by Dr. Kathleen A. Cullen
On April 12, 1947, The Saturday Evening Post published the now famous Norman Rockwell illustration “Family Doctor” The picture shows a small-town physician consulting the entire family, including the dog, who are visiting his office. In my 28 years working in medicine, I have always shaped the way I practice on the delightful doctor in that illustration. I want to know my patients as people. I want to prevent disease, not just treat it. My practice focuses on whole body health, to keep my patients from having a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions.In February of 2020, a telemedicine company asked if I would be willing to treat Covid patients using a treatment regimen that appeared promising. I immediately agreed, I had already been practicing telemedicine for ten years. I spent several hours learning from Dr. Zelenko, a family physician in New York City. The Zelenko Protocol is hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), azithromycin, and zinc. Those three drugs are cheap and have been on the market for decades.As the demand for telemedicine visits ballooned, our infrastructure was overwhelmed. Calls kept dropping and follow-up was difficult. My solution was to give patients my cell phone number, although some physician colleagues though was insane. It was not. Not a single patient has abused that trust, and in some cases having immediate access to a physician saved their life.On January 25th of 2021, I treated a sick man in his late 60’s, we will call him Mr. X. I prescribed the HCQ regimen and told him to follow up with me if he had questions. Mrs. X, his wife, texted me late in the evening 3 days later. His health had deteriorated further, and I was concerned by his symptoms. When she told me his oxygen level was 50% and normal levels start at 96%, I told her to call an ambulance.” Mrs. X texted me from the ER then next day and said doctors were intubating Mr. X and moving him to the ICU. My heart sank, statistically his prognosis was grim. Today, March 12th, I received a text from Mr. X! He was being discharged from the hospital. I was overcome with joy. If Mr. X had not had immediate access to me as his health worsened, and had not been started on the HCQ protocol, I don’t believe he would be with us today.I have a few hundred stories like Mr. X’s story. On the news we hear the only option is the experimental vaccine. That is not true. I’ve had a great deal of success using HCQ to treat prophylactically, that is to prevent illness, and to minimize the virus in patients.