502: Patient Power Unleashed: Dr. Henry Buchwald’s Revolutionary Approach
In this podcast episode, Ashley James interviews Dr. Henry Buchwald, a 90-year-old physician with extensive experience. They acknowledge that the medical system is broken and driven by profits rather than patient outcomes. Dr. Henry suggests that individuals can take action by voting with their dollars and engaging in consumer activism. They can choose alternative healthcare plans or insurance options that offer better coverage and are more affordable. The episode emphasizes the need to support healthcare solutions that prioritize patient well-being over profit and to seek out individual doctors who can provide personalized care without being constrained by administrative demands. The aim is to shape and reform the broken system through collective action and make it more patient-centric.
- The current medical system is broken, with the United States spending the most on healthcare yet having poor outcomes.
- The system is driven by profit rather than focusing on patient well-being and true healing.
- Dr. Henry Buchwald, a 90-year-old physician, suggests individual actions to combat the feeling of helplessness.
- Consumer activism can be exercised by voting with our dollars and making conscious choices in purchasing health insurance or alternative healthcare options.
- There are affordable alternatives to traditional health insurance plans that offer comprehensive coverage with no network restrictions.
- The broken medical system benefits companies that profit from keeping people sick rather than helping them get better.
- Seeking out individual doctors not bound by administrative constraints can lead to more personalized and holistic care.
- By collectively engaging in consumer activism and supporting healthcare solutions that prioritize patient outcomes, the broken system can be reformed to provide better care.
Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. I know you're like me, and you are here because you believe that this medical system is broken. There's something wrong. There's something very wrong. We spend the most in the United States than any other nation on our healthcare, and yet we have some of the worst outcomes. It's a for-profit industry, not a for-results industry. It's so corrupt and so sick, and yet as individuals, we feel so helpless. Who are we against these giant industries that have made billions on our backs? They have made billions on keeping us sick and preventing us from knowing the true nature of healing. Because they have to find a drug for that, right?
So I have an amazing guest here today. He's 90 years old. He's been practicing medicine for sixty-three years, as a physician, as a surgeon, and as a professor. He's written an intriguing book where he shares his sixty-three years of experience, and he saw the system changing. We're not saying it was perfect sixty-three years ago, but it has certainly gotten worse. My guest today is Dr. Henry Buchwald. One of the things that he suggests, which I thought was really interesting, that we could do as individuals to stop feeling so helpless against them — the 99% against the 1% — well, together, we can vote with our dollars. Another way to say it is consumer activism. But you don't have to go and get out there with a picket sign and march around. When I say activism, a lot of images come to mind of protesting together. We can protest with our purchases. We can choose to buy health insurance or alternatives to health insurance that are even better, that are cheaper, and give us better coverage.
And that is why I was so excited about this, when I talked about it in Episode #50 because not every single state has it yet, but most of the states in the United States have this alternative to health insurance that is so incredibly cheap, and it's so incredibly affordable. I think it starts at $78 a month for individuals, and it is $600 or something a month for the average family. It's so comprehensive; there's no network. You can go to any state and go to any physician or any doctor, and you'll be covered. If you are like me and you'd like to put your money towards anything that has to do with helping to solve this problem, solve the juggernaut that is the broken medical system. And when I say broken, it's by design. It's broken when you look at it from a patient standpoint, but it is working very well for those companies who wish to make a profit off of our illness and not help us get better, either. They keep us sick because that is the most profitable thing for them to do.
So, I'd love for you to go to learntruehealth.com/healthcare. Check it out and let me know what you think. I am very excited about it. You can purchase for your family an alternative to health insurance that is taking your dollars, and instead of putting it into an insurance company, it's putting it into a healthcare plan that is more comprehensive. They'll give you more coverage. It gives you more freedom, and it takes the profit away from the problem. Now, you can also go out and find licensed naturopathic physicians and osteopathic physicians, and other forms of working with a physician that is not buying into or putting your dollars into the problem, which are these clinics or these hostile networks that are run by the doctor's answer to the administrators. Instead of them being able to practice medicine, they have to adhere to the administration that they are being hired by.
So instead, go find individual doctors. Seek out the holistic-minded doctors that are not part of those networks. I sit with my doctor for an hour, sometimes 90 minutes. I mean, this is amazing care for the same price because many of these physicians are covered under insurance. Or, as I pointed out, go to learntruehealth.com/healthcare, and you can get an alternative to health insurance that gives you even better benefits for cheaper, and that is because what's popping up now are the answers to this problem, which is finding the care you deserve.
I don't want to put my money towards those health insurance companies that are part of the problem. I don't want to put my money towards clinics or those clinic networks or hospital networks that are part of the problem. That's why I go seeking individual doctors that don't have to adhere to or answer to an administration. And I go seeking health care that doesn't pay into the problem. So if we all get together, it's called consumer activism. If we voted with our dollars, we could help to shape this broken system, to turn it right side up, so that it can be focused on patient outcomes first, which is what we deserve. And that's what we talked about today with Dr. Buchwald. I'm so happy you're here. Please share this with those you care about and share this with those who are just sick and tired of being squished by the boot of this broken medical system, this for-profit medical system. It's really disgusting that these companies are getting away with it, and we've let them. But it happened so slowly that we didn't really see it coming.
And now we listen to a 90-year-old doctor who's like, “Hey, wait a second. It used to be better, and we need to make changes because it's getting worse and worse and worse.” They are able to squeeze more and more profits out of us and get less and less results. Actually, they get results. They're just really bad outcomes. I want to see all of us be healthy, and we all deserve the best care possible, and that's not what we're being given here.
[0:07:10.4] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is Episode #502.
I am so excited for today's guest. We have with us an amazing doctor, Ph.D., surgeon MD, teacher, healthcare pioneer, patient advocate, and author. For over 60 years, you've been in this field advocating for us and speaking out about the injustices in the healthcare system, Dr. Henry Buchwald, it's so good to have you here, and I can't wait to talk about your book, Healthcare Upside Down: A Critical Examination of Policy and Practice. We're seeing this as patients. We've been personally experiencing this, and we talk about it all the time on the show. How many times did we go to a doctor and, like we talked about before we hit record — “Oh, your disease is just a little bit. Let's wait till it becomes worse, and then we'll give you a drug.” Well, why not practice prevention? Well, there's money to be made. I believe that when people go to medical school, their heart's in the right place. I don't think that they're evil. I think the system is broken and designed to make a profit. The number one goal should be designed to help people live long, healthy, happy lives. But it's not designed that way. It's designed to make a profit first. And this is the problem. It is the moment that there's money involved then their corruption can pour in.
