it makes
sense. In my mind, without adequate education it’s very hard for patients to be
able to make important decisions and to be able to participate in their
therapy as they should. I chose The Oregon Clinic because it’s a large, multi-specialty group and we see enough patients that it
allows many of us to go in different directions based upon our
personal interests. In my particular case, my interest was
liver, and we see enough patients that we were able to build a very large practice
around that. It’s all we do, and we’re pretty good at
it. The other advantage of private practice is that we have every service that most large academic
centers have, and we can get access to that more
efficiently and more quickly, and I think we can address patients’
problems better that way, being in private practice rather than a large educational center. Well, I’m a native son and so I like the variety of things
available both in the city and outside. I tend to gravitate toward the mountains,
I like hiking and I like camping. I like riding my motorcycle and I also
enjoy water sports, right now it’d have to be jet skis. I like the population here. Within
Portland, I like practicing on the eastside. I’m
really happy with how the eastside has become such a melting pot and I enjoy being able to take care of
patients from so many ethnic backgrounds. In fact we treat so many patients for
whom English is a second language we’ve trained a group with interpreters to
“speak liver” so that they better understand
what we are trying to get across and what the treatments are to facilitate our communication with
patients and I think that can only happen in a community like Portland.

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