The Physician Within

Many people rely on doctors and hospital emergency rooms to deal with routine medical issues which they are often capable of managing or preventing for themselves. This medical series, coordinated by FBC member and Richmond Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Terry Whipple, is designed to help people understand common health issues and adjust their lifestyles for a longer, safer, healthier existence.

SKIN: Cancers, Bumps, Tears & Rashes

Wednesday, June 3, 2015     6 - 8 p.m. in the Dining Hall
A panel discussion moderated by Dr. Terry L. Whipple and Dr. Ruth L. Hillelson, featuring area dermatologists

• Cancer and dangerous moles
• Rashes and the immune system
• Bumps, tags and itching
• Aging skin, including thinning, fragility, brown pigment age spots, drying and skin tears
• Environmental skin hazards and protection habits
• Skin oils, moisture and radiance

Audience Q&A will follow panel presentations.

Expert panelists:
Margaret Terhune, MD—educated and trained at Dartmouth, Harvard, Univ. of Michigan
Melissa King, MD, JD—educated and trained at UR, UVA, VCU
Adam Martin, MD—educated and trained at UR, UVA
Shelley Hoover, MD, PhD—educated and trained at Univ. of Colorado, VCU

Our skin is the largest organ in the body. It wraps and seals most of our insides from the threats and hazards of the external environment in which we live.

Skin seals in moisture—our bodies are 75% water. It seals out most forms of toxins, light and blunt objects that pose risk to our bones, brains, organs, muscles, nerves and circulation.

Skin is the barrier between the outside and the inside, except for what we eat and breathe…almost. Microscopically, skin is porous and will let certain chemicals in and certain molecules out.

Our skin is vulnerable and is at risk. It is alive and sensitive. It serves an important function and we can protect it.

This panel of professional dermatologists has published extensively in medical literature about skin issues, risks, prevention, protection and a variety of treatment options that we can access.

Skin cancers represent common skin malfunctions from which no one is immune.

Our environment is full of skin toxins. What we eat, drink and inhale influences skin health, function and appearance.

previous sessions:

Memory Matters

Tuesday, January 20, 6 - 8 p.m. in the Dining Hall
A panel discussion moderated by Dr. Terry Whipple, featuring area neurologists

How Memory Works
Dementia vs. Forgetfulness
Alzheimer’s Disease
Sleep Schedules
Care for the Caregiver

Audience Q&A will follow panel presentations.


Holiday Health

Four Weekly articles to inspire healthy living through Thanksgiving and Christmas

Nov. 26, 2014  
The Way the Cookie Crumbles—re: Idle calories and simple carbs that don’t last, cause peaks and valleys in blood sugar, stimulate cravings.

by Dr. Terry Whipple

The Christmas spirit is a spirit of promise. Promise begs anticipation. Anticipation is invested in opportunities, things of lasting value, virtues. In the Christmas spirit, let us focus on the long term. Brief satisfactions and momentary indulgences don’t long endure. Neither do Christmas cookies. “A moment on the lips…”

It has been some time since our Christmas stockings contained an orange, an apple and some pecans. But simpler times had simpler consequences. On the RDA scale (recommended allowance) an apple has 91 calories, 8% carbs, 1% protein, 0% fat, no trans fats, no sodium and 3gm or 13% of fiber, plus several vitamins. A Christmas cookie is different.

Christmas treats have consequences; moderation is wise at this time of year and always. Christmas cookies don’t come with labels with fine print. They are just delicious; but they are only a moment on the lips.

Lead us not into temptation. The Physician Within you says, here’s what happens on ingestion of those cookies or similar holiday treats. Most of them are made from simple carbohydrates, simple sugars, bleached flour. Only a few contain fruits, fiber, nuts or any protein. There is no nutritional value. Cookies are digested quickly. They enter rapidly into our blood stream. Blood sugar rises; insulin is released from the pancreas; the sugar is moved from the blood into muscles for immediate burn or into fat cells.