So before we jump in to talk about your book, I'd love for you to share with us what happened in your life that made you want to become a doctor. Was there an “aha!” moment when your eyes were opened, and you realized, wow, this system is completely broken?
[0:09:06.1] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Well, thank you, first of all, for having me. It's a pleasure talking with you. I never wanted to be a doctor when I was young. I wasn't one of these kids who said, “I'm going to be a doctor. I'm going to be a doctor.” I liked learning. I like two things — athletics and learning. So as I went through school, every subject interested me. And when I went through college, Columbia College, everything interested me. My friends were going to medical school, so I said, let's go to medical school. The other area which interested me the most in college was philosophy of religion. And I spent some of my courses at the Union Theological Seminary with the great theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. But I didn't want to become a philosophy or religion teacher. So I went to medical school. Everything in medical school interested me. And then, finally, when I got into surgery service in my third year of medical school, I was at an externship in Cooperstown, New York, and I went to Columbia University Medical School College of Physicians and Surgeons, now called the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. And they had a rotation in this wonderful little place in Cooperstown, New York, Mary Imaging Bassett Hospital. So when I went there, it all jelled. Surgery seemed to fit me and, pardon the pun, like a glove. One day, my wife and I were at the lake where we lived close to Lake Otsego, and I listed all the things that were good about medicine, internal medicine, and so on. She said, follow your heart. And it took me about one second; I said surgery.
Surgery has always been my aspiration from thereon in. After my service in the Strategic Air Command on flying status as a flight surgeon, I went to Minnesota, finished my residency, and I've never left there. I am now at Emeritus status, having been a Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering and the first Wangensteen Chair in Experimental Surgery. During this time period, medicine and the practice of medicine changed. Looking at it from two ends — let's say, three ends — in the beginning, administration served the profession. The doctors, the nurses, the medical schools, the hospitals — administration was there to facilitate. The medical professionals — doctors, nurses — were independent. They did what they and their patients disseminated could be done or should be done.
And let me get to preventing disease in a couple of minutes into this. And the patients felt they were patients. They went to a doctor. They were being taken care of. And this was epitomized in the patient saying, “My doctor.” What does that mean today? That has changed. It's no longer “my doctor.” It's a conglomerate. It's a bunch of robots. There is no “my doctor” anymore. And the doctor would say, “My patient.” It doesn't mean it's a possessiveness of a patient. It means, “I take responsibility for you.” And so that has been shattered. So if we look at the three elements again, the patient — and this is one of the chapters in my book — the words precede the actions. George Orwell, in his book 1984, knew this. So the patient is no longer called a “patient.” It's called the “client.” That's a business term. And the doctor is no longer called a “doctor.” The doctor is called a “provider,” and the doctor is no longer an independent entity. Essentially, all doctors, except rural physicians or those that work for government agencies, are employees. And then, finally, this administration that used to be the facilitator has become the dominator. The administration is in charge, and they run healthcare like a business model. Actually, I used to go to a nursing station. It's now called a firm.
And so the changes come, in my lifetime, from a doctor-patient relationship where the patient was a patient, the doctor was a doctor, and the administrator was a facilitator, and it's now turned. That's why I called the book Healthcare Upside Down. Now, the administrator sits on top and dictates what's going to happen to the employee provider, and the patient is left out of this. There are so many examples. For instance, if you call your “doctor” today, you don't end up talking to him or her. You talk to a robot, and probably the robot sends you to another robot, and then they send you to an inquisitor who wants to know everything about you. And really, do you ever talk to the doctor? And then, finally, you might be told, “Well, there are lots of providers. Doctor so and so could see you in two months. But in the meantime, you can see so and so.” Why? Because it's a business model. Because the second so and so has an opening. So you got to fill it to make the money to pay this person.
And so, it has changed. And what I provide in this book is not only an analysis of how it's changed in the teaching, in the medical school, in the clinic, and in the hospital. I take on COVID, socialized medicine research, public health, etc., and end up with ten recommendations of maybe how to change this and put healthcare right side up. But the whole idea of the book is to draw attention to the fact that things have changed. And to do this, I don't want it to be my opinion. So throughout the book, everything is verified with statistics, with facts. I don't want statistics to be boring, but statistics have to be looked at, and I'll just give one. We have the life expectancy of a third-world country. And every country in Europe, Western Europe or Australia, New Zealand, and your home state Canada has a longer life expectancy. And within our own country, we have disadvantaged populations — native Americans and African-Americans. In every category of world statistics, how we do with heart disease, etc., diabetes, we're nowhere close to the top, except in one category — cost. Our healthcare takes 17% of our gross national product, and the nearest neighbor is at least 4% or 5% further down, and that is Switzerland.
So, we are upside down, and I don't see any American would tolerate this in any other area. I'll give you an example. If you wanted to take your kids to the ball game, and you called and said, “I want a ticket,” and the person at the other end said, “Yes, we'll send you two tickets, but we'll tell you what day you can come. We'll tell you what teams are playing, and we'll tell you where you'll be seated.” Wouldn't you go? You wouldn't buy a car if the dealership would say, “No, I don't care what you think. You're going to get that car.” But we do this today with health care. We pay for it. That is “we” — everyone pays for it in one way or another; taxes, private insurance. And yet we have no say in what happens. And this transition has come about in my lifetime in medicine. And so I thought, okay, I'm no longer young. Can I at least write a book about it to call some attention, and maybe America can wake up and say we can do better?
[0:19:10.3] Ashley James: I hope it's okay for me to say you're 90 years old. Is that correct?
[0:19:14.2] Dr. Henry Buchwald: That is absolutely, and I hope to be older.
