My Philosophy: Treating the Causes of the Problem
After I completed a rotating internship
and my surgical residency in Honolulu, Hawaii (1975), I began general
surgery and family practice with the Hamakua Plantation on the island of
Hawaii. Plantation medicine was basically an early form of what we now
know as HMOs. As physicians (there were four of us) we were paid a
salary to treat the plantation workers (I recall there were about 3000)
and their families, no matter what their problem. The workers did
not have to pay for their office visits or medications, since medical care
was a "free" benefit (no doubt one reason American sugar was so
expensive compared to the foreign stuff!).
did everything from treating infants with "colds"
to delivering babies, to removing thyroid glands. Complex patients were
referred to either Hilo or Honolulu, but like HMO's today, the
plantation wanted to save as much money as possible, so we were
discouraged from referring patients when we could possibly handle the
problem ourselves. This meant we usually treated most problems
ourselves, and it was definitely a trial-by-fire way to learn how to
practice medicine. When I look back, I realize that I treated an amazing variety of
illnesses during the 10 years I practiced at the plantation, and I became
quite adept in diagnosing and treating many, many illness.
However, the problem with that type of
practice - and one of several problems with HMOs today - was
that it wasn't uncommon for us to see 60 patients a day. That boils
down to about 8 patients an hour. At the rate of a patient every 7-1/2
minutes, there simply was no time to take an involved history and look
hard into the reasons patients were ill. So we usually gave them
drugs. If a patient left without getting one or more drugs from the
doctor - and free drugs at that - most felt they were getting
short-changed, and would even go see one of the other doctors to get "their antibiotic".
After a time of practicing that style
of medicine, I realized that something was missing, and I found I
needed to take longer and longer with many patients to try to discover
why they were ill. Over time, I learned that there were
reasons why patients were ill, and to adequately treat an illness, it
usually required dealing with those underlying reasons, rather than
just giving drugs for the illness itself. Is it rational to just hand out potent drugs
for adult-onset diabetes when the patient is ill only because they
are overweight and eat poorly?
So I evolved into a physician looking
for answers, and that explains much of my practice over the past 30
years. Finding and treating the causes for illness is far more rewarding than simply
treating the disease itself with dead-end drugs that only partially
control the symptoms. These drugs often only minimally - if at all - prevent the
progression of disease.
My philosophy evolved to the
treatment of illness by addressing the causes of illness whenever
possible. Although autoimmune disease is a profound mystery to many, it is becoming clear that there are indeed causes you can find our about. If you treat those, the patient gets better. This sometimes means treating many facets of illness, such as diet,
nutrition, intestinal health, hormonal issues and others. That's what Environmental Medicine is.
I also discovered a growing interest in
all types of allergy during my early years of practice, partly trying to
find a successful treatment for my own food and chemical problems, and
finally discovered EPD (enzyme potentiated desensitization), a
remarkable treatment for allergies of all kinds, in 1990. In 1992, I
began the North American EPD Study - another approach to finding answers
- the results of that study are posted elsewhere on this site.
EPD (now evolved into
short for ultra low dose enzyme enhanced immunotherapy) makes treatment a whole lot easier. My
practice is now focused on LDA immunotherapy, nutritional therapy and
all of the aspects of illness those treatments involve. Autoimmune diseases are now not as difficult to treat as you might imagine.