Doing this frequently during the holidays, the system gets out of adjustment with a roller coaster of sugar peaks and valleys. Surges in blood sugar is a brain stimulant. The valley that follows is a depressant producing poor motivation and shallow, restless sleep (a factor in the rise in holiday depression/suicide rate) and makes us more hungry than normal. The holiday cycle starts…more hunger, more cravings, more eating. Insulin depletion is like insulin resistance; blood sugar stays high, diabetics lose control.

These cookies all crumble our health. Been there, done that. Holiday snacks and desserts are unavoidable, but many of them are made with fruit (with vitamins and fiber) or with whole grain (vitamins and fiber) or with yogurt (low calories, calcium, vitamins and probiotics). Google figs, apricots, raisins, all berries, apples, peaches…occasional cookie enhancements and the better choices, if we must. Snack smart and snack well; and don’t finish your dessert…leave some and look good.

Merry, tasty, healthy Christmas to all.

—Dr. T

Nov. 19, 2014  
Protein Power vs. Potato Poison—re: food choices

by Dr. Terry Whipple

Holidays usually turn that old grade school food pyramid upside down. At Christmas parties, family outings, work holiday dinners, church socials, and in the family kitchen we celebrate. Isn’t it great?

Food types make a heathy menu; proteins contain the amino acid building blocks for tissue; vitamins in vegetables are catalysts for body processes like hormone production, nerve and muscle function, the immune system; fiber aids GI function; yogurt products contain probiotics. Starches and sweets, processed foods and saturated fats, however, are non-nutritious and rich in calories. Unfortunately, these latter food types abound in holiday menus. We must make choices, now more than ever. And we can.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies… We can exercise over the exact meaning of this prayer phrase for many sermons. But here’s a holiday culinary twist—poor choices are our enemies; the table prepared for us also has great choices available. It contains both starches and proteins.

My own father, and probably many of yours, advised me as a boy, “If you have a choice, make a good one.” I doubt that was one of his originals, but it stuck. Choices of what we take on our plates and in our glasses during the holidays are all selected from elaborate and delicious options. We need not go wrong.

So, to your better health, avoid the potato poison and choose the protein power. Survey the table and trays for those treats that you already know are nutritious…the meatballs, the shrimp, the deviled eggs…and iced tea. Bypass the potato casserole, the cheese soufflé, fruit punch and the baked Alaska… with praise and compliments to the hostess because you’re already so full. Small dishes of pickles, radishes, olives and a couple of almonds will decorate your plate equally as well as hush puppies and petits fours. The table is prepared before you in the presence of your enemies, although not with bad intentions.

Holidays are about choices. Man was given the gift of free will. Isn’t that reassuring?

—Dr. T

Nov. 12, 2014 
The Holiday Movement—re: calorie burn, activity habit, sleep pattern

by Dr. Terry Whipple

Recently The Physician Within panel on “Move It or Lose It” directed our attention to the physical and emotional merits of physical movement. During the holidays we could well reflect on those messages, lest we eat away at our health.

Food feels good…BUT all foods, especially “comfort foods,” have calories and calories through the proverbial pie hole must either be burned or stored; there is no other option. We know the consequences of storing calories. This message needs no elaboration, just a mirror outside the shower. Or a tape measure. Or last year’s skirt or slacks. During the holidays we tend to lose focus on food for fuel and nutrition. It’s more about food for fun or fancy. Nothing wrong with that, if we remember that all calories can be burned. They don’t have to be stored.

Muscles and brains are the biggest body furnaces to burn calories. Use them in the holidays. Large muscles (trunk, thighs, calves, upper arms) burn more caloric fuel than small muscles. So it’s a great time to make new habits—walk after every large meal; gym and swim for purging calories and meeting new holiday friends; work with the needy to burn your excess and build your holiday charitable spirit. A six week holiday season should allow the establishment of a habit that will pay dividends for years. Bonus!

