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The Full Circle Center for Integrative Medicine was open from December 1999 to March 2008, when it closed, so that Dr. Connie Basch could leave to teach at a Family Medicine Residency at Family Medicine of Southwest Washington in Vancouver, WA. (She felt an urgency, thinking she might not live long because of the delayed diagnosis of thyroid cancer caused by an initial false negative biopsy.)

She received several teaching awards, spoke at national conferences, and educated 8 classes of residents, but home was calling, and she returned in November 2013 when to her pleasant surprise she found herself still alive 5 years after the recurrence of the cancer.)

Covid-19 Season update
Our Hours: We are currently open, but seeing most patients via Telehealth. IF you are ill, call us and we will determine how best to assess you.

Supplement purchases: Call ahead - we will take payment over the phone and bring your items out to your car. We are selling limited quantities of immune supplements because of backorder issues with our suppliers.


Monday and Tuesday 8:15 am - 3 pm
Wednesday - Friday 8:15 am - 5 pm
First and Third Saturday of each month 9 am - 2 pm - Closed Saturdays right now due to Covid-19
Phones are off from 8:15 - 8:30 and 12:00 - 1:30.

We are currently closed to new patients, since Connie is only one person. We apologize to those we would love to see but simply cannot right now.

Staying well in the season of Covid-19, the new Coronavirus:
Many people are calling our office about the new Coronavirus. As of 5/18/2020 we are up to 77 known cases in Humboldt, well into our "second wave" of infections, which is concerning as businesses start to open up. Gratitude to our governor and our local Public Health Department for early intervention, but now we need to be good neighbors for each other to keep this from getting out of control.

Our office is seeing sick people outside, just in case, and we are conducting Telehealth visits for all patients for any visits that do not require physical exams; we had been postponing routine annual exams, but are cautiously opening for those with new safety precautions. Group visits are being conducted virtually for the indefinite future. Please do your part to maintain social distancing to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe. In the meanwhile, my usual recommendations for preventing and treating respiratory infections are found here:
Respiratory Infections now with some additions for Covid-19 itself.

And the news I am watching about the epidemic?
Epidemiologic curves from the NY Times(external link)
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center(external link)
Humboldt County case numbers: Humboldt cases - graphics(external link)
Projections(external link)

Testing for Covid-19 (SARS-CoV2)
There are issues with testing. We ARE offering Covid-19 testing for those with significant symptoms. There is also a reasonably accurate antibody test available locally, which we are ordering for those who believe they have been exposed or ill starting at least 2 weeks previously, though interpretation of that result should be discussed in a visit. I have posted about specificity and positive predictive value here. If you have friends with symptoms, tell them to get tested - triaging and staying home when sick is no longer the best advice - now that tests are more available, we should test anyone who might have it so that contacts can be traced.

Thank you to those who have offered masks – my staff creatively sourced some N95 masks from the tractor store, and we have a scheme for safely reusing after a delay, so we are set for now.

Keep safe, and keep taking care of each other. - Connie

ALERT:
Current issue with the Medical Board of California

The Medical Board of California is accusing Dr. Basch (me) of negligence for continuing to prescribe opioids for legacy* patients living with chronic pain. This was not based on any adverse outcome for any individual patient. I have declined a probation offer because it requires me to stipulate the accuracy of all elements of the Accusation, which I cannot do, given it is riddled with factual inaccuracies and misinterpretations. They also asked me to stop prescribing controlled substances right in the midst of the above Public Health crisis. Were I to do that, they SHOULD accuse me of patient abandonment, since there are extremely limited alternative options for these patients.

The Hearing for this matter is tentatively scheduled for October 26,2020 in Oakland. They have denied our request to move it up to Humboldt.

For the 5 patients mentioned in the complaint, I did not escalate pain medication use for any of these patients to the dosage levels on which they arrived at my practice, but I have worked with them where they are and doses went up when they had surgery or new injuries, then coming down over time. All are currently at lower doses of medication than when they established care with me.

Please be aware there are two (or more) sides to most stories. I take "Do No Harm" very seriously and have studied Pain Management in great depth, even teaching about this topic at several national conferences. In our pain management program I have helped more patients lower their doses or get off opioids than I have maintained. I feel my care is compassionate and evidence-based, and that I am a conscientious objector to the current pendulum swing in pain management. Nonetheless, I acknowledge there are reasonable differences of opinion about what is the correct medical approach to such patients, and the care of human beings, who do not always follow their doctors' advice, can be messy. I have written more For those who want more details <--Link

We will be posting information about this issue as well as updates on the status of the practice as time allows, but are continuing to care for patients right now, which is of course a higher priority. -Connie Basch, MD

  • Legacy Pain Patients - These are patients whose doses were escalated above current guideline levels prior to the guidelines being put in place and/or prior to my assuming their care.

And to my current patients:
Here is a May 15 2019 letter about medical board issue we have available in the office explaining the situation.

What we ask you NOT to do:

Please DO NOT transfer all your records out at this time.
We are optimistic we will be able to fight this. We are hopeful that my diligence, and the multiple letters from local physicians and patients which are being requested in my support, will turn this back.

While all of this is going on, I continue to work to take care of you all, and to advocate for you with insurance companies, pharmacies, and so on. As many of you know, that means working more than 100 hours per week most weeks (all of you who have received 11 pm or 3 am e-mails know what I am talking about), so I do not have the bandwidth for 1600 patients to suddenly ask for me to put together materials for a transfer that hopefully is not even going to happen.

Similarly, my staff are calling consultants for records, calling insurance companies to try to get your tests and medications authorized and so on. Please let them do that work and not get distracted with records releases that are not truly needed. If you actually have an appointment scheduled somewhere let us know where and when and we will do our best make sure relevant records are there by that time.


My office manager has been in communication with the manager for the Open Door System, and they have assured us that they will work with us to get patient needs met if the worst comes to pass. We will talk with other practices in the area as well if it looks like that is what is going to happen.

If the worst comes to pass, I promise the records will be available even after the license is pulled: I have always placed a premium on patient safety, and will continue to work to make sure handoffs are complete, that new providers get summaries and relevant records.

-Connie

Gratitude for Support

I am grateful for the support of the community, who have known me for the last 23 years and know the caliber of my work and my degree of dedication. I am also grateful for the support of the medical community, many of whom have expressed surprise at this accusation and have offered or written letters in support of my continued practice. It is chilling that two of my colleagues who refer patients to me and who have expressed support are afraid to write letters of support because they are concerned it will draw attention to them, but I certainly understand their positions as well. SeeLetters of Support for just a small sample of the letters which have been written.