[0:19:19.1] Ashley James: You don't look a day over 75. So you're doing something right. And what I love is that you're standing on your soapbox saying, “Hey, there's something to learn here.” We need to look to the wisdom of those who have come before us, and you, in your lifetime, have seen the change. It's easy for us to believe that how it is now is how it's always been. And that's a fallacy that keeps the wool over our eyes. Well, this is just how it's done. And yet it is not the best way. It's the most profitable way for those in charge and at the expense of us, at the expense of our mental health, emotional health, and of course, our physical health. Our physical health is degrading, and also our financial health. That is, half or more than half of all bankruptcies in the United States are because of medical bills. And yet we have the worst outcomes of all first nations. Like you said, we're the equivalent of third-world nations when it comes to our health outcomes in statistics, and yet we pay the most as a country. We pay the most than any other country in the world, and we get the worst outcomes. How is that even possible? Well, it's possible because, like you said, it is turned upside down; it is a for-profit industry.
Now, I had my first experience when I was a teenager, and I needed medication temporarily because I had bronchitis or something, and I didn't know as much about holistic health as I do now. So I got a prescription. This is back when I lived in Canada. I remember paying $20 for it. I got so upset because, in Canada, it's supposed to be covered. Healthcare is supposed to be “free” because almost half of our paycheck goes towards paying for these social services like free universal healthcare. And the pharmacist looked at me and said, “Honey, in America, this exact same medication costs $400. So your $20 is not a big deal.” And I went, “Oh, I didn't know that.” And then, when I was visiting the States, I tripped on something. I twisted my ankle and went to the hospital. They took a good twenty X-rays. I thought this was complete overkill because, in Canada, you're lucky to get three. Usually, you only get two X-rays for something like an ankle or a leg. You got one angle, and you got the other angle. That's all you need. There are only two planes. Why would you do more than two? And they kept doing so many X-rays, and it dawned on me. I'm like, this is a for-profit country when it comes to healthcare. And in Canada, it's a “how much can we save on the medical.”
So in Canada, the pressure on the providers, the pressure on the doctors is, where can I cut costs? So it is still money-driven, and the outcomes are not incentivized. Like, how can I make my patient the healthiest person? Let's focus on that only, even if it costs a bit more. In Canada, no, you got to cut costs. So you only get two X-rays. You don't get three, even if three was optimal. It's not about optimal. It's about cutting costs. And in America, it's about making money. So we're going to take as many X-rays as we can because we can get more money that way. Neither system is perfect because neither system puts the patient first.
[0:23:15.6] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Absolutely correct. It diminished, but we used to have an exodus from Canada for surgery. And why? Because they were on our waiting list. And a waiting list in countries with so-called socialized medicine, such as Canada, has several purposes. One, it delays costs, and also, there's a sort of hidden hope that maybe you die in the meantime and you won't need the surgery. And so we had an influx of people who could afford to come down to Minnesota for heart surgery. And neither system, I won't even say perfect, but neither system is adequate. One thing that people in this country don't realize is that 60% to 65% of our healthcare is socialized medicine. If you count the armed forces, the VA system, the NIH, the Indian services, and above all, Medicare, and medical assistance, you come to about 60% to 65%, and the rest is paid for by private insurance. And these private insurances, their CEOs take home 20 or 30 million a year or more, and all their staff takes home a lot of money. Where does that money come from?
If you have a business model, the business model provides the money. But the money is going to that top administrative group of people. And if you look at the Fortune 500, many of the top companies are in medical care or pharmaceuticals, instruments, and so on. And so they're getting the money. It means the providers themselves — the doctors, the nurses — are not getting the money. And the money is not going into actual patient care. I'm a great believer in capitalism. And if you wanted to invent a hula hoop that's better than any hula hoop that's ever been invented, and you become a billionaire by selling it, that's wonderful. But I just don't think that people at the top administrative level should profit from denying or overdoing healthcare for the actual patients. I don't think socialized medicine is the answer, and I don't think our current system of insurance medicine is the answer, either.
[0:26:25.4] Ashley James: Is there a country out there that's doing it right?
[0:26:28.7] Dr. Henry Buchwald: I don't know. Socialized medicine may work for some countries that have a smaller population and a uniform population. Every time you look at that, you find some countries, for example, Austria. Most of the Austrians are happy. The people are happy. The doctors are happy. But there are flaws in it. Is there a perfect system? Probably none. As I said at the end of my book, I gave sort of ten suggestions. I can't change the healthcare system. But I give ten suggestions, and one of them is healthcare through not government per se and not-for-profits per se, but through some sort of fraternal organization. For instance, a huge fraternal organization is the postal workers and the Teamsters. Why shouldn't these groups self-insure or work through a group that will offer what they need, like a USAA? I belong to USAA because I'm a veteran, and their insurances are excellent policies, and it's a fraternal organization.
These things can exist. And the unions, when they meet with management, and management says, “We can spare you some dollars.” If we eliminate, let's say, obesity surgery or eliminate this; they have to say, “No, we have to treat all diseases. We have to do this, and you guys have to take less, and we'll maybe pay a little more.” So if the people who are the end beneficiaries of healthcare can maybe get together in their fraternal groups, maybe this is a way of financing healthcare. But the current system is upside down, and if you just say it's a business model, it's a failure of a business model. What business should succeed by charging the most and giving something that's inferior? That's not good business.
[0:29:16.0] Ashley James: That's broken into parts because if we look at it, right now, we're talking about health insurance or healthcare coverage. And that's one piece of the pie that's broken, but there are other pieces of the pie that's broken, and of them is, like you said, the organizations that employ the doctors themselves dictate how the doctors should provide care. It's called the practice of medicine because doctors should be allowed to practice it. In the last few years, we came across something we've never before had, in that doctors got their hands tied. They were not allowed to practice medicine when it came to treating patients with COVID-19. The institutions that employed them said, “You are not allowed to provide these drugs. You are not allowed to do this. You're not allowed to do that. This is the only way we're doing it.” And that made a lot of people very uncomfortable because providers and doctors have always been allowed to practice medicine. But the firms and the institutions that employ them, or the hospital networks that employ them, are the ones making the rules. And so the doctors found themselves with their hands tied, unable to help their patients the way they saw best.
The doctor should be empowered. They should be given the power to make the close calls because they're eye to eye with their patients, looking them in the eye and going, “I think that this is what would work.” And the doctors are the ones who've gone to medical school, who can read the latest literature, who can be up on the science. Medical decisions should not be made by people who don't have that science background. Instead, the decisions were being made by the institutions, the firms, the hospital networks, by administrators, not doctors. And that scares me. Can you speak to that? That section of healthcare is incredibly dangerous, people are dying, and people are suffering because the doctors' hands are being tied and the medical decisions, in some cases, are being made by administrators.
