Wellness Connection MD

39- Welcome to Wellness Connection MD- Evidence-based Wellness Medicine.

December 29, 2023 James McMinn Episode 39
Wellness Connection MD
39- Welcome to Wellness Connection MD- Evidence-based Wellness Medicine.
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to the launch of the Wellness Connection MD podcast, where Dr. McMinn and Coach Lindsey become your partners on a quest for optimal wellness.  On our previous show, the Functional Medicine Podcast,  we discussed a wide variety of healthcare subjects, from a functional and integrative medicine point of view.   The purpose of this episode is to introduce ourselves to any new listeners under our new name.   We would also like to share with you our philosophy of healthcare and to explain to you why we take the approach that we do, and how we got here. 
      Our overall goal is to bring to you up-to-date, honest, vetted, unbiased, evidence-based information about health and wellness, along with practical solutions, in order to empower you to overcome your healthcare challenges, and to optimize your health in mind, body, and spirit. 
       However, as our population ages, and we are faced with evermore chronic diseases.  The disease- pill model is simply not working  for these individuals and for our society as a whole. Legions of patients with chronic diseases who are falling through the cracks of modern medicine.  These people are often  desperate to be heard, to be taken seriously, and to have their concerns adequately addressed.    Instead we should be focusing more on a preventive, lifestyle-based, functional, and integrative approach.   As a medical community we need to begin to "think different."  We need to remain evidence-based, while opening our minds to other viable therapies beyond drugs and surgery.  We also advocate that this shift in thinking be accompanied by a renaissance  of "loving kindness" in healthcare.  Providers and patients would all benefit.   
     We are hopeful for the future of health care.  When we first embarked on the path toward a more holist style of medicine, there were very few providers in our community who were like-minded. However, 17 years later we see that patients are blessed to have many options for integrative and functional healthcare.  In fact we see that many of our most esteemed healthcare institutions now have dedicated integrative or functional programs, such as Harvard, Duke, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Vanderbilt,  and UCSF.   Integrative and functional medicine are gaining credibility across the nation and around the world. Patients are demanding a different approach, and healthcare is listening.   We will all be better off for the change. 
     We hope that you will join us on this journey to optimal wellness on Wellness Connection MD.   Take care and be well.

 




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Intro speaker:

Welcome to the Wellness Connection. MD podcast with Dr McMinn and Coach Lindsey, where we bring you the latest, up-to-date, evidence-based information on a wide variety of health and wellness topics, along with practical take-home solutions. Dr McMinn is an integrated and functional MD, and Lindsey Matthews is a registered nurse and IIN certified health coach. Together, our goal is to help you optimize your health and wellness in mind, body and spirit. To see a list of all of our podcasts, visit wwwminnmdcom. And to stay up to date on the latest topics, be sure to subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast player so that you'll be notified when future episodes come out. The discussions continue. These podcasts for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of this information without approval from your personal doctor. And now on to the show with Dr McMinn and Coach Lindsey.

Dr. McMinn:

Welcome to the very first episode of Wellness Connection MD. This is Dr McMinn. I'm here with our certified health coach and registered nurse, Ms Lindsey Matthews.

Coach Lindsay:

Good morning Dr Matt, good morning listeners. We're excited to be with you this morning.

Dr. McMinn:

Although a Wellness Connection MD is new, coach Lindsey and I have been around for quite a while and we're not new to podcasting. For the past few years we've been doing a podcast called Functional Medicine Podcast and before that I did a podcast and a radio show called the Wellness Connection. If you're interested, we have many episodes on a wide variety of subjects relating to wellness medicine which are available to you for your listening pleasure. You can find those under the name Functional Medicine Podcast on your favorite podcast player or you can find them at our website. You just go there at minnmdcom and we'll have some options there for you to find on the podcast. The purpose of this particular episode is just to really introduce ourselves to those of you who may be new to us under this new banner and to share with you our philosophy on health and medicine and a bit about how we got here, in hopes that you might find it interesting and potentially helpful to you.

Coach Lindsay:

Let me get right to the point and summarize for you the purpose of our podcast, and it's worth noting that, although the name of the podcast is changing, the purpose is still the same. In summary, the reason that we do the podcast is to bring you honest, up-to-date, vetted, evidence-based, outcome-oriented, unbiased info, along with practical solutions in order to empower you to overcome your health care challenges and then, a step further, to optimize your health and well-being in mind, body and spirit. Dr Mack and I both went into medicine to help people, and our passion for doing so has really not faded over the years. We both feel blessed to use this platform in order to share with you this information, in the hopes that, in some way, we could help you overcome your health challenges and then, beyond that, become the very best version of yourself.

