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Dr. Margaret Gourlay

Family Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC
24 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 21-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Sinus CT: MD may order sinus CT to look for anatomical problems that may make breathing difficult, and to detect fluid accumulation in the sinus cavities that c... Read More
A 19-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Knuckle cracking: Although knuckle-cracking has never been shown to cause arthritis, it is possible to strain ligaments when you pull on the fingers so hard. The crack... Read More
A 20-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Nausea, belching: Nausea and belching can be caused by excess stomach acid production while someone takes Mobic (meloxicam). Taking Mobic (meloxicam) with food might h... Read More
A 20-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 18-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 16-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 56-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 24-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 31-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 26-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 17-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 23-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 33-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 24-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 26-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Mid-cycle bleeding: Mid-cycle spotting 2 weeks after your last period can be from ovulatory bleeding. If you are worried about pregnancy, you can do a pregnancy test. B... Read More
A 32-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 28-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 33-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 26-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 64-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 33-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Knee popping: Knee popping may be normal, but if it is accompanied by worsening pain or swelling, there is a concern for a tear in the knee cartilage. Torn cartila... Read More
A 28-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Very low LS T-score: A lumbar spine T-score of -6.0 is extremely low, but is difficult to interpret before menopause because the scoring system was designed for postmenopa... Read More
A 23-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 35-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Ingrown hair: The most concerning fever threshold is a temperature of 101.5 or more, but a temperature of 100.5 means we have to watch closely. When a temperature ... Read More
A 61-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 17-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 33-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 18-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 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
A 18-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Toenail injury: Healing depends on the size and depth of the injury, but it often takes more than 5 days. If you develop fever, if the entire toe swells more and get... Read More
A 20-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Brown discharge: Brown discharge about halfway between your periods can be normal mid-cycle ovulatory bleeding. When blood sits in the uterus for a while, it turns br... Read More
A 16-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Two periods: If the second "period" was mostly spotting halfway between two regular periods, this might just be ovulatory bleeding/spotting. But it's best to be s... Read More
A 28-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
LLQ pain: Pain in the left lower quadrant (lower belly on your left side) can be from constipation or food intolerance, more rarely from foodborne infection or ... Read More
A 68-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Carbs in oat bran: From a brief Web search, it looks like the content is similar, i.e., approximately 3 to 4 grams of carbohydrate per tablespoon. When you read the lab... Read More
A 19-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Sore throat: These are signs of a viral illness, which typically last 7 to 10 days. When someone feels this nauseated, they should focus on drinking at least eigh... Read More
A 36-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Ice cream: No. Eating ice-cream during periods won't hurt anything.
A 51-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Calcitonin : No, calcitonin is NOT an antihistamine. It is a medicine that has FDA approval for the treatment of osteoporosis (thin bones). It is a very weak med... Read More
A 52-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Shoulder numbness: This could be anything from a pinched nerve to a sign of a heart problem, so it won't be possible to give you advice online. If the numbness is a new... Read More
A 22-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Shots after dog bite: After a dog bite, a tetanus vaccine (toxoid) is given if the last vaccine was over 5 years ago. Some people also receive tetanus immunoglobulin and/o... Read More
A 17-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Ovariectomy: For a woman in her 40s, leaving in one of her ovaries is likely to help rather than cause problems. Menopause normally does not occur until about age... Read More
A 16-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Missed periods: You can miss periods from stress, weight changes or heavy exercise, but they should return when those conditions resolve. If you have missed your men... Read More
A 38-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Postnasal lump: No, cancer is not the only remaining cause of a post-nasal lump. Scarring or swelling from inflammation can cause this. It is very stressful to wait... Read More
A 18-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Sore throat: There's no way to tell unless you have a rapid strep test or throat culture (usually not needed). If symptoms resolve on their own in 7-10 days, it i... Read More
A female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
? Bartholin cyst: Lumps in this area must be watched carefully because they could be a Bartholin's cyst. When the duct to the Bartholin's gland is blocked, the cyst ca... Read More
A 24-year-old male asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
Dehydration: Yes, constipation is a sign of dehydration. Even if you are not vomiting, you are probably eating less due to nausea, and that can cause mild dehydra... Read More
A 17-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
IUD, recurrent yeast: Incompletely treated yeast is a common cause. If you used one-day or 3-day treatments before, try a 7-day course next time. Also, women will have int... Read More
A 43-year-old female asked:
Dr. Margaret Gourlay
Family Medicine 24 years experience
? R shoulder pain: If pain is associated with eating , it could be from a gall bladder (GB) problem. A fully blocked GB duct is a surgical emergency. A partially block... Read More

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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