In this episode, Dr. Mollie James shares her experiences during and after the pandemic. She transitioned from being a critical care physician in an ICU to providing functional and integrative medicine primary care services.

Dr. James previously had a career in surgical and critical care, which ended because she spoke publicly about providing early COVID treatments and did not receive a vaccine because she has natural immunity. She was put under investigation by a medical board for 18 months, even though the board made no accusation of wrongdoing. This led to her dropping her fellowship credentials. She was also censured by The American College of Surgeons and is now unable to work in another ICU.

You’ll hear her discuss post-vaccine syndrome and how she helps patients clear and recover from excessive spike protein. She is now dedicated to providing personalized care rooted in functional and integrative medicine principles, and she treats a broad spectrum of chronic health conditions beyond COVID and post-vaccine syndromes.

Tune in and download this episode to learn more about:

  • How Dr. James’ first attempt at building a practice failed because she was using an insurance model
  • The ethical responsibility of physicians to keep functional medicine affordable
  • Her experience working in ICUs during four waves of the pandemic, which included having her ivermectin prescriptions canceled
  • Foundational tools to treat post-vaccine syndrome
  • And much, much more


Health Care Post-Pandemic: From the ICU to Functional Medicine | Ep. 324


Dr. Mollie James: So, in the ICU, because I worked so much, I ended up taking care of about 2,000 unique COVID patients. Of those I know, at least 1,500 died, I would come back to work to sign charts and all of them would say patient deceased. So, I know that I talked to all those families. I heard their heartbreak when I shifted to early treatment and doing the right things for people. Out of 3,000, 3,500, we lost 20.

James Maskell: Welcome to the Evolution of Medicine podcast, the place health professionals come to hear from innovators and agitators leading the charge. We cover the latest clinical breakthroughs and health technology, as well as practical tools to help you transform your practice and the health of your community.

This podcast is brought to you by the Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center, who provide a range of options to help you deliver successful, effective functional and integrative medicine. To find out more and to get started, go to goevomed.com/lmrc. That’s goevomed.com/lmrc.

Hello and welcome to the podcast. This week, we check in with Dr. Molly James. She is a physician on the front lines of chronic disease reversal. This is part of our series on healthcare Post pandemic, and what you’ll hear in this episode is an incredible journey. I know so many physicians in our community had an incredible journey over COVID, looking to think about how to participate the most effectively, how to support your community, but also how to help people who have been let down by the system. I think this is one of the most interesting half an hour that we’ve recorded on the podcast for a long time. Love to hear your feedback, and so, enjoy.

Alright, so a warm welcome to the podcast, Dr. Molly James. Welcome doc.

Dr. Mollie James: Hey James. Thanks for having me.

James Maskell: Yeah, really excited to have you. And this has been another part of our series on Healthcare Post pandemic, and as I started to interact with the community, just saw that things have changed for quite a lot of practitioners in our community, and I just wanted to share some really interesting stories and I’m excited to share. So, why don’t we go back pre-pandemic. How did you get into being a doctor and then what led you on the path towards practicing in a sort of a root cause approach?

Dr. Mollie James: Yeah, mine is not the typical course. I’m a trained general surgeon and critical care physician, and one day after 11 years of training in a year or so of practice, I had a patient in front of me. I had taken her gallbladder out and she still had belly pain and I realized I had nothing to offer her at that point. And I said, that’s not enough. I need more tools in my tool belt to be able to help people. So, that kind of sent me down the road of exploring functional medicine and I started with the GI module and I was operating and I would, when I was seeing people for their scopes and things, I would start to do elimination diets and supplements for their gut. And it was profound and they would get so much better than I’d ever seen. So, I started my own practice.

I got out of surgery just because of the lifestyle, started my own practice in West Des Moines, Iowa, and we added one module at a time. I came from a surgical background. I wasn’t a primary care physician. I didn’t know what a cholesterol panel was supposed to look like, so I kind of had to start at square one. And so we did that. I did critical care to get the practice going because obviously I was funding this out of my own pocket. And so we added GI and then we added hormones, and then we were starting to get into the cardiometabolic stuff and then the pandemic hit. I went out of business because I was in an insurance model. I think it’s important to mention that part and learned the very hard way about cashflow and the fact that when you’re in an insurance-based model, you’re paying all your expenses up front and you’re getting pennies on the dollar 60 to 90 days later if at all. So, that just wasn’t sustainable. After a couple of years, I was totally burned out, and so I was taking a break from that, working just 10 days a month in the ICU and then 2020 hit and COVID hit changed everything.

