I am a Functional Medicine Practitioner as well as a board certified Emergency Medicine Specialist who lives and practices in Western North Carolina. My clinical area of interest is in a general approach to assisting individuals obtain optimal health and wellness through a lifestyle approach.
The personal journey into Functional Medicine for me started with self-experimentation with diet and lifestyle modification to benefit my own health. I discovered how a simple dietary change could impact significantly on the way I felt, but also on many key markers of my health (labs, blood pressure, weight). I learned to become more in-tune with my own body and to recognize the connection between foods, sleep and stress with the way that I felt from day to day. By the performance of an elimination diet I came to discover several food sensitivities I never realized I had that had been contributing to symptoms for years. For most of my life I ate a Standard American Diet interspersed with periods of “healthy eating”, but over the previous decade I had switched to the healthy whole grains & low-fat dairy that I had learned and “been told” were healthy. This led only to increasing symptoms and fluctuations of weight that seemed to get worse over time, despite these traditionally recommended dietary and exercise approaches. As a result, I began researching deeper into the health benefits of an Ancestral/Paleo/Primal/Evolutionary dietary approach and their relationships to disease. What I discovered is that it takes much more than just a diet, but rather an entire lifestyle approach to achieve improvements in overall health and wellbeing. Diet is the foundation, the crux from which our body’s failure often begins, but it is just the beginning. It was during this time that I was introduced to Functional Medicine and decided to pursue a career and certification in this field.
My practice in emergency medicine exposes me to countless patients with chronic illnesses that are recurrent and progressive. I encounter individuals returning for the same conditions over and over despite the “best” treatments that conventional medicine has to offer. It is from these experiences that I became determined to seek out an alternative way of treating individuals with these conditions. My ability to do this in the emergency department is limited by time and clinical restraints. I have discovered that there is a better way that is far less harmful than the countless medications with their associated side effects to address these illnesses, and that is through Functional Medicine. Our office opened in January 2014 to do just that.
I have no desire to work in a conventional medical practice with a long white coat and prescription pad in hand. I do not wish to be dealing out diagnoses with their special codes attached. I cannot confine myself to a fixed practice that only serves to contribute to my own ill health and poor quality of life. My interest lies in providing education and imparting knowledge. To take what I have learned and pass it on to others so that they can benefit as well. Our healthcare system is broken: Costs are astronomical; Many of the available treatments are draconian and offer little in the way of cure. Humans have existed on this planet for long before there were physicians and our ancient ancestors managed to survive and thrive quite well. It seems that little thought is given to the fact that we have managed to survive for as long as we have as a species without the benefit of pharmaceuticals or advanced surgical techniques. Today, many can barely get through a week without taking some kind of medication, and most are on at least one daily. We have managed to create a toxic environment for ourselves, filled with stress and nutrient-poor foods. As a result, we become ill. There is a better way. While we cannot escape the world that we have created, we can make modifications within our individual lives that can counter-balance it. That is where I can offer you some assistance. I try to lead by example. I live what I preach. I cannot make recommendations for others that I feel are not suited for myself.
It is my belief that we are the compilation of every aspect of our lives – physical, emotional, and spiritual. The diseases that we develop result from imbalances within our physiology that begin pre-birth and progress throughout our entire lives. By addressing these factors we are able to modify the outcomes. The patients I have helped thus far have experienced transformations to their health and overall well being. With this has come the added benefit of improved appearance, sense of self-worth, and personal growth. So often we are told that our conditions are due to our genetics. This is not the case at all. Your genes are not your destiny. The choices you make throughout life impact on how your genes will be expressed. Genes can be turned on and they can be turned off. That is the power of lifestyle choices.
I have been utilizing a Functional Medicine approach for the past several years, identifying the root causes that have helped individuals to feel better and improve their lives. Medicine, as a whole, is very expensive. Prescriptions, procedures and hospitalizations all cost a lot of money and have become a significant burden on our society but this is often even greater for individuals and their families. The true cost to the individual that suffers with a disease is immeasurable in dollar amounts. The great news is that a lot can be accomplished for very little. I feel that your money is best spent on quality foods, gym membership, holistic treatments, counseling or other measures that will improve your quality of life and get you started on the path toward healing and wellness.
EMERGENCY MEDICINE SPECIALIST: Board certiﬁed in Emergency Medicine. Graduate from the Albert Einstein Emergency Medicine Residency Program in 2000 and obtained certiﬁcation in 2001. I presently work at Frye Regional Medical Center and am employed by Mountain Emergency Physicians. I am a Fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.
FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE: Presently in the certification track of the Institute for Functional Medicine.
METABOLIC & ANTI-AGING MEDICINE: Presently in certification track through the Metabolic Medicine Institute.
MEDICAL EDUCATION: Graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1996, obtained a D.O. degree. I am also trained in Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy.
UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: Undergraduate training from Kean University in Union, NJ where I graduated with a B.A. in Biology in 1992 with a minor focus in Psychology.
PRIMAL BLUEPRINT EXPERT CERTIFICATION: Completed January 2015