Q&A with Dr. Teddy Teketel at Zion Urgent Care Clinic
How long have you practiced medicine? Urgent Care?
I was born in Ethiopia where I did my Medical School in 1996. I left my birth land after a few years of serving and got to go to Europe where I did infectious disease and Public Health related Studies. After this I served under Doctors Without Borders for 6 years in many Asian and African countries before moving to the USA.
I did my Internal Medicine residency in 2011 in California and have continued to work as a Primary Care/Urgent Care doctor since then.
We moved to Katy, our new homeland, in 2015.
When did you come to know Jesus personally?
Born into a Traditional Christian Home ( Orthodox Christian), I grew up learning God’s words and Hymns without having a relationship with God Himself. So as relationships count only when they are personal, I can say, I began to know Jesus after moving to the USA in 2008. I am still learning how to relate to Him and live my life with Him and for Him.
Have you seen or heard of any cases of COVID-19 in Katy?
Yes. We know there are confirmed cases in the Katy area. We have tested 26 patients to date and 3 have tested positive. All three of them are doing better now and we’ve seen success in treating COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine, vitamin D, and Zinc.
What should people do if they’re wondering if they have COVID-19?
Well, I wish I could relieve their worry by saying get tested and know it! Because that’s exactly what should be done.
However, given the current local and national testing limitations for COVID-19, we don’t have enough tests for all who need to know. Therefore, if people have no symptoms, they should just stay vigilant to prevent any infections (i.e., exercise hand hygiene, avoid crowded places). If people have a fever with a cough or shortness of breath, they should wear a mask whenever close to others, call their doctors or do Telemedicine (e.g., Zion offers such services) to determine the next step. If people are having severe difficulty breathing, they should call an ER and inform them they are coming with such symptoms.
What about people who do not have health insurance? What should they do?
Sometimes paradoxically the cost of a doctor’s visit is more expensive for people with insurance than without.
At Zion, a Telemedicine visit is $50 currently and a physical doctor’s visit is $100. The same person carrying insurance may pay $140 if he/she has a deductible payment.
What is telemedicine or virtual health care?
Telemedicine is the method of doing a health care visit over audiovisual media on a smartphone or a personal computer.
How effective is it?
Telemedicine has a lot of limitations especially in getting the physical examination from the patient and therefore is qualitatively a low standard of care. Doctors have to rely mostly entirely on what the patient says with the exception of sometimes also the pictures taken by patients and the patient’s own measurements to make a medical decision. However, because of the convenience it gives patients and the cost saving it gives for insurance payers, it is being implemented in massive campaigns.
Telemedicine can also be useful in times like now as it helps doctors talk to patients without being exposed to the sickness the patients may be carrying.
How do you as a Christian physician think about this pandemic?
As a follower, of Christ I believe there is no more judgment for sins and wrath from God (as it’s already paid for) until final judgment day. However, the world is still a fallen world reigned by destructive evil spirits and when it rains it rains both on Christian and non Christian. The difference is the true Christian is not alone during suffering.
God is covering those who hold on to Him, who trust in Him. For those who want to see, God is visible closer and brighter against the contrast of the darkness of our times.
What is the role of prayer in this situation?
Prayer operates on the higher level of law/ the spiritual law and lets God’s will operate through and over the lower level of law/ The physical laws of nature.
Why do you have a prayer room at your urgent care clinic?
We want Zion Clinic to be a place of God’s Glorious manifestation. A place of supernatural healing. We know He answers earnest prayer and we want patients to experience His good will.
Any stories you can share of how you’ve seen prayer impact physical illnesses?
I haven’t met any patients – both believers and unbelievers – who when we talked about God during their visit, didn’t feel more hope and less pain. I have seen them change their frown to smile and lift their heads up. Most of the time the physical illness is not even their biggest issue and we have talked about and prayed about their spiritual standing with their Father God.
Any other thoughts or recommendations you’d share with Christians here in Katy and Fort Bend?
In times of trouble, suffering, be the Good Samaritans to all your neighbors. This time, the enemy’s hand is the hardest on elderly, chronically sick people. See if they need our help and help them get the first mask, the first water, food, and the first healthcare/testing if needed. Let’s comfort each other and pray for each other.
Any other thoughts or recommendations you’d share with any just exploring the Christian faith?
A Christian is not an individual serving himself but a part of the Body of Christ living to serve others in need.
Dr Teddy (Tewodros) Teketel is the Medical Director at Zion Urgent Care Clinic in Katy, Texas. Learn more about Zion Urgent Care Clinic at zionurgentcare.com.