[0:31:28.0] Dr. Henry Buchwald: I agree with you. Forget all the controversy about COVID-19. But administrators in just ordinary times have come to dictate what operation should be done because of time in the hospital and what drugs can be used. Administrators like to get people into the hospital. Let's say a surgery patient — obviously, I know the most about surgery — comes in, let's say, the night before a surgery, oh there's a lot of money to be made. There are X-rays, there are labs, there's everything. That is great. And then comes surgery. Oh, there's a lot of money to be made. But then the patient is in bed for a day or so and recovering and then paying. That's not much money to be made. And so there is a push to get the patient out of the hospital. From the administrator's point of view, let's get them into the hospital, and then let's get them out as fast as possible. And this is being sold as this is the best thing for the patient. It may not be the best thing for the patient. It may not be the so-called “doctor,” now the “provider vendor” would like to do. But often, their hands are tied. And so many days after a gallbladder, one day you're out, and so on. Making individual decisions have to be justified over and over again rather than thwarting a rule. You have so many days to get this kind of patient out, so many days to get this kind of patient out. It was very different.
Let me give you anecdotes of a retelling. When I was a medical student at Columbia, my wife had the flu. And I somehow talked about it or mentioned that my wife had the flu on rounds. And a distinguished professor of medicine, Dr. Pereira, overheard me. At 8:00 that evening — and we lived in a fifth-floor walk-up — on the door, there was a knock. I opened the door, and there was Dr. Pereira with his little black bag. He said I heard your wife may have the flu. I came to listen to her lungs if that's okay with you, and make sure she doesn't have pneumonia. And, of course, I welcomed the man in. He saw my wife, and he left. As he left, he said, “I expect that when you graduate, you will carry on this tradition of taking care of other physicians. So there was “medical courtesy.” But today, there are at least three or four laws on the books that do not allow doctors to do pro bono work or give medical courtesy to fellow physicians or to anybody. I mean, I know in my practice that patients who couldn't pay, I didn't charge them. But today, that's against the law. Unless you do it in an organized fashion. If your institution says, “We, as an institution, are going to help this Native American tribe,” that's okay. But you, as an individual, once again, the independence of the physician, cannot say, “Hey, listen. Forget about it.”
My first patient I misdiagnosed. I had two months before I needed to go, or wanted to go, to the school of aviation medicine to get into the air force on flying status. And so I went in what sort of a locum tenens in a community up in the mountains of New York, and a woman came to me and had lymph nodes at the back of her neck. And coming from a specialty institution, I said, “We have to go to the hospital and get some tests tomorrow morning.” And in my mind, I said, she may have lymphoma. The next day she called me, since I couldn't go to the hospital, “Can you come to my house?” And I thought, terrible, terrible. So I went over, and she had a big rash. She got German measles from her kids. And so I was wrong, and I was happy to be wrong. She was not a wealthy woman. She was in an impoverished area, and I didn't charge her for that. So it was a different time, and nobody would put me in jail for not charging her. So that has changed. So many rules, as you said, or even laws, are placed upon the practice of medicine today. And, of course, one of the main things that have become so evident is the loss of a physician, the loss of a personal doctor.
And again, if we look at personal experiences, 1st of February 2016, I was thrown from a horse. Now, I've been riding horses all my life, and I was on a ranch, and usually, I went on roundup sitting and rode a lot. And anyway, for the first time in my life, the horse threw me. And I had eleven broken ribs, a comminuted scapular, a displaced lung was pushed over, and so on. So I was in the hospital for thirty-three days, half of which was in intensive care and then in rehab. Well, in intensive care — this was a hospital — every day, a new person would show up, usually a very, very young person, and he would say, “How are you?” And I would say, “Well, all right.” And he would say, “Good. Bye-bye.” And I never see him again. There was never a time somebody came over and said, “I am in charge of intensive care, and I'm your doctor.” It never happened. And then, when they transferred me to rehab, it was wonderful. The same hospital, but it was wonderful. It was run by an old man, relatively at the time. He was in his sixties and seventies, and I asked him, “How come this is so different on both sides?” And he said, “Well if they ever try to change my division, rehab, I'm leaving.” So, I was in that transition period. And that's what's happening. I never had a physician at the time. It would have been nice to have had a physician.
[0:39:33.2] Ashley James: The gentleman who was in charge of the rehab, can you illustrate how your care was there versus the ER, where people were just coming and going? “How are you doing? Okay, bye.” And there was no point where you could communicate with the same person through your care in the hospital. There was not one liaison for you. It was just a bunch of random doctors and healthcare providers, which is very disorienting. But that's the experience now when people go to the hospital. And then you get upgraded to rehab; tell us what that care was like.
[0:40:18.4] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Well, first of all, at 7:00 or so every morning, he showed up in my room. He made rounds. And we at least had a small conversation. He outlined the program where I would get out of bed, walk again with a walker, and then walk without a walker. He assigned me physical therapists, mostly people who would walk me, and then exercise therapists, who were superb and who were happy. And the same person came back the next day. I got to know them; they got to know me. It really helped me with rehabilitation there because this man was in charge, and everybody worked on the plan, and I had therapists who knew me and worked with me. It wasn't such a thing that every day I saw a different face, who really didn't care about much of anything, and I would see somebody else the next day. It was because he was an old-fashioned practitioner.
[0:41:43.2] Ashley James: And you saw the same team. You were part of a team, right?
[0:41:46.4] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Right.
[0:41:48.2] Ashley James: And they had a goal for you, and it was a team of health providers working with you, for you, the patient, to get you to the end goal. You all were working together towards that goal, and you felt supported.
[0:42:02.6] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Absolutely. I think you said it perfectly.
[0:42:06.5] Ashley James: So you said this was the transition time. You've illustrated what it looked like 60 years ago in medicine, where we could see it on black and white TV like Leave it to Beaver. Like, you go to your family doctor, and your family doctor sees your parents and sees your grandparents. It was the same practice and the same doctor. You had the same dentist, and you saw the same nurse. It felt very reassuring that someone knew you for most of your life and was able to guide you through your transitions in life because they really knew you, and they knew your family. They knew your medical history as opposed to the telemedicine or going to a clinic, and they're complete strangers. They're not really checking in on your health records. Your health records are incomplete. They really don't know your health history, and it's like getting in and out as fast as possible. He can't see a doctor for more than fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes would be amazing. People usually see doctors for nine minutes or less. And they don't really know you. How can they provide care if they don't really know you and your medical history, and you're not just a bunch of labs on a piece of paper? There's more to you. And so that's what healthcare is now. But back then, someone really knew you. And there was definitely a sense that people were happy. No, not everyone. It's not right to paint a picture that everyone is happy. But they were happier people in healthcare as teams, working with you towards goals to better serve you, the patient. And now it's the opposite. It's upside down, like your book illustrates.