Dr. McMinn:

And the reason for the name change is to cast a wider net for potential interested listeners. While we remain dedicated to integrative and functional medicine and we'll explain more about that in just a bit it occurred to me that the majority of people are not familiar with the phrase functional medicine and don't even know what functional medicine is. So even though they might be interested in what we have to say and it might be helpful to them, they would not know to search for it. And even if they stumbled across it, since they don't know the name functional medicine, they probably would not realize its potential for their well-being.

Coach Lindsay:

We have been so blessed to see excellent growth in our listenership over the years and for our longtime listeners. We thank you so much for your support and we hope to continue to serve you. However, with the name change to wellness connection, MD wellness is really the term that more people are familiar with, and so with that change, we're hoping to reach an even wider audience of people who can benefit from this information that we have to share.

Dr. McMinn:

And for those of you who are new to us, let us tell just a bit about ourselves and also about functional and integrated medicine. On a personal note, I live in Birmingham, alabama, with my wife, dr Cheryl. You might hear us refer to Dr Cheryl from time to time, as she provides us with some words of wisdom now and then.

Coach Lindsay:

She has so much wisdom? Yeah, she does.

Dr. McMinn:

I hate to admit it, but she does, and I also have two amazing daughters and lots of hobbies and interests that keep me busy these days in retirement, one of which is podcasting Now, professionally, I retired from almost 40 years of clinical medicine. I was a board-certified MD physician and I worked first half of my career in what I call regular medicine. I got that term with my patients. They would say I saw my regular doctor, as opposed to your functional doctor.

Coach Lindsay:

That's right. That is what people say. They say regular doctor, right.

Dr. McMinn:

That's how I got that term regular medicine. You can substitute, I don't know, traditional Western medicine or whatever you want, but that's what I call it. But mainly worked in the emergency room and, to a lesser degree, in family practice and also as the medical director of a large medical clinic near Boston. However, for the past 16 years of my career I was totally dedicated to an integrative and functional approach to medicine at the McMinn Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. Throughout my career I also practiced in academic medicine, with appointments on the medical school faculties of Harvard University, Brown University and Michigan State University. I retired as an assistant professor at the UAB School of Medicine here in Birmingham.

Coach Lindsay:

And then, as for me, I'm a Kentucky girl, came to Alabama and graduated from Sanford with my bachelor's in nursing, and I've gotten to work several different settings in that with my nursing degree, both in and out of the hospital. And one day I walked into Dr Mack's office and asked for a job and thankfully he hired me on and so I got to work under you, dr Mack, and what a privilege it was, because you really took me on, mentored me and taught me so much. I feel like an adopted third daughter to you in many ways, and you really have inspired me in my life and helped me take things a step further in my career, became a health coach in your practice, so I'm so grateful for that. And then, just on a personal level, I've been married 12 years to my best friend, my better half, tyler, and we talk about him some on the podcast we have before. We've got two kiddos ages four and two, and right now one of my biggest passions is really helping our family navigate, learning to eat healthy and have those skills of how to take care of our bodies and live well in this busy modern world just finding simple ways to do that. And I also love being on this podcast with you, Dr Mack. What a privilege to share knowledge with our amazing listeners and listeners. Thank you for giving us this privilege of your ears and your time.

Dr. McMinn:

Thank you. And, by the way, one thing Lindsey didn't tell you she's a great Irish dancer. One time at a Christmas party I pulled out my fiddle and played a jig and Lindsey got busy and, oh my gosh, she was cutting the rug.

Intro speaker:

That was very fun.

Dr. McMinn:

Dancing a jig, and so she's really good at it, anyway, but we both come to the topic of health and medicine from a evidence-based, academic point of view. On our podcast, we will always do our homework and we'll always shoot straight with you. We will be open-minded, but we'll always be evidence-based and outcomes-oriented. We are not here to sell you anything or to promote any particular therapy or product. We're just all about promoting honest, unbiased, evidence-based information to help you optimize your health and well-being, and that's it. That's what we're all about, really.

Coach Lindsay:

If you want to learn more about us as individuals, check out our bios on McMinnMDcom on the home page, and also if you want to learn more about our practice philosophy, then a good place to start would be to check out the diagram called the Four Accesses of Care at McMinn Clinic, which you can find at the McMinnMDcom website. It's forward slash documents McMinnMDcom forward slash documents, and on that diagram you'll see that there are four foundations of care that we subscribe to, and let's talk about them.

