I grew up on a family farm in Eastern Pennsylvania (Amish Country) at a time when honesty, integrity, trust, humility, cooperation, compassion, and helping neighbors in need were how our farming community operated. I still believe that the first priority is to help your fellow man, which is why it’s so easy for me to communicate these personal beliefs to others.
Unlike the rest of my family, I went in a different direction, i.e., medicine. I have been in academic medicine and research most of my career. Fifteen years were spent matching patients for transfusions (blood, platelet and white cell) and for transplantations (heart, lung, liver, kidney, tissue and bone marrow).
During this time I obtained research grants, published articles in major medical journals and wrote chapters in various medical books. I also identified a whole new disease that was formerly unknown to medicine. I felt privileged to be the author of the first journal article published on this new malady called Post-transfusion Graft-vs-Host (GVHD) disease.
Patients who had been diagnosed with cancer, leukemia and immune deficiencies were dying from blood transfusions. The treatment is prevention, and because of my discovery, this fatal disease has been prevented by simply irradiating the blood, which mediates lymphocyte function in the transfusion.
I also convinced the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to do HIV antigen testing on blood donors rather than just their standard antibody testing. Let me explain it in a simpler manner: Antibodies are the police and antigens are the criminals. We have police because there are criminals, but if there are not any police in your neighborhood does that really mean that there are NO criminals? Of course not. The criminal usually shows up first, wreaks damage, hopefully gets reported and only then do the police show up to deal with the criminal. It is better if we know when a criminal moves in.
The antibody is merely the body’s response to infection (antigen), hence there is a ‘window period’ between the infection (antigen) and the body’s response (antibody) to the infection. Antigen testing eliminates the risky ‘window period’ making blood transfusions safe from HIV.
I was able to convince the FDA the importance of antigen testing by showing them that 2 donors who had just tested negative for HIV antibody were in truth HIV positive via antigen testing. Had someone received this blood, they would have eventually become infected with HIV because of the inaccurate read.
I left academics to start my own company to try and get a bleeding time test to market, but Venture capital was not interested. I then refreshed my clinical skills and started a solo practice in general medicine, worker’s compensation patients, and personal injuries. I became interested in pain management and took courses in this area attending annual pain management meetings on a regular basis. This was a natural direction because worker’s comp patients were often required to simply manage the pain until they received an authorization for surgery. For some patients, it was as long as seven years.
During this time of treating patients with narcotics I discovered that narcotics encourage more pain, which I refer to as narcotic hyperalgesia. As a result of this revelation, I started weaning patients off narcotics and using Suboxone. This is similar to using methadone for heroin addiction.
Patients began telling me that cannabis seemed to alleviate their pain more than narcotics and, after extensive research on the pros and cons of cannabis as medicine; I became convinced that there was significant value in its use. I started seeing patients and providing cannabis recommendations. I was the first doctor in Fresno to provide these recommendations to patients in need.
Recent Negative Events
Being the ‘first’ had some negatives. I went through some problems with the medical board and law enforcement and I received a lot of negative publicity. There were an inordinate amount of lies, dishonesty, and disinformation (false information deliberately and often covertly spread, by the planting of rumors, in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth) that has gone on over the past few years. All of these are untrue accusations. I know the source of these accusations intended to discredit me, but for legal reasons, this information can’t be disclosed.
One of the issues that come up is that I am only a pathologist, insinuating that I do not have the education or knowledge to be a medical doctor. That is untrue. Pathology training is over the course of 5 years and is after medical school, which is the most academically difficult training program. One has to learn every disease that exists, recognizing it physically, under the microscope, and in the laboratory. Therefore, my diagnostic skills are better than many regular clinical medical doctors.
In the beginning of this Personal Statement of mine, I made a point of how my upbringing had honest, true and moral values instilled in my everyday life, and to experience these false accusations against me was very hurtful to me personally and to my practice. Because of what I have gone through, I am more empathetic and understanding to others who have experienced a hardship and made me aware of how prominent slander is in today’s society. I believe that I am a better physician and person.
Why See Dr. Brubaker?
I don’t particularly care for testimonials; however my patients fill out paper work that asks why they chose to see me. I am happy to see that the majority of my patients have said that “He is legitimate”, “He cares”, “He listens to me”, “He saved my life”, “He helped me stop narcotics” and “He helped me quit smoking.” I went in to the medical field because of a desire to help people and I am very grateful that my patients see this character in me.
In evaluating my cannabis patients, I have found people with hypertension (high blood pressure), atrial fibrillation, heart block, scoliosis, and other medical conditions in my cannabis patients were previously unaware of even after visiting other physicians. Patients have been referred to other physicians and specialists as a result of finding these medical problems and hence received appropriate help that improved their life.
I am happy to provide patients additional information regarding their disease or condition that sometimes their own doctor has not provided. I recommend treatments other than cannabis for the patient’s health improvement. I am very proud to say that in my 38 years of practicing medicine, I have helped hundreds of people stop smoking and eliminate narcotic dependency.
When patients come to me for a cannabis recommendation they are thoroughly evaluated. I make it a point to listen to my patients and educate them on their medical conditions. When patients return for their annual appointment, I give them another exam to help reassure them and/or to make modifications to their treatment. For this reason he has a higher fee than the $40 doctors who quickly write out a recommendation and send you on your way. It’s your choice.