I'm sure it happened slowly because I think people would have really revolted if, overnight, this healthcare system had changed. But can you say approximately when did you start to see red flags that it was really going south?
[0:44:07.1] Dr. Henry Buchwald: I should say it went slowly. It never went overnight. As you said, people would have revolted. I think maybe twenty years ago, it started this pattern. I think in the 21st century, we started the top-down administrative rule of medicine, the loss of independence of the medical staff, and the feeling by the patient that they really didn't have a doctor. They had some sort of conglomerate. Do you know what I'd like to do if you would let me? Can I read you a couple of paragraphs from the end of my book, from my epilogue?
[0:45:06.5] Ashley James: I would love that. Yes, please.
[0:45:08.6] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Alright. “The opening moment of life, birth, involves healthcare for mother and child. Growing up and achieving adulthood involve healthcare. Being able to live a mature life, to work, to love, and to have children, is dependent on healthcare. And the final chapter, aging, can be realized and even made pleasurable by healthcare. Healthcare therefore enters and comes to life from beginning to end. Healthcare is not a commodity but a necessity. Healthcare needs to be treated with respect. The establishment, practice, and financing of healthcare affect everyone. It should not be neglected by anyone and must be the concern of all of us.”
“I've been a doctor for sixty years, and during those years, at times, I've also been a patient. I've held the hands of my patients. I've been the one whose hand has been held. I have received trust and given trust. The therapeutic decisions my patients and I reached were not subject to the interdiction of a third party. I do not want to have my life's role as a physician and surgeon by joining the process usurped by an ‘administocracy.' I coined that word. As a patient, I do not want to hold hands with a robot and confide my health problems to a faceless entity. As a doctor, a patient, and a person, I reject the currently shattered doctor-patient relationship. Healthcare is upside-down like I said it, right side up.” That's the end of my book.
[0:47:06.5] Ashley James: I love it. How can we best navigate this broken system?
[0:47:12.4] Dr. Henry Buchwald: I don't know an answer to that. I mean, when I first wrote the book, my daughters and my wife said to me, “So what? What are you going to do? All you've done is complain. You've put down the facts in this, the statistics to back up the complaints, and you've told the truth and all that. But what are you offering?” And I said, “Well, I look upon myself like the little boy in Hans Christian Andersen's story of The Emperor's New Clothes. Here comes the emperor walking down the street, and he's naked. His retainers are holding an invisible rope, and a little boy says, “The emperor has no clothes!” And then I always loved the line in that book which says, “Hear him, hear him!” And I am hoping that people will hear me.
Then I said, “Okay, I'll write a chapter with at least some suggestions.” And so the last chapter are ten suggestions. The role of medical schools, the role of individuals, the role of bodies of professionals like the American College of Surgeons, American College of Physicians, AMA, the role of government, the role of politicians, and most importantly, the role of media, people like yourself, to get the word out there, and then the role of fraternal institutions that I touched upon, and the final thing is, the role of everybody. This is not something that people can say, “Well, it's not my concern.” It doesn't matter how young you are. It doesn't matter how healthy you are. The odds are, one day, you're going to be a patient for something. And if that's true, what kind of care do you want? And if you're in the healthcare profession like I was, or I still consider myself to be in, I always considered it a calling. It was a calling for me. It wasn't a job. And I took joy in my work, and people have asked me, “What were the happiest moments for you?” I said, “My family.” And “What was the next happiest moment for you in your life?” I said, “Being in the operating room.” I love being a surgeon. I love taking care of people.
Today, if that is missing, how can people be happy in the field? But with that comes what we've talked about. For instance, I not only show in my patients before we elected from surgery as a joint decision. But I saw them at the moment of surgery in the morning. I was in the hospital at six, and I saw the patient. I saw the relatives. People don't do that anymore. And then, after the case, if the patient was still half-asleep, I went out to see the relatives, and I talked to them. And then, I would see the patient when the patient woke up. And then, before I went home, I would make rounds and see the patient and again talk to the relatives if they were there. And that's the way I practiced. It was a calling, and it gave me joy. That's missing when you don't have patients but you just have clients. And you do things as a big amalgamated group. Well, I don't have to go see a patient. The nurse will see the patient. I don't have to do this. Somebody else will do this. And today, that's very true. Surgeons are kept in the operating room because that's where they can make the money for the whole group. And so we have people who can't make that much money in doing something over a period of time, and they can do the other things that a doctor really should be doing, holding the patient's hand.
[0:52:18.5] Ashley James: Right. There's a big billboard in the university district in Seattle that has a picture of a doctor, and it says, ‘This is the number one surgeon in Seattle,' or ‘This is the number one doctor in Seattle.' ‘Come to our hospital network because this is the number one doctor.' And I spoke to a doctor in the area, and he goes, “You know how they determine that he's the number one doctor?” And I'm thinking, “Outpatient outcomes? He must be incredible. You must be divinely guided to having the best outcomes.” And he said, “No, that's not determined by outcomes. It's not determined by patient care at all. They determine who the best doctor is by how much money he makes for the hospital system.” So when you're sold on, ‘we have the number one doctor,' ‘this is the number one doctor in this hospital,' that's the one you don't want to see you. You want to see the worst doctor, according to the hospital, because they're not going to put you through needless tests.
Another thing that the doctor said to me is, “If you can help it, never go to a hospital in the last week of the month because, just like police, you definitely don't come to a complete stop at stop signs and don't speed in the last week of the month because cops have quotas. Some of them are given quotas for how many speeding tickets they have to write and how many citations they have to give. And doctors and hospital networks have to fill a certain percentage of beds and a certain amount of MRIs. They have to accrue dollars and profits. And so if you come in, they're like, “Well, you know, we could have handled this with an ultrasound, but I'm just going to send him in for an MRI.” It wasn't medically necessary, but it would have filled his quota. They might do that. They're incentivized because they have a mortgage to pay, and they have been put under pressure from the system that they belong to. The organization that they belong to — the firm — puts pressure on the providers, the doctors, to not put the patients first in every aspect of our healthcare system. It is how much money can be squeezed out of these patients and out of the insurance. And the insurance is going to do the opposite and try not to provide the care also. So we're left really kicked to the curb.