Dr. McMinn:

Yeah, the first is functional medicine, which really means that we look for and treat the root cause of the problem. The second one is called integrated medicine, which means that we have developed and what I call an expanded toolbox of therapies to choose from beyond drugs and surgeries, in order to help our patients. And I would submit to Lindsay and let's get that issue unique vis-a-vis you're not going to find that with a regular doctor. This is what kind of separates us from, say, the average internist or family practice doctor.

Coach Lindsay:

Yes, exactly. And then the other two accesses advanced prevention, and that means that we try to look into our crystal ball, so to speak, and based on your personal history, family history, your clinical exam, your labs, any other workup, you get this very personalized way of assessing your risk factors and then we can put together a plan to avoid those risks from happening down the road. And then, even beyond that, we talk about optimization as that final access, and that means that we help you become the very best version of yourself. And I really think, dr McMinn, that the combination of all four of these is true healthcare. I would like to posit that everything else is more like sick care.

Dr. McMinn:

Right.

Coach Lindsay:

I want you guys to be the best version of yourself. It's not okay just to be okay or that's just part of growing old is maybe what a lot of people here at the doctor's office. So our goal is to help you experience vibrant living.

Dr. McMinn:

Yeah, over the years I've come convinced that this is what healthcare should be. I know I'm biased to people with regular doctors who would think of us as alternative, but to me this is what healthcare should be. But just as importantly, on the diagram you'll see that all of this is built on a foundation of what are called loving kindness. Now, coach and I both believe that the practice of medicine is the perfect medium for the expression of loving kindness. Quite frankly, I wish they would teach loving kindness as required course in medical school and nursing school. In fact, the world would be a better place if they started teaching in preschool and kindergarten for everybody. I think that we would have fewer wars, less fights, less divorces, less badness of all kinds. Overall, the world would be a better place to live in and would all be happier people.

Coach Lindsay:

An emphasis on loving kindness in our patient-provider interactions would make for more satisfied patients and it would also contribute to more satisfying careers for providers. Let's face it there's a lot of burnout in medicine, all throughout the ranks doctors, nurses, you name it. While there are many factors contributing to that burnout, such as, most recently, covid and everything that evolved with that, the electronic medical record, just requirements of insurance companies those are just a few of the obstacles. But a patient, day-to-day loving kindness approach when we're interacting with patients goes a long way in fostering a more meaningful and satisfying career as a provider. I hear about colleagues all the time who went through all the rigorous training who now want to get out of medicine altogether. They're just totally burnout and it's really sad to see that these are good people. Yeah big-spot-horses Nancy, when I hear that, yes, we really need more people in healthcare, and there's just all these reasons, but a personal focus on how I can bring loving kindness to the workplace and to every patient that I interact with. It has gone a long way in providing a more satisfying work day for myself, and I really believe that could as well be the case for others.

Dr. McMinn:

Lindsey, I can attest that you always brought loving kindness to the workplace with every patient interaction. I remember my sister, cindy, used to work at the clinic and she overheard you one day talking to a patient and she said something to the fact that if you were a patient it would be impossible to be angry with Lindsey. Anyway, that was her observation Back when I was in the emergency room as a provider, I could fall victim to what I call pervailing thinking that you got bed two as a knee injury, but it comes pretty boring after about the 10,000th of the injury. Instead, I can think of that as Mrs Jones in bed two who has a knee injury. She's not bed two, she's Mrs Jones. And there is a scared, vulnerable and helpless human being in bed two who happens to have an injury and is in a lot of pain, and I can take advantage of that opportunity to bring loving kindness to her in her most vulnerable time of need. It makes all the difference to her and if I take this approach, then when I go home at the end of the day I've had a much more rewarding and meaningful day knowing that I have not only helped her physically but also spiritually. I have brought light, hope and comfort to her in her greatest time of need. I connected with her as a human being. It's an awesome gift for her and it's really also a meaningful gift for me that I was in a position to do that for her as a provider.

Coach Lindsay:

And I think that just really points to the fact that we're more than just physical beings. There's more to us than that. Let's take a closer look at the term functional medicine, since this has been our focus for many years. As we see it, and as the Institute of Functional Medicine defines it, it's a holistic, biology-based approach to healthcare that focuses on the root cause of illness and disease. However, if you look at other sources, such as, maybe, wikipedia, they claim that it's a pseudoscience, quackery and maybe just a rebranding of terms like alternative and complementary.

