Author Archives: Nathalie Gedeon

Member of the Month: Christopher Campbell, DO

A4M valued member Christopher Campbell, DO, FMNM, ABAARM shares insight from his professional experience in this Member of the Month feature. 

Q1: Before joining A4M, what was your medical background?

After completing a Family Practice residency, I joined the Air Force. Having gone through medical school and residency on my own, I had some leverage to go into a Flight Surgery program, which is what I did. The Air Force trained me in Aerospace Medicine and Allergy Medicine. Shortly after that training was completed, I became “Chief of Flight Surgery” at Edwards AFB in Southern California. As exciting and fun as my time in the Air Force was, when my three years were up, I had to get out into the “real world” and start paying back my student loans.

I moved to Northern California and focused on raising my two boys and my Family Practice. One day, about twelve years ago, I had a female patient come in asking about “Bioidentical Hormones”. She was going through menopause and was reading one of Suzanne Sommers books. She was full of questions. Questions, I had no idea how to answer. However, this patient was very intelligent and piqued my interest. And, it wasn’t long before I found myself sitting in a A4M BHRT symposium. I remember sitting in a lecture on the first day of the conference, thinking to myself, “where has all this information been hiding and why weren’t we taught this in medical school and residency”? What an eye opener! After that conference, I couldn’t sign up as an A4M member fast enough.

Q2: What anti-aging techniques have you incorporated into your practice? And how did you so?

Initially, I continued my Family Practice and incorporated everything I was learning during my ABAARM fellowship. I replaced “Big Pharma” hormones with BHRT hormones. I also started checking the testosterone levels on Symptomatic male patients and replacing their “T” if indicated. I also did targeted supplementation of nutraceuticals and made life style changing recommendations.

During this time where I was completing my ABAARM fellowship training, I started incorporating more and more changes to the way I was treating my patients. Changes that were making real improvements in the lives of my patients.

I refer to this time in my life as the “transformation stage”. I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with practicing the “status quo” of conventional “band aid” medicine. I realized the best thing for both me and my patients would be to get away from the restraints of a conventional “insurance based” practice.

Therefore, six years ago I left my conventional band aid, insurance based, big Pharma practice and opened a concierge Integrative Medical practice. It is the A4M training that has given me the tools to become so successful and truly optimize both the quality and quantity of my patients lives.

Q3: What are the benefits of practicing anti-aging medicine? (as a professional, and for your practice?)

Wow! Where do I start? Every aspect of both my life and my patients lives has benefited from my ABAARM and FMNM training.

As physicians, we are residency trained to treat a given disease or condition. A4M and MMI Fellowships provide us with a means to further our education and hone our skills as physicians. We learn how to become more complete in how we think and deliver health care to our patients. I have so many more tools, better tools in my doctors bag. Now, when a patient presents, I automatically start looking for the underlying cause of their complaint and not just writing them an Rx and sending them on their way.

Q4: What are the changes you see in your patients?

My patients see improvements both physically and mentally. Better overall health with more energy, strength, sleep and drive. They seem to enjoy life better.

Q5: Why would you recommend Anti-Aging Medicine to your peers?

Why wouldn’t I? Before I found A4M and became a fellow, I had lost the passion I had in medical school and residency. I felt like my life was a scene out of the Groundhog Day movie. Simply starting my first A4M fellowship put the wind back in my sails. I could actually treat my patient’s with new modalities that not only treated the underlying cause of disease but prevented disease. Anytime we can cure an existing “chronic disease” in a patient or prevent future disease, we’ve accomplished the very thing most of us got into medicine for.

Q6: Where do you see the future of Anti-Aging medicine 20 years from now?

Anti- Aging, functional and integrative medicine will only grow in popularity. The more physicians that receive training, the more patients will be exposed to the life changing differences compared to conventional medicine. It may take another 10 to 15 years but it is my belief the present system will be replaced by what we are doing at A4M and MMI. Once the medical schools start teaching an integrative approach instead of a predominant pharmacological approach, we will have won as both physicians and patients.

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Telemedicine: A Tool for Comprehensive Care

What is Telemedicine?

Across the globe, record rates of medical professionals are turning to telemedicine in an effort to help address the disparities in health care access.

Telemedicine connects medical professionals with patients through the use of electronic communication, which allows physicians to provide preventive and continuous care to a broader range of patients while reducing excessive and burdensome costs for both parties.

