Comprehensive Approach at “The Center”

Our Comprehensive Approach at “The Center”


When new patients come to The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, they find our method of evaluating patients to be refreshingly unique. The most common comment is, “I’ve never had a doctor listen so closely to my concerns and think so deeply on their possible causes.”


New patients are also surprised that we encourage a family member or friend to accompany them to their initial evaluation, allowing for a loved one’s support to be incorporated into the treatment process right from the start. A trusted family member may be helpful in answering questions about the past and remembering questions to ask, too.


Comprehensive History and Physical Examination: Since we at The Center believe that “we don’t just get sick but are being made sick,” we feel a very important part of our initial medical evaluation is to take an in-depth patient history. This includes reviewing the medical, occupational, emotional, social, and environmental aspects of a patient’s life. We look at the family medical history, and any other factors that may be uniquely important for an individual. Our doctors also perform a physical examination to assess current signs and symptoms.


Oftentimes the answers to questions asked when we get sick, such as “Why me?” and “Why now?” can only be found when we look objectively at our life as a whole. The doctor of Environmental Medicine is trained to look at common threads and critical occurrences in the myriad details of a life history and is able to unravel when and how illness began. At The Center, our doctors not only take this process very seriously but also consider it a factor critical to successfully helping a patient. They believe in both uncovering the causes of existing illness and identifying factors that would likely lead to future illness if preventive measures were not adopted.

Laboratory Testing:

Armed with this wealth of information from the history and examination, our doctors can determine which types of laboratory, allergy, or other types of testing might be helpful to further pinpoint causes of signs and symptoms. We prioritize any recommended tests and discuss costs and benefits of each test before continuing, so that the patient is always a partner in the diagnostic process. We have a medical laboratory right in our office, so blood, urine, or other samples can be drawn quickly and conveniently. The Center has contracted with numerous reputable, and in many cases highly specialized, laboratories for evaluation of samples. Our goal is to obtain the most accurate and thorough laboratory information for each patient, while keeping overall costs down.

Allergy Testing:

Based on a new patient’s history, allergy testing for foods, inhalants, or chemicals might be recommended. The Center has an allergy-testing laboratory in our office. Like the rest of our facility, it is an environmentally safe area, which is suitable for testing even exquisitely sensitive individuals. There is also a room adjacent to the main testing room where children can be comfortably tested while they play with toys, books, etc. Our specialized allergy testing process tests each allergen individually so that a patient (or parent) has the benefit of seeing for him/herself what the reaction, if any, to that substance might be. In addition, this individualized testing process allows the final desensitization extract to be made from a combination of serums titrated to the patient’s own unique endpoints. For the benefit of our highly sensitive patient population, we use extracts that do not contain chemical preservatives.

If allergy testing is recommended, it may require extra days to complete, depending upon a patient’s total allergic load. Allergy testing may be performed during the initial visit at The Center or scheduled at a later date, at the convenience of the patient.

Comprehensive Treatment:

The doctor develops a proposed comprehensive treatment plan for a new patient during the initial medical evaluation, which can be revised depending upon the results of laboratory testing and the patient’s progress. Since our doctors have experience in treating a wide range of illnesses, the plan may address many different aspects of health. [See Programs and Treatments for a detailed list of disorders handled by our doctors.]

The “Wrap-Up”:

Before a new patient leaves The Center, a member of our clinical staff carefully reviews the doctor’s written treatment plan with the patient and answers any questions. We feel that patient education is as helpful a part of a patient’s program as the process of diagnosis and testing. We consider ourselves partners with patients in the all-important process of getting well. Towards that end, we want each patient to understand what has happened to produce illness, and how the proposed treatment plan can work to restore a healthy physical and emotional balance. Each patient goes home with a typed plan that is divided into easily implemented phases.

Continued Care:

The doctor and patient work together at the beginning of each new phase of the comprehensive treatment program, so that healing can proceed as quickly and effectively as possible. For our patients from out of town, the doctor is available to discuss treatment and answer questions by phone, by appointment. We want the care and thoroughness of our initial evaluation to continue throughout the doctor-patient relationship.

In Summary:

The history taking, laboratory testing, and patient education portions of our initial evaluation process can take the better part of an entire day (and, if needed, allergy testing may take longer). We have designed our evaluation process to include much doctor/clinical staff time because we know what a valuable difference it can make in the treatment outcome for a patient. We feel each patient’s health is well worth the extra effort on our part, and it is this approach that makes The Center unique.

Click here to read a description of our average patient – you may find they’re just like you! To better understand our comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment, see Total Body Stress Load. To read what some of our patients have written about their initial evaluation at The Center, see Our Patients’ Comments.

If you would like to learn more about partnering with us for your or your family’s better health, call (843) 572-1600 to speak with a member of our front office staff.