Dr. McMinn:

Now, kocha, in my career I've really been on both sides of the fence. As I described earlier, I was a regular doctor for really most of my career, ashley, and that was before I became enlightened. Of course I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but there's also a bit of truth in that. I have come to view medical school and residency as an exercise in what I call indoctrination, or you might even say brainwashing. They force feed you into a philosophy or a belief system of medicine that's mainly grounded in drugs and surgery, and we've come out of that. We look at the world through what I call a narrow set of glasses, which are mainly drug glasses. Now, before I go on further, let me state unequivocally that this podcast it has never been and will not be about bashing what I call regular medicine. Quite frankly, regular medicine literally saved my life and has helped and saved the life of so many others. So big kudos to those doctors, nurses, mps, pas, lab techs or at least in everybody else who goes to work every day to help people. We're really grateful for those folks. But I'm just saying that in some cases, in order to get the best outcome with that patient, we have to, as Apple says, think different by looking for things like root cause and opening our minds to other treatment possibilities that we didn't learn in medical school or residency.

Coach Lindsay:

Let's imagine an eager young person who wants to go out into the world and help people in some medical capacity. And let's imagine further that we could clone that person into six different clones. So clone one becomes a surgeon, two becomes an internist, three an osteopath, a doctor, and four that one goes to chiropractic school, five goes to acupuncture school and clone six becomes a naturopathic doctor. So each clone spends a certain amount of time and training getting indoctrinated into a certain belief system.

Dr. McMinn:

Now let's imagine that we have a patient we'll just call her Mrs Smith and Mrs Smith has a problem. For instance, let's just use inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's or ulcerative colitis. And let's say that Mrs Smith makes a round to each of these highly trained, contentioned doctors with the exact same problem. When she goes to Dr Clone One, the surgeon, he's more likely to recommend that we cut out the disease section of the bowel, and that is his belief system. In which goes to clone number two, the internist, she's more likely to prescribe medications. That is the belief system she has learned and been taught.

Coach Lindsay:

And then clone three, the osteopath or the DO. They might use the same meds as the internist or they might say let's try a more holistic approach. That's their belief system. When she goes to clone four, the chiropractor, then she might suggest that it all comes from the spine. Mrs Smith is out of alignment. She needs an adjustment and that's her belief. That belief system.

Dr. McMinn:

And when Mrs Smith goes to a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, she's more likely to get acupuncture and maybe some Chinese herbs, and that is her belief system. And lastly, when Mrs Smith goes to the naturopathic doctor, then he's likely to recommend lifestyle changes, along with dietary changes and perhaps some supplements, and that is his belief system. So what we have here is six different recommended therapies, all for the exact same problem for the exact same patient. All these doctors are looking at the world through their own narrow set of glasses, and the prescription for those glasses was written by the training. And, quite frankly, each of these doctors would most likely have anecdotal stories of success with their approach with patients like Mrs Smith, but at the end of the day, their approach all boils down to their own belief system about healthcare.

Coach Lindsay:

The point of the exercise here is to illustrate that all providers are subject to their training, and so the undeniable fact of the matter is that, due to the tremendous influence of the pharmaceutical industry on medical science and on medical education, regular doctors, as we like to say, have been subjected to indoctrination which leads them to look at patients like Ms Smith through that narrow set of glasses, dr Mack, that you're describing, with a focus on drugs and surgery. So, for a particular patient, that may or may not be the best thing for them.

Dr. McMinn:

So, for instance, coach, I had a patient. A really nice lady came in her fifties. She came in for severe headaches and she has had these headaches for many years and has seen lots of regular doctors, including the chief of neurology at a major academic institution I won't name names and she got basically little to no relief from these folks and there was really no need for us to repeat all these other things that the other doctors had already tried and failed. So we reached into our expanded toolbox, which is once again integrative medicine, to look for other therapies and we tried acupuncture. This therapy has literally no potential for harm and it might help. We tried it and guess what, coach, it worked like a miracle. It was just amazing. The patient got completely relieved. She was thrilled, and so was I, and so here's an example of the power of integrative medicine, which is the expanded toolbox beyond drugs and surgeries in order to achieve optimal outcomes for patients. Once again, I think this should be the standard of health care for all providers. So why aren't we teaching these other tools in medicine? Because they can help our patients, and the reason is because it's not in our police system Now. I was subjected to the same training as all these other MDs, and I bought a hook line of sinker for many years as a student and resident and doctorate. You had to in order to survive and to not be ostracized and labeled a quack by your peers. My eyes began to open many years ago when I lived back up in Boston. I learned about a doctor by the name of David Eisenberg, md, who went to Harvard Medical School and then went to China for many years to study acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. He's now an assistant professor at Harvard and studies the impact of alternative therapies like nutrition on health outcomes.