Bridging Health Care Gaps with Telemedicine

While telemedicine cannot replace the conclusive benefits of an in-person visit, the practice can serve as a powerful supplemental tool for patient-centered healthcare delivery. Often used for follow-up visits, medication adherence, and the management of chronic conditions, telemedicine is growing to become a service that yields better outcomes and improved patient engagement.

Mississippi is widely acknowledged as a leader in telemedicine adoption, in large part due to the medical isolation faced by many of the state’s residents: the majority of Mississippi’s physicians reside in urban areas, while the remaining general population is dispersed among rural areas. Telehealth programs, such as the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), aim to supersede geographic and financial barriers to continuous care.

While Mississippi serves as a glaring example of the disparities in healthcare, the same general issues extend to the status quo: accessing comprehensive healthcare remains a challenge. Obtaining time off work, in addition to travel and childcare costs, often serve as significant obstacles to receiving much-needed medical treatment—let alone preventive and follow-up care visits. Remote medical technology allows physicians to not only practice preventive medicine but also manage chronic conditions for patients who may have otherwise foregone care.

In a recent research report, Nemours Children’s Health System found that its telemedicine program saved patients an average of approximately 85 miles of travel costs, and reduced the hospital’s costs at about $24 per patient. “It really aligns with our strategy to meet patients and families where they are,” says Carey Office, the operational Vice President of Telemedicine for Nemour Children’s in Florida, “It’s cost-saving, and time-saving, for patients and families. Telemedicine is here to stay.”

Natasa Sokolovich, executive director of telemedicine at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Health Sciences (UPMC), noted that when first starting the program, many physicians were skeptical of incorporating the technology into patient care: “In the beginning, we had providers who were a little tentative, but once they saw the positive outcomes and acceptance by their patients, that helped solidify it for them.”

Many medical professionals have found that telemedicine broadens the potential for holistic care. While patients sometimes view continuous and preventive medicine as costly and nonessential, telemedicine provides an avenue in which health is accessible, less costly, and easily attainable.

To learn more about telemedicine and digital health, visit A4M partner MedTech Impact on Wellness.

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Nature vs. Nurture: Navigating Neuroepigenetics

The debate regarding the origins of human behavior, and the conflict between nature versus nurture, has been philosophized, researched, and argued for over a millennium. In the last 30 years, however, a field of genetic-biology has positioned itself to wholly restructure the fundamental basis for the debate: neuroepigenetics. Neuroepigenetics is the study of how dynamic epigenetic changes affect the nervous system, and concurrently, neurological behaviors. Within this emerging field, scientists have increasingly found that the dichotomy between nurture and nature has been widely misunderstood. Rather, as pharmacology professor and neurobiology expert J. David Sweatt explains, “It is now clear that there is a dynamic interplay between genes and experience, a clearly delineated and biochemically driven mechanistic interface between nature and nurture.”

Recent studies have found strong links between neuroepigenetic modifications and neurological conditions such as addiction, epilepsy, dyslexia, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other cognitive disorders. Research indicates that environmental experiences including toxic exposure, stress, early learning, and maternal behavior can cause actual genomic modifications: adjustments that ultimately create changes in gene readout, which can permanently alter neural functions.

Having a more nuanced understanding of neuroepigenetic changes may radically alter the ways in which we view, examine, and evaluate neurological behaviors, and how various neurological conditions are treated. With this foresight, a team of researchers at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a PET radiotracer that can reveal epigenetic activity. Regarding the value of developing technology to better understand the interaction between genes and environment, Dr. Jacob Hooker, senior author of the radiotracer report, stated: “This could allow us to investigate questions such as why some people genetically predisposed to a disease are protected from it? Why events during early life and adolescence have such a lasting impact on brain health? Is it possible to ‘reset’ gene expression in the human brain?”

While neuroepigenetic research is still in the nascent stages of development, the very emergence of the field has given way to a more complex understanding of the interplay between human behavior and genetics. The longstanding nature versus nurture debate can now transform into a new, more comprehensive discussion that better addresses and understands neurological conditions, and seeks to address them through the development of more advanced, personalized treatments.

SOURCES
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160810180906.htm
https://www-sciencedirect-com.proxy.pba.edu/science/article/pii/S0149763418301040
Sweatt, J. (2013). The Emerging Field of Neuroepigenetics. Neuron, 80(3), 624-632.

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