welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Monday, January 27, 2020

organicgreendoctor: the snake or beer virus

organicgreendoctor: the snake or beer virus: THE SNAKE OR BEER VIRUS this weekend we were discussing the news and were talking about the new coronavirus that was spreading across the ...

the snake or beer virus


this weekend we were discussing the news and were talking about the new coronavirus that was spreading across the world
one gentleman who has a sense of humor said
you mean the beer virus
what do you mean i asked
he said
you know
corona beer

its also being called the snake virus since it may have spread from wild snakes sold at a wild animal market in wahun china
some think that like the sars outbreak it may have come from say bats which snakes have been known to eat
the snakes get infected with the coronavirus
which eventually gets to humans who mess with the snakes or eat them
thats right folks eat wild snakes

you have these crowded large markets where stuff like dust and feathers and viruses get all stirred up into the air
it gets breathed into the lungs
some folks get infected and eventually start having symptoms
after they get back home
home being for some other countries all over the world

there may be cases in 22 states now in the us

the official name is novel coronavirus or 2019-ncov

the corona or beer or snake virus is in the cold family of virus
there are no vaccines or any antiviral medications to treat it
those most vulnerable are those with suppressed immune systems
cancer patients elderly the youngest of us those with lung diseases like asthma and emphysema those on immunosuppressive drugs like steroids and organ rejection drugs and anti arthritis drugs that work via immunosuppression kidney disease patients heart patients liver patients pregnant females to name a few

for those who are real healthy the symptoms may be like a bad cold
those at risk things may be a lot worse if they get infected

symptoms may be fever cough respiratory symptoms
worse symptoms can be pneumonia sars or severe acute respiratory symptoms or failure or kidney failure or death

another problem is humans dont have any natural immunity against this virus
making us more vulnerable

i must say we all are probably more vulnerable to health issues from this years double barreled flu virus

so what can you do to prevent getting the snake or beer virus or the 2019-ncov virus

this will look familiar
dont travel to wahun china
wash your hands
wash your hands
cough into your elbow
cough into your elbow
stay away from sick folks with symptoms
if you have symptoms then stay home
if you have symptoms then stay home

this like the flu does each year to will pass

here are two articles reviewing the snake or beer virus
article one
article two

another reason i want to stay in the united states for my vacations

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, January 24, 2020

organicgreendoctor: alzheimers news-my computer memory test

organicgreendoctor: alzheimers news-my computer memory test: ALZHEIMERS NEWS-MY COMPUTER MEMORY TEST last week i talked to a group here in the santa barbara area about alzheimers it was following a ...

alzheimers news-my computer memory test

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last week i talked to a group here in the santa barbara area about alzheimers
it was following a one hour session from the alzheimers association on a alzheimers and other dementias presentation

i was asked to talk for a few minutes to the do a q&a session for a total of about 30 minutes
i have a 50 minute talk i do on my story
i chopped off 40 minutes and did a brief 10 minute talk on my story on how i got to where i am today
i allowed 20 minutes for the q&a session

when i do these i always write down my top 5 questions i get asked
i must say usually those get asked so i dont ever have to go to my list
so it was that day

they easily asked the ones on my list and more
the q&a session lasted 40+ minutes and was stopped because they had to be out of the room by a certain time
we bumped right up against that timeline
in fact the lights were turned out just as i stepped out of the door

before i left that day from our condo i added a 6th question
i do sometimes get asked either in person or via facebook or email about online computer memory testing
i wrote
#6 password memory test

ive written about this before

what i meant was this
i randomly make my passwords that are at least 8 characters long some are 10
i have 2 google passwords 1 yahoo password 2 facebook passwords 2 bank account passwords 1 blog password 1 twitter password 1 credit card password

so thats 10 accounts of at least 8 characters so thats a total of 80+ characters i have to remember each morning
here eg would be a new made up one

i do that on purpose typing them in separately as i log on
i dont do the automatic sign in stuff on my computer

can you do that
my wife she cant
im sure hers are all on automatic sign in

for me
its my early morning memory test
when all do all 10 of them
i sit back in my chair
take a big sip of coffee
take in a deep deep slow breath
slowly exhale with my eyes closed
i think out loud

