How to Manage the Keto Diet Forever

KETO DIET FOR HEALTHY PEOPLE

Ketogenesis is an established metabolic event well known for decades. In 1976, after graduating from college I worked with Dr. Sidney Ingbar. He was the author of the medical textbook “The Thyroid” which was considered the Bible for all endocrinologists. Recently I have returned to the basics of that research over 40 years ago. Fact, low calorie, and low carbohydrate diets work.

People lose weight, diabetes goes away, and the truth remains, when the keto diet ends, the weight all returns, often in a vengeance. In our clinic at Harvard, we kept patients on 800 kcal a day. Total carb intake was 60 gm. Your brain needs that to function. In three months most patients had achieved their weight loss goal. Six months later, it was back to diet land. Even the show “The Biggest Losers” has tracked their original group and the results are dismal, most of the contestants had gained more than 80% of their weight back. So what is one supposed to do?

I have been working with many patients over the past 4 decades and it is clear, we all want to enjoy life and food. Patients come in every day – “Oh, I had a wedding, a baby shower, July 4th, Christmas, birthday, anniversary, graduation, Monday holiday…” and on and on. Let’s face it, every day is a challenge.

Manging the Keto Diet

Step 1. Make fasting for over 16 hours a routine weekly, if not daily. Stop eating at 7 PM then start after 11 AM. Do this three or four times a week. The first week is the most difficult but I have found making the choice not to eat was easier than what to eat.

Step 2. Eliminate ALL processed foods. This includes soda, canned goods, and anything from a can or box with a list of ingredients.

Step 3. Cycle your calorie intake by 50%. 25%. 10% every two days and ONE day of the week celebrate life and everything you want to eat.

Step 4. This diet is NOT about meat and animal fat. Load up on avocados, quinoa, wheat berries, millet, and everything green in the grocery.

Step 5. Hydrate.. simple. I personally love kombucha for my mid-afternoon pick me up.

Step 6. Eliminate dairy and olive oil. Yes, all you yogurt addicts, cut it out..and olive oil goes right to your belly. You may MIST the oil on veggies but maybe invest in a hot air frier, pressure cooker, DO NOT use more than 2 tablespoons of oil a day! Watch on youtube… why olive oil is BAD for you.

Step 7. STOP EATING OUT and start cooking!

I maintained this for 10 years. Then pregnancies and kids took over. After menopause, I put back on the freshman 15 and could not lose it until I went back to my old habits. Old habits should be hard to break.

The Importance of Gut Health

vegetables

All disease begins in the gut. What does this mean? There is mounting medical evidence to show that the health of our gastrointestinal system, from top to bottom, has profound effects on the health of our entire body.

Our old ways of thinking in Medicine are undergoing a revolution. The old way taught us that a rash means there is a problem with your skin and you need a dermatologist. Sinus congestion means you need to see an ENT specialist. And achy joints require a rheumatologists’ expertise. But this is changing.

Healthy Gut, Healthy You

We now know that all these problems – skin rashes, congested sinuses and achy joints – are often related to the health of our digestion.

Why?

Well, for starters, we now know that:

  • About 70% of your immune system is housed in the gastrointestinal system.
  • You have an elaborate, complex “ecosystem” within your gut that is the home to thousands of different types of bacteria
  • The bacteria in your gut are responsible for a wide range of important functions from making vitamins, to protecting you from infections, to helping digest food and maintaining an ideal body weight. They also produce 80-90% of the serotonin in your body. Serotonin is the “happy hormone” which plays a key role in balancing mood.
  • This ecosystem is affected by the food we eat. The typical American diet laden with processed foods, sugar, too much animal protein and saturated fat harms the “beneficial” bacteria and promotes overgrowth of species of bacteria that can contribute to illness.

How many people do you know that have digestive problems such as bloating, gas, reflux, constipation or more serious afflictions such as colitis, diverticulitis or Crohns Disease? Are you amongst them? What happens in the gut, does not stay in the gut. Digestive issues can create diverse symptoms throughout the body.

