Dr. Margaret Gourlay

Family Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC
25 years experience female

Locations

University of North Carolina Family Medicine Center

Chapel Hill, NC

Address

Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC
Directions

About

Bio

After medical school and residency training, I completed fellowships in medical editing and clinical research. Since 2004, I have been a faculty member in the University of North Carolina Department of Family Medicine. I have seen patients of all ages, but especially adults and elderly patients. I have extra knowledge in bone health because of my research on osteoporosis and bone density screening.

Specialties
Doctors may have more than one area of specialty interest. Board certification in a specialty area means the doctor has completed formal training and has practice experience in that specialty, and has passed the certification examination from the corresponding accredited medical specialty board.

Family Medicine

Doctor Q&A

91 Answers
25 Agrees
The number of answers this doctor has agreed with.
A 17-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Itching head: One small spot of itching on the scalp may mean a local allergic reaction, e.g. to an insect bite. In that case, over-the-counter hydrocortisone crea... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 50-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Eustachian tube : A broken dental bridge is unlikely to cause Eustachian tube dysfunction. Eustachian tube dysfunction may be due to swelling from infection, allergies... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 46-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Cough, throat pain: It depends on length and severity of symptoms. A new cough and sore throat may just be from a viral infection. If there is no fever or worsening, it... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 29-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis can cause severe pain from the first step you take in AM and can ache all day. The only reliable long-term solution is weight loss ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 18-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Tight socks: Tight socks won't cause blood clots. In fact, special compression stockings are used in older people to help prevent blood clots from forming in the ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 17-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Red sores in throat: Throat cancer is very unlikely to be the cause of these symptoms. Long-term smokers have an increased risk of throat cancer, but even if you smoke, i... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 25-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Dark spots under arm: Dark skin at your armpits can occur due to shaving, chemical irritation or ingrown hairs. People who have diabetes and are obese may have acanthosis... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 39-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Red itchy skin bumps: This can be caused by contact dermatitis (allergy from contacting a skin irritant); rash occurs where skin touched something like poison ivy, harsh ch... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 34-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Light period: Your history lists PCOD, which makes light menstrual periods more likely. If you were on antibiotics recently, they would not cause a light period, b... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 33-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Nuvaring and weight: A number of women have reported weight gain when they START Nuvaring, so women who stop it may find it is easier to lose weight. Although you may be ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 25-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
? liver disease: These can be signs of advanced liver disease (cirrhosis), where scar tissue prevents normal liver function, Cirrhosis usually takes years to occur. ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A member asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Ear drop problem: The Cipro (ciprofloxacin) drops are running down your Eustachian tube, a tiny tube that connects your inner ear with the back of your throat. The sma... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 23-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Zoloft and Buspar (buspirone): No. To protect patients' safety, a doctor always has to decide when prescribed medications are started or stopped, and whether the dosage should be c... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 19-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Worsening UTI: Yes, these could be signs of a kidney infection, or a bladder infection that is not sensitive to Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim). The pre... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 26-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Norethisterone: Norethisterone (aka Micronor) can be used alone or in combination for birth control. Norethisterone is also used in different doses for other purpose... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Acid reflux: Pickle juice will probably not help acid reflux because it is acidic. Yes, acid reflux can make you feel nauseated and sick. If you have symptoms ev... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 40-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Swollen ear lobe: Did you recently have trauma to the ear? If so, look up "cauliflower ear" on the Internet to see if your ear has a similar appearance. Cauliflower e... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Doctor's note: We cannot provide medical notes from the Health Tap Answer Questions feature. Only a doctor who has seen you in person (i.e., has a doctor-patient re... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
ED treatment: Yes, eating disorder treatment CAN help significantly, esp. when initiated early. School is clearly important to you, and after treatment and recover... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 24-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
SOB while anemic: Yes, anemia can cause shortness of breath. You probably notice it more when you are walking or otherwise exerting yourself, and you may feel like you... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 44-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Stress reaction: PTSD is a formal psychiatric diagnosis for a syndrome of that occur in veterans after military service or other people subjected to prolonged and ines... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 28-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Oligomenorrhea: Stress, weight changes or heavy exercise can cause this. But after you have irregular menstrual periods (oligomenorrhea) for this long, a doctor shoul... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 65-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Abx for tick bite: Most tick bites cause a local reaction (redness, itching, minor swelling) that goes away on its own and does not require antibiotics. If someone has ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 36-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
? biopsy: If I understand correctly, there is a brown mark on the sole of your feet, and you want to know if a biopsy is needed. It depends on the size and app... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 21-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Esophageal pain: Esophageal pain when you bend over might be due to acid reflux, where small amounts of stomach acid refluxes back and irritates the end of esophagus. ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 20-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