im good

then i move on with my day

i know
that that day may come when i cant do this
that happens
all those life changes i need to do need to be put into full action
while i have time to be the one to decide
giving up the checkbook
stop driving
being monitored while using the computer
maybe activating my power of attorney
putting on my arm bracelet that acts like those things they put on sharks and fish and animals so my wife she can look at her cell phone and tell where i am at
safely at i hope


i took my password computer memory test today
i got a 100% rating today

im good

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, January 23, 2020

organicgreendoctor: double barreled flu

organicgreendoctor: double barreled flu: DOUBLE BARRELED FLU thats what this article calls this years flu season the double barreled flu season about half of the flu cases are ...

double barreled flu

Image result for cdc flu shots
thats what this article calls this years flu season
the double barreled flu season

about half of the flu cases are type a covered by the flu shots usually

half of the flu cases are type b which are not covered well by this years flu shot

its been about 30 years since a flu season like this has happened
there hasnt been much b flu the last few seasons so youngsters have no built up immunity from past exposures

the b victoria started earlier and was the dominant strain but now an a strain is starting to rise
with some overlap of the two strains infecting folks at the same time

this year its possible to get the flu twice
one a b version
the other an a version
sucks huh

if you havent got the flu shot you should get it
you might not get the flu
you will help spread the flu to others if you get the flu
folks with heart disease elderly youngsters pregnant women cancer patients kids like mr h waiting for transplant and other imunosuppresive conditions are more susceptible to the flu

even if you get the flu shot and it doesnt cover the particular flu thats going around it seems to help some

the type b victoria flu is the first that happened now the a flu is coming in stronger which will make for a longer flu season and a more deadly flu season this year
39 kids have died so far with 9 of those being in tennessee with the flu

what can you do
get the flu shot if you havent yet
get the flu shot if you havent yet
wash your hands
wash your hands
cough into your elbow
if you are sick with flu like symptoms stay home
absolutely if you are sick stay away from those folks who can ill afford to get the flu
stay home
thats the best you can do in this double barreled flu season

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited 33-disability memory testing

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited 33-disability memory testing: MY STORY REVISITED 33-DISABILITY MEMORY TESTING when i was diagnosed with mild cognitive impariment i was placed on short term disability ...

my story revisited 33-disability memory testing

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when i was diagnosed with mild cognitive impariment i was placed on short term disability since with that diagnosis and being on the alzheimers drug aricept (donepezil) put me in a situation where i could not practice medicine anymore

the clinic where i worked provided a long term disability insurance coverage that provided you with 60% of your income
the premiums were paid with after tax dollars so when you receive the benefits they are income tax free

also in the insurance policy was the requirement that you be able to practice medicine as a fully functioning family physician
i could have been a ditch digger or construcition worker but with this policy i had to be able to do my old job
which i couldnt do anymore

the short term policy lasted 90 days then the long term policy kicked in and lasted until you reach 65 years old

the problem was the long term company said i had to have a neuropsychological evaluation from a neuropsychologist on their list
you have to wait 9 months before we will do it
we are not going to pay you from 3 months to that 9 months plus time period
i will admit they did back pay me months later but i had to use my own money during that time

now my initial memory testing my neuropsychological exam for the adni2 lasted almost 3 hours
it was tiring
it was frustrating as i had trouble doing it correctly

i also was put on aricept (donepezil) to slow things down which looking back now it probably has since here i am 9 years later writing this my story revisited blog with my last memory testing in december being normal

the problem was they werent looking at that first test i had done
instead would put me through an 8 hour neuropsychological exam

the research center did send records to the examining doctor so he could see where i was when this all started 9 months earlier

the exam was tiring
they would test for an hour
the doctor would look at it
do more testing
this was repeated off and on all day long with a short lunch break

they even did the mmpi exam looking to see if i had a personalitiy disorder or other psychological diagnosis

i had to wait several weeks before i got my results form the insurance company
i finally got my long term disability almost a year later and got back pay and was able to receive it tax free

