I wish it were not true but I have come to the conclusion that I can no longer recommend people go to see Dr. Shoemaker. I still believe that he is totally brilliant. I believe he has unraveled much of the mystery surrounding Fatigue illness. I still believe he ought to win a Nobel Prize someday.
There is a whole lot more to this story that I will not write about here. And Shoemaker would definitely have a different side to tell. He is welcome to comment if he wants to.
I don't like the way he treats patients. I have been a patient for over 4 years and my fiance has been a patient (sort of) for the past 6 months. I learned to walk on eggshells around him and around his staff because they are very easy to offend and will openly get mad at you. If you ask the wrong questions, if you step a little out of their standard, methodical rituals, they will jump down your throat. I once was forced to write an apology to Ritchie and his entire staff for canceling an appointment. He made me feel like I had murdered someone. I was simply too sick to travel 2,300 miles to see him. But that did not matter. I had offended him. So in order to stay in his good graces I wrote the apology.
There is more to the story but my fiance was forced to wait 3 months before he would bother to talk to her on the phone after he had her blood results and her required history and paperwork, which they demanded she do TWICE. And then, essentially he would not treat her except very minimally even though she has the "dreaded genotype". He made her and me fell like asses in the process to boot.
I finally got fed up and true to my nature, and his, I blew up at him with several nasty email exchanges. Needless to say, I am not going to fund his study on VIP. That study has a whole lot of problems with it and would not likely have been approved anyway for reasons I won't go into here.
Yesterday, out of the blue, I got a call from a man I did not know, who was a patient of Shoemaker who told me the horror story of how he has been treated. He said, "he is brilliant but does he always have to be an ass?" He had been made to feel like dirt and had not been helped after 9 months of "treatment". It was a very sad story and prompted me to finally report here on my view.
Shoemaker's terrible bedside manner is not my main beef with him. I stomached his terrible behavior for years. But it was my realization that he was not really treating patients in order to get them well that pushed me over the edge. Shoemaker is a researcher, and God bless him for the research and discoveries he has made. The problem is his patients are his lab rats. Whatever he is currently studying, that is what you are going to get. He knows many things that could dramatically help a patient RIGHT NOW. But you won't get those things. That would mess up his research. He uses 1 thing at a time and that is usually the one thing he is currently researching. Patients go for many months, even years, paying for office visits and repeated blood tests because he wants DATA about what that 1 thing does. And if you ask for the "good stuff" you are refused and may well offend him if you push it at all. I certainly did. It is not unusual for him to "fire" patients who piss him off. I am sure he would have fired me a long time ago if there were not the potential I would give him money for a clinical study.
The problem is that he is really the only doc who knows what he knows. At, least that I know of. He knows that too. I think he feels he can treat people poorly because where else are the going to go? That was my attitude. I would bite my tongue because where else was I going to go?
But I realized that I did not need him. His work is published for the most part. It is out there if you look for it. The meds he uses. What they do. Clinical tests he has run. The Lab tests he uses. Virtually everything is out there. Yes, it can be very difficult to find a doctor who will take this info and work with you on it. But those docs can be found.
Also, almost all of the labs, and the meds he uses are available for purchase without a prescription. Most people who have been studying CFS and Mold etc have more knowledge and expertise than 99.9% of the doctors that are out there. I have grown very used to researching something in depth, going to a friendly, open, doc and telling him what I want to do. In most cases the doc would agree to work with me simply because he recognized I knew what I was talking about and had data to back me up.
More and more though. I simply do it myself. I order my own tests (read the posts below where I tell you where and what), and often I order my own meds from either Canada or overseas. Meds are cheaper and so far have proven to be as good. It is legal to import medicines for personal use. Many people do it. They are true generics and have been approved for use in at least one country, often many countries. Many of these will never come to the US because it simply is too expensive to get through our FDA. A problem in and of itself. I was doing well before but have since experienced additional significant improvements.