Muscle exercise is fatiguing and we sleep better, sounder, deeper, less restless, more ready for the busy day that follows. Another bonus!

And our brains—our other major calorie furnaces—will churn harder and burn harder if we devote ourselves to other-directed services of charity for the less fortunate. Whoever you are, there is always someone less fortunate. THINK how you can make their holidays brighter and more rewarding. If nothing else, your reward will be the mental consumption of extra calories from your own abundance.

CAUTION: However, here’s the science rub. Mental effort requires glucose consumption, which requires insulin production. Insulin drives sugars from the blood into ALL tissues, adding glycogen to muscles (or fat to fat). The glycogen in muscles should then be burned with physical exercise or activity. So holiday mental effort should be balanced with holiday physical effort to properly direct the insulin effect. Move it or lose it…a good holiday maxim.

—Dr. T

Nov. 5, 2014 
Dish Discipline—portions through Thanksgiving and Christmas
by Dr. Terry Whipple

Jesus, the great physician, is within each of us. The Physician Within calls us to attention during the holidays.

Our blessings are bountiful. There has been no famine in America, as there has been in Sudan, Ethiopia, the Congo, Somalia and North Korea. God has provided and we benefit; however, we are to be good stewards of our blessings. Overindulgence is a reflection of greed. The beginning of this characteristically gastronomic holiday season, Thanksgiving, is a time to replace greed with gratitude. Take and enjoy what you need; not more.

It’s also unhealthy—wine and spirits compromise judgment and risk accidents with injuries; heavy meals also precipitate heart attacks; calorie surges peak insulin production followed by weight gain; fat loads are bad for circulation and hard on your liver.

EVERYTHING we eat and drink and digest passes through the liver or kidneys. Love your liver, be kind to your kidneys. Give them light loads and plenty of fluids. Lighter burdens are easier to bear. Through the holidays unburden your liver, your kidneys, your health with smaller portions that you can savor bite by bite.

The Physician Within you knows best; listen up. Replace greed with gratitude…and good health. Happy Thankschristmas…and to all a good night.

—Dr. T


Move It or Lose It - Physical movement is pre-emptive medicine

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
6 - 8 p.m. in the Dining Hall, Mulberry Street entrance

Andrew Lee, MS, NSCA
—Performance Coach at Push4Success

Madge Zacharias, MD
—founder of Zacharias-Ganey Health Institute

James McCullough, MD
—VCU Professor of Psychology


A farmer parks his tractor in a field for some time.  When he returns to use it, the tractor won’t start.  It had rusted mechanical parts, clogged fuel lines and, of course, a dead battery.  It had remained idle for too long.

Lot’s wife was told to quickly leave the city of Sodom before God destroyed it.  But she hesitated in her evacuation, looked back on the city and was turned into a pillar of salt, never again to move because she had stopped doing so.

Our physical bodies were created to move.  Things that are intended to move should move; otherwise they lose that ability.  The systems essential to movement are sensitive to neglect and become ill-fit for movement unless they are exercised and kept in tune. 

Matthew 25: 14-30 tells of the fate of those who were given talents and were rewarded if they used them profitably, but were deprived if they did not.  What talents were we given?  Certainly movement or mobility is one of them.  We are not stationary oaks or mountains.  We are human, in God’s image.  If we, too, are good stewards of the talents we are given, they will be multiplied many fold.  And if we are not good stewards, we will lose even that which we were given.  And that includes our movement.