later they sent me notification that they were going to hire a lawyer to get me on social security disability
i thought i dont care about doing that
in the fine print of the insurance documents it says basically
if you dont let us do this you lose your money

that my friends was an experience
i thought of all those folks who needed to be on social security disability but couldnt get on it
now alzheimers disease is one that gets fast tracked

more on that later

it was interesting as i reread these blogs there was a paragraph where i realized the aricept may only give me about 3 years benefit
well it looks like its 9 years of benefit so far

also i had noticed an erosion of my math skills which interestingly isnt noticeable to me now 9 years later

below are two blogs one the day before the exam and the other the next day

the hardest part of all of these evaluations i have had and will
have in the future is not the mris or pet scans or the blood
draws or even the spinal tap
its the neuropsychological exams
ive had 4 now in the last year
its like taking an exam where no one can get a hundred
then the parts of the exam on short term memory frustrates me
as it reminds me that yes you do have a problem even though
you arent always noticing it

well today i have to get an 8 hour one required by my disability
they want an independent neuropsychological exam
before they make a decision on my case
(my policy was written so that if i cant do my job as a
family physician then i should be covered)

i dont look forward to doing it today but know it has to be done
i get to do another one for the research study in 2 months
then i will get a long break without having to do them

i did my 8 hour exam yesterday to satisfy the disability insurance
people even though i had a good evaluation done by a reputable
institution (the university of texas medical center memory clinic and
alzheimers research center) which included even more work up
than most people would have been able to get
it wasnt enough for them though so they just wanted to torture
me a little more

all if have to say is the exam sucked
especially on the parts i consistently have problems with
i already know what they are and its frustrating to take them
because you know youll not do well on them

the short term memory problems i have are pretty consistent through
all the tests i have done
i think the aricept may have helped some but it did not help 100%
i also realize that the aricept is short lived in it effectiveness

(usually some one with mild cognitive impairment amnestic with the
apoe 4/apoe4 alzheimers genotype may have about 3 years of
good benefit before it starts to decline)

these short term memory tests that i have problems with are like
if you walk into a school exam totally unprepared and the material
you totally dont understand and you totally bomb the exam
thats what its like
you have to take several just like that
its why i call this the torture test
give me the spinal tap anytime

i also did a mmpi test where you answer over 500 questions
do you hate your mother
do you play with doll
do you hear voices
it is a test for abnormal personality traits
the answer to all of the above questions is no except #2
as i did have 3 sisters so i did play with dolls some
i think i probably came out ok on the mmpi test

overall i still noticed i had problems with short term memory that
has persisted over the last 8 months
some of the tests that were done were chosen to check out what i
had noticed as a problem
i do realize i have lost a significant part of my math skills
much more than i thought
this may have been the most disturbing portion of the whole
8 hours of exams

now i am on my wife shes level when it comes to math

i now get a months break from all this stuff until mid september
when my wife she and i go up to the alzheimers research center to
do a demonstration video how how to do a mental status evaluation
it will be used for medical school and residency educational purposes

it probably should be shown to most primary care providers also

the funding for this project comes from donations from people
like you to the alzheimers research center

i would advise you to look at your disability insurance plans to see how yours works
its nice if you have to use it to have paid for it with after tax dollars
it saved me thousands of dollars by doing it that way

the organicgreen doctor

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

organicgreendoctor: these are my favorite ones

organicgreendoctor: these are my favorite ones: THESE ARE MY FAVORITE ONES girlscouts.org each year about this time i would start craving girl scout cookies my favorite is the one abo...

these are my favorite ones



each year about this time i would start craving girl scout cookies
my favorite is the one above
they are called do si dos or peanut butter sandwich
if i get a box of these ill hide then until i eat them all up

now i will admit ill eat any of them but this one is my favorite

when i was in practice i always had a patient who was selling them or an employee whose child was selling them
i always would donate to the cause
i had a locked drawer i kept them in
along with my snickers

when i left practice i lost those contacts for getting my girl scout cookie fix
i relied on random run ins at a pharmacy or a grocery store during girl scout cookie time

this last week i found a link that allows you to type in your zip code
to find not only where they will be selling them
also what time and what day they will be sold

