(This letter will update my established patients and give a bit of my background for potential and new patients. It will give everyone a snapshot of my journey, as well as allow patients seeking care to explore the possibilities of their own journey to true health and wellness)
Welcome to Good Medicine Colorado, My New Home Base
I could not do it. Just couldn’t. I have been out of patient care for over 18 months, and I miss it. It’s a part of my life I cannot do without. There are plenty of good reasons I was missing in action for 18 months, including moving with my family halfway across the country. After settling the house and this long hiatus from practicing, I feel once again called to see and treat patients. I wear many hats, but this is my true and favorite calling: being a doctor.
When I started practicing medicine in 2001, I was a year removed from my Chief Resident position in Family Medicine at Miami Valley Hospital and had spent that year working in the Emergency Room to get enough money to start my first practice. This practice eventually evolved into an eight-provider practice where we practiced traditional medicine, and I hated it. I saw 30-35 patients a day and felt like the monkey for the organ grinder. I was herding people through like cattle, and if testing and prescriptions did not fix them, I would send them on to the specialist to do their bazillion tests and procedures and get lost in the system. The system seemed to like me being a “monkey” as everybody in that system, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, and insurance won, but the patients and I lost big time. I lost because what I went to medical school to do—heal people—seemed like a pipe dream. The patients lost because they were dependent on medications, testing, and specialists and were never empowered to understand their health or ways to stay healthy. They were taught to believe disease was inevitable, and only the above-described system could help them. I felt helpless in the traditional approach, the very opposite of what I expected to feel as a doctor.
I took various routes to try to feel useful outside of patient care, such as consulting with hospitals and office buildings, thinking business was better than feeling ineffective at the office. Plainly, I was looking at a severe case of burnout. Then, my world got turned upside down, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
My son was four years old and was still not speaking. He was finally diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, and no, not by me. You see, denial is not just for everyone else but was where I lived for those four years because if he was on the spectrum, there was nothing to do but lots of therapy and hope for the best. With this diagnosis of the “untreatable” autism as a wake-up call and help from a chiropractic friend, I understood there was a way to view the human body as a connected whole. The term “untreatable” is applied to that which we don’t understand fully. I started exploring Functional Medicine as a way to understand these connections.
Finally, I understood why I went to medical school: to search for root causes of disease to implement true healing. My son started speaking full sentences 24 hours after changing his diet. There are tears in my eyes as I write this, for there is no greater love than a parent has for his child. I realized that many parents and patients were feeling helpless too. It was evident that I could not use my previous techniques, so I struck out on my own and started my Functional Medicine practice.
I started anew in a 900 square foot office in a small town with the “Field of Dreams” mantra playing in my head, “If you build it, they will come,” as it was not considered by some as the “ideal” location. However, I felt the “ideal” spot to be where there are people who need care, small town, or no. Guess what? People came, and I was busy. My practice evolved over the next 11 years, and had to get a bigger place in Oxford, Ohio. During that time, I became advanced certified in Functional Medicine and created a genetic platform, Pure Genomics. This platform allows people to understand another piece of their medical puzzle, genetics, for free. That project was in partnership with Atrium Innovations Pro Brands, a professional supplement brand, and they eventually made me their Chief Medical Advisor. With this position came more responsibilities. I was having a hard time juggling patient care and creating a vision of reaching even more people with Functional Medicine in my new role as Chief Medical Adviser, and I decided to take some time off and regroup.
Over the last 18 months, I have worked with others in my field on some fantastic projects that will help educate medical students and residents in functional medicine, along with creating an even more robust personalization platform with Pure Genomics. Now, I have decided to come back to my true calling, seeing patients.
I am super excited about my new practice in Palmer Lake, Colorado, where three other Certified Functional Medicine practitioners will join me. I look forward to applying all the things I have learned over these many years to help my patients/friends and support my patients in Ohio and my community in Colorado.