Introducing Dr. Jack Wolfson
Today I have the pleasure of introducing Clear Health Now's newest medical expert, cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.
Dr. Wolfson is a very unique doctor and will be a valuable addition to our current team of medical revolutionaries.
The core reason we put together Clear Health Now and the New Vitality Journal is to enlighten readers to the idea that the entire body is connected. If you treat it right, you can ward off some of the most feared diseases all at the same time. By focusing on prevention, the body is capable of amazing things.
As you know, we have doctors from different fields of study, but with that same basic philosophy.
As a radiation oncologist, Dr. Colin Champ is an expert on nutrition and cancer prevention.
As an integrative urologist, Dr. Geo Espinosa is an expert in male reproductive health and prostate function.
But when assembling the team, I noticed that there was one big piece missing.
There is really no more important or powerful organ. The heart does the most physical work of any muscle in your body. How powerful is it? Well...
Did you know that in under a minute, your heart can pump blood to every cell in your body?
Over the course of a day, about 100,000 heartbeats shuttle 2,000 gallons of oxygen-rich blood many times through about 60,000 miles of blood vessels that link together the cells of our organs and body parts.
All told, the heart pumps about 1 million barrels of blood during an average lifetime — enough to fill three super tankers.
So, I figured it would be prudent to have a heart expert on the team. That’s why we have brought Dr. Jack Wolfson on board.
Dr. Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist with over 12 years in practice. He was a senior partner with a large, multi-specialty cardiovascular group for 10 years performing angiograms, pacemakers, and cardiac ultrasound. In 2012, he opened Wolfson Integrative Cardiology, a private practice where the focus is on using nutrition, supplements, and chemical avoidance and detoxification.
I sat down with Dr. Wolfson to pick his brain about the current state of health and medicine, and what sets his practice apart from the traditional medical establishment...
Q: Hello Dr. Wolfson, thanks for taking the time to speak with us.
A: It's a pleasure to be here Jimmy, thank you.
Q: So you went through the typical medical trajectory: You went to medical school, were board certified, and then started a practice. At what point did you realize that you may have been misled in your education?
A: My father, may he rest in peace, was the first DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) at the Cleveland Clinic in 1970. He chose that path — and when I was finishing college, there was nowhere I'd rather go but Chicago Osteopathic. My father was on staff, head of cardiology. I could have gone to plenty of medical schools, but I idolized my father and knew I belonged there.
I did my four years of osteopathic medical school, then I did three years of internal medicine training and got my board certification in Internal Medicine from the American Board of Internal Medicine. Then I did a three-year cardiology fellowship and became a board-certified cardiologist, and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology.
I left Chicago and moved out to Arizona to join the largest cardiology practice in Arizona — I was a senior partner until 2012.
Q: What happened then?
Well, I met my wife — a chiropractor — and she opened up my eyes to the natural world, if you will. The idea of finding out the cause of health problems and disease, using nutrition, lifestyle changes, supplements, relaxations, sleep and physical activities — to correct health problems, instead of the band-aid approach of conventional medicine — which is just pills and procedures.
So I started my own practice, Wolfson Integrative Cardiology.
Q: So in medical school, you didn't get much education in nutrition, is that right?
It's overlooked, to say the least.
The pharmaceutical companies OWN medical education. The emphasis is certainly on pills and procedures. We get extensive training in pharmacology. In fact, most — if not all — students are thrilled to write that first prescription; it's a very exciting day for young doctors when they get to write that first prescription.
Jimmy, the amount of time we spent of nutrition, lifestyle, avoiding environmental toxins, rest and relaxation — even basic things like exercise — is just about zero.
We did not get that training.
It's in the literature, but is typically bypassed, but we're trained not to care about those issues. The vast majority of medical training has nothing to do with prevention of these issues.
Q: How much of "Big Pharma" influence plays into this? Is it more of an establishment thing, or something more nefarious?
A: I think that doctors simply don't see the problem with pharma companies interfering with their education. It's very clear that pharma companies influence education and sway the opinion of doctors with something as little as paying for a cup of coffee, or a pen that has the drug information printed on it.
It's very influential...
Before I talked to you, a drug rep walked into my neighbor's doctor's office with two bagfuls of Starbucks...