here is the link to the zip code finding article on where and when they will be sold

i plugged in my zip code locations where we have lived
it seems to work
thats where i use to buy them

i plugged in my present zip code
there just one block away in the grocery store entry they will be selling them on 2-1-2020 at 1pm-5pm
just  a little further maybe 2-3 blocks they will be at the pharmacy entrance selling them on the same day and time
there are also other dates they will be sold

they are also being sold here at ralphs gelsons vons and marshalls

what i dont understand is why they arent selling them at the entrance to our trader joes

my plan is to support those girls scouts selling my cookies within walking distance

i plan on that day
to walk over by myself
buy a box
walk real slow back home
snacking as i go

maybe ill buy two boxes
keeping one in my car
the other one in our cupboards to share with my wife she

now you know where to buy them

here is a link to the different girl scout cookies in case you forgot

what are your favorite ones

the organicgreen cookie monster

Friday, January 17, 2020

organicgreendoctor: alzheimers news-losing one nights sleep is not goo...

organicgreendoctor: alzheimers news-losing one nights sleep is not goo...: ALZHEIMERS NEWS-LOSING ONE NIGHTS SLEEP IS NOT GOOD when i read those articles i looked back on my medical career at all those nights when...

alzheimers news-losing one nights sleep is not good

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when i read those articles i looked back on my medical career at all those nights when i didnt get sleep

when i was a medical student especially my third year i was on call every 3rd night usually most of the year
many if not most of those night calls left you with zero sleep or reduced sleep

as an intern it was even worse
when you were on call you were the first line to see folks and get called
you would go into work at 6am work all day all night all the next day and it was not unusual to not get home until the late afternoon or early evening the next day leaving you with sometimes being up for at least 36 hours straight without sleep
you would crash and sleep as soon as you walked into the door

i use to be an emergency room doctor who worked on 24 hour rotations 3 nights a week
one of those days i would work a clinic the next day

for several years i would moonlight in the emergency room so i would work all day in the clinic then work in the emergency room all night then work the next day all day in the clinic

i also remember once well more than once being up for over 48 hours being on call when i was in private practice delivering babies and taking care of hospital patients and talking phone calls

this was what i was thinking about when i read those articles about how bad it might be to miss even one nights sleep

i can see how the cumulative affect is bad for you over time

amyloid is one of the proteins that accumulates in the brain
it forms plaques killing brain cells
tau protein in the nerve cells unwinds itself and forms tangles which damage the brain cells
the body attacks all this brain cell damage trying to repair it with inflammation
you end up with alzheimers disease

now back to losing one nights sleep
you accumulate amyloid and tau protein naturally
the body has a garbage crew that will come in and clean up this extra stuff thats not needed
one of the garbage men are called microglia
they go in and pickup and clean up all this garbage ie amyloid and tau protein and clean up the brain
it works this system by happening when the brain is resting
when you are in your deep sleep
a requirement

like a street sweeper sweeping the streets during full traffic
a lot of debris gets left on the streets
so it is with the brain
a lot of amyloid and tau gets left to cause nerve and brain cell damage if you dont get good sleep

i do wonder how much of that stuff accumulated over those early years of my medical career from not sleeping as much as i should have

since i have been on aricept (donepezil) for the last 9+years i have lost sleep every night since then
usually only getting 5-6 hours each night
i compensate though since im retired by doing afternoon naps of 1-2 hours each day
hoping that adding those numbers together will overcome losing that nighttime sleep

so in these articles
linked here
linked here
they discuss what happens when you lose one nights sleep

in these studies young healthy men losing one nights sleep lead to an elevated tau protein in the blood
its been shown that having elevated tau protein in the blood can lead to elevated levels in the brain which can over time cause damage
also losing sleep like this can lead to amyloid accumulation as shown in another study

i do wonder how much damage was done from the lack of sleep early on in my career
how much has been done since i have had trouble sleeping from taking the aricept (donepezil)

think about this sleep thing
get a good nights sleep
youll feel better the next day

you might have instead of sheep jumping over the fence to count
you might hear those street sweepers and garbage trucks up in your brain cleaning out that amyloid and tau thats accumulated

add adequate sleep to those healthy lifestyles to follow to slow down the risk for alzheimers disease

the organicgreen doctor

Thursday, January 16, 2020

organicgreendoctor: santa barbara country n news-food for those in nee...

