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Non-Doctors doing Regenerative Medicine


In the most recent addition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, there is a letter that looks at what percentage of clinics that are providing stem-cell treatments in the United States have physicians that are doing treatment versus nonphysicians. Amazingly one third of clinics that are offering these treatments are not physicians. This is really mind blowing to me.

When I talk about what I think it takes to be an expert in regenerative medicine, I refer to being a master in prolotheraphy, high level understanding of orthobiologic treatments, and being an expert in interventional orthopedic techniques, namely being an expert in delivering these treatments via high level ultrasound and x-ray guidance.

All of these are contingent on a assumption that a person is a physician, a medical doctor, meaning they’ve spent a decade of training formally to be qualified to do these kind of treatments in terms of evaluation, in terms of understanding physiologically and biologically what’s going on and having a high level of formal training in terms of actually delivering these treatments. So it is surprising that one third of the people who are doing these treatments don’t even meet the base requirement of being a physician.

I would strongly recommend to any individual who is pursuing or interested in these sorts of treatments, that at a minimum make sure that the person who’s delivering the treatment is a physician. But realistically if this person does not have that expertise in prolotheraphy, orthobiologics, and interventional orthopedics, they shouldn’t be doing these treatments.

I wouldn’t recommend that to my family members or friends. I’d recommend that they see someone who is appropriately qualified and an expert. And realistically if the person that you’re seeing says that they’re just getting involved in this or dabbling in this, I wouldn’t recommend seeing that person either. Either you’re all in committed to doing this on a really deep level or you’re not.

To me the people that I respect as colleagues who are involved in this field, they talk about things like well should you be using concentration X or Y to treat a tendon problem? Should you be doing a bone marrow aspiration that involves technique ABC or technique XYZ? Which one’s gonna give you a better cell count and result? If you’re not into those kinda details, then that’s probably not the person that you should be seeing for these kinda treatments.

It’s not enough to even be a physician doing these treatments. So that’s shocking that one third of people that are doing this are not physicians. But you have to take it to that next level where a person has to be obsessed about the details of doing this correctly as well. Thank you for your time. Live well.

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