The New Patient Experience

By Ron Hunninghake, M.D.

In 1975, Hugh Riordan, M.D., the Center’s founder, envisioned a new paradigm of patient-centered care that focused on a health-building approach.

Building your health is a more active process when compared to conventional disease management. Because we seek to identify the underlying causes of illness, we invite each patient to become more involved in the discovery process … as a co-learner.

Co-learners embody the idea behind Dr. Riordan’s favorite quote from the Greek philosopher, Epictetus – “A man cannot begin to learn what he thinks he already knows.” Together, we take a fresh and comprehensive look at each patient’s illness.

The New Patient Experience is an opportunity to become a co-learner where a person is empowered to enter into a deep process of discovery.

The discovery process each patient will be going through is designed to be more than simply “jumping through diagnostic hoops.” Our intent is for them to have an experience that will give them new insights into their illness.

Through a better understanding of their medical past, through measurements of their current level of human functioning, and by virtue of a step-by step follow-up program, we will help identify new pathways to healing and better functioning.

Becoming a co-learner ideally is a five-visit process. Allow me to briefly map out these five visits below.

First visit – The new patient will meet their doctor and many support staff who will guide them through two days of careful data collection and testing, followed by nutritional counseling.

Second visit – In about 2 weeks, they will return to review the results of their testing. A preliminary treatment plan will be formulated.

Third visit – About a month later, they will return to update their treatment plan and review all of their drawings.

Fourth visit – Their fourth visit is a retesting appointment. We will retest key abnormalities and their Bio Age test to assure that progress is being made.

Fifth visit – Their fifth visit is a comprehensive review of their overall progress. If possible, we will begin consolidating their treatment plan.

The New Patient Experience is designed to help each patient become a co-learner so that they can more effectively participate in the discovery process needed to identify causes and cures for their illness.

Modern illnesses are complex. Many of our patients have seen multiple specialists, undergone elaborate treatments, and suffered many years without achieving satisfactory results.

Often, this is due to a simple fact: the underlying causes of their illness have not been identified and, therefore, have not been corrected.

The Five-Visit Plan was designed to ensure that all facets of their illness are properly addressed, causes are identified, and proper treatment plans are devised to help achieve satisfactory results.

The first visit, as mentioned above, is a recollection of the life events, medical interventions, and personal observations that weave themselves into the story of the new patient’s illness. Our job here at The Center is to enter into that story with them in the manner of Sherlock Holmes. In a very real sense, we become “co-detectives” with them in the search for underlying causes of the illness.

We lean heavily on our Bio-Center Laboratory to help us characterize their unique nutritional biochemistry. Their laboratory evaluation will serve as an inventory of their key nutrient levels. We are looking for “gaps” in their nutrient team. Because nutrients work together in a team-like fashion, the weakest links will greatly diminish the functional capacity of the cells. By identifying and correcting these deficiencies, the body’s remarkable healing power can be greatly strengthened and rehabilitated.

A careful physical exam is performed on all new patients in the search for clues and signs of correctable issues. A bio-electrical exam in the form of auricular acupuncture point testing is another avenue of testing that each patient receives. Finally, a comprehensive Biological Age determination is performed to assess functional capabilities as compared to a population of similar chronological age. This will show functional or biological age based upon nutritiona1 reserves and the overall cellular health of the organ systems. Finally, the brain dominance determination, temperature biofeedback, and special drawings will help to identify mind/body interactions that can serve to stimulate the healing process. Rounding out the first visit is a tour of our library where they will be introduced to Co-learner Resource Sheets that will serve as a discovery map to help them better understand their disease patterns. Then, they will walk The Gratitude Trail to experience the healing power of expressing gratitude. They will enjoy a whole foods mea1 at our Taste of Hea1th Restaurant and throw blue rock as a stress reliever for dessert!

They will encounter many helpful staff members as they walk this pathway to better hea1th. We are here to help them get the most from their experience. Our staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and loyal with an average longevity here at The Center of 10 years or greater! They like it here! And they want to share that enthusiasm.

The New Patient Experience is an opportunity to become a co-learner where a person is empowered to enter into a deep process of discovery. By uncovering the root causes of illness and actually correcting them, a co-learner can tap into the amazing healing resources of their body. By identifying and correcting nutritional deficiencies, sustained illness gives way to the emergence of better health. Through detoxification strategies, blockages to healing are removed. The net result is that they begin to feel better and function better.

We welcome each person to The Center where some of the most wonderful people in the world have come to discover better hea1th. Together we can help them learn how to help themselves heal.