Coach Lindsay:

Se. Consequently, we have seen some of the most esteemed medical centers around the country, such as Harvard, duke Mayo Clinic, johns Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinic, open dedicated centers for integrative and functional medicine. It's really exciting.

Dr. McMinn:

It is Zicochia, yeah, that's great. It is more Vanderbilt, UCSF. The list goes on and on. It's really amazing, yeah.

Coach Lindsay:

Yeah, and I think patients are looking for non-drug focused options in their medical care and they're tired of just adding on the pills, getting bigger pill boxes, and they're tired of high costs and, a lot of times, the added side effects that come with those types of therapies. Now the medical community is finally seeing the light and I really think things seem to be trending in a more positive direction, dr McMahon.

Dr. McMinn:

I do too. I do too. It's optimistic for sure. But I'll never forget the patient who came to see me, who was a generally unhealthy middle age, mildly obese guy. He was on a bunch of meds, including blood pressure meds, and he knew he was headed down the road to ruin. He was ready to make some changes in his life. He could see that the pills weren't working, he was not getting healthier and he knew he was going to die young. He's had a couple of kids at home and he just decided I want to try something else. And he was on a terrible Southern diet and so we just basically started with cutting out the low-lying fruit things like fast food, sodas and fried food, and we got to do some just moderate exercise like walking Before long. Guess what? He was losing weight, started feeling better than he had in years and his blood pressure started coming down coached Amazing. So he basically got him off all his blood pressure medicines. So he actually went back to the doctor who got him on all those pills and he thought that the doctor would be really proud of him for the weight loss and all the changes. But instead the doctor told him to get off that crap. Of course, the crap being good diet and exercise and then all that doctor mixed up was a much quackery. I'm not going to argue with the doctor, but I just told the patient to listen to his own heart and he could be the judge. And wisely, the patient stuck with the McMinn program.

Coach Lindsay:

I'm glad that he had a really positive outcome. I hate that the other doctor was just so turned off of things he couldn't see the good that was happening in front of him.

Dr. McMinn:

I was out to dinner with some folks just the other night and Lindsay and you hear this story over and over again the guy had some blood pressure and his doctor wanted to go up on his medicine. He just got some exercise and changed his diet a little bit, lost a little bit of weight and guess what, instead of going up on his meds, he got off his meds completely. I just think that we got to get away from this symptom till stuff and we have to empower patients to embrace lifestyle changes and so that they don't have to get on all these meds with all the cost and all the side effects. Anyway, I'm ranting about this, coach, forgive me.

Coach Lindsay:

I think that comes from a place of passion. And so you've. Through the years, you saw so many folks that were needing help and just not seeing what they needed to see from the regular model of medicine, and I can honestly say that through the years of working with you, almost everyone got better with an integrative, functional, lifestyle-based approach and sometimes like just flip the switch, stay a night better. When we first started, coming from traditional, regular medical background, the outcomes almost seemed too good to be true. Really, we would come in with multiple complaints and then they'd come back and say everything was better. It was just amazing. Yup, it's thrilling.

Dr. McMinn:

Yeah, it is. Sometimes I'll go back and look at the original note and it goes on and on with listed complaints. So you get them on a program and you address all these complaints and they come back and you go through them one by one. Everything's better. And I would often ask the question. I say, okay, if I could wave a magic wand and make you perfect in my body spirit, what would I do? Now they say, I'm there and to go from being so miserable to feeling optimized, that's just so powerful. And these people had good doctors, lindsay. They had good internals, good family practice doctors, good specialists, but they were taking the time to listen and they weren't conducting the dots. Each of these doctors works in their own silo and they have a very limited amount of tools in their toolbox. Drug surgery anyway. It was really rewarding. In fact I was thinking about it. If I'm a regular doctor and somebody told me you could have these kinds of outcomes, I would not have believed it. It's too good to be true, but I saw it with my own eyes. When it first started happening I said it can't be true. But then you see it over and over again and then you realize oh my gosh, this stuff is really powerful medicine, and if it sounds like you and I are just discredited, cast off from regular medicine, quite the opposite is true, in fact. We're grateful for regular medicine and at the same time, we're full of hope for a brighter future. We see organizations like the Institute of Functional Medicine growing in leaps and bounds, and when I would go to their conferences, there will be thousands of medical providers from all walks of life who were there to once again find joy in meeting in the practice of medicine.