James Maskell: How it went down for you and your range of emotions over COVID hit because I know obviously in our community there was a range of ways that the initial information was received and then as this wave either hit or didn’t hit across the country, then it was like, well, what are we really doing and what’s actually happening? So, how did it go for you?

Dr. Mollie James: Yeah, so I was actually one of the first people I know to get sick with COVID. And while I was doing my own thing at home, I was watching the news reports, so I jumped into action and that action was based on a fact. I knew I had natural immunity, which we still deny and still isn’t mainstream except for people with common sense. My whole trajectory was based on the fact I had natural immunity out of the gate. So, I went into activation mode and I said, Hey, they’re asking for help. They never asked for help from ICU doctors. That’s just not something, it’s usually ER doctors and other stuff. So, I went to New York and volunteered in the ICU and it was a flood of emotion I would have to say, because no matter what we did, I mean I think I’m a pretty solid ICU physician with a pretty good background.

And no matter what we did for people, they died. And so you start to ask yourself, what kind of doctor am I? What don’t I know here? Am I just really not as good as I thought I was? And you go through that whole range of emotions and a bit of humanity hits you as well that we’re all going to die. And I could end up in that freezer truck outside just like anybody else because nobody knows what to do to help people. It was a scary time and I was in the heart of it.

James Maskell: I remember listening to Dr. David Katz talking about his experience of jumping in the Bronx and trying to treat people and struggling and also I guess at that moment also realizing that the disease wasn’t affecting all people equally, where it was something that you saw as well, or was that not really in your consciousness at that moment?

Dr. Mollie James: I was a little bit of tunnel vision to be honest, because I was focused on what can we do in the ICU and I didn’t see the bigger picture of what was happening outside of that. I didn’t see that people were coming in and being turned away that nobody would see them, that I didn’t know about early treatment for quite a long time. So, I was in Queens and Brooklyn actually in New York, and then I’m from the Midwest in the St. Louis area. So, at that time, if you remember really early on, people were scared, but people were all helping each other out. We were all going through this really weird thing, and I saw the good in people. They wanted to come drop groceries off at your house or did you need anything? There was a really nice spot before it got really dark.

James Maskell: Yeah, I remember that for sure, and I can certainly feel that along the way. So, then how long were you involved in the emergency efforts, and then at what point did you suddenly think, okay, now I need to get back to helping people in the way that I was passionate about pre-pandemic?

Dr. Mollie James: Well, I’d like to say I chose the path, but I feel like I got pushed down the path. I was on a roller coaster, so I actually worked through about four different surges. So, it was early 2020 in New York, late 2020 in the Midwest, early 2021, it hit New York again. And by that time I was learning about Ivermectin. The shots came out and totally changed the narrative for everything. And all of a sudden if you didn’t go down this certain road, you were an evil person and deserved to die, which is crazy type of rhetoric that we’ve never heard before. In the meantime, while I’m looking at all these treatments that are coming out and we’re talking about Ivermectin and we’re talking about early treatment and it seems that these things may have some real efficacy. And then the fourth, the rhetoric escalated over the summer of 21, they started forcing shots in the hospital.

And I had said early on, I don’t need one. I have natural immunity. It wasn’t a big political stance, it was just common sense. And then the screws got tighter and tighter, and I said, I’m not doing that. I’m not going to get forced to do that. That doesn’t make sense. And so the writing really came on the wall. I started to see information came out that hospitals were really profiting off of the backs of these COVID patients that weren’t doing well, and they started blocking my orders. I would prescribe ivermectin in the treatment that I wanted for my patient that I was responsible for, and some invisible power at the hospital would cancel my orders. And I said, I’m not getting a shot. So, that kind of all came to a head in September of 21, and I knew I was going to get fired.

So, a couple of months before I had set up James Clinic, I bought a website, I set it up myself, I bought a cell phone for the work, and I started seeing patients and I don’t know how they found me. My website was ivermectincan.com, but I went on podcasts and people were desperate for help, and so they would reach out. I mean, I think after the first podcast I had 50 patients reach out and want consults and want to get meds and from there. So, then when I got fired, it just blew up and escalated, and we ended up taking care of three or 4,000 COVID patients over the next four months.

James Maskell: So, can you compare and contrast that experience of those three or 4,000 compared to what was going on the year before?