And then you touched on it — that we have the underprivileged, the victims of the system. We're all victims of this broken system. And even further, the statistics show Native Americans, African-Americans, the list goes on and on, especially the disabled, the elderly, that they have worse outcomes because they're marginalized. They're not listened to. African American women, when they go to a hospital to give birth across the board, have worse outcomes and more deaths than any other race. I'm thinking, what is going on? But if they do home births, they have just as much success as any other race. So it isn't that African-American women genetically will just die more or have more infections. In general, it's that the healthcare system is not listening to them. It's treating them differently than those of other races.
So what is up with the underprivileged in the medical system? I know I'm asking for help. I'm asking, how do we navigate? But maybe where you could help us, because again, how we fix this problem is we have to stop feeding into it. And that's kind of dangerous because what are we going to do? Stop paying for insurance? Stop going to the hospital? They know they've got us. They've got us by the neck. But we have to figure it out. Maybe we've got a lobby. Maybe we've got to elect the right people. Maybe we've got to write letters. Maybe we have to stand up and start taking action and do whatever we can.
I like the idea of finding insurance that isn't traditional insurance, like healthcare. I actually just did an interview about this. It's like a health insurance alternative that actually covers everything, but it's a nonprofit. Listeners can go to learntruehealth.com/healthcare for more information about that. So I like that idea of not putting your dollars into the evil system, the broken system, I should say. And we can't go to the hospital if we need a hospital. But maybe we got to do research and find a hospital network that's smaller, that has better outcomes, that has less pressure on the providers to make money rather than put the patients first. But maybe you could help us with this. How can we self-advocate? As a doctor, I'm sure you appreciate when someone says, “Hey Doc, I have a few questions,” and they start self-advocating. Can you teach us how we should self-advocate while we navigate this broken system? And especially those who have been made out to be victims of this system, in that they typically have worse outcomes. How can they self-advocate?
[0:57:48.9] Dr. Henry Buchwald: I don't know if I have any answer to that. I guess, reasoning. I guess, conversation. I think you need goodwill, and you need people at the other end who are willing and able and have the moral commitment to do better. To sort of give you an example: when I was in medical school, usually all major teaching hospitals associated with the medical school, such as mine, Columbia Johns Hopkins, where my wife's uncle was a cardiologist, had three distinct areas geographically. One was private and at Columbia Presbyterian in Harkins Pavillion. It catered to celebrities. I took care of several celebrities, or I was a card in the wheel as an intern. But they had private rooms. They had a fancy restaurant, etc. And then there was semi-private, and those were people who had insurance and maybe had two people or four people in a room. And it was very obvious they had a doctor, or in my role as they were under a surgeon's care. And then there were the ward patients. There were twenty-four people in a ward or more, like twenty-eight, separated by curtains, and they were given the care of the house staff, who were sometimes better than anything else. But primarily, they had no private doctor, and they had essentially no insurance or very little insurance.
Then I came to Minnesota, and under Owen Wangensteen, one of the greatest names in American surgery, I went on the surgery service, and there were only rooms for four people, and for very sick people, one to a room. And I said, “Which is the ward? Which is semi-private? Which is private?” And they said, “There is no such thing. Everybody is treated equally.” The house staff is responsible for everybody, and the attending staff, the senior sergeants, are responsible for everybody. So when we made the rounds, we could enter a room where there would be a patient who had insurance, a patient who had zero insurance, and a patient who was extremely wealthy, and we had no knowledge of what their financial situation was. The attending — and then I came, of course, I was the attending. I was the professor — would go to each bedside with the same house staff, and we treated each patient equally. Whether I was paid as the surgeon or not paid at all, every patient was treated equally as a patient. And so here was an institution that in 1960 was doing that, and other institutions had to follow suit. We have to get away from this business model, and we have to do it on a patient model.
[1:02:00.3] Ashley James: I so agree. I am glad that you're opening up this conversation so we can examine it and we can say, “Hey, this isn't acceptable.” It's been going this way for a while. I know you said it's been the last twenty years. But in looking at the healthcare system, right around Nixon's era, doctors were practicing medicine as best they could to help cancer patients. And some of them were using juicing, liver cleanses, the things that supported the liver, and what you would call alternative medicine. They were doing that in conjunction with the medicine that they had access to at the time. And then there was this war on cancer that came out, and all of a sudden, if it wasn't pharmaceutical, it wasn't allowed. And only oncologists — so we've developed this — that only oncologists are allowed to treat cancer. And they're only allowed to use what is allowed to be used. They can't go outside of that.
There are things that, in Europe, they're allowed to use, like ozone therapy, and they have studies to back it up. It's not quackery. And they have these chambers that they put them in, that increase oxygen, and they're finding that they're getting really good results. In conjunction with everything they're doing, they're increasing their usage of these different alternative modalities that are proven successful and have better outcomes. And like you said, we see better patient outcomes across the board in Europe, and yet those are not allowed in the hospital systems here. So who is at the top saying, “This is not allowed.”? When we look at the government and the rule-makers, they're being lobbied by those who are making that money — big pharma. The pharmaceutical industry is also making sure they have their foot in the door, stopping anything that could help positive patient outcomes if it means cutting profits for them.
So you've talked about how it's a broken system on multiple fronts. We have policies that are driven by administrators to make profits for the company, the institution, the hospital, or the clinic institution. We have enough time in the hands of the doctors. We have the pharmaceutical industry with their foot in government and policy-making also to make sure that we're not cutting profits for the pharmaceutical companies. And then we have the insurance, which is equally as corrupt because they're seeing where they can cut their costs, meaning their costs are our care. So at every level, it's broken.
