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Doctors David and Seuss
What Kind of a Doctor Are You?

Some people think I call myself Doctor David as an honorific, to put on airs. The truth is, my last name is hard to pronounce, let alone remember. Also, I like lessening the authoritarianism endemic in doctor patient relationships; I quote what my mentor told his patients, "I am a consultant. You are the chairman of the board."

Then, Dr Seuss, wrote a poem entitled Too Many Daves: "Did I ever tell you about Mrs. McCave./ She had 24 sons and she named them all Dave./ Well, she did and that wasn't a smart thing to do./ You see, when she wants one and calls out, 'Yoo hoo./ Come into the house, Dave,' she doesn't get one./ All 24 Daves of hers come on the run."

Then, the aliteration helps people remember, the d... d... d..., and connect; when I introduce myself as Doctor David, many people tell me that they've heard of me.

These days I prefer publishing to doctoring. Still, my girlfriend, Veronica, fascinated by my medical talents, refers patient after patient in to see me, mostly students from the Waldorf School where she teaches, all of whom get better after the proper homeopathic remedy is administered. Of course, kids are easier to treat than adults.

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Last week I wrote and published an article (Magical Mystery Tour) in which I mentioned that I am still practicing. After which I received the following emailed inquiry, in a reply appended to my magazine newsletter.

On 2019-02-17 10:00, X wrote:

Could you please let me know what kind of doctor you are?

X

On Feb 17, 2019, at 9:39 AM, Lokkal / SM Events wrote:


To which I responded:

Hola X,
Como estas?
I am a Naturopathic Doctor. My main expertise is classical homeopathy, although I have a great deal of experience in psychological counseling, nutrition and other modalities. I was licensed as a Naturopath for 23 years in the States.
Homeopathy works. The proper remedy stimulates and strengthens your vitality without your needing to change your life. But I do have a lot of people skills and am very good at communicating and coming up with programs that people can follow for people that do want to make changes.
What more can I share with you?
Yours,
Dr David

I thought of adding, "Up north most of my patients came to me after they had been everywhere and tried everything," and/or "I've helped a lot of people, "which is the truth, but I didn't.

Back came X's reply:

Thank you for your reply "Dr" David ".
So in fact you are not a doctor or physician. I guess that you use the term doctor as a nickname or to misrepresent who you are professionally. I was suspicious when you called yourself Dr. David. No real physician would simple use their first name. Hey, but this is Mexico so you can take these liberties. Enjoy the ride.

My reply to his:

I mistook your highly prejudiced inquiry as that of a potential patient in need and answered it as such.

I went to a 4-year, post graduate, accredited school of medicine. I graduated that school, thus earning my title, doctor, ND, naturopathic doctor.
I was licensed as a naturopathic doctor by a state licensing board.
I practiced as a licensed physician for 23 years.

If that is not good enough for you, then I'm sorry.
Yes, this is Mexico; lighten up.

His reply to mine:

Yes, I was exploring various doctors and did the conscientious step of exploring each doctor's credentials. You and I know the difference between being a licensed physician/doctor and what it turns out you do, "Doctor Dave". I am not denigrating what you do but I feel there is a very serious misrepresentation. BTW, are you also the person that represents himself as a rabbi/Jewish scholar?

When one makes representations about themselves, they usually don't get so defensive when an inquiry is made. Lighten up. Bottom line is that I wish you well with your event publication.

Comic that I am, I always imagine, the question "What kind of a doctor are you?" as a rhetorical one, in an emphatic, accusatory tone, as in "What kind of a monster are you?!" This time, it turns out, I was right.

****

My daughter, both of whose parents are naturopathic doctors, when she was at the University of California at Santa Cruz, that hotbed of leftist politics, complained, "My friends are all revolutionaries, but they completely believe whatever their doctor says."

Medicine is the most unscientific science. The US Government Accounting Office states that only 10-20% of medical practices have ever been shown to be effective. (Surgery is not medicine. Surgery is a separate art.) That's hard to believe, until you consider that antibiotics have never been shown to lessen the severity or duration of an earache. Buyer beware.

My ex-wife's uncle was Medical Director of Cedars of Lebanon Hospital for 27 years. Thirty years ago, while we were visiting her folks in southern California, Uncle Harold came over. Medical Director is the top dog, the head of both sides of the hospital, medical and business. Twenty-seven years is a dynasty. Uncle Harold was a big man, a philosopher. Sitting there in the living room I ventured, "It seems to me that medicine in the last 25 years has been a two-sided coin." "Yes?" he asked encouragingly. "The major advances have all been do to better technology." "Yes," he concurred readily. (I didn't itemize for him, but I was referring to soft tissue imaging [MRIs], colonoscopies, instant blood analysis, et al.) "On the other side of the coin, our actual understanding of medicine [which is to say disease] has progressed very little, you might say, not at all." Again he agreed without thought or hesitation. In the 30 years since that chat nothing has changed.