Dr. Mollie James: Yeah, so in the ICU, because I worked so much, I ended up taking care of about 2,000 unique COVID patients. Of those I know, at least 1,500 died, I would come back to work to sign charts and all of them would say patient deceased. So, I know that I talked to all those families. I heard their heartbreak when I shifted to early treatment and doing the right things for people. Out of 3,000, 3,500, we lost 20.

James Maskell: Wow.

Dr. Mollie James: Yeah. So, no, nobody will ever convince me it doesn’t work because I lived it and I watched it and I watched people walk into my office with SATs in the fifties and sixties. I put ’em in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, I got ’em home oxygen, I kept them out of the hospital and they have no long-term side effects. All of this was totally avoidable.

James Maskell: It’s amazing looking back at 2021 now and seeing even on social media, you see, oh, this is what was happening November 21, November 20, obviously as we’re recording this or seeing how things were going down, but I’ve obviously a lot of friends, I live in California, a lot of friends who were doctors, I think some of them were seriously considering just leaving the state at that point because of even probably going on the podcast like you did at that point, could have been a licensed issue for a California physician at that moment. So, obviously it was a wild time, but I can imagine quite exciting given that for the last year before that it’s been kind of a depressing moment knowing that 1500 out of those people died to now to the point where you actually feel like you’re saving lives again for a doctor. I imagine that’s a good feeling.

Dr. Mollie James: From there. And then building forward to now, medicine has never been so rewarding and so fun to see people who are suffering that have no options and have been really slighted by the system and then have these solutions outside the box for them is just, I mean, luckily for us, because going on the podcast did cost me a bit. I was put under investigation by a medical board for 18 months with no accusation of wrongdoing no longer. I dropped my initials after my name fellowships that I had worked hard to earn. I’ve dropped them. I was censured by the American College of Surgeons, and if you go to their website, it’s absolute lie after lie after lie, propaganda pushing the shots, why surgeons even felt they needed to get in that conversation. I have no idea. They have nothing over me though, so they couldn’t do much to me. So, yeah, it has cost me professionally. I can’t get a job in an ICU because they all want to know if I’m backed up. And then if they do a social media search, they’ll see my opinions on things and yeah, I don’t think I can ever go back.

James Maskell: Well, it’s like burning the bridge or burning the boats. So, now you’ve got to be all in on creating healthy humans and supporting humans to be healthy. So, yeah, I know it’s been amazing to see some of the journey since then. So, this is Healthcare post-pandemic. So, now here we are. Give us a picture of what life is like today, what the clinic is like today, what options have opened up to you as a result of leading in this chart conversation?

Dr. Mollie James: So, first of all, we’re kind of known to be a COVID clinic, but that’s a tiny portion of what we do. We always were rooted in functional medicine and root cause and I call it more integrative medicine because we bring in stuff from the naturopathic and we are a concierge medical practice. So, we do consultations, we do ongoing primary care for people. We’re treating all the things that you have a hard time finding people for, right? There’s such a need out there for doctors who will just take care of patients and not like a hormone clinic or an IV vitamin infusion. People have services they want to scale. What we really need is that individual one-on-one patient care that patients can talk to and ask questions. So, that’s really, we’re at a higher level of service because we meet those needs, but we have not only just the medical care, but I look at everything as a pyramid, and it’s a pyramid that starts with a lifestyle, right? Sleep, diet, hydration, stress level, all of that. Because no matter if you want to do a thousand dollars treatments, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the basics. And then we go to supplements, then we go to prescriptions, then we go to IV interventions, IV vitamin infusions, our miraculous, we go to IV ozone, we go to hyperbarics. So, we have things at the top of the pyramid, but we work people up the pyramid as needed.

James Maskell: Sounds like the naturopathic therapeutic order, which is obviously something that we’ve talked a lot about was it’s basically like when you look at my book, the Community Cure, that is the way of organizing care that we talk about. And I’m glad that you are seeing that, and it makes so much sense to me, and I agree with you. I think that most people need someone who could see the range of options and work appropriately as opposed to always very specific modalities specific tools. So, I’m excited for that. So, just on the And what does your footprint like now?

