You know how it is when you are house-hunting; it might be the 3rd or it might be the 53rd, but when you walk into the home you are going to buy, you know it almost immediately.
Well, apparently, it works the same way with doctors.
I found my new doctor! He was the second doctor I interviewed and the minute I got home I cancelled my other two appointments.
This man's philosophy of medicine could have been taken straight from Leonard Peikoff's DIM course. He is an integrator. Without my prompting, he told me that everything he does is about integration: treating the whole person instead of just a part, how bringing together all of a patient's medical records is essential, considering ideas from alternative medicine as well as conventional medicine, and always keeping in mind that a person is physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, and that all of these affect health. He said that conventional Western medicine treats all human beings as essentially the same. If you have this disease, you take this drug, period. Disease or body parts seems to be the fundamental unit of medicine, with totally compartmentalized specialists who have no interest in anything beyond their domain. Eastern medicine treats all humans as totally unique, is non-scientific, and relies on trial-and-error. He believes that we all do have much in common (we are human beings, after all!) but that each person's case is unique. He practically, but not quite, said that the individual is the fundamental unit in the practice of medicine. Medicine is a science that can be objectively applied to all people, but medicine is the treatment of people, not diseases.
Now, plenty of doctors will say similar things, but I've found that what they actually mean is that they practice alternative medicine. This is not true of my doctor. He claims to have been one of the founders of the term, "evidence-based medicine," which, even though I'm suspicious of the term, is something considered in opposition to alternative medicine.
There might be a name for the kind of medicine he practices - it might be "complementary medicine," which seems to be some kind of fusion of conventional and alternative medicine. But I don't know enough about these terms or medical philosophy to know if that is correct.
Another reason I clicked with this doctor is that he answered almost every question on my list before I asked it. We are totally on the same page.
Most importantly, this physician is as relentless and passionate about diagnosis as is Dr. Gregory House. He said that everything has a cause (or causes), and we can usually find it if we look in the right place. He was obviously excited at the prospect of having me as a patient (I have an intriguing little mystery going on), and he complimented me on the amount of research and thinking I've done about these issues.
I've signed up with MDVIP, the organization which handles the administrative, legal, and marketing work for this group of concierge physicians. The next things I'll do are to collect all of my medical records (a daunting task, since I've seen probably a dozen doctors in the past few years), and then schedule my annual physical.
It feels so great to have taken control like this. I've been in health-limbo for almost 3 years now, and it has caused me enormous stress. I wouldn't be surprised if that stress is one of the causes of the continuing problems. With this new doctor, I have confidence that I will find out, once and for all.