The good news is there is a lot you can do to improve your digestive health (and the overall health of your body will benefit as well). Hopkins Medical Group offers a Functional Medicine based program that understands the importance of gut health and provides:

  • An assessment of your current GI Health using our unique scoring system.
  • A factor analysis identifying the diet, lifestyle and environmental factors that may contribute.
  • Additional tests you may benefit from to help guide your treatment regimen (these tests have out-of-pocket associated costs): 
- Food Inflammation Testing (FIT) by KBMO Diagnostics. This is an IgG food sensitivity test that assesses your reaction on a mild (+1) to severe (+4) scale for 126 foods or additives. 
- GI Effects Comprehensive Stool Test by Genova Diagnostics. 
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Breath Test by Genova Diagnostics.
  • An Action Plan with detailed recommendations that include a nutrition plan with recipes and menus, a medication and/or supplement schedule and additional resources such as articles, websites, and more to support you.
  • The Twine Health mobile app which allows us to track your progress in between visits.

Here are the areas we have expertise in:

  • Bloating and Gas
  • Constipation and/or Diarrhea
  • Gastro-esophageal Reflux
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Food Sensitivities
  • Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Colitis
  • Diverticulitis
  • Crohns Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Celiac Disease and non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

– Patricia Hopkins, MD

Keeping Your Brain Healthy

We walked into the dining room. My mother-in-law kept shaking her head at each table. We were looking for three seats. No, not there, not there. I felt like we were trying to avoid sitting down with Death itself. Around the room, the average age was 96. Most were with their walkers, limping, curled over, tired from the walk into the dining room.

Disclaimer, my mother-in-law is quite healthy and walking on her own with a limp. It is slow going and our goal is to get from point A to point B. Nothing more.

We settle at a table with the gentleman on my right coughing throughout the meal, choking on every bite. The gentleman on my left is struggling to open two boxes of cereal, then proceeds to smash the little plastic bags of cereal into the table sending coffee flying out of my cup. My mother-in-law looks at me and talks about how when you stop driving you are stuck here waiting to die for a long time.

Aging Endlessly

Every one of us visiting this place will proclaim “NOT ME!” I will not roll over, lose my strength, mind, memory, muscle, and independence. Answer the question, what would you do to remain forever young as you age? Every baby boomer hopes that they can escape the jaws of time.

This facility is boarding school quality, excellent attendants, a doctor on site, expensive, and most needs are met. What plagues me is the question, why is this the last place on earth for most of us? Is it worth living for?

What is fulfillment as we age? Is it a hobby? Working? In a society that values only the young, can we find our position of value in a youth-obsessed culture? In many other countries, the elders are involved with their extended families as they take on childcare, cooking, and financial support. Is volunteering the only option when we hit the “senior” dance?

Brain cells in a dish at MIT are helping us learn how to keep the brain and memory functioning. There are herbs that have been used for thousands of years in India and China, Ashwagandha and Cats Claw, which can reverse the early phase of Alzheimer’s. That means all of us over age 45 because MRI and amyloid scans show deposition of amyloid 30 years before the onset of dementia. UCLA Buck Institute of aging has shown an approach that is successful in reversing the early phases. The kicker is that you have to do all the steps without relying on a single drug.

Sleep is integral to brain health. At night, during the 4 phases of sleep, the brain clears out debris from our environment. Consider your brain a dirty screen that needs to get brushed clean. The brain has lymphatics euphemistically called Glymphatics. Only during deep sleep can the lymphatics clear the brain. The dirt in the brain is part of the leaky brain that correlates with the leaking gut. Enemy bacteria, including bugs in your mouth, environmental debris, loss of micronutrients, the stress of genetically modified food all play havoc with the brain.

