Prevention, Not Treatment

Dr. Joshua Jacobi wants you at work, not in his office

Thursday, May 29, 2014 | 7:50 pm

Healthy Living Medical Inc 2ndIn his perfect world, Dr. Joshua Jacobi of Healthy Living Medical would only ever see you once. He would consult, diagnose and perhaps prescribe, and then send you birthday cards.

That’s the nature of his medical philosophy—prevention instead of treatment.

Jacobi went to medical school at San Antonio, and trained in internal medicine and cardiology at University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, Texas, and moved to Pasadena in August of 2013. He is currently triple-board-certified in internal medicine, interventional cardiology and cardiovascular disease.

As he told Pasadena Now, “Toward the end of my time in Texas, I started seeing patients really young. The youngest guy I treated for a heart attack was 28 and he was just a normal everyday looking guy. He was a little out of shape and had a little, bulge around the middle, but not obese. He had a little bit of a family history, but not extraordinary, and he had a heart attack at 28.

“When I looked at his arteries—there’s three main arteries to the heart—I fixed one, but the other two had blocked, but weren’t severe enough to fix, but I knew that if he’s not going to change his lifestyle in the next couple of years, he was would either have another stent put in, or have bypass surgery.

“That was a changing moment in how I thought about medicine and caring for patients,” he continued, “and to me, it’s great that I was able to take care of really sick people like right when they needed it. But if I want to have a bigger impact on patient’s lives in the community, then to me the best way to practice was to prevent it from happening in the first place.”

Though Jacobi finds his value in preventing heart disease, and helping patients to have a healthier life, he still sees the joy in treatment as well.

As Jacobi explained, “What is cool about cardiology, is you get to play ‘detective,’ but you also had the benefits of being able to “fix people,” so if somebody came in with a heart attack, it was amazing to me that within a few minutes, you can open up their artery and completely relieve their pain and save their heart muscle and sometimes even save their life.

“I found that just so amazing. And you could not only see the effect it had on the patient, you could see the artery being opened on the screen where you’re working, so I thought that was just really gratifying.”

But given, the choice, he would be far happier to prevent rather than treat.

“What I do is more of a preventive cardiology, a preventive medicine type practice, because probably 75%-80% of the illnesses that people suffer from can be prevented. Whether it’s emphysema, diabetes, high blood pressure, all those things add up, it may cause us as a country billions of dollars. And so the focus of my practice is being able to help people get to better health so they never have the diabetes, or the high blood pressure, or the heart attack.”

In addition to being a traditional medicine practitioner, Dr. Jacobi is, not surprisingly, a strong proponent of non-traditional and holistic treatments.

“What I’ve seen in California is people tend to be a little more open to alternative medicine,” he said, “which goes along with my philosophy, because I’m a traditional doctor, but I believe in using non-traditional therapies when necessary to help the patient get to where they want to be.

“I think it’s nationwide that about 47% of patients have seen an alternative health practitioner,” he continued. “I would bet that number percentage is higher in California, and I think the trend is starting to shift that way.”

Dr. Jacobi also is a strong believer in belief systems and meditation to also help patients.

As he demonstrates a small bio-feedback unit, which measure a body’s heart and breathing rates, he explains, “I like to think of it as that state of being in the ‘zone of flow.’ So this (device) helps you to practice getting in that state, which has been found in some studies I’ve done to help decrease blood pressure, help decrease blood sugar levels and so forth.”

Dr. Jacobi also takes the time to meditate on his own, usually before work.

“It’s simple, but really helps keep me focused,” he said.

Jacobi’s office also offers what it calls “Concierge Preventive Care,” which includes 24/7 access to Dr. Jacobi and same day appointments. They also offer advanced cardio markers, and carotid testing, cardiac testing, and a detailed lifestyle report, in various packages of care. In addition, the office also offers a “Total Athletic Preventive Screening” for young athletes.

“What I really strongly believe in,” says Jacobi, “is helping people get from that gap of where they are, and knowing what they need to do, and then help them implement the ‘how’.”

That’s prevention, not treatment.

Healthy Living Medical is at 301 South Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 404, Pasadena. (626) 716-9206.

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