Coach Lindsay:

It always amazes me that we even talk about things like nutrition or exercise as alternative medicine. What could be more fundamental to our health and how we feed our bodies and how we move them? That's not alternative. It's really a foundation of wellness.

Dr. McMinn:

Coach, let me go back a little bit. You talked about the day you showed up at my clinic in Aspergera. Why? Did you seek out my clinic. Why didn't you just go to some other Jochmo internist in Aspergera? And by working at my clinic did you also find a new sort of joy in medicine that you had not found in regular medicine.

Coach Lindsay:

Oh, absolutely. I sought you out, dr Matt, because I wanted to be a part of healthcare, true healthcare. Like I mentioned earlier, I didn't True healthcare exactly. I didn't want to be part of the disease model. There just weren't a lot of positions in a regular hospital setting that I felt like I would be contributing towards a positive change. I think there, like we've mentioned before, there's so many wonderful things about modern medicine. I just think about people that have trauma and they need a car accident or whatever and they need immediate medical help. They need drugs, they need infusions, they need so many things to preserve their life. But for the majority of people out there, we're not experiencing trauma. Most people are experiencing chronic health issues and I believe that one of the best answers for those chronic health issues is lifestyle medicine. And so I really wanted to be a part of that change, and that's why I sought you out. You were one of the few in the Birmingham community who was moving in that direction, and so I, in desperation, marched over with my resume in hand, and I was so grateful you took me in.

Dr. McMinn:

The chat through to Lindsay is even to this day, many medical students get little to no training in the important fundamentals of health like nutrition, and I talk to these students and a lot of them really want to learn more, but the higher ups, for some reason, have determined it's just not important enough for these students to spend time on it. As a result, due to the outside's influence of the pharmaceutical industry, these students come out of their training with this symptom pill, disease pill approach to medicine. So, for instance, as a provider, when you hear something like a urinary tract infection, the very first thing that pops in your mind is something like Bactrum or Cipro or some other antibiotic, and you get into this mindset of symptom pill or disease pill. You're trained to think that way. Basically arthritis, motr, gastric upset, let's get them on a cryo-set, right, and that's the way doctors think. Unfortunately, that's still back to the UTI though. For instance, I had pretty good luck treating mild UTIs with a natural therapy like D-menos, but I guarantee you those medical students will never hear of D-menos because it's not a drug and it's not in their belief system.

Coach Lindsay:

And Dr Whitman, I would say I think the majority of people that get into healthcare have the best of intentions and they're practicing With the knowledge that they've been given and they're doing that to the the best of their ability and, like I, like we have both said so many times, there is a time and a place for those things, but we just believe in a more expanded toolbox for right, just abundant living and for true full health.

Dr. McMinn:

Yeah, you're absolutely right, coach, and I was there too, and when I opened up my practice, I was a regular doctor, but it was this parade of people coming in who were miserable. They were desperate and they would tell me Dr, you're my last hope. And they had the doctors and they were on the appropriate medications, and I really think there's something else going on here. And so that's when I got busy and really started working on Expanding my toolbox and trying to be a better listener and taking these people seriously, anyway, again I start preaching. Sorry about that.

Coach Lindsay:

No, it's good, it's good. We are grateful for your story, dr Mac. It's affected so many, including myself and my husband's. But just a circle back and make sure we've Concluded what we've been saying here. Most doctors get their information from two major sources medical journals and then drug reps. And it goes without saying that the drug reps are biased Towards a drug approach. They, that's their job.

Dr. McMinn:

Some doctors offices I have known have actually had lunch served to the entire staff every single day by the drug reps. I Invite you just to sit in the office of, or the waiting room with some of these cardiologists, rheumatologists, some day and watch the parade of drug reps that come through and you cannot tell me that it doesn't influence the drugs that these guys are prescribing. Well, in fact, the studies have shown that it does influence these doctors and of course, that's why the drug companies do it.

Coach Lindsay:

What's made it even worse is the direct to the consumer advertising. We see tons of ads for things like the purple pill that people can get over the counter for reflux, or they say, ask your doctor about this bill. But they never say ask your doctor about why you got the problem in the first place, or Ask your doctor about exercise in a diet program that could work well for you. They just they and then beyond that they minimize the potential risks or downsides of taking the drugs. They're just said in the little litany or typed in small print at the end of the commercial.