Recommendations from the experts are to floss twice a day, brush your teeth three times a day, sleep 8 hours, avoid alcohol at night, do not eat for 12 hours at night, learn something new, exercise 30 minutes, and take a probiotic daily. These measures will fend off brain fatigue or deterioration. Add in some Ashwagandha, Cats Claw, vitamin B complex, fish oil, vitamin D supplements, probiotics, and prebiotics, and I’ll see you on the dance floor in 20 years.

– Patricia Hopkins, MD

Lyme Disease Information and Resources

lyme disease

Tick-borne diseases are approaching the contemporary version of the plague. Tick-borne illnesses, while less deadly, are now responsible for over 300 thousand new infections in the US yearly. Most data suggests that this is a gross underestimate. With numbers of new infections each year probably closer to a half million to a million a year.

Antibiotics alone can not win the war. Like Alzheimers and memory loss, it is a ten step process. The data on mylymedata.org has shown that through data collecting lessons learned will provide a roadmap for treating the acute and chronic phase of the disease. Every physician that has stepped into the muddy waters of treating Lyme disease realizes very quickly, every case is a challenging case. How do we diagnose the disease when the two-tiered testing system guarantees missing over 80% of cases? How does one diagnose recurrent infection, co-infection, stealth infections, or new infection?

No Time for Lyme

Lyme disease has been shown to have existed as far back as 5300 years ago. The contemporary iteration of the disease occurred in 1975 when 50 people became sick in Lyme Connecticut with flu-like illness, rash, and joint pain. In 1981, Wiley Burgdorferi isolated the spirochete, hence the name, Borrelia Burdorferi. Since then, the Borrelia species has expanded to include relapsing fever as well as 5 variants of the original organism. In 25 years the number of discreet species has expanded to 16 discreet organisms.

Testing for these organisms is a challenge requiring sophisticated testing with highly purified proteins. Currently, insurance will only pay for the two-tier testing which incorporates a screening method that misses 80-90 percent of infections. The unintended consequence is that the diagnosis is not made for months or years after symptoms present. Patients that suspect they have Lyme are tasked with finding clinical practices that offer sophisticated testing often not covered by insurance.

Funding by the NIH for Lyme disease stopped in 2002. Wall Street and big Pharma are not interested. Patients are incredulous when they are faced with trying to find treatment when the usual tools to guide therapy are missing. With no new drug on the horizon to treat Lyme, the financial support is dependent upon the generosity of individuals and foundations. Change begins when people in power become debilitated with a tick-borne illness.

Lyme is now worldwide. Wild birds are spreading the disease in addition to mice, deer, snakes and other rodents. There has been a 10 x increase worldwide and 320% increase in the counties reporting in the US. Looking at veterinary data, there is an 800% increase in the canine reporting. This is probably true since the current screening for patients misses over 80% of the cases.

Lyme defies usual and customary medical process. Some are symptomatic, others without any symptoms, some go on to chronic symptoms, others have a brief illness. Part of the complexity is driven by the fact that Lyme does not travel alone. Co-infection with Bartonella, Babesia, Mycoplasma, mold exposure expand the footprint of symptoms. Unraveling the co-infections is the struggle when treating patients with Lyme. Treating the whole process requires constant reassessment and a flexible approach to treating the whole person.

My Lyme data organization has collected the following information. Half the patients with Lyme took more than three years to diagnose and 70% were late stage at the time of diagnosis. More than half the patients saw more than 5 physicians to get diagnosed and 72% were misdiagnosed. Over 60% had co-infections. Finally, 90% of patients are willing and eager to enter clinical trials. All these statistics are concerning for all of us. And while some states have approved more than 4 weeks of therapy the law does not apply if you work for a company that is self-insured, or any government or state employer or a federal plan such as Medicare and Medicaid. That means most people do not have coverage for Lyme disease beyond 4 weeks.

