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After more than three decades practicing medicine, I started Dignity Integrative based on a simple belief — that promoting health and wellness has to be a partnership. I approach you with dignity as an individual, and you partner with me on a plan to ensure a long and healthful life.
The traditional medical system is good at treating symptoms of disease once they become a problem, but less so at addressing the whole person and root cause. I should know — I started my career as an emergency physician in one of the busiest emergency departments in Maryland, Shady Grove Hospital in Rockville. From there I founded and led a regional physicians group that cared for 500,000 patients a year in multiple states, before becoming part of a group that treats 6 million patients a year in the US.
Throughout that time I strove to put our company’s values front and center, and continued to care for patients, often when they were having one of the worst days of their life. I loved taking care of people, then as now. In the emergency department, there is an open door regardless of ability to pay, and regardless of race, status or gender. That is something in which I always took great pride. Indeed, it is what attracted me to the specialty.
Yet even as I strove to see and treat each person with dignity, I learned that, even despite the best intentions, doing so can prove difficult within the context of traditional institutions and incentives. Over my career, I have witnessed first-hand the rise of pervasive chronic and preventable disease — and the failure of traditional medicine to address the social and psychiatric disorders of anxiety, depression, and isolation. I have also witnessed the scourge of opioid abuse, encouraged by the outmoded concept that opioids were the preferred strategy for treating any and all pain.
After practicing emergency medicine and being at the front door for the nation’s social safety net for so long, I began to wonder: was there a better way to take care of these conditions?
I have always been interested in personal health, eating well and continuing to stay physically active, even participating in triathlons in my 50s. Then, ten years ago, my wife, Amy, gave birth to our youngest son. After he was born, Amy was beset with medical issues she’d never experienced before, including joint pain and profound fatigue. Several traditional doctors told her she was simply an “old mom,” and needed rest — but it was a nutritionist who finally suggested she might have developed celiac disease as a result of the late in life pregnancy. Amy laughed. But, she followed the nutritionist’s suggestion, experimenting with going gluten free. Within six weeks the symptoms had disappeared.
I realized that integrative medicine, and particularly a focus on nutrition, sleep, daily movement, and mental resilience, provided the framework for addressing the root causes of the symptoms of chronic disease. And, I decided it was time to go back to school, completing a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine through the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine in San Diego.
Now as a doctor of integrative medicine, I have built a practice which addresses each individual with dignity. My practice is a partnership. I do not have all the answers, but I believe that by respecting each other as whole individuals we can find the right path to individual health, wellness and longevity.
Read about Our Process here.