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HEALTH WATCH: A Physician's Apology

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:54 PM CDT
ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --   Pensacola Doctor Tom Schneider is a very conventionally trained physician.
The retired Navy Fighter Pilot and Vietnam vet went to medical school at Georgetown and trained at Johns Hopkins...

But after decades of practice, he's changed the way he looks at and prescribes medicine.
Tom Schneider's a different kind of doctor.

He teaches his patients for two hours at a time.  He's Board Certified in five different specialties and he wants to say, "I'm sorry." to you and to patients he's treated in the past. (("I've been giving information, that was fed to me, that we now know, is not valid."))

Schneider has a book due out this month called, "A Physician's Apology."
(("Half of what we've been taught in medical school is absolutely wrong, half of it is okay, what's the problem? We don't know what is what."))

In 1994 Schneider had a heart attack, open heart surgery, diabetes. He spent four months in intensive care.
(("I came out massively overweight, on drugs that dried me out, couldn't think, foggy, no energy, impotent. I wanted to throw in the towel."))

Instead he began thinking about how much and for how long we medicate ourselves.
(("Have an ache, take a pill. Headache, take a pill, my cholesterol is high, take a pill. My point is, there is no pill for life."))

Schneider says he's not anti meds -- he still takes four pills a day but he says it's an easy way for doctors to fix chronic diseases for the short term.

Schneider focuses on prevention -- and avoids long-term medications.
He researches a patient's hormone levels -- and measures their neurotransmitters -- brain chemicals -- to see if those are out of balance.

(("You mean to say Tom, that because my dopamine is low my body is saying I need carbs, I need sugar, I need nicotine  I need alcohol, cause those substances raise dopamine"))

Schneider says forget the thinking that you need an hour a day of cardio to lose weight or to be healthy -- he says 15 minutes of activity like gardening is fine, and resistance training is better than a ton of aerobics.  Forget running -- Schneider says that's just wear and tear on your body.

(("Don't make much sense, but if I say that, it doesn't sell treadmills."))
He says Americans are overly worried about -- and don't understand cholesterol.

(("Cholesterol is a protective element that your body makes. Your body doesn't make snake venom."))

He says ask about your lipid levels instead.
Schneider says most doctors are tied by time constraints, laws, insurance and pharmaceutical companies and what he calls outdated science.

(("You're responsible for your healthcare. You're doctor can spotlight, but you're responsible."))
Schneider says this book took him years to write -- he's sure his medical colleagues won't approve but he did not write it for them.

(("A book that really talks about the facts. The truth about those things that aren't gonna sell, not gonna sell products, but it's the truth."))HEALTH WATCH: A Physician's Apology


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