Endocrinologist Christine Alexander-Decker, MD, joined Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Endocrinology in 2016. She is board certified in internal medicine with a subspecialty certification in endocrinology. Dr. Alexander-Decker’s four-year residency at Albany Medical Center focused on internal medicine and pediatrics. Albany Med is also where she earned her fellowship in adult endocrinology. A native of Saratoga Springs, Dr. Alexander-Decker and her husband live locally with two teenage daughters and a Yorkiepoo named Hudson.
Q. Why did you choose a career in medicine, and why this specialty?
A. I have always wanted to be a doctor. As a little girl, I wanted to be a pediatrician, but medical school gave me the opportunity to dabble in all of the major areas of medicine. I knew early on that I preferred medicine over surgery, and in my residency I was able to work with both adults and children.
Of all the fields I explored, I was most drawn to endocrinology because of how much it stimulated my curiosity and intellect. Endocrinologists deal with many chronic conditions involving multiple systems and organs, so the field is perpetually changing as new research becomes available, keeping it fresh and new from year to year. The conversation, education, and motivation required was an excellent fit for me.
Q. What quality or area of expertise most sets you apart in your work?
A. I’m a community endocrinologist, as are all of us here in our practice. That means we’re prepared for any condition we may see, rather than specialize just in thyroid or just in diabetes, for example. We take care of the broadest spectrum of endocrinology. As a specialist in endocrinology, I am also trained to focus and hone in on the specific endocrine abnormality in the patient before me. I don’t have a favorite disorder that I treat. Patients can come to me for pretty much anything.
Q. What is the professional philosophy that most guides your work?
A. I believe in “practice what you preach.” I do my best to be an example of good health to my patients by exercising regularly and not wavering from my commitment to maintain a stable body weight. I try to teach my patients how to respect their bodies with proper fuel, rest, and movement. I help patients develop better habits when it comes to taking their medication, exercising and improving their diet. Changing your habits is like changing the direction of a ship—it takes time. I work with my patients to help them move forward in the right direction to improve their health.
Q. What is the biggest change you have seen over the years in your specialty?
A. Endocrinologists deal with many different diseases, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and osteoporosis. I have been practicing for 17 years, and every day changes. I enjoy the mix of patients; it makes me look forward to my day.
In terms of technology, the biggest change in diabetes is in the delivery of insulin, such as the types of insulin, monitoring devices, and real-time glucose measures. We have amazing improvements in accuracy and usability now.
Q. What is your most memorable moment from your time here at Saratoga Hospital?
A. I am proud to have been called to serve with the fine physicians on the Saratoga Hospital Medical Group Leadership Board. One of my most memorable moments was the first time I was asked to speak on my specialty at one of our annual retreats. It was an honor to represent the endocrinology team and to share my expertise with a group of exceptional specialists whom I have come to greatly respect.
Q. What helpful words of advice or tips would you most like to share with potential and existing patients of your specialty?
A. Try hard to avoid getting Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is not preventable, but, in many cases, Type 2 is. Your body is the only one you get; there’s no redo. Exercise, rest, and eat a fresh, healthy diet that avoids processed foods.
Additionally, don’t believe anything that you read about your condition until you talk with your primary provider or a specialist. I am constantly debunking mainstream media myths about supplements, thyroid disease, and adrenal gland disorders. While being educated about your condition is a smart goal, it is important to double-check your information for accuracy. There’s a lot of misinformation out there.
Q. What might patients be surprised to learn about you?
A. I was Saratoga Hospital’s Baby New Year in 1972, the first baby born on January 1.
Once you have a referral from your primary care or other physician, you can make an appointment with Dr. Christine Alexander-Decker or one of our other endocrinologists at one of two locations, Saratoga Springs or Malta. To learn more, including hours and directions, please visit Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Endocrinology & Diabetes.