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26

Mar

2019

What is Concierge Medicine and Who is Dr. Ramdeen?

Khris Ramdeen

I would like to start by thanking you for visiting the blog! My name is Dr. Ramdeen and I’m a Board Certified Internal Medicine Physician. I’m also a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. I’ve been passionate about fitness and nutrition for about ten years now.

I have a pretty diverse background which includes experience as a Hospitalist which involves taking care of sick patients in the hospital. I also have experience taking care of patients in the “Long Term Acute Care” setting. This type of setting is like a step-down level from the hospital where patients go if they are not sick enough to be in the hospital, but are too sick to go home. 

I see patients in “Acute Rehab” for issues such as difficulty moving after a stroke or learning how to get around the house after a limb amputation. Additionally, I’ve held medical directorships at hospice and nursing home sites. I did my residency training and Chief Residency year in Ann Arbor, Michigan and I’ve been an assistant clinical professor at the University of North Dakota where I taught medical students in the hospital. The teaching that I’ve done has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of my career. This blog is really just a continuation of that passion!

The goal of this blog is to integrate the world of medicine with the world of fitness in such a way that promotes a healthy lifestyle through the three pillars of nutrition, physical activity and primary care with your physician. I look forward to helping you understand the links between fitness and medicine. After studying both of these areas, I believe that it is essential to combine them.

This blog is also an extension of my private concierge practice here in Austin and San Antonio, the idea for which was spawned in part by my experience working in the transplant hospital. 

 It was there that I saw relatively young patients in their 20’s to 60’s coming in with liver or kidney failure and ending up on the transplant list. Some of these patients were taking common supplements from very reputable places, but they were not being monitored by a physician. 

 After repeatedly asking myself why this kept happening, I decided to do something about it by starting a practice that would pay specific attention to this problem. 

Before we go on, let me take a step back here to give you my take on why we, as physicians, are not dealing with supplement side-effects as early as we would like. The typical outpatient medical practice setting is overwhelmed by patients who have active issues. 

 For example, if you look at who’s in your doctor’s waiting room, you may find patients following up after having suffered a heart attack or a stroke. Or maybe there’s someone there wheezing and waiting to be seen for a flare up of their asthma. There may even be a patient who needs care related to their diabetes management, etc. It’s not very often you look around the waiting room and see it filled with patients who feel fine that day and are eager to discuss preventative care with their doctor.

As a result of this scenario, there is a lack of attention paid to basic patient education and blood test monitoring to assess your kidney and liver health for example. This problem is compounded by busy schedules on the part of patients. 

When a patient realizes that he or she may have to spend hours of their day and potentially lose pay at work in order to see their doctor, they may think twice about it. These factors make it more likely that problems aren’t caught early enough to successfully intervene.

Additionally, the packed waiting room pressures the doctor to work within the fixed time constraints of an office day to adequately take care of all of the sick patients. In other words, in order for everyone in the waiting room to be seen, physicians have to work expediently at the expense of being as thorough as they would like to be. Not to mention the paperwork requirements for doctors in this setting – which is ridiculous, but a topic for another day…

Secondly, a common anecdote that I hear from patients is that they have posed questions to their doctor about supplements, or how to cut fat, or how to build muscle, and they have often felt brushed off. This is a factor of those really busy waiting rooms that I just mentioned, which pressures the physician to do a lot in a relatively small amount of time. So, I think doctors are doing the best they can to work within the time constraints of our current healthcare system. 

I started my own concierge practice because I didn’t want to work within those constraints anymore. I wanted to spend more time with my patients, by diving into their nutritional habits, types and frequency of physical activity and determining how optimizing their specific blood test results could compliment and even accentuate efforts toward attaining their unique fitness goals. In order to dive this deeply into lifestyle and give my patients the time they need and deserve, I realized that the concierge model was the only way for me to do this effectively. 

Concierge medicine is a practice model in which the patient panel is smaller and the doctor takes care of less patients. However, because of the lower patient volume, more time and attention can be paid to each patient whenever it’s necessary. Also, the nice thing about concierge medicine is that my patients can reach out to me directly, as opposed to having to go through the hassle of calling their doctor’s office, being put on hold, talking to a secretary, and then in some cases even being told they’d receive a call back to get their specific question answered. 

 Further, under this model, more time can be spent on preventative care versus after-the-fact care. For example, I can spend more time talking about all the issues that can lead up to a heart attack or a stroke, versus spending the majority of my time addressing these issues after they have already happened. 

My goals for this blog are to help you understand three things:  

.1. The effects and safety concerns when taking supplements  

2 The rationale and safety issues related to nutrition

3. And of course, discussing how to prevent and treat diseases


I will tackle these goals for you while first and foremost keeping your safety in mind. If I’ve done nothing else throughout this blog, but make aware of how to stay safe while engaging in nutrition, fitness or primary care strategies, then it’ll have been worth it! Having said that, there are so many ways to engage in these strategies effectively, but there are also so many ways to get hurt. I want to limit the latter.  

I’d like to make one final point about safety and why I make an effort to have an online presence promoting safety and awareness. For too long, I’ve repeatedly heard gym-goers and athletes say, “Doctors don’t know anything about fitness.” 

I’m here to change that! 

As physicians, if we do not counsel patients in depth on the supplements they’re taking, they may go to exclusively non-medical settings for advice. This unfortunately sets up the scenario in which patients are consuming products without any monitoring. Doctors like myself will then be forced to address the problem in the most extreme ways, like in the transplant hospital after an organ has failed. As I mentioned above, it takes a significant amount of time to be able to address these issues with patients in my concierge practice, so I take care of less patients than a typical medical practice in order to keep the quality of care high. 

The way I deal with the paradox of wanting to provide both high quality care to my patients and participate in widespread preventative care education is to be here online with you.

If you’re interested in becoming a member in my practice, click here for more information.. And whole there, I encourage you to Subscribe  to my YouTube channel: I launched for you to be able to learn about topics in medicine and fitness. ,And if you’re on Instagram or Facebook, you can follow me there for updates as well. As always, feel free to message me on any of these platforms with your questions and I’ll always do my best to answer them!

As a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, I want you to achieve the best of your fitness goals. But, as a physician, I want you to be safe and take care of your body. If you’re looking to approach your health by striking a balance between western medicine and fitness, you came to the right place. Good luck, stay safe and hopefully I’ll see you soon!

Sincerely,

Khris Ramdeen, MD

Board Certified in Internal Medicine

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer