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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!).

            We 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 almost always 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 LDA - 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.

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Copyright 2005 Santa Fe Center for Allergy and Environmental Medicine
Last modified: December 1, 2013