The Physician Within mission attempts to teach us to prevent illness and injury and to maintain our health.  Movement is essential to good health, enables us to avoid injuries and conditions us for fuller, faster recovery from illnesses and injuries when they do occur.  “Move It or Lose It” is the subject of the next seminar for The Physician Within.  It will apply to people of all ages, all abilities, both genders. Don’t miss it; here’s why:

Movement and exercise benefit far more than one might realize.  Of course athletes train for strength, stamina, flexibility and balance.  We presume these are benefits for the musculoskeletal system—bones, muscles and joints.  They also are essential to good heart health and endurance.  But you already knew that, too.  What we don’t know, perhaps, is that movement and exercise, whether rigorous or simple, done regularly and with commitment, also greatly benefit our nervous systems (both the central and peripheral nervous systems), our gastrointestinal systems, our vascular systems, metabolism—even our self-image, enthusiasm, independence and sleep patterns. 

Are any of those lacking or deficient?  Movement and exercise, even in a wheelchair, may not be a panacea, but it can restore or improve all of the above and more.  The Physician Within “Move It or Lose It” seminar on Wednesday, July 23 will explain how.  Authorities will teach us the mechanics and physiology behind these health benefits.  They will provide insights for youthful athletes, non-athletes, moms and dads, the elderly and the infirm. 

Nobody’s perfect, but we all could be better.  Mark this date and bring a friend or two. Move it, or lose it.



Symptoms Without Disease: Body, Mind & Spirit

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
6:15 - 8:30 p.m. in the Dining Hall, Mulberry Street entrance

Learn how to recognize common symptoms that disrupt our lives, energy and attitudes.
Coordinated by Richmond Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Terry Whipple.
FREE and open to the public for a healthier Richmond.

• James P. McCullough, PhD, Professor of Psychology, VCU School of Medicine, author and original researcher in the field of depression.

INSOMNIA, its causes and treatments
• Gerard D. Santos, MD, Medical Director of the Bon Secours Sleep Disorders Center and expert on insomnia.

MOOD SWINGS without underlying cause
• Martin Buxton, MD, Psychiatrist with Insight Physicians and expert in addiction behaviors.

There will be light refreshments available from 6:15 - 6:30 p.m.

DON'T EAT THAT! Health Risks of What We Eat, Drink, and Inhale

Focusing on the food we eat, how it helps and hurts us, with information about specific risk factors and conditions that can result from poor choices.
Sponsored in cooperation with the Richmond Academy of Medicine

Saturday, October 26, 2013, 9 am - 11 am:

We Are What We Eat: Physical and Emotional Health
Terry Whipple, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Founder of The Physician Within

Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 6 pm - 7:30 pm:

Nutrition, Weight Management and Exercise
Madge E. Zacharias, MD, Nutrition Metabolism Expert

Cancer Risks of What We Eat, Drink and Inhale
Joshua J. McFarlane, MD, Virginia Cancer Institute

Wednesday, October 30, 3012, 6 pm - 7:30 pm:

Gastro-intestinal Effects of What We Eat and Drink
Andy J. Thanjan, MD, Gastrointestinal Specialists, Inc.

Addictive Behaviors: Breaking Bad Habits with Food, Drink and Drugs
Martin N. Buxton, MD, Expert in Addiction Disorders

New News About Nutrition, Obesity and Adult Diabetes
Stanley N. Furman, MD, Geriatrician

Saturday, May 4, 2013
Sponsored in cooperation with the Richmond Academy of Medicine

Back and Neck Pain — Why and Why Not?

Each topic was discussed by a medical doctor specializing in the area.
Q & A to follow, moderated by Dr. Terry Whipple.
• Disc Disease in the Lumbar Spine - Rick Placide, MD (see the presentation notes)
• Cervical Disc Disease—Degenerative and Traumatic - Adam C. Crowl, MD (see the presentation notes)
• Arthritis of the Spine and Facet Joints - Mike DePalma, MD (see the presentation notes)
• Muscle and Fascia Sources of Back and Neck Pain - Andrea Katz, MS, PT (see the presentation notes)
• Abdominal Causes of Back Pain - Terry Whipple, MD (see the presentation notes)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Sponsored in cooperation with Retreat Doctors' Hospital and the Virginia Cancer Institute

Cancer - causes, prevention, symptoms, care options, prognosis

Medical doctors led concurrent sessions on six cancer-related topics.