One of my mentors is an old-school naturopathic physician, and before that, he was a large animal vet, pathologist, and research scientist. He's slightly younger than you. I think he's eighty-six right now. He grew up on a beef farm in Missouri, and he saw it as a kid that we would feed calf pellets which had lots of minerals and vitamins to prevent them from getting sick. And he said to his dad, “Why don't we make sure we're taking all the nutrients we need so we can prevent getting sick too?” Because if you had a cow that was undernourished and they got sick, and then they got an infection, then it would drive the cost of beef up, and your burger would be $50 instead of $12. They keep the cost down by making sure the cows are as healthy as possible, practicing preventive medicine. But where's our preventive medicine now? Now, it's “Wait till you get sick enough so I can put you on a drug.”
So the entire thing is upside down because they're making profits off of us. If we flip it back, right side up, like your book talks about, where you put the patient at the absolute top, and everyone is serving us, and the ultimate goal is to make us healthy, money will happen. Everyone will get paid. It may not be millions of dollars for you guys, but everyone will get paid. Just make sure the patient is the healthiest and the happiest. And that's the number one goal. That's what we would love, but that's not what we have. And so we have to fight for it because we got blindfolded somehow, and slowly they slipped in and started creeping in more, and they saw, “Oh, we can make more money, and we can make more money.” How far can this go? How much can they bleed us? I mean, how obvious is it? Like you said, we're paying the most money in the whole world, and we have the worst outcomes. How far can they take it? I think they've taken it far enough. So I'm glad you are bringing the fight and enlightening us and showing us that we can stand up because we have to go back to the way it was because the way it was, we definitely had better outcomes. And you've looked at the statistics in the last sixty years since they've made these changes in the last twenty years. Can you look at patient outcomes in America? As a result of this slow shift into making healthcare completely upside down, can you see the outcomes are even worse as a result?
[1:07:31.9] Dr. Henry Buchwald: I think you just have to look at COVID. We're still in COVID. When we reached the million mark of deaths, dead people from COVID, that was the largest per capita. I don't know if I can believe the statistics from China or from Russia, but in all other countries where you can believe the statistics, the European countries, New Zealand, etc., we were way ahead. Why should our medical system, our care of people, our prevention, — as you keep saying, prevention, prevention, prevention — why should we have the largest number of deaths per capita? Would you say it is so true that whatever makes money rules politics, and politics ruled the day in so many areas? It's ridiculous the state that we treated COVID. We're still having COVID. But we didn't do well with COVID. Maybe it's going away. Other things have gone away. The Spanish flu went away without vaccination. Maybe this will go away. I hope so. Or maybe we'll settle in like the flu season every year or common colds. But certainly, as a nation, we didn't do that well. And here was a national emergency, and we didn't do very well at all.
[1:09:27.3] Ashley James: I had a doctor on my show a few years ago during the pandemic, Dr. Brownstein. He's been a medical doctor practicing for over thirty years, or it might be forty. He's very well-versed in being a family physician, and he has some alternatives that are soundly in science. He recommends certain nutraceuticals to support the immune system in addition to other preventions. And while you're going through any kind of viral experience, upper respiratory viral experience, he has some stuff he's been doing for his entire practice, and he gets great results. So he wrote a blog about it. He has a blog. He's had it since the nineties, where he explained, “Hey, everyone. Here's what I'm doing in my practice.” He had five hundred patients with COVID. All five hundred of them survived. Maybe if he'd treated a million, five hundred is still a small subsection of the population, but he had such great results. He published it, just sharing the information, and the government contacted him and said, “You can't do that.” And he said, “What do you mean I can't do that? I've been sharing my blog talking about natural medicine in conjunction with everything else I do as a physician since the 90s.” And they said, “No, you're not allowed to say that there's a treatment for COVID. You're not allowed to.” And he goes, “What are you talking about? I'm practicing medicine.” They said, “You have to take it down,” and then they started to take legal action against him, so he sought a constitutional lawyer. The constitutional lawyer said, “Under any circumstance, I'd say fight this.” But the government is saying no one's allowed to say you can treat COVID because they would lose the Emergency Use Authorization. The vaccines back then weren't approved, so they were still in the Emergency Use Authorization. And therefore, if there was a proven treatment, they would lose that. So this was legal. This was political.
Again, this was not a doctor being allowed to practice medicine. So he ended up writing a book about it. But he had to take his entire blog down. And this is where we see again an example that doctors should be allowed to utilize all their tools, not just pharmaceuticals, and not just what the government wants, which is administrators making decisions and not doctors making decisions. When it's safe, it's proven is healthy, it's effective, we should be allowed to have access to that information. So we should be allowed to make these decisions and be given this information. But the information was prevented by the government because they were protecting the Emergency Use Authorization at the time. So we see the corruption, and we need to protect ourselves as individuals. We need to fight and stand for what we believe. We definitely want to buy your book and check it out. Of course, the link to the book is going to be in the show notes of today's podcast at learntruehealth.com — Healthcare Upside Down: A Critical Examination of Policy and Practice. I think we should buy it for our doctor, although no one has a doctor anymore. So buy it for the next doctor you see. Leave it in the waiting room at your clinic.
I actually see naturopathic physicians go through medical school just like MD's. What's really interesting is in the states and provinces where they are licensed to be physicians, the insurance covers them, and you're allowed to see them for sixty to ninety minutes at a time instead of that 15-minute window for MD's. So, when I see a naturopath, I see her for a full hour, and I appreciate that. I have to seek out and build a relationship with a doctor that sees me twice a year that we check in with my lab. I want that model that you, as a doctor, grew up in, that model where you see the same doctor. So as a patient, I recommend you go out and find a physician that isn't in a big network, either a naturopath, an osteopath, or a medical doctor, that's in their own clinic or at least the smallest network possible. The smaller the network, hopefully, the policy that's tying their hands. Either that or find one that's independent. You got to go out of your way sometimes to find someone as independent and then advocate for yourself. Ask questions, like you said. Be curious, and ask questions. Another thing is, be willing to fire your doctor. As long as your life isn't in danger, not in the ER bleeding out, and you're not in an immediate medical situation, it is okay to fire the doctor. If you don't feel you're getting the best care, fire that entire institution and go find another clinic or find an independent doctor.
I also had a gentleman on the show recently who's an advocate because his daughter was killed by the policy in a hospital, and he is working with lawyers and speaking out. And he says the best thing you could do is research all the hospitals in your neighborhood, in your area, or find an independent hospital. Find a hospital that is in the smallest network possible and look at its outcomes; just do your research. Know the clinics, know the hospitals, so you can make the right choice when you go to the right one. And definitely be willing to talk to the doctor and ask questions.