Dr. McMinn:

Including death. They show these like happy people and doing fun things, and then they're quiet, fast boys, they say death Um yes, it's ironic and sad really. Yeah. So let's take a brief look at the other major source of information for doctors, that is, medical journals. This is really interesting to me, coach. There's a guy in Richard Horton H, or to win, it was the editor of the Lancet, which is one of the top four medical journals in the world, and he once wrote that, quote journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry. In quote I'm gonna repeat that, coach, this is profound. Here's the editor of the Lancet who wrote that journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry. Interesting now, then it was a doctor named Marsha Angel, who was the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, which most consider the top medical journal in the world, as she wrote an article entitled drug companies and doctors a Story of corruption. In the article she stated the following Conflicts of interest and biases exist in virtually every field of medicine, particularly in those that rely heavily on drugs or devices. It is simply no longer possible to believe Much of the clinical research that is published or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians and authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, and I reached it slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor for the New England Journal of Medicine.

Coach Lindsay:

Wow, isn't that so pretty righty yeah.

Dr. McMinn:

Yeah, that's. That's pretty amazing. Her comment about Authoritative medical guidelines probably stems from the fact that many, if and sometimes most, of the experts on the committees who Establish the guidelines often have direct financial conflicts of interest with the drug companies, which are often not disclosed. It's really deceitful, lindsay. Even though Dr Angel says you can't trust the guidelines, often doctors are browbeaten into following the guidelines and they are downgraded if they don't. In some cases, their salary is cut if they don't follow the the bogus guidelines. Interesting.

Coach Lindsay:

And also, in many instances, the researchers that put out the science that doctors based their decisions on are often in cahoots with the drug companies. The researchers helped to design the studies to make the drug look good, or they editorialize the study to package it so that it sounds like the drug is better than it really is. There are many kind of dirty tricks that they used to do this, and maybe we can do a separate podcast on these dirty tricks One of these days. Dr Mac in the journal nature, which is one of the top science journals in the world, in article from July of 23. They stated medicine is plagued by untrustworthy clinical trials. Investigation suggests that in some fields, at least one quarter of clinical trials might be problematic or even entirely made up.

Dr. McMinn:

Isn't that amazing, coach. Yeah, we have scientific journals and the articles are entirely made up. Oh my gosh.

Coach Lindsay:

I think following the money. Yeah, it's something that we have to do. It's medicines, and science is dirty little secret.

Dr. McMinn:

Yeah, there was a guy here at UAB, one of the professors. He was getting a half a million dollars every single year from the drug companies to do these studies and tell me that one skin doesn't influence it. But let me be clear, coach I am a scientist at heart and I have great respect for science and scientists, but this is a sort of dirty laundry that bastardizes what we call medical science, and it makes the drug companies and their co-conspirators richer to the tune of billions of dollars, while at the same time driving up the cost of health care, and I would submit that it directly is harming patients by stirring them down a certain drug path when in fact, a different therapy Would be better for the patient. It's painful to watch this dirty laundry of public, but I think we need to acknowledge it so we can move on to what I call Honest medicine, and that's what we're going to try to provide here. Coaches honest, unbiased medicine.

Coach Lindsay:

Yes, the doctors who get caught up in this as prescribers have unwittingly become drug pushers for the pharmaceutical industry. So on top of that, there's about $370 million that are spent lobbying the federal government by the pharmaceutical industry in the US each year, so that our congressmen and women will protect the huge profit margins on these drugs by gouging the public.

Dr. McMinn:

And, by the way, coach, the pharmaceutical industry brought in $1.5 trillion in 2022. Oh my gosh, that's a huge amount of money. So again, let me be clear although it may sound like it, I'm really not anti-drug altogether Drugs are a very important tool or toolbox, and I use them every day in my practice. I'm just asking for honest medicine, where the provider can get real science, accurate information about the drugs and other therapies as well, so he or she can act as an unbiased advocate, always in the best interest of the patient, not of the drug company and not of the insurance company.

Coach Lindsay:

As we grew the clinic, taking all of the above into account, we also realized that there were many people who were falling through the cracks of modern medicine and for whom the symptom pill approach was inappropriate or just didn't work. Often these were the folks who, through no fault of their own, were stricken with things like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases or dysautonomia, like my husband Tyler. Modern medicine is fantastic for things like trauma or if you're having a heart attack, but most doctors don't have any idea how to treat things like dysautonomia. We found that many of these patients were not being taken seriously. Some were actually gaslighted or even labeled as being malingering or drug seekers by the very doctors who they had trusted and who they went to for help. We also found that women's issues were often not being taken seriously or adequately addressed.

