Once per month we profile one of the outstanding medical doctors, physicians assistants, or nurses of One Medical Group in downtown San Francisco. Meet Dr. Wolfe.
What is the Biopsychosocial approach you employ in care of your patients?
Most people only go to the doctor when their lives are affected by illness. I try to help the patients get back into their lives, what an illness may have taken away. I find out what a person likes or wants to do, and then I see how their current health status will either interfere or support them achieving their goals.This involves looking at the illness itself and how it affects one’s life, and then trying to modify the disease and one’s life to create a balance that is tolerable and acceptable.
This starts with education of the patient.I enjoy educating the patient whether it is the first bit of education they receive, or expanding the knowledge of someone that has done extensive research. This starts with listening to my patients. As simple as that sounds, it is a common comment that I get from patients. “You are the first doctor that really listens to me” This is one of the things that is great about One Medical’s approach. The accessibility to and time with patients allows the doctor to listen, educate, and provide appropriate care during a visit and provide good follow up care when necessary. It’s very rewarding for the doctor and I think for the patients.
Your past experience was in a pain management clinic…what is your approach to health and treating patients?
Pain affects people’s lives in every single way. I utilize a multidisciplinary team approach in treating pain in order to improve function. My job is to be the centerpiece of a care team to help them decrease their pain and improve their function. This means that I assess the pain management needs of the patient and treat them utilizingwhatever means are appropriate. This may include surgery, medication, psychological care, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc
What is the trend you have seen in pain management.Is, it leaning to new more drugs or away from that?
Pain management is now moving toward working on treating the brain. Neural plasticity work is the direction that healthcare/pain management is going. Neural plasticity is how the brain, central nervous system, and peripheral nervous system all interact to create certain pain states. Neural plasticity works on these pain states through movement, sound, visualization, smells, and more to create a new neural pathway to change how the brain interprets and deals with the pain.Medications have a role to free the person to use their brain and body if the pain has overwhelmed their ability to do so.
What are your keys to a healthy life?
- Find and pursue what makes you happy.
- Be honest about what’s important to you.
- Take care of your body and mind so you can attain your goals.
Wayne Wolfe, MD received his BA from Vassar College and completed his residency at University of Rochester. Prior to One Medical Group he divided his time as a primary care physician at University of California, Berkeley and at Bay Area Pain Medical Associates in Mill Valley. He is board-certified in family medicine and completed a fellowship in Addiction Medicine at UCSF. His approach to medical care utilizes the biopsychosocial approach to evaluate and treat medical issues and how these issues affect a person’s life. Outside of the office Wayne enjoys spending time with family, activities pertaining to the ocean, music, rugby,
I wish I had read the posting from Rich H on 9/22 and 10/25 on Yelp under OneMedicalGroup Embarcadero regarding Wolfe sooner.I had been seeing Wolfe for about 7 months until this week.Unfortunately I have some long term injuries that cause me chronic severe pain, and I sought treatment for this from Wolfe, as well as treatment for general health issues. I told him I wanted to reduce the amount of pain meds I am on during our 1st meeting and each one since then.
Everything was pretty normal until this week. I saw him on Monday and told him I was in fact taking less meds than I was when I 1st started seeing him 7 months ago. He congratulated me on this, and wrote me a new script for my lower dose which I had asked for. Then my new insurance company refused to fill the new scripts for illogical bureaucratic reasons.While on hold with the insurance company I sent Wolfe an email asking for advice on what I should do. When I got off the phone I sent him a longer more detailed email asking for input on the difference between 2 similar drugs I have taken, and asking which would be best to help me gradually reduce the dose.
His response was to call me a liar, and accuse me of attempting to swindle more drugs out of him.The exact opposite of what actually happened.Again, I asked him the difference between 2 similar drugs, and asked his advice on which would help me reduce the amount of pain meds I need?His response was outrageous, and accused me of exactly the opposite of what actually occurred.
I immediately contacted the office, and asked the name of the doctor that owned the practice.I was told that Dr. Lee "technically owns it" but that Dr. Sally Ward is the doctor in charge, I assume she is similar to a "managing partner."I would never see wolfe ever again, and I would advise anyone who values their health (both physical and emotional) to avoid Wolfe like the plague.I had previously spoken the praises of this practice, and Wayne specifically due to the promptness of getting in for an appointment.However, the convenience of prompt appointments, does not make up for questionable behavior.I was outraged at my situation, but reading the above referenced posts from Rich H., makes me really question Wayne on many different levels?It seems that both situations arose after sending Wolfe email questions, which he completely misread? I’ve heard some doctors have poor handwriting, but reading an email and coming up with its exactly opposite meaning -- well, that brings up very fundamental questions.