To say it doesn't influence what doctors are doing or prescribing is an absolute fallacy and anyone who denies that fact is very ignorant.
Q: Do you think it's more of a subconscious thing? Or is it more sinister than that — like legal bribery?
I think it's outright bribery. And I'm not the only one who says this — Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine has spoken out against this and written whole books about it. It may be better now than it was in the 80s where doctors were flown all over the world in the name of research, but it is still very prevalent.
I remember years ago, I was flown out to California for a “seminar”, and they gave me $1,500 a day so they can teach me about their new drug.
That's pure payola!
So, there are two things: one, you feel an obligation to prescribe their drugs, and two, you feel excited about prescribing their drugs in the future so you can get more of those freebies!
It's pretty simple when you look at it.
Q: So you are an Osteopathic Doctor. Could you explain the difference between yourself and a "traditional" doctor?
Osteopathic medicine was founded in the late 1800s by a doctor by the name of A.T. Still.
What he realized was that mainstream medicine was recommending a lot of unnecessary surgeries and prescribing toxic compounds like mercury and arsenic — things we now know to be extremely dangerous.
What they realized is that we need to get back to treating people by getting poisons and toxins out of the body, and let the body heal itself. Unfortunately, osteopathic medicine has kind of lost its way as well, and now many of them are taking more influence from the pharmaceutical industry.
Interesting times in medicines today...
Q: So what is your routine with a new patient? How does the approach differ from the 10 minutes doctors spend with a new patient today?
Well, everything is individual as a person... so you need to take time to find out about everyone's personal situation.
In my practice now, my new consultations last 75 minutes, where in my old practice new consultations were 10 minutes long.
My follow-up examinations are between 30 and 45 minutes because that's the minimum amount of time it takes to really know somebody — their history, their concerns — to really examine them and to really teach them the best way to get and stay healthy.
You cannot do that in a quick 10-minute office visit. You just can't...
The only thing you can do in 10 minutes is recommend a prescription or a procedure, without really teaching the patient anything at all.
Q: So, as a cardiologist, let's get into some basic heart health information. What do you have to tell a patient or a reader who is on heart medications like statins?
I provide patients with real data and let them make their own decisions from there.
One big problem is they haven't ever been told the risks, they are just told to take the drug. But most doctors don't explain the actual results and data...
When you actually inform a patient and tell them “Hey Mr. Jones, these statins may lower your risk of a heart attack risk from 8.5% to 6.5%”, the patient will look at you and say 'What! Only a 2% reduction'?
Once you tell them the actual data, they would be very, very wary of taking the pharmaceuticals.
But that's not what the doctor tells you...
The doctor just says take this drug if you want to prevent a heart attack. And if you refute that, that doctor is going to get upset and say “Well, do you want to have a heart attack, do you want to have a stroke?”
And of course they don't! So they take the drug...
I'm all about informing people about the risks and benefits. In almost every case I try to get patients off of these drugs.
I can get a baseline look at their advanced lipid particles, inflammatory numbers and other health markers, to see what the baseline is for that person, because everyone is different.
Then you assess what the appropriate therapy is.
On very rare occasions, I'll keep a patient on statins... but most of the time, we can use lifestyle changes, nutrition, and natural supplements to get the blood work where we need it.
Most cardiologists just want to reduce your cholesterol as much as possible.
What I tell people is, I want to find your perfect “Paleo” numbers. If you were walking around 25,000 years ago what would your cholesterol numbers be?
For each person it would be different: you'll be different than your best friend from high school, different from your boss, it would be different from your next-door neighbor.
We need to find what is perfect for you, so you can thrive in this world.
Not only prevent heart disease, but have a healthy brain, healthy muscles, and an overall healthy body.
Q: Dr. Wolfson, I know you've have some backlash from the "traditional" medical establishment. Can you talk about that?
There are a few haters, but there are a lot more people who love it. But the vast majority are those people with no opinion... they don't know alternatives to statin drugs, to blood pressure drugs, to psych drugs... all of the things that you represent at Clear Health Now and The New Vitality Journal.
It's all about informing the reader. We disseminate the truth. It's that simple.
Q: Thanks for talking with us Dr. Wolfson, we're thrilled to have you aboard.
Thanks Jimmy, I'm really looking forward to it.
Yours in health,
Contributing Editor, Clear Health Now