Participants also had opportunity to receive a free DermaScan skin cancer screening and to sign up for a mammogram or colonoscopy.

Breakout Sessions:

Breast Cancer - Dr. James Khatcheressian
Lung Cancer - Dr. Elke Freidman
Colon Cancer - Dr. Brian Mitchell
Prostate Cancer - Dr. Joshua McFarlane
Lymphoma and Leukemia - Dr. Gisa Schunn
Other Cancers (Skin, Bone, Pancreas, Stomach, Esophagus, etc.) - Dr. David Trent

A Saturday symposium dealing with Nerves and Nervous System
May 5, 2012.

Nervous? No matter what your age, the nervous system is prone to hiccups and malfunction.
Symptoms range from paralysis to anxiety, from chronic pain to depression.
We all get it, got it or will get it sooner or later. What will YOU do about it?

• Pinched nerves (neck/ low back) and peripheral neuropathy—Maged Hamza, MD
• Tremors—Matthew Boyce, MD
• Stroke—Warren Felton, III, MD
• Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome—Terry Whipple, MD
• Depression—Mimi Pizzani, MD
• Alzheimer’s and dementia—Stanly Furman, MD

The Physician Within, a medical education program designed to foster more accurate understanding and self-help measures for the general public, is entering its fourth year.
This session on the nervous system was suggested by many of the participants in previous sessions.

View some of the previous sessions:

John Fitzgerald, MD
Angina—interpreting the symptoms, risks of a heart attack, familial and lifestyle risks, caution and precaution
Caring for the 60 Year Old Heart

Robert Levitt, MD
Heart Medications—Classifications and how they work
Defibrillators and Pacemakers
Heart-healthy diets and supplements/exercise

Ed Martirosian, MD and Rebecca Smith, RN, NP
Relationship of Coronary Artery Disease with Stroke, HBP, Peripheral Artery Disease
CPR Revised Technique

Shelton Thomas, MD
Diagnosing Coronary Artery Disease
Bypass Surgery vs Stents—differences in indications, patient’s experience, risks, durability

Previous sessions participating doctors and their topics:

Childhood ADHD and Behavioral Issues
tantrums, anxiety, adolescent moods, situational coping
See and hear this session.
Download Dr. Miriam Pizzani's PowerPoint presentation on ADHD & Behavioral Issues.
Download Dr. Valerie Crandall's PowerPoint presentation on Childhood Anxiety & Depression.

Childhood Weight Management
parental responsibilities regarding nutrition, physical activity, snacking, etc.
See and hear this session.
Download Dr. Bob Shayne's PowerPoint presentation.
Download Dr. Tamara Charity-Brown's PowerPoint presentation.
Download Dr. Valerie Bowman's PowerPoint presentation.
Download some websites recommended by Dr. Shayne.

Childhood Safety
including drugs, meds, pools, trampolines, car seats, accident prevention
See and hear this session.
Download Dr. Naim Bashir's PowerPoint presentation.
Download Dr. Robert Tuten's PowerPoint presentation.
Download Dr. Terry Whipple's PowerPoint presentation.

Advances in Cancer Treatment and Prevention.
David Trent, MD
See Dr. Trent's presentation.

What to Anticipate if It Might Be Alzheimer’s... or Something Else.
Robert Cohen, MD
See Dr. Cohen's presentation.
Download Dr. Cohen's handout.

Life Before and After Total Knee or Hip Replacement.
William Jiranek, MD
See Dr. Jiranek's presentation.
Download Dr. Jiranek's handout.

Chest Pain – Is It My Heart?
Steven W. Cross, MD
See Dr. Cross's Presentation.
Download Dr. Cross's handout.

DVD copies from the Fall of 2009 series may be ordered by contacting the FBC Communcation Ministry.


“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?”
(1 Corinthians 6:19)


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