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Integrative Alternative "Doctor"

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Osteopathic [ DO ]' started by heroes31, 04.01.11.

  1. heroes31

    heroes31

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    Not sure if this is the correct place to post but I wanted some advice from the SDN community.
    I just recently went to this doctor's office in NYC with my wife because she suffers from very bad IBS. He claims to be an internal medicine specialist and an integrative alternative doctor and is supposedly an expert in IBS. During the visit he made all these claims that food allergies were the cause of IBS and that a yeast "Candida" was in her intestine causing all her symptoms. He tried to convince us to carry out allergy tests, another test where my wife would swallow a pill that would read her pH throughout her GI and transmit it to a belt she would wear (Heidelberg test), and in total everything would probably cost over $3000. There were other 'fishy' things as well like claiming she had thrust on her tongue which I believe is not true and other weird claims like her needing to go on an "alkaline diet" which consisted almost entirely of proteins to suppress the yeast and make her body more alkaline. He also tried to sell us hundreds of dollars worth of vitamins and herbs. Anyways after we got back I did research and realized there is very little to no research on anything that he said (also zero publications from him on pubmed) and on top of that he is not board certified in any field according to the Dept of Health in NY(despite his secretaries claiming he was). Also he claims to have graduated from the Medical College of Pennsylvania (and the Dept of Health also records this and that he did an internal medicine residency at Coney Island Hospital) but on his linkedin page he claims he got his MD from Cincinnati.
    My reason for posting this is because although I told him not to perform the tests he still wants his consultation fee which is a few hundred dollars. I feel like he misrepresented himself and I shouldn't have to pay. Also I am concerned that maybe he didn't really graduate from medical school and is using a fake MD. Is there any way I can check if his MD is legitimate and who could I report him to if it is in fact illegitimate.
    Sorry for the long post but it has been a very stressful couple of days and I was hoping the SDN community may be able to give some advice. Thanks!!!
  2. nardini46

    nardini46 OMS IV

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    Sounds fishy. Get a 2nd opinion from another doc.
  3. heroes31

    heroes31

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    We were already going to a GI specialist at a reputable hospital in the city but because my wife was still suffering and he claimed to be an expert I figured whats the harm in seeing him. I already told his office I will not be coming back and not to perform any tests. They said ok but they still want their consultation fee.
  4. OzelloPiRat

    OzelloPiRat

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    Was the consultation feea known factor up front? If so, you will prob have to pay. As for the licensing, look at your state medical board or give them a call. They may be interested in this case, even if he is legit. There is a Doc here that uses the Candida diet with his pts, but it's green veggies and fish. He also uses other alternative methods that seem to help, but has never charged anything outside of a normal copay. I hope you get some answers and I hope your wife finds relief.
  5. heroes31

    heroes31

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    Thanks for your kind words.
    I'm actually going to put in a request through the company that Drexel University (Medical College of Pennsylvania became Drexel) uses to verify degrees for prospective employers who want to check credentials. I'm curious to see what I will get.
    Last edited: 04.01.11
  6. MedicineMike

    MedicineMike MS4

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    I am an analyst for a medical school and have access to many databases where I can look him up. If you want to PM me his name I can try to look him up through the Penn and Cincy classes.
  7. Old Grunt

    Old Grunt 2000 yard stare

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    I'd be suspicious of this as well, unless your wife is significantly immunsupressed. Candida tends to cause skin infections primarily and candidiasis doesn't typically manifest in healthy patients. You should be able to look at your wife's tongue to see if she has oral thrush. You don't need an expert to tell you that. Just grab a tongue blade and look.

    On searching pubmed and open source, most of the candida/IBS connections are made by holistic medicine practitioners. There doesn't seem to be much evidence behind it. Even if that were the case, why not just treat it with fluconazole?

    I think the most telling was the "ask.com" piece written by a lay person:


    http://ibdcrohns.about.com/bio/Amber-J-Tresca-8403.htm


    The evidence is clear if you want to go with anecdotal evidence. We tend to have a higher standard than that though.



    Someone more knowledgeable on the matter can feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

    I think you were smart to skip out on the absurd $3K work up. As for the consult, I'd just pay the man and chalk it up to a lesson learned. Whether he's legit or not, he did provide a service to you at your request.
  8. facetguy

    facetguy

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    Regarding the licensure issue, I'd check it but it's unlikely he's a fake MD. Assuming that checks out, you're stuck paying the consult fee, unless he expressly stated that visit was "free".

    IBS is a condition that medicine doesn't always do well with. Consequently, there are no shortage of 'alternative' treatments out there. I do think that ruling out food sensitivities/allergies is valid, especially once a patient has gone through all the traditional evaluation and treatments. The testing for food allergies is getting better but isn't always perfect. You wife is best off trying an elimination diet which, although it involves more effort on her part, usually yields more useful information.

    Candida in this scenario is usually not taken seriously by most MDs. However, there is a lot of emerging understanding of the role of gut miicroflora in disorders like IBS. You would do well to read up on creating a good gut environment for which to cultivate the "good bugs" and discourage the "bad bugs", Candida included. Dietary changes are one part of that, as I think the NYC doc was suggesting.

    Cases like your wife's can be challenging, and will likely take time and patience. Don't look for a magic bullet because you'll probably be disappointed. Having said that, there are some supplements that can legitimately be helpful, so don't completely give up on them.

    Good luck.
  9. heroes31

    heroes31

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    Thanks for the advice. My wife has started the allign probiotic and we are trying to limit sugars and chocalate and increase soluble fiber for now.
    As for the doc I haven't really been able to certify 100% if he's a real MD. Its very difficult to do so. My suspicion from hours of investigating and the help of MedicineMike is that he is probably an MD but something probably happened in his IM residency that he was forced to go straight to alternative medicine. Thanks

    Oh and one more thing he said which I thought was weird is that he has a special more sensitive test for gluten intolerance that most doctors don't do and that in just the past week he detected 70 people with gluten intolerance that previously were told by "traditioanl doctors" they did not have the intolerance.
    Last edited: 04.01.11
  10. OzelloPiRat

    OzelloPiRat

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    70? Wow! What is this country coming to? Lol. Anyways, I was given one of those gluten intol tests. Turns out it was not gluten but WAS Candida, in my blood. That was dx by an immunologist. The swimmers and greens diet did wonders, and I healed fast. The other Doc wanted me to take everything under the sun and more tests. I am very grateful for my DO friend that pointed me to the immune guy. It does take time to find the right person and the right combo. Thanks MedicineMike for being such a great advocate.

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