The current data points support a multi-pronged approach. The human body was meant to coexist with spirochete infections however contemporary humans are faced with increasing environmental challenges including the strength of their immune symptoms, co-infection with mycoplasma, mold etc and heavy metal toxicities. The approach must include antibiotic therapy and the data from Johns Hopkins University recommend three antibiotics over extended periods of time to achieve efficient elimination of the disease in the late stage. We recommend following antibiotic therapy with an herbal protocol and to add adjunct therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen, ozone therapy, IVIG, dietary support, probiotics, pre-biotics and low inflammatory diet.

Our office routinely sends samples to IgnX for further testing. The new immunoblot test will cover both Borrelia as well as relapsing fever. They recently were sent 100 samples from the Center for Disease Control and they scored 100% identifying positive serologies. While this may be a financial burden, we recommend submitting the bill to your own insurance, often twice and many patients are reimbursed.

– Patricia Hopkins, MD

Recommendations

  • Seek diagnostic testing with a reputable lab
  • Find a Lyme specialist
  • Understand that the disease may require prolonged therapy
  • Combination therapy is often required
  • Supportive therapeutic treatments with alternative modalities can help
  • Log onto MyLymedata.org and become part of the solution

Recommended Reading and References

  • Richard Horowitz, Why Can’t I Get Better
  • Nichola Mcfadzean, Beginners Guide to Lyme Disease
  • Pamela Weintraub, Cure Unknown
  • Movie: Under my skin
  • www.ilads.org has many references and links to useful sites
  • www.lymedisease.org – Visit MyLymeData to enroll as a patient

Lyme Disease Discussion

Improving Your Cholesterol Health Without Drugs

cholesterol health

In 1989 I was preparing a lecture for the residents on the first decade of statins. While reviewing the data two papers reference contained data that formed my future in medicine. The first point was that women suffer heart attacks with normal cholesterol level and the only predictor of a cardiac event was a prior cardiac event. The second paper measured insulin levels in men having cardiac events and the insulin level was more predictive than the cholesterol or use of statins. This data is more than 30 years old and we are just starting to have the dialogue about the use of statins. It also occurred to me throughout my practice, whenever a patient had a cardiac event they were already on a statin. How could this be? So, if statins do not work, how many other drugs do not work or do not improve the lives of patients.

Looking at the most widely used drugs on the market, the list will include drugs for acne, depression, cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension. Taking into account that the modern world no longer suffers from communicable diseases, are we on the correct path in treating the diseases of the modern patient.

The Hit Parade

Over 20 years ago, I started looking at the vitamin D levels in patients referred for osteoporosis. The drug Fosamax had just been released, and the goal of therapy was to reduce the incidence of hip fractures and spinal fractures. The bisphosphonates, like Fosamax and Actonel, showed marginal improvement and over time were associated with bone structure that put the patient at risk for non-stress fractures of the thigh bone and loss of integrity of the jaw bone with subsequent loss of teeth. But what about the low vitamin D I kept asking. At every scientific meeting, the role of vitamin D deficiency was dismissed. But in 2004 the world health organization declared a worldwide pandemic of vitamin D deficiency. And with that came magnesium deficiency, zinc deficiency, selenium deficiency, vitamin K2 deficiency and on and on and on. Yet at my specialty national meeting and at the local state level the medical societies continued to dismiss the environmental impact of vitamin insufficiency.

In the primate world, the natural vitamin D level is 60 yet the normal range reported by commercial labs is over 30. In fact, the USDA is recommending that is being lowered to 20. This is despite data that shows when a population has mean levels close to 60 numerous diseases of the modern world diminish. This is not lost on Finland when they had a public health initiative that placed all newborns on vitamin D. The result was a 75% decrease in the incidence of type 1 diabetes or juvenile diabetes.

Wait, weren’t we just talking about bones. And now we leaped over to diabetes? Yes, all systems are interdependent and while bone metabolism is dependent on vitamin D, the cells of the pancreas that make insulin also require vitamin D for replication and survival.

