Those of you who are regular readers of the Prevention Center’s Newsletter may be familiar with the patient stories that have been told over the past year. This month we are featuring a slightly different twist and providing the unique perspective of two BaleDoneen Method (BDM) providers.
We had the very good fortune to speak with Dr. John Borders and Dr. Gregory Hood, both internal medicine physicians who have been partners in a practice (Doctors Borders Hood and Associates) in Lexington, Ky., and members of the MDVIP network for the past 5 years. MDVIP is a network of physicians across the country who believe traditional healthcare has moved too far away from prioritizing individual patients’ needs and instead focuses on individualized and specialized care.
Dr. Borders has been practicing medicine since 1982. Beginning in the 1990s, Dr. Borders wanted to continue practicing internal medicine but not the volume-based model that was becoming the norm across the country. He and Dr. Hood were both looking for something different and decided to join MDVIP. Instead of 20-30 patients per day under the routine standard of care, MDVIP physicians generally see 10-12 patients per day. The Cleveland Clinic had been monitoring outcomes from MDVIP patients and found that they were consistently in the top 10% of outcomes. However, at a conference hosted by MDVIP, Dr. Borders was asked if he wanted his patients to be in the top 1% of outcomes and was introduced to Dr. Bradley Bale and Dr. Amy Doneen (founders of the BDM). The highly specialized, patient-specific therapies and incredible patient outcomes offered through the BDM were very much in line with what Dr. Borders had grown accustomed to through MDVIP. He was very impressed with what he heard and has been practicing the BDM with his patients ever since.
The BDM has been demonstrated to stop and actually cause regression of cardiovascular disease. However, the benefits of the BDM are not limited to cardiovascular disease but also improving brain health, kidney and liver function, reducing oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance. The BDM approach creates genetically tailored therapy plans for individuals, not a one-size-fits-all approach like the current standard of care.
He and his partner Dr. Hood were very excited about the prospect of the BDM for even further improving their patients’ outcomes. Adopting the BDM in their practice required a fair amount of time and energy, however.
“We had to spend considerable time wrapping our own heads around this method and explaining it to our patients,” explains Dr. Hood. “Trying to explain the traditional numbers we’ve been monitoring to avoid cardiovascular disease weren’t good enough (like only monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol).”
Dr. Hood continued, “However, in many respects the BDM was easier to administer because there was momentum building with colleagues and patient outcome data. Patients became convinced of the approach very quickly after they see the complete turnaround of their biomarkers. It’s also easier because you’re not treating heart attack and stroke but rather stopping the atherosclerotic progression of disease. I strongly recommend all patients read Healthy Heart, Healthy Brain by Drs. Bale and Doneen.”
Dr. Borders does recognize that most physicians have such high patient volumes that it’s impractical to spend the time necessary to learn and embrace the BDM as well as educate patients, which he sees as a significant impediment. Dr. Hood relayed a story about his daughter, who is currently in medical school.
“Current med schools teach to the STEP (‘board’) exams which require students to know the current ‘standard of care,’ “ he said. “The lecture my daughter received on cardiovascular disease was identical to what my wife and I received a generation ago. She questioned the lecturer’s approach and it destroyed the lecture. She questioned the current standard of care knowing I practice the BDM. The lecture hall was buzz. The lecturer knew that cardiovascular disease could be stopped and even reversed but had to teach to the current standard of care on the test. Current med students aren’t being taught the best available science.”
However, he and Dr. Borders stated that other MDVIP physicians are keenly interested in the BDM, and this may be the mechanism through which the BDM becomes more widespread. Dr. Hood went further, challenging the trite excuse physicians give that they don’t have time to practice BDM. “You have to use the right tools to fix things the right way as it always saves time and improves patient outcomes in the long run,” he said.
Dr. Hood said that in order for the BDM to become the standard of care. a wholesale enhancement of initial testing and board certification will be needed. “It’s not being operated in a model that supports current science,” he said. “It will probably take the legal community realizing there is a new scientifically based, well-proven method for preventing most heart attacks and strokes that’s not met by current standard of care.”
Explains Dr. Borders, “Once you know there is something better, as a physician, you can’t walk away from it and not practice what clearly has significantly improved patient outcomes and disease regression.” To help educate their patients and family members, Drs. Borders and Hood began hosting 2-3 hour presentations on the BDM. These presentations became so popular they haven’t had empty seats at one for years.
“In addition, we created considerable educational material for our patients and their families,” said Dr. Borders. “We have documented incredible health turnarounds in our patients and have some of the best patient outcomes in our region of the country by using the BDM.”
Dr. Borders is very excited about the timeframe for which he evaluates his patients. “Instead of slowing disease over 2-3 years,” he said, “our patients are planning to live a long time, into their 80s and 90s. The BDM stops disease. Instead of worrying about one’s health in the short-term, the BDM challenges our patients with a whole new mindset like, Are you financially prepared to live into your 90s?”
He added, “Apply the best knowledge you know to the most effective way it can be delivered. If you truly believe it you have to preach the gospel. Once you convince yourself, you have to make that message be known.”
Both Dr. Borders and Dr. Hood are convinced the BaleDoneen Method should be the standard of care today. They are working to support, promote, and encourage current and prospective patients to embrace the BDM.