organicgreendoctor: santa barbara country n news-food for those in nee...: SANTA BARBARA COUNTRY N NEWS-FOOD FOR THOSE IN NEED thats ms b watering my garden plot at the community garden where i garden ive done ...

santa barbara country n news-food for those in need

thats ms b watering my garden plot at the community garden where i garden

ive done it long enough so that i know just the right amount to grow so we dont have to put too much
veggies up by canning or freezing

right now i have 4 broccoli which gives us four big broccoli heads for a month
usually one a week lasts us
the side shoots that develop provide us with a steady supply of smaller broccoli heads until the broccoli goes to seed in the late spring

i have 4 cabbages which i do the same as broccoli
the side shoots off the cabbage also provide us with more smaller cabbages that sometimes dont make it out of the garden
i eat then while working in the garden

i have a large 20 ft row of sweet peas that provide us with a steady supply of these peas
i cant keep my hands off them and eat usually about half before they make it home
mr h loves them
as does ms b and her friends

i have a short row of lettuce mix plants that i trim down in stages so that we always have lettuce growing and always have lettuce mix to eat at home

i have onions and garlic that i will store in our garage when they are harvested in the late spring to early summer

i have 3 different types of kale and swiss chard that we eat in salads with our lettuces
its the plant that keeps on giving
i still have last years curly leaf kale still growing and producing leaves
its nice to garden where i doesnt freeze

i also have cilantro that i use in the salads

sometime this winter i will make a pot of greens with kale chard cabbage leaves and broccoli leaves and green onions
broccoli and cabbage are cousins to collards so i use their leaves like collards
they go good with cornbread

i have a batch of multiplying onions that i have had since the early 1990s that my dad gave me
i brought a few with me from texas
they occupy a spot near the entrance to my garden walkway so i can reach down and harvest them as we need green onions

if i do have extra veggies from my garden i leave them for the community garden to donate to need organizations like soup kitchens food pantries womens shelters etc

this winter the community garden cleared out most of its plots which occupy the center of the large garden area with the 25 rented plots being in 200 sq ft plots around the perimeter

the soil was dug out deep through out with a large tractor
then tilled with a large commercial size tiller
several yards of the best compost ive seen yet in this area and bags of organic fertilizer was also then tilled deep into the soil

then new planting beds were reoriented based on the amount of shade and the location of water sources

then the entities we donate all this food to were asked what did they really want
now they take any fresh food we given
they wanted onions leeks celery brassicas tomatoes peppers lettuce kale to name a few

we widened our beds
redid our drip lines
started planting stuff
these above are the only old beds left with its kale collard trees and cabbage

i planted many of these new beds along with other volunteers
long rows of cabbage and broccoli and kale
long row of onions well over 300 plants
long row of leeks around 200+ plants
long row of various lettuces all mixed together
long row of celery
shorter row of swiss chard

we are about 30% planted

tomatoes and peppers and beans squash cukes etc will be planted in the spring

so in the spring when you walk into this place it will be completely full of edible veggies all going to those in need

i didnt even mention the bushels and bushels of citrus that is harvested from approximately 20 trees all going to these same places

after planting stuff for 4 hours
i stand up to straighten out all my creaky joints
look around
i thought they dont pay farmworkers enough

i feel good about what i just did
knowing those in need will benefit

this is what volunteering is all about

the organicgreen doctor

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited 32-pat summitt my buddy

organicgreendoctor: my story revisited 32-pat summitt my buddy: MY STORY REVISITED 32-PAT SUMMITT MY BUDDY pat summitt was the famous womens basketball coach from the university of tennesse i always ad...