I know. I am a risk taker and many people won't be willing to do this and I would never try to convince you that you should. But I have decided that where I have to, I will take things into my own hands, research very carefully and take a risk. Fact is, we take risks with anything a doctor gives to us anyway. The statistics are not great on Doc's giving the right meds all the time. So that is me. You have to decide what to do for you.
It does not make me happy that I can no longer recommend Dr. Shoemaker to anyone. But I just don't think it is worth the time, trouble, money and frustration. And I don't believe he gets a high percentage of people well. Shame is, he knows how. He just won't do it. It turns out that he is a typical allopathic doctor who, for the most part, wants one drug for one disease. Shoemaker's hope was that VIP (Aviptadil) was that one med cure. Trust me. It isn't! I have used it for 90 days and at best, it offers subtle help. Worse, in me and others, our biomarkers actually got worse on VIP. Shoemaker did NOT like me asking him why!
I take a functional medicine view of chronic illness. You measure everything you can measure and you try to fix as many of those things as you can ALL AT THE SAME TIME within reason. Then measure again. You won't know exactly which things helped, but in most cases you will feel much better and hopefully be on the way to getting well. CFS+ is a multi-systemic illness. You have to attack it from several angles. The sooner the better. The more the better.
Hopefully, within the next 4-6 months, I will have another place to recommend. I am working on that diligently right now. I hope to be a part of bringing real help to the CFS+ community very soon.
Hello thanks for ur post. a friend has an auto immune and she believes that he is helping her and her son age 10 and just told me about him last night since I too have a rare incurable auto immun disease called NMO. I am glad that I read ur post because i HATE any doctor w/bad bedside manners. I refuse to see anyone who will not allow me to ask a question silly or not. so our medical relationship would have not worked out. i also have to cancel appts. since i am sick often from this disease. most medical staff understand this and don't frown appond it. So again thanks for the advise. It is just sad that such a smart/brillant man can be an ass. He could help so many more people if he had the right motives. sincerely, gina
hello i love your article and i belive in it too i was just wondering about the blood tests recommendations and as well the medicines too what is VIP. please reply about the blood tests and medicines you said you know let us know too moninoni
hello i have been exposed to high levels of mold damp cold and humidity too for 8 years since last year and i still go every week where the mold house is i am almost homeless because of it. i need to know if you could help me and tell about blood tests and the holistic aproach treatment you were talking about. take care moninoni
Pat, I have serious biotoxin illnesses from contamination and environmental exposures to US labs genetically modified weaponised vectors carrying a payload of of bio terror pathogens released in the environment making those biten and also exposed to contaminated water sick. Most doctors in my area that I have consulted, do not want to take the time to find the causes of illnesses and cure people. They keep people sick for profit for themselves and the pharmaceuticals in an assembly line patient care corrupted Amercan for profit medical system. I have found that most doctors are controlled by the AMA and CDC (CDC is a gov. military operation whose appointed officials are controlled by corporations and big Pharma .) American doctors are reluctant to fulfill their hypocrital medical oath, cause it will curtail their profits and cause backlash from the AMA and CDC. Please email me where I can have the specialized toxicoloty tests done without a doctor's prescriptions, and what are the meds for specific genetically modified cyanobacteria neurotoxin illness, Lyme, Fusarium / Mold Fungi exposure (Agent Green being chemtrail sprayed over US soil spreading toxic spores through wind and atmosphere), US labs weaponised vectors causing parasitic myiasis, and where to order the medicines from Canada and abroad. If we had a Nationalized socialised health care system where doctors are paid a salary, and a bonus based on each patient cure realized.....you will see a reduction of US sicknesses, US epidemics like diabetes, and reduction of released US labs bio engineered toxins and pathogens for making people sick. Thank you for posting this article based on our experience. I have been wanting to consult with Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, but after reading your article, I can see, based on a very corrupt US medical and research system that what you are saying has validity and concurs with my own experience of the US for profit and keeping people sick and covert Eugenics culling medical system. Awaiting your reply.