Adding insult to injury is the use of medications to combat heartburn. Another drug class marketed as a preventive measure for cancer of the esophagus. During my internship in 1980, our patients survived with Mylanta and Tums. The enormous marketing machine led by pharma industry and Wall Street made heartburn medicine a billion dollar a year industry. What were the unintended consequences? Increase in coronary disease, decreased absorption of calcium and vitamin D, increased renal disease and the list goes on. A recent study in the JAMA reported that patients treated with diet instead of PPI drugs fared better. The diet changes including avoiding caffeine, soda, and alcohol while transitioning to the Mediterranean diet. That means a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and legumes. There goes another 13 billion healthcare dollars spent unnecessarily.

The data is not looking good for these two classes of drugs. So, let’s move on. Have you watched 10 minutes of television and thought to yourself “Does everyone have diabetes?”. New drugs are flooding the market, the old cheap drugs are being abandoned and no data has shown improved control. Stay with me, if vitamin D is necessary for the pancreas to survive, and the pancreas controls diabetes and antacids decrease the absorption and production of vitamin D. If we take everyone off antacids, give vitamin D to all the patients that are depleted, and change the diet, can diabetes go away? YES. The patients with type 2 Diabetes should be on vitamin D, inositol, magnesium, alpha lipoic acid and a ketogenic diet. I have taken numerous patients off insulin or lowered their use of insulin by 90%. Type 1 diabetes is a different story but I have yet to meet a family with children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that had the vitamin d level of their children measured. WHY? There are 350 billion reasons every year. That is the number of dollars committed to treating diabetes in the US alone. Finland took an aggressive approach to juvenile diabetes and placed all newborns on vitamin d supplement. What happened is a 75% decrease in the rate of new cases and after 3 years, the curve is reversing.

Nothing is more exciting to me than teaching patients how to control their destiny. An 83-year-old came in this past week. Over the year, she has lost 17 lbs., has lowered her use of insulin from 60 units a day to 8 units a day. She supports her pancreas with the aforementioned supplements. Every single patient has been enthusiastic in their desire to come off as much insulin as possible. And they sleep better, have more energy and are excited to lower the huge financial burden of all these drugs.

So, now we know that the drug list includes statins, or cholesterol-lowering drugs, insulin for many patients, antacids and more specifically protonic pump inhibitors PPI but are there more drugs on the hit list? Yes.

The most widely prescribed drugs in the world are psychiatric drugs and acne drugs. Yes, acne. Accutane worldwide lands it in second place for money spent. Seroquel, a potent anti-psychotic is the most widely used sleep aid. Let’s start with antidepressant medications. Our brain is wired to use neurotransmitters for function and consciousness. Putting it simply, we rely on a balance of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. But where is the serotonin from? Our gut with a feedback loop in the brain that allows further balance with reuptake of the serotonin in the nervous system. The majority of drugs act by inhibiting the reuptake mechanism in the brain. Within 6 months of therapy, the therapeutic response requires increasing doses in order to maintain the desired effect. Why? The brain does not understand where the serotonin is going. The delicate balance is lost.

Eventually, we turn to drugs that modify the metabolism of dopamine and norepinephrine. Head to head studies with exercise, 30 minutes a day proved more effective than these drug classes. Check off another class of drugs we could significantly lower their use. If we add up dollars spent for statins, antacid medications, diabetic drugs, and drugs for depression, what does that number look like? Trillions of dollars. When I do a full medication assessment, the majority of patients benefit from dose lowering if not completely stopping many of these medications. These changes also translate into significant financial relief given the ever-increasing co-pay or deductible burden shouldered by so many patients.

Moving on. Acne. What parent doesn’t feel for their child as they cross the bridge to adulthood and suffer through a period of acne? We have recently been referred a number of patients in their 20s who had one or two courses of the full dose of Accutane. They now suffer from dry eyes, dry mouth, dry skin, depression, anxiety, and numerous endocrine irregularities. It is catastrophic. They find it difficult to eat, suffer from anorexia symptoms and are deficient in numerous nutrients. The patients say that food tastes like dirt and feels like rocks are going through their bowels. It is almost impossible to reverse these symptoms. It is unconscionable for any physician to prescribe this medication without first taking a nutritional approach. We recommend eliminating dairy and wheat, low dose antibiotic, topical antibiotic, skin lasers that eliminate the acne bacteria and if Accutane is used, first try topical retinoid, then oral in extremely small doses, once or twice weekly for six to ten weeks. Close monitoring of liver and kidney function is not required with this regimen.