F/u of orange stools: I think we saw your post about orange stools yesterday. If you still have stomach pain and feel weak after this long, e-mailing questions is not enou... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 18-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Brown discharge: If this happens every month, and there are no other concerning symptoms (no fever, no severe cramping), it may just be from menstrual blood that has b... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 18-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Acne combo treatment: Yes, it is okay to use these two agents together for severe acne, but the combination can be too harsh for some people. It safest to start with a was... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 26-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Colchicine: Colchicine comes in 0.6 mg tablets. Max recommended dose for familial Mediterranean fever is TOTAL of 1.2 to 2.4 mg (2 to 4 tabs) in one day, given i... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 28-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Lymph node: Yes, it is normal to have an enlarged lymph node under the mandible when you have the flu. The lymph nodes enlarge near the site(s) of infection whil... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 31-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Vasovagal episode: Ice water can cause a vasovagal episode, which is an episode of feeling faint due to a nerve response. To avoid this, one can try drinking room-tempe... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 26-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Bruising from chair: Anyone can get minor bruising from a metal chair with a diamond mesh-like pattern. It can happen more easily if someone took aspirin or ibuprofen rec... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 64-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Vyvance withdrawal: Any change in dose of Vyvance MUST be managed by the prescribing physician. Vyvance is a stimulant that is highly addictive, and dangerous side effec... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 33-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Monocytopenia: In a person who is otherwise healthy, monocytopenia (low number of monocytes measured in blood) may be from normal variation on testing, or due to ben... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 17-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Labial redness: Vaginal itching can be due to a yeast infection, irritation from feminine products or from tight clothing, esp. synthetics. A tiny spot that burns ma... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 24-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Moonlighting: If you want to moonlight for Health Tap, this is the wrong place for the question. Contact the administrative staff at the website. Otherwise, the c... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 24-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Withdrawal bleeding: A positive Postinor (progestin) withdrawal bleed shows your body had enough estrogen to form a lining in the uterus. The withdrawal of the progestin ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 56-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Post-hyst spotting: These symptoms could have one or more causes, and a doctor needs to see you to gather more information. In a partial hysterectomy, the uterus is remo... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 16-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Curly hair: The curliness and coarse/rough texture of hair is determined by genetics (inherited from your parents). Hair tends to get even more curly in humid we... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Diarrhea: Food intolerance (e.g. lactose/milk intolerance), excess sugar or carb intake, sorbitol (artificial sweetener) and some medications (e.g. antibiotics,... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 33-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Liver US result: This means that the ordering physician has to review the blood tests (liver enzyme tests) to interpret the meaning of the ultrasound findings. There ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 23-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
No period for a year: PCOS commonly causes menstrual cycle irregularity, but there are a number of other causes that can occur in women with or without PCOS. A pregnancy t... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 26-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Dysmenorrhea: These are symptoms of dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods caused by uterine cramps). Distracting symptoms at work are normal, but it shouldn't af... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 24-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Endoscopy: No. Recent antibiotics will not affect the accuracy of the endoscopy.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 32-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Black phlegm: For smokers, black phlegm can mean the body is trying to get rid of toxins from tobacco that are highly irritating and may cause permanent damage to t... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 23-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Cough, sarcoidosis: If you have a temperature >=101.5, a doctor needs to check this today. If no fever, tomorrow is okay. The effects of sarcoidosis on lung tissue c... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Dog not eating: This website is for humans, but I can answer your question because I was a veterinarian before medical school. Your Pom could have vomiting from swal... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 61-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Steroid shots: Your heart doctor gave you good advice. A new study published in July 2014 suggested that steroid shots may not offer much long-term benefit for pati... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 17-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Fishy vaginal odor: A fishy vaginal odor can be caused by bacterial vaginosis, which is an annoyance but is harmless in women who are not pregnant. But an STD called tri... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 33-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Boil in armpit: This can be caused by an infected hair follicle or cyst. A more worrisome cause is hidradenitis suppurativa, where recurrent boils form in the armpit... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Testimonials
Recommendations and Thank you notes are endorsements given from patients or other doctors.

2
Recommendations
95
Thank you notes
HealthTap member
Mar 30, 2015
Dr. Gourlay is an amazing doctor! #nationaldoctorsday2015 #virtualflower1
HealthTap member
Mar 31, 2015
Dr. Gourlay is an amazing doctor! #nationaldoctorsday2015 #virtualflower1
HealthTap member
It's not very deep and this happened 2 days ago. It looks much better today. I have a beach trip in 5 days & I kind of need it to be better. Thank you
HealthTap member
Thank you, your answer was very helpful! Thanks so much! Didn't realize this was common and not a major concer.
HealthTap member
Thank you! I hope I'll find a way to trust them. It's so difficult. (I've been inpatient already).

Education & Training

Medical/Graduate school

Rush Medical College, IL
Graduated 1998MD

Residency

University of California, San Diego

Awards

"Best Doctors in America" 2011-2014
Clinical Research Forum Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award, 2013
Top 20 Medical Professors in North Carolina Award, 2013

Affiliations

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions, provide medical advice, write prescriptions, and more.
Answer emailed
in 24 hours or less