Dr. Michael P. Schaelling joined Tanner Clinic in 1996 following an honorable career in the Air Force. He is a family medicine practitioner at Tanner Clinic Kaysville.
A native of West Valley City, Utah, where “as a kid I didn’t even think being a doctor was a possibility,” he moved on to earn his B.A. in biology from Utah State University, graduating magna cum laude. He completed his medical degree at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Dr. Schaelling fulfilled his residency in family medicine at Scott Air Force Base Medical Center in Illinois. There he was named Intern of the Year, as well as Chief Resident.
His Air Force career took him to Howard Air Force Base in Panama, serving for four years, as well as Tyndall AFB in Florida, also for four years. At Howard AFB, Dr. Schaelling served as Chief of Clinical Services as well as Chief of Family Practice. In both locations, Dr. Schaelling was the Flight Surgeon to F-15 squadrons.
The board-certified physician serves on the Tanner Clinic board of directors and is a former Chief of Medical Department at Davis Hospital and Medical Center.
Dr. Schaelling and his wife, parents of four children, live in Layton. In his free time, his passions are golf and travel.
A family doc is much like the Renaissance men of earlier centuries. They know something about all the things that make us ill — and if they don’t know the remedy immediately, they know where to begin their search.
In a medical world that’s moving more and more toward specialties, family medicine practitioners are often the ones who get the hard general questions — you know, such as “What’s causing these stupid headaches?”
For Dr. Michael Schaelling, a family doctor at Tanner Clinic Kaysville, the questions often go like this: “My ____ (fill in the blank) really hurts.”
Pain management, like diabetes management, continues to be a large part of a family doc’s caseload.
Sometimes Dr. Schaelling’s recommendation is physical therapy, or sometimes an injection by a physiatrist (a rehabilitation physician) can ease pain. It’s often a prescription for pain medicine. “Luckily, we have some medications that are not narcotic,” he said. “We try to use those as much as we can” because, unfortunately, “people want narcotics.”
Avenues other than pain meds
Managing pain is a tough call because the actual diagnosis is based on the sometimes subjective view of the patient, he said. “There’s not a meter I can stick on you and see if it’s a level 10 or a 2.”
Dr. Schaelling, in his quiet, gentle way, will explain the options to an individual who is hurting. “I just talk to them in a practical way, explain the reasons why there’s pain, and the reasons they have to do it.”
For someone requesting pain meds, “I will say, ‘Why don’t you do this with therapy or exercise.’ Or ‘You’d be less in pain if you were in better physical condition.”
One of the common pain makers is a lower back that’s out of joint. And if you’re in poor shape, “that’s going to make it worse,” Dr. Schaelling said. “You don’t have the muscle strength to help heal your back.”
Dr. Schaelling’s most common piece of advice is one people often don’t want to hear. “Exercise and keep your weight under control,” he said.
“That’s my biggest piece of advice I try to give at physicals. I tell them, ‘Please do this. You’ll be so much better and healthier, active, happier when you’re in your later years.’”
Diabetes is known as the “silent killer” for a good reason — symptoms don’t show up until the disease is at an advanced level.
“We usually find diabetes (type 2) through testing for other things,” said Dr. Mike Schaelling, a family doctor at Tanner Clinic Kaysville. Once diagnosed, diabetes must be monitored through regular blood and other testing, he said.
Thirst and a need to urinate frequently are the most talked-about symptoms. So, what exactly are those silent signs?
› Urinating more than normal
› Blurry vision
› Cuts and bruises that are slow to heal
› Tingling, pain or numbness in the hands or feet (type 2)
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