The next class worth reviewing is the overuse of oral antibiotics leading to a worldwide crisis of antibiotic resistance. The Pew Charitable Trust is funding research on overuse of antibiotics and the looming threat of superbugs, bugs that are resistant to all currently available antibiotics. Let’s do it by the numbers. A third of all antibiotics prescribed in the US is not needed. This translates into about 50 million prescriptions a year. 13 percent of patient visits to doctor offices, emergency rooms, and urgent care clinics results in an antibiotic prescription. Half of the prescriptions were for the upper respiratory symptoms which are mostly viral in nature. This practice of over-prescribing has led to more than 2 million serious infections and 23 thousand deaths in a year due to antibiotic resistance.

The problem is confounded by the increasing use of antibiotics in livestock. Hard to imagine that our addiction to animal products will become another nail in our coffin. Eighty percent of all antibiotics used in the USA are given to animals. This results in the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the meat products. It gets better, they excrete the antibiotics in their urine and feces which finds its way into our water supply and soil. But let’s not stop there, antibiotics are sprayed on fruit trees and vegetables as well. As daunting as this problem may seem, next time you ask for antibiotics at your doctor’s office, you are part of the problem, not the solutions. This lesson was brought home to me recently when a patient reported severe asthma attacks and hives after eating an ice cream cone. There was so much penicillin in the dairy product, his severe allergy to penicillin resulted in an immediate allergic reaction at the ice cream stand. I hate to say it but we can only vote with our wallets so support every company that proves they do not use antibiotics in their livestock feed.

Should we total the number of consumer health dollars that are wasted on these classes of drugs? Now you may be saying what is one to do? Educate yourself, come off drugs that are not critical, change your diet, exercise regularly and take up a new hobby. I would add, jump in freezing water once a year, it could prolong your life.

– Patricia Hopkins, MD

Diabetic Treatment With Functional Medicine

Healthy

A new patient to my practice was referred for treatment of her psoriasis and arthritis. She did well on her initial therapy with Humira and had almost total clearing of her skin. Her visit last April started with a tearful statement, “my doctor is sending me for gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass.” The patient was deathly afraid of surgery. I looked over her list of medications and she was on three medications for diabetes. She was on insulin, metformin, and trulicity. She weighed 248 lbs. “Stop your insulin,” I told her. Her jaw dropped. “How can I do that?” Easy. Every day test your morning sugar if it is below 250 taper her insulin by 2 units daily. Her lab results showed that in fact, she had extremely high levels of insulin as well as leptin. This means she was suffering from both insulin resistance and leptin resistance. Take a chance with me for 12 weeks I begged her.

We agreed upon a menu for the next seven days and she would decrease her insulin 2 units every day. One week later she was down 10 lbs. She owned her future at that moment. In 5 months she lost 50 lbs. and was completely off Insulin. When she went to her diabetes doctor, the doctor advised she add sugar back into her diet to cover the insulin she needed. That was their last visit. A year later she remains off insulin and has maintained her weight loss.

– Dr. Hopkins

Wholistic Care: Gain Confidence and Take Control of Your Health

Our society has lost sight of the amazing ability our bodies have to heal and to be healthy. So many people have accepted a reality of discomfort, pain, and heavy medication. People are under the impression that as we age we have no choice but to adjust to – and live with – illness.

The truth is that the body has a relentless desire to operate at its optimal level – and it is our responsibility to give our bodies what they need.

Dr. Hopkins is dedicated to helping patients gain confidence and take control of their health. No matter where you are in your health journey Dr. Hopkins wants to help you find relief and regain the strength to thrive in life.