Virtually all of the improvement in health during the 1900s was due to hygienic measures, not medical advances. (The Mirage of Health, Rene Dubois) Indoor plumbing, arguably benefits our health more than all of medicine combined. When you had to go down the street to fetch water and carry it up the stairs, people didn't wash their hands very much. When you had to go down the street and pay money to take a bath, most people didn't or only did so on special occasions. The institution of the eight-hour work day was a great boon to people's health. Exercise is the best way to prevent heart attacks. Diet is the best way to lower cholesterol, etcetera, etcetera.

Follow the money. Pharmaceutical companies contribute to medical schools, and so determine what kind of medicine gets taught. The sicker you get, the more money they make. My bumper-sticker would be, "Resist the Medicalization of Life."

The way standard, allopathic medicine gained dominance, in the early 1900s, over its other less pharmaceutically oriented cousins, including naturopathy, can be summarized very efficiently under the rubric "unfair trade practices." (Divided Legacy, Harris L Coulter) The AMA gained control of state licensing boards, and through them medical schools, by instituting criteria which are clearly not in the public's (or medicine's) good. (Late in the 1900s chiropractors successfully sued the AMA for monopolistic practices.)

Homeopathy, the scientific application of the minimal dose, arose largely in response to the unscientific administration of large doses of often poisonous drugs; Mercury kills bacteria, gonorrhea and the strep in little Johnny's sore throat. In the early 1900s, doctoring was still deservedly a largely disreputable profession. Mark Twain opined, "We can thank the homeopath for making his allopathic brethren stand up on their hind legs and learn something about medicine." The medical ethic, "First, do no harm," exists, because, indeed, a great deal of harm is done.

The licensing of naturopathic doctors survived in seven states, and, has in the last three decades, been revived in a dozen or so more. "Naturopathy" is an umbrella term, covering natural methods of treating people: acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs, nutrition midwifery and many more other modalities are included.

****

Although my most important mentors were MDs, no, I myself am not. I am an ND. Some people, like the person who wrote me the emails, only believe in RDs, "Real Doctors," that is, MDs. (Believe it or not, I've never wished I were an MD; MDs practicing alternative medicine risk penalties for not following the "standard of practice" of their profession as dictated by their licensing boards.)

Just yesterday, reclining aside the lily pond at Escondido Place, a father told me how his son wound up in jail, adding, "It was so unjust." I commiserated with him, "Patients would come to see me and tell me, 'My friends think I'm crazy for coming here.' I'd tell them, 'I can tell you something about your friends.' 'What?' 'They've never been sick.' 'That's true.' 'If you have never been to court, you can believe that the justice system is about delivering justice. If you have never been sick, you can believe that doctoring is about getting you well.'" People like to believe.

When I was in my third year of medical school in northern California, I went with my housemate and her 18 month old child with cystic fibrosis (CF), to see his doctor (his last name was Lippo [sp?]) at Oakland Children's Hospital. This doctor, an international authority on the pulmonary aspects of CF, said that if the child got over the infection in his lungs, he'd gain ten pounds. I waited for an appropriate moment and asked, "Does it take that many calories to fight a lung infection?" "No," he responded, fully aware of how many calories it takes to fight a lung infection, and continued, "I've seen it happen hundreds of times and I have no idea why. There is an awful lot going on inside the body and we have very little idea what any of it is."

Calling a doctor is like calling a lawyer or the police; it should only be done in desperation, after you've every possibility of solving the problem on your own. I used to tell my patients, "Stay away from doctors... including me."

****

"Doctor" means teacher. It is the same as the root of the word "eDUCation," to lead. I do, as my email correspondent accuses, refer to myself as a "scholar" (Jewish and otherwise). In fact, of all the praise I give myself, the best is that I am a good student. The rabbis (of whom, despite my email correspondent's accusation, I have never claimed to be one) tell us in the Talmud, "I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues and most from my students."

Dear Email Correspondent,
The title of doctor and the licensing of persons with that title are not the exclusive domain of medical doctors. (ND, OD, OMD, DC, DDS PhD...) Education involves changing your mind and, so I've found, does healing. I hope you feel better now that I've advertised my credentials in this article. Thank you for your well-wishes regarding my event calendars. Please except my best wishes for an improvement in your well being.
Sincerely,
Dr David

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photo: Alessandro Bo (cropped)

Dr David has invested years of his life and more money than he cares to reckon into his global Lokkal project, an event calendar and searchable directory/business network for towns and cities around the world, combining aspects of Facebook, Google and Trip Advisor. Think: Digital Town Square. Think: the yellow pages for the new millenium. See more. A madman crying in the wilderness for years, reinforcements are recently arriving, the A team is assembling and preparations to launch in other cities are being made, gracias a dios. Interested?

events @ sanmiguelevents.com

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