Dr. Mollie James: Yeah, so right now the Prep Act is actually still in play, which means we can see people in all 50 states. We have two locations and a third one open. We are in the Midwest, so St. Louis, southern Iowa, and we’re coming to Detroit soon. So, we see a lot of vaccine injured, long COVID patients that have been gaslit by the system. The average patient comes to us between 30 and $60,000 into medical expenses with zero hope of ever getting better because the system doesn’t know how to treat this or won’t acknowledge it. Like I said, we’re getting into, we’re starting our integrative cancer protocols. Chronic Lyme is something people are begging for help with, and even something as simple as thyroid, it’s really hard to find a doctor that will appropriately manage your thyroid. And when we do it the way I’ve figured out, people feel better, they have more energy, they’re dropping weight naturally. So, again, it’s not necessarily super complicated stuff we’re doing for everyone. It’s just doing the basics without following a cookbook by corporate medicine.

James Maskell: Yeah, no, I love that. Well, let’s talk a little bit about the post-vaccine syndrome, because that was now, we’ve reported a couple of weeks ago, just like now, it’s being shown as a syndrome and being acknowledged as a syndrome, and you have excessive fatigue, inability to exercise neuropathy as issues off the back of it, we had the functional forum last month where I asked the two doctors who were on there when I saw that the solution in his long COVID protocol was to clear the spike protein, the obvious next question is, has it proved itself to be a good plan to turn the body into a spike protein producing system? And there was a sort of collective thumbs down in that session because it was like, no, that hasn’t been proven yet. And if the first thing you have to do to get these people better is to remove the spike protein, then it does bring up a lot of questions as to was that the right thing to build on? And what is going to be the long-term consequences for that? And I think we’re just seeing the very beginning of it. So, for those doctors who are out there that would like to help people in the way that you’re helping them, what are some keys that you’ve seen to bring people back from the brink if they’re suffering in that way?

Dr. Mollie James: So, I kind of have a three-pronged approach out of the gate. So, clearing spike with ivermectin, I use fenofibrate, which is a cholesterol prescription that binds spike. And then anything they can do fasting, some people aren’t in a place where they can fast. Those are the things I found a clear spike, sometimes nattokinase or lumbrokinase. The next thing I focus on is reducing inflammation. So, high-dose fish oil in my office. And then I look at organ specifics. So, some people have reactivated infections, they have Epstein-Barr or Lyme that’s researched, and so we get on top of that. Some people have more than neurologic stuff. If it’s central neuro with brain fog and cognitive, I’m putting them in a hyperbaric chamber. If it’s cardiac, we’re making sure that they and everyone kind of seems to fit into a slot.

There’s some overlap, but not a ton. Some people just have the straight fatigue where they can’t get out of bed. Most everything comes because of mitochondriopathy. And so if you can figure out how to get the mitochondria flared up and take care of some of these other things, low testosterone, hypothyroidism, gut issues, the fatigue, the neuropathy handle that one-on-one, we’re now using something called true dose PRP, which is a platelet infusion. You take your own blood, spin it off and give you back the plasma and the platelets, and that can help a lot with pain or with the neuropathy, the brain fog.

James Maskell: That’s really cool. And then I know you said before the pandemic you were sort of organizing things, cardiac, GI, otherwise. Are you still operating in those areas? Do you still take those kind of patients and what does treating a GI issue look like through your lens as well?

Dr. Mollie James: Yeah, so almost every patient that we have, unless they really have no GI issues, no autoimmune, almost everybody, I get a Genova GI effects. To me, that’s the fingerprint of what’s going on in the body. And there’s so much stuff I’ve picked up. People aren’t absorbing their fat, so their blood sugars out of range. And I’m like, if we can get you absorbing your fat, maybe your blood sugars will get better because it’ll balance that carb release. So, I’m using that, and a lot of people are probably familiar with that, but it looks at digestion, absorption, inflammation, immune activation, the microbiome, it looks for infections and overgrowths. So, you kind of know where to target specifically as opposed to just shotgunning it like mainstream medicine does with what Protonix and MiraLax are. The two things we have for the gut, so it’s much more specific.

So, I almost try to do that for every patient, but the one recurring theme, so I have a number of SIBO patients and they come in and say, Hey, my GI doc says I’m going to have this forever. I mean, that’s a crappy thing to tell somebody, Hey, you’re going to be miserable forever and there’s nothing you can do about it. So, the first thing I tell ’em is, that’s ridiculous. You’re going to get better. Could it come back someday? Sure. And we’ll deal with it, but you have the potential to get a hundred percent better. So, just breaking the mentality. Yeah,

James Maskell: It’s like a classic no SIBO, right?