Dr. McMinn:

When I started seeing these patients coach, they often told me that I was their last hope. It became clear to me that modern medicine was not working for these patients. This was an eye-opener for me, since I had always thought of modern medicine as the latest, greatest end-all, be-all medicine. I was in the regular medicine tribe, but this was my period of enlightenment. I knew I needed to open my mind as a doctor and to find other and better ways to help these patients. However, my training would not allow me to stray into quackery, so my motto became to be open-minded, but always to be skeptical. I always was willing to work hard to learn new therapies beyond drugs and surgery and to add new things to my toolbox. My radar screen was always up for BS. Believe me, there's a lot of BS out there. Sadly, there are a lot of providers out there who will take advantage of desperate patients. Ultimately, when a patient presented to me, the question was no longer what drug can I put them on, but instead the questions became why does the patient have the problem, and what course of therapies bar none which may include drugs Does this patient need in order to help the patient achieve his or her optimal outcome?

Coach Lindsay:

Even though drugs were in our toolbox most often than not, we found that drugs were not always the best answer. As we have stated in previous podcasts, the most powerful medicine on earth is lifestyle medicine Getting people to change their diet, reduce stress, get restorative sleep, regular exercise, find emotional wellness, optimize their gut health, reduce toxins and find optimal hormonal balance. Those things were, in most cases, the keys to better health and often came with a really dramatic turnaround. Coach.

Dr. McMinn:

I think that pretty much explains who we are and where we're coming from and how we got there. I hope this is something that interests you and perhaps in the future we can be a steady and reliable source of information for you on topics that are relevant to you.

Coach Lindsay:

We're getting the podcast out about once a month these days, so if our podcast sounds like something you might enjoy listening to, then please subscribe, follow and hit the notification button so you'll be notified when future episodes come out.

Dr. McMinn:

Don't forget to check us out at McMenMDcom. You'll find lots of great information there. Also, please help us grow the podcast by telling your friends and family about us. You can always reach me at men that's the spelldoctor McMenMCMIN at yahoocom. I'd love to hear from you. For those of you who are new to the show, one of my favorite highlights of the show is the coach, lindsay Pearl of Wisdom. She's so full of wisdom. Anyway, we always finish the show with this and so, coach, it's time. What's your Pearl wisdom today?

Coach Lindsay:

Thanks, Dr Mac. I'll share this and it comes from one of my most favorite doctors. He always says you are the captain of your ship, Dr Mac.

Dr. McMinn:

That's right.

Coach Lindsay:

It's listeners. It's so true, and what we mean by this is that your health is your gift, it's your talent, it's your garden to tend. You get to advocate for it, listen to you and take care of your body. So gather your healthcare team, gather information, make informed decisions, and that's really our goal with this podcast. That's to empower you in this, to be the captain of your own ship and to make those best choices for your health, from dealing with the root causes of illness to advanced prevention and then, even further, to optimization and thriving. Being the best. You are the captain of your health ship listeners.

Dr. McMinn:

There we go. That's so funny. You mentioned that, coach. I remember a patient I had years ago. He was a guy and he just made this amazing turn around recovery let's give him a lifestyle medicine. And I asked him. I said how did you do it? He reminded me. He said, doctor, when I came to see you a couple of years ago, you got out a piece of paper and you drew a picture of the ship and you actually put me there in the captaincy and you said that I, dr McMinn, was his co-pilot and I drew the picture of the ship heading in certain and I drew an iceberg in front of it. I said, michael, if you don't change courses, you're going to hit the side Right, but you're the captain, you can steer right, you can steer left, you can change it. And certainly I think that got through to him drawing that on the piece of paper. That got through to him like no other doctor ever had and got him to change his ways and he's a much healthier guy because of it. So anyway, thank you for sharing that, coach. That'll about wrap it up and thank you so much for listening to Wellness Connection MD. This is Dr McMinn.

Coach Lindsay:

And this is Coach Lindsay.

Dr. McMinn:

Take care and be well.

Introduction to Wellness Connection MD Podcast
Medical Training's Impact on Patient Care
Challenges and Biases in Modern Medicine
Honest Medicine and Untrustworthy Clinical Trials
Impactful Doctor-Patient Moment