We ask the important questions and give guidance on the basis that all bodies have the potential to heal.

  • Are you on the right health regime and can adjustments be made to meet your individual needs? Each body is different, each lifestyle is different – and we want to work closely with you to determine the most effective treatment plan.
  • Are you getting the right nutrition, setting your body up for success in the healing process? We can help you develop lifestyle skills that are the basis for achieving optimal health. We provide nutrition classes and health coaching, and love to see individuals take ownership of their health. It is amazing how the body will react to small changes!
  • Have you been tested properly and educated in your wholistic options? Finding the root cause of your health problems is the first step to building an effective plan. The next step is understanding your treatment options and how we can work together to help you be the most successful.

We want to help our patients support their own bodies, safely regain health, and lower the dependency on medications that come with unwanted side effects.

Your body wants to be healthy and ultimately it is in your hands. You do not have to accept a reality that leaves you living around your illness. We believe we can give you the tools and support you need to be successful.

Creating a Positive Relationship Between Patient and Physician

When primary care doctors are able to provide the majority of care for their patients, it creates a positive relationship between patient and physician.

  1. Patients trust doctors who knows their history.
  2. Doctors know their patients and are able to provide effective care in an efficient manner.
  3. Patients know who to call and where to go when they have a problem.

Because the health industry is so saturated with specialists, patients are shuffled between clinics, causing difficulties for both them and their doctors. The patient is often left with a myriad of treatment plans from each department, creating confusion and frustration.

With the emphasis on total wellness and treating the root issue, Hopkins Medical Group often finds that specialists are not the first answer. With a wholistic approach, we are given the opportunity to build these critically important relationships as we navigate through natural treatments that serve the patient as a whole.

Improving Healthcare Provider Satisfaction and Quality Patient Care

In her time spent traveling and working as a provider, Dr. Hopkins recognized a pattern of unhappy physicians. She began wondering why these talented people with a passion for helping others were so dissatisfied with their careers and worried that unhappy doctors may have a harder time providing quality care to their patients.

So what are some of the problems physicians are facing?

  1. The overwhelming debt due to cost of medical school is driving students to choose careers in high cost specialties, leaving only 1/3 of medical students in the United States pursuing a career in primary care.
  2. The lack of education in practice management leaves young doctors turning to large box institutions where they have little independence and overwhelmed by corporate policy.
  3. A lack of confidence in the ability to take control of their careers, in addition to the restrictions they face in providing quality care, is leading to wide-spread dissatisfaction.

These individuals, who have overcome obstacles all throughout their education are not a typical workforce – they are designed to be leaders. They have the skills to outperform, to focus under pressure, and most of all a desire to serve other people.

Can the health industry foster an environment that encourages economic independence among these young leaders? With freedom to provide better care – to spend time with patients and develop relationships – our healthcare professionals can find satisfaction. Because doctors who are satisfied with their job provide better care.

At Hopkins Medical Group, we believe in a system where these highly talented men and women can take advantage of the best technology in the most efficient way. Where doctors have access to resources to give the absolute best care to their patients.

Physician Subscription Model for Primary Healthcare

A subscription model for primary care improves the quality of treatment for patients as frees doctors from the “consumption equals stability” frame of mind.

Most physicians operate within the “incident-based model” for primary care – meaning they get paid a fee for each service they provide. This causes two problems:

  1. The incentive is backwards, leading to over referral and over testing, because doctors are dependent on fees.
  2. It is not sustainable because patients are not getting the comprehensive, quality treatment that leads to recurring, relationship-based primary care.

At Hopkins Medical Group, we provide a subscription based model for healthcare, which provides doctors with the freedom to give the best possible treatment without the pressure to choose higher cost options.

Patients receive more individualized care and are given the opportunity to build a long-term relationship with their physician. At Hopkins Medical Group, the incentive is placed in providing the best possible solution for our patients.