Innovating Pediatric Care
by Beth McCollam
Dr. Ali Carine, a graduate of Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, is one such pediatric D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) who is not limited to writing a prescription for patient treatment. Osteopaths are taught a philosophy of medicine that is holistic and looks at the relationship of structure and function. This foundation is imperative for a physician who utilizes prescription medications in addition to nutritional and complementary medicine.
Whether it’s treating chronic disease with dietary changes, nutritional supplements, herbal products, osteopathic manipulative medicine or pharmaceuticals, she has the ability to do it all under one roof at her practice – Dr. Carine Integrative Pediatrics. Specific alternative care, such as acupuncture, is always referred to specialists.
“We do it all in a safe way,” says Dr. Carine. “Not all treatment is applicable. I want to be sure it’s the right treatment, it’s safe and it is worth their [the patient’s] time.”
Cathy Frezoulis, the mother of a current patient, agrees: “When we interviewed Dr. Carine, I was impressed with the fact that she was willing to work with us to develop a modified vaccine schedule to fit our needs. It was the deciding factor in choosing her as our pediatrician, since I wanted to work with someone who would take into consideration any input I would have in our son’s care.”
Dr. Carine is seeing more families that want physicians who know more about alternative medicines such as vitamins and herbs. Too often, patients begin to self-medicate with supplements when they do not receive the counseling they seek from their physician. Many of her patients include families with special needs children, including those with autism.
“Families appreciate what alternative forms of medicine can do for their child,” she says.
Her strategy is to provide comprehensive care so children can rise to their highest potential and achieve their goals.
One example is that of a high-achieving teenage girl who had trouble focusing. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication prescribed by another doctor helped to keep her focused and her grades up. The side effects, however, included; loss of appetite, headaches, and lethargy or sluggishness.
Dr. Carine ordered blood work during the teen’s initial visit, and upon the second visit suggested she try a gluten-free diet. While a gluten-free diet can be difficult to incorporate, it turned out to be a better solution for this now happy and still high-achieving patient who is recently off of her ADHD medication.
Another important philosophy of osteopathic care, according to Dr. Carine, is that of a patient-centered medical home (PCMH), a team-based approach to health care that allows for coordination amongst a specific group of doctors and practitioners. Dr. Carine sees PCMH as an important component of a primary care physician — to be in constant communication with specialists, traditional and alternative, to understand and help provide the best patient care possible.
“When primary care physicians take ownership of the patient’s care by being a medical home, it saves on the number of patient visits. When medical teams work together, parents are less confused and more focused on their child’s overall well-being.”
As part of her professional development, Dr. Carine has additional training in the management of autistic children through the Autism Research Institute and continues to educate other physicians on nutritional and medical management of autistic children.
Dr. Carine also regularly speaks at physician conferences to educate other doctors on how to implement comprehensive care into their practices.
“There is no business model for this,” she explains. “It’s important because we don’t have other doctors who are doing this and I believe it’s the medicine families want.”
Location: 3300 Riverside Dr., #200, Upper Arlington. For more information or to make an appointment, call 614-459-4200 or visit DrCarine.com.
Beth McCollam is a freelance writer who is just beginning to learn about herbs. She enjoys running outdoors and watching baseball games. Connect at Beth.McCollam@yahoo.com.