At 3rd Opinion we treat patients, not diseases. Most patients have been trained to think that diagnosis is the most important thing. It is health we are after. Around the year 1900, William Osler (some call him the father of modern medicine) said, “It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of disease a patient has.”
While the diagnosis is important, it is not the only consideration. The diagnosis is often just a collection of symptoms. If you have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or even arthritis, none of these are any “thing” that can be cut out laid on a table and looked at. They are concepts. They are simply ways of categorizing and cataloging illness. They have no independent reality.
However, understanding you, the patient, has independent reality. If we can understand how you interact and adapt to the environment around you we can find new ways to intervene and restore balance and health.
Take the example of arthritis. At 3rd Opinion we will be interested in making the correct diagnosis, not just of arthritis, but what exact subtype of arthritis. Far more important to us is not that you have arthritis but rather why do you have arthritis. By trying to understand why you have any particular disease we can understand how to mitigate, reduce or even resolve it.
3rd Opinion is really about “Why?” rather than “What.” We treat mostly chronic complex disease. Things like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, arthritis, heart disease, tick-borne disease (lyme disease) and other “mystery diseases”. We are medical detectives.
Dr. Sult started in the medical field as a paramedic in an advanced life support mobile intensive care unit. From there he went to acupuncture school. After a year in acupuncture school he decided to go to medical school. He spent 2 years at St. Georges University School of Medicine in Grenada the West Indies.
There he lived with a Grenadian family interested in preserving their indigenous culture. He was introduced to local healers and “Bush Doctors”. He found the indigenous healing practices interesting and in harmony with his acupuncture training. He also wondered about the modern biochemical implications of these therapies.
Dr. Sult transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). There he met Mr. Norman Cousins. While not a doctor, Mr. Cousins was the head of the department of psycho neuro-immunology. This is a fancy scientific way of saying holistic medicine. It was fascinating to find a group of scientists looking seriously at the interrelationship of mind, body and environment. And it was reaffirming to the other lessons learned both in acupuncture school and by the indigenous healers of Grenada. Mr. Cousins remained an important mentor to Dr. Sult until his death in 1990.
Dr. Sult is on faculty with the Institute of Functional Medicine and teaches doctors from around the world the principles of functional medicine. At 3rd Opinion Dr. Sult applies the principles of functional medicine to his patient’s medical conditions. More can be learned about functional medicine at http://www.functionalmedicine.org