When I was at the ER with my son a few years ago, they started putting needles into him, and I turned and said, “Wait a second, I need informed consent.” And she turned to me, and she actually was surprised, and then happy, and I was so relieved because I thought maybe a doctor would be angry at me for saying that. And she goes, “We're administering magnesium” because we came in with respiratory distress. And then she proceeded to explain, “This is not a drug. We're putting magnesium intravenously. And then, every time they did something to him, she came to me, and she said, “This is what we're doing. These are the possible side effects. These are the alternatives.” She gave me true, informed consent, but I had to ask for it. And I believe we should ask for it. Ask for the known side effects. What are the alternatives? What kind of outcomes do you expect? And we should work with the doctors to advocate for our own health.
I'm very happy to have you on the show and to expose this information. Is there anything that you came here to say that you didn't get to say yet? Is there a message that you definitely want to make sure that you hit home with us?
[1:15:58.7] Dr. Henry Buchwald: Well, I agree. Everybody has to think this over, and let's just say, is this what we want? And I think the answer is no. And then how can we make it better? Again, I don't think the individual can. I think I've seen individual doctors revolt against individual patients. They don't get anywhere. You have to use your group. Now it could be a professional group, like the American Medical Association, and it could be a union. A major union that says, “Listen, our job is not only to get the highest wages and shortest hours. Our job is to get the best healthcare.” And they have to become knowledgeable and negotiate for that.
So I guess my message is for every American to realize that we're not getting our money's worth. To get our money's worth, you have to do something about it. And probably the best way to do something about it is through some fraternal organization. And a little sidebar to that, I'm for entrepreneurs. As I said, I believe in capitalism. Now let's just say an entrepreneur says, “I'm going to start a medical center where you will see individual doctors. They will be your doctors. I'm not going to take an exorbitant multi, multi-million-dollar income home. You don't have to do the first thing you do, come in and pay a co-payment before anybody will even say hello. I'll do all that. And I think that person might get a tremendous following and make money for themselves, for the organization and have happy patients, and do medicine right. Entrepreneurship and capitalism can come in and win this day. They just don't have to be greedy for the top but give what they are supposed to give, and then everybody will be served. So certainly, I'm in no way against business in medicine, but it has to be business first for the patient and not for a client. Thank you.
[1:18:55.3] Ashley James: Yes. And the clinics and the hospitals that organize that model will transition to move to them. If someone invents a better system that is pro-patient, they will get all the business. So if anyone's listening that has the capacity to do that, go do it because people will navigate towards that. People want to vote with their dollars. And right now, people don't even know that there is an alternative, that there's a better way. But we need to invent a better way, and we need to fight for it. I need to get your book and read it to really understand and have the full picture — Healthcare Upside Down: A Critical Examination of Policy and Practice.
Dr. Henry Buchwald, it has been so amazing to have you on the show. Thank you so much for advocating for all of us.
[1:19:43.9] Dr. Henry Buchwald: And thank you ever so much for having me. It's been a great pleasure.
[1:19:49.5] Ashley James: I hope you enjoyed today's episode with Dr. Henry Buchwald. It definitely gives us a lot to think about and how important our individual choices are because, collectively, we can make a difference. We can fight back; we can push back. And if you'd like to fight back and push back, provide your family or just yourself, if you're single, with better healthcare, if you live in the United States and you are sick of paying into a system that's broken. Check out learntruehealth.com/healthcare and check out the previous episode, Episode #501, for more information.
You can always reach out to me through our Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group. Come join it, reach out there, or you can write me firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you. If you do decide to jump in and purchase that healthcare for yourself, then let me know. I'd love to hear your results. I have been talking to some others who have that coverage, and they've been sharing with me amazing stories about how well they've been treated. They are able to go to any doctor they want, in any state they want. They can get any surgery. They can go to any hospital, get any surgery.
I have a friend where the surgeon wanted to do a specific kind of surgery with a newer apparatus that's 3D printed, with surgical material, and it would have been a much safer, shorter surgery. It would have meant faster healing time, and recovery time, that for the rest of her life, she'd be better off, and the insurance company said, “No, we're only going to pay for this type of surgery.” We have to cut her open six inches and do a bunch of other stuff that makes it twelve weeks of recovery, and they would not cover that. The surgeon went to battle and fought them and fought them, and the insurance company said, “No.” And if it had been this alternative to health insurance, learntruehealth.com/healthcare — if it had been that one, the one we talked about in Episode #501, they would have covered it, and it would have actually been cheaper for her. This is just mind-blowing that we've been conned by these industries, and they keep squeezing us and squeezing us.
I've been paying for health insurance for so many years. It has been over nine years, and every year I noticed that I was paying more for my family. I'm paying more, and not just because we're getting older, but seriously paying hundreds of dollars more for less and less coverage. And in the last year, it was ridiculous. It went up several hundred dollars per month, and it felt almost like they cut our coverage in half. It was crazy, and they're going to keep squeezing and squeezing us because they can, and we need to push back. I'm calling for a healthcare revolution. We need reform. We have to stand up for ourselves and do it ourselves because the people we elect into office are bought by these industries. And so we have to vote with our dollars.
Collectively, we have the power to overthrow a corrupt industry. And I've seen it time and time again. When consumers decide to cancel culture, cancel that old thing, it goes down the tubes. So with our dollars, we can, as collectively, make the right choices. If all of us follow our values and put our money towards the practitioners, the healthcare, that alternative to insurance — for example, if we put our money towards maybe smaller run clinics, individual clinics, instead of the group clinics, where we're going to actually receive better care, more individualized care. If we collectively do that, we can overthrow it.
So make sure that with every purchase you make, put it towards something that you believe in. Buy organic. Buy local. Connect with local farms. Buy from them. Put your money towards things that are going to build your health and also build the health of our future.
So it's learntruehealth.com/healthcare. Check it out. Let me know what you think. Thank you for being a listener, and thank you for sharing these episodes with those you care about. And if you haven't already, go back to this Episode #500 because that was a really amazing episode filled with some wonderful stories of success. And who doesn't like to hear stories of success? I know I certainly do. Stay tuned. I have a bunch of episodes I'm going to be releasing, and they've all been really great interviews. So I can't wait for you to hear them. Have yourself a great rest of your day.
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Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing
Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.
Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.
In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!
The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine
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