I was admitted to our local Hospital in Germany with what turned out to be a torn ligament in my knee. It was after hours and the young doctor admitting me told me I was going to be a cripple now for life. I now know he probably meant well, wanting to scare me so I would not ever ride a motorcycle again- but I had the worst night and didn’t get a wink of sleep.
The next day the doctor’s supervisor told me this could be addressed with routine surgery. During that hospital stay I decided that I could do better than that fellow, if only for having empathy.
I went on to study medicine at the University of Düsseldorf at the Rhine river where I lived and aimed to become a cardio-thoracic surgeon. I began the 6 year long residency in Duisburg, Germany only to realize soon that this was not what I thought I should be doing: It felt like it was too late in the “game”, as these patients were already so sick that, indeed, only surgery could help them. Yet all it did was buy them some time, their disease was too advanced to really make them well. I wanted to intervene earlier, when there would be an opportunity to expand the patient’s health span (the life in your years) rather than just their life span (the years in your life).
That’s when I decided to go into Primary care.
Around that time I had met my wife Annette. We decided to emigrate to the US and after residency and employment in Margaretville, NY we moved to Corvallis.
I began working for the Corvallis Clinic in North Albany in 2008 as a Family Doctor. For a long time I had the feeling that conventional medicine was missing the mark when it came to chronic disease. The epiphany came when I myself was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, a condition where the immune system starts attacking the thyroid gland. I did everything the conventional approach would entail but, even though all standard laboratory markers normalized, I did not feel any better. I still was severely fatigued, had joint pain all the time and at the age of 47 felt very old.
I have since discovered and trained in Functional Medicine, which helped me find the root causes of my condition and resolve them or reduce their impact. Today I am symptom free and only take a third of my original dosage of thyroid hormone.
I began incorporating Functional Medicine into my standard primary care practice and ultimately decided to start my own office.
I founded The Thrive Clinic to be able to provide uncompromising Functional Medicine, to realize its full potential. I invite you to take a look at the video on the page linked below from the Institute of Functional Medicine to learn more.