Family Medicine is the broadest, most fascinating specialty; “womb to the tomb, toes to the nose”. From my earliest memory I wanted to be a doctor that could handle whatever came my way, a “superdoc”.
THAT is family medicine! It’s a specialty that trains us to do almost anything, allowing us to find an area of interest and focus on that, or continue as a “generalist”.
During my career I’ve practiced aboard cruise ships, jet ambulances, pre-hospital care/EMS, Emergency Departments, ICU’s, hospitals, addiction-rehab facilities, Nursing homes, my office and done missionary & disaster relief work.
I blew a disc in my back on my 45th birthday and became a failed back surgery patient. After 2 years of chronic pain & inability to stand up straight I met a lady at church who owned a health food store. She suggested a list of supplements. Six weeks later I was pain free, cured! I pursued both her & more knowledge, soon practicing Complementary & Alternative (CAM) medicine more and more with “traditional” medicine.
I also married her. We learned together.
Being persistent (stubborn), I worked hard trying to figure out how to help patients who had no relief from other practitioners. A thorough medical history showed me what didn’t work. I “thought outside the box” and developed a reputation as the guy in town who took time with patients and got results.
Then she got sick with a mystery disease. Her dormant asthma became persistent, multiple steroid courses caused weight gain. She was always in pain & tired.
Stachybotrys was growing inside the wall of her store next to her desk, the highest ERMI the local remediator had ever seen. She moved the store to a new location. We left Florida to pursue our dream in North Carolina.
She discovered the “Shoemaker Protocol”, I started studying it. We were living in a contaminated house. While trying to fix the problems I got sick too. Being unable to work for a few years took its toll. We were able to find a safe home. After starting my own solo private practice, I earned recognition from Dr. Shoemaker for proficiency in his protocol and focused on treating patients with chronic inflammation.
Illness is generally a product of genetic predisposition, habits & environmental exposure. Medicine frequently advances with the development of new drugs, highly priced & marketed by “big pharma”. Environmental medicine doesn’t have that luxury. Practitioners are broad-minded, forward-thinking scientists that “push the envelope”, often at their own expense, professionally & personally. We’ve left mainstream medicine for many reasons with the goal of serving our patients better.
When I’ve been given lemons in my own life, I’ve found recipes for lemonade that I can use to better serve others. Can I serve you?
Raymond J. Oenbrink, DO
Appalachian Wellness PLLC
200 District Dr. #001
Asheville, NC 28803-0235
Phone: (828) 785-1850
Fax: (828) 785-1802
Diplomat AOBFP, ABAM
Follow Dr Oenbrink on social media: