Ask A Doc

Have a question for the doctor?

If you’re reading this, it’s a safe bet that you are either a musician, a family member, or simply a music lover. TUNE IN & TUNE UP is a concept that originated 5 years ago when a few of us got together after realizing that the majority of musicians and industry professionals did not have health insurance and did not understand the signs of disease or how to take care of themselves. Many were getting sick and even dying as a result.

This sad state of affairs was not acceptable. So, we decided to do everything we could to change this situation. Our goal is to help PREVENT health issues before they have a chance to occur through education and treating illness the right way at the right time.

To date, we have produced two major fundraising concert events, have raised money for several musicians who could not afford appropriate health care, and have attempted to increase health awareness in several ways. We are hoping that our new TUNE IN & TUNE UP website becomes a valuable health resource for our local members of the music community.

If you have a health-related question, we encourage you to write in to our “Ask the Doc” feature.

In this column, we encourage you to ask any question regarding your health, whether it is a medical question, an issue regarding insurance, or any general questions regarding health and wellness. We will attempt to cover a broad spectrum of medical issues such as specific medical disease, orthopedic problems, and general medical questions, in addition to those that are quite specific to being a musician.

We have a team of board certified physicians with different areas of expertise standing by to give you sound medical advice. We hope you take advantage of this opportunity and hope we hear from you soon!

At your service …

Al Puerini, M.D.

Meet the “Doc”

Al Puerini, M.D.

Head Team Physician
Providence College Athletics

R.I. Primary Care Physicians Corp.

Dr. Al Puerini is a native Rhode Islander who has been in private practice since 1983. He graduated from Providence College, and received training in his specialty at the Brown University Program in Family Medicine at the Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket, RI.

Question: I currently do not have a primary care physician. I’m in my early 60s and feel I should start to focus on physical & mental issues to better plan for my senior years. I don’t want to experience the kind of geriatric speed dating that I saw occur with my parents as they aged. How do you suggest that I find a Primary Care Physician and what are the steps of an annual physical that I should undergo to provide a more comprehensive diagnostic of my body systems?


Thanks for a great question! I’m glad to hear your question involves finding the right Primary Care Physician (PCP). Your PCP should be your first line of inquiry. All medical issues and questions should go through your PCP first. Your PCP is your “quarterback” and will either treat your problem or refer you for the appropriate tests and/or specialists. Most PCPs allow for an “interview” as a first visit.  At this visit you can ask all the questions that are important to you and, more importantly, you will have the opportunity to witness his/her personality, demeanor and compatibility. Any person over 40 should have a regular annual physical. At your physical, you should receive a thorough head to toe examination, and an update on your personal and family medical history. Certain screening lab work and screening tests should be discussed and ordered. In addition, you should have the time to discuss issues that YOU deem to be important to your health and life. Good luck in your search for a PCP. It should end up being one of the most important relationships in your life!

Question: Let’s say for the sake of argument that one has overplayed their vacation a tad and returns home with a bad case of indigestion. All facets are still running normally but it just seems like a helpful purge might hasten to end the post vacation digestion blues. First, are there any natural remedies you might recommend and if not, then what is the most effective over the counter remedy?


You are experiencing a very common problem in our society. Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is the result of too much acid in your stomach, which then can reflux into your esophagus causing the  “GERD” (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease) symptoms you are experiencing. Common causes include dietary factors, smoking and stress. One should start by consuming fewer fatty and spicy foods and less caffeine, alcohol, and chocolate. Sleeping for at least 7 hours every night may also help to ease mild indigestion. Exercising regularly and quitting smoking are also important lifestyle changes in treating indigestion. Over the counter medications include antacids which neutralize acid that is already present in your stomach, and acid blockers which prevent the acid from coming out in the first place. Examples of antacids are Tums, Maalox, Mylanta.  Examples of over the counter acid blockers are Zantac, Prilosec and Nexium. If the symptoms persist more than a week after trying these remedies you should contact your primary care physician for a stronger prescription medication and a search for other causes.

Ask The Doc


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