my story revisited 32-pat summitt my buddy

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pat summitt was the famous womens basketball coach from the university of tennesse
i always admired her
she was a disciplinarian but her players seem to love her

her most courageous moment was in the video shownbelow from my old blog 8 years ago when she announced on tv to the world in this youtube video that she had alzheimers disease

putting her famous name on this disease was important in getting national attention

she was brave to do this

i always felt a kinship with her since we were diagnosed about the same time
she was a little ahead of me
she was further along than i was

she died just 5 years later after making this video
it makes you realize how fast this disease can move

i watched her games that year as she coached using an assistant a lot to manage the games
i could see it the alzheimers in her face as she stared and seemed to be missing things during the game

as i have written before 9 years ago i really didnt think i would be doing as well as i am now
knock knock on wood

so far i am not where she was when she made this video

i wrote that i was humbled when i took my memory tests
at that time i still had memory deficits that showed up on the tests
my memory tests are back in the normal range
i dont know for sure

i do feel like i have gotten a reprieve somehow for a period of time
ill accept that reprieve
will take advantage of that extra time it gives me

i once was notified by her alzheimers foundation to be part of an alzheimers panel in knoxville but it didnt work out for me to be there

i was using her as a gauge for how i would do but i guess im on a different path

may she rest in peace

pat summitt my buddy

pat summitt and i have several things in common
we are both from rural areas in the deep south
we are both from poor families
we both have a love for basketball
she just made her living doing it for years

but now we share something we both probably wish
we do not share

alzheimers disease
she was diagnosed with early onset alzheimers disease

watch her video of her announcement on you tube then
read the interview she had
then read my comments

now click on this link and read
this washington post article on pat summitts diagnosis

my comments
when i left my practice i had a difficult time writing a letter to be sent
to all my patients and a letter that was read and given to my fellow
employees and physicians
i could not go there in person to discuss why i left work
even now when i gave my talk to a group about alzheimers i
got teary eyed and had a difficult time talking about it

after watching her video and reading the interview i have a lot of
respect for her in coming forward to discuss this
shes a tough lady and someone who could make this work

her diagnosis appears to be slightly ahead of my diagnosis
the term used for me is mild cognitive impairment amnestic type
hers is called early onset alzheimers disease
there is only a slight difference between the two diagnosis
but not much

she is on medication and most likely that medicine is
aricept (donepezil) as its the medicine used initially when
the diagnosis is made
its the same medicine ive been on for 8 months

she saw dr ronald petersen a well known alzheimers expert at the
mayo clinic alzheimers research center who is one of the
investigators of the study (adni-2) that im enrolled in

she had a spinal tap and may have had spinal analysis for
tau protein and beta amyloid like i had done but hers would
probably be more positive than mine was

she had a neuropsychological exam (the sucky test) that
probably really showed where her deficits were
its a difficult and frustrating test to take if you have a
i am sure she was not a fun person to give it too
its a humbling test to have to take if you have a problem
ive been humbled 5 times this year and its the only part
of my evaluation and treatment that i dread

she is using medications and reading and memory games to
continuing to work may be one of the best things for her
to do as her job requires a lot of mental exercising to do it well
i think she can do it

she also should control her blood pressure, control her cholesterol,
get regular exercise 5 days a week, take aspirin every day, eat
a low fat mediterranean diet, get appropriate sleep, avoid excessive
stress (not a good job for that), and consider taking supplements
of omega 3 fish oil, folic acid, vitamin d and calcium

but remember the disease just marches on anyway but all this
may slow the symptoms some

if she was a physician like me she would not be able to work
because a lapse of memory could cause serious harm to someone
other occupations that should not work with this diagnosis would be
nurses, truck drivers, bus drivers, air traffic controllers, pilots,
presidents (although reagan im sure was in the early  stages during
his late presidency), or policemen (that was what my close relative
was doing when he was diagnosed)

however occupations such as coaches like pat summitt,  teachers,
professors, clerks, some supervisors, congressmen, construction
workers, landscapers, researchers, news reporters, or
salespersons could probably continue to work with this
early diagnosis

so its good that she plans to stick with it with her job and put a face
on this disease that will make people understand it better

hopefully she will do the walk to end alzheimers in knoxville
tennessee on september 18, 2011

good luck my friend
wish you the best this year
you are a tough lady


tomorrow i will do a short presentation on my story at encina royale in goleta california then do a q and a afterwards

the organicgreen doctor