Dr. Mollie James: Yeah. Yeah.

James Maskell: Well, I mean, I guess so now reflecting on it, I mean obviously you have sort of two situations as far as I see on one side you’ve burned the boats, it’s going to be unlikely to come back. I guess, do you see anything on that side changing now that as an example, ivermectin is prescribable now, has anything in your, do you think history has shown you to be correct and therefore you might have a shot at coming back? Some of the things that you said on podcasts proven to be in reality now that there is post-COVID vaccine syndrome and it’s now starting to be accepted that this is a syndrome that was caused by the vaccine and it’s real. Do you see hope in the future that the kind of downside of the risk that you took will go away? Or do you think that’s set for the foreseeable future?

Dr. Mollie James: So, yes, I would say humbly I was right about everything that I’ve said publicly because I don’t generally make broad statements unless I’m certain. So, I was on the right side of that, and I’m lucky to have very good friends in the medical community that I learned from. So, yes, I was right about what I did. Do I think I’m going to be able to go back into the system? Don’t, medicine is fractured and it is fractured on a side of doctors that work in a system that will do whatever they’re told and will swallow anything the government tells them. So, they’re all on the NIH and the CDC and the FDA and whatever they say, we’re going to do it. And then there’s people who said, wait a minute, I have a God-given brain and I can think about things. And the critical thinkers who don’t always go with the flow, there’s a permanent divide there that’s never going to be healed. And so I think it’s just a different philosophy that how can I take what I want to do back into a system that doesn’t want to hear it because they want to scale and do big mass. When I want to do individual, I want to bring ozone or hyperbarics into the ICU. Can you imagine it would be remarkable.

James Maskell: Well, tell us a little bit about that vision then. Now you’ve got that foundation, you’ve got three locations. You’re obviously have a reputation for being someone now who will really listen to the person in front of them, not take anything off the table. I mean, really to me, what you’re saying that you are now is the kind of doctor that I think we all wanted to be pre-pandemic too, which is just take each case on its merit, listen to the individual causes, and try and get to the root cause as effectively as possible, as consistently as possible, as quickly as possible, as cheaply as possible with the right tools. And maybe the pandemic worked to force you into a situation where one, you had to do that and two patient patients wanted it.

Dr. Mollie James: Yeah. So, my vision moving forward is a couple of things. First of all, we need to educate patients that insurance is not your friend. You need to treat medical professionals as an advisor, just like you do your accountant and your attorney and everybody else, you want to pay for their time and expertise. So, then they advocate for you. And that’s what we do with my concierge plan. You pay for my time and I will make sure you get way more value than you invest with me. So, just because it’s covered by insurance doesn’t mean it’s a good bet for you. The next thing is I think we need to restore integrity. Just like on the mainstream medicine side, we have people on the integrative side that are exploiting patients. I have a patient that just went and spent $60,000 for a stage one a breast cancer and had three PET scans in six months.

That’s insane. There’s no basis for that. So, I think even in the integrative side, we need to have integrity. We need to do right what’s by patients, and we need to make it affordable for them. So, that’s the next thing. And third of all, I want people to get out of this. I’m going to a hormone clinic. I offer hormones in my clinic, but I’m treating a patient and I’ve got a whole array of things. I don’t just have, I’m a hammer, so you’re going to be a nail. I mean, that’s not a good way to do medicine, and those people are biased and they’re not going to do what’s right for the patients. So, we need to get out of that modality and get back into finding doctors who just take care of patients.

James Maskell: Absolutely. If you are a doctor out there and you’ve taken IFM or A IHM or a four M training, what are the tools that you’ve learned over the pandemic that you think doctors need to have in order to treat today’s chronic illness outside of the root cause? Lifestyle first approach, some of the stuff that you are doing now, and what do you see as the value of it and why is that important to have in the toolkit?

Dr. Mollie James: So, I think evaluating the gut is important. So, knowing how to interpret. I think the biggest thing is learning how to interpret these labs and how to use that because two doctors can look at a set of labs and give you totally different results. So, that’s going to be one thing. The hyperbaric is invaluable. I have a soft hyperbaric chamber. The entry point of that is 15,000 versus 500,000 to put in a hard chamber. So, most primary care offices can swing that. It’s a hundred dollars a treatment, so it’s pretty affordable. Excuse me. Learning about IV nutrients I think is wildly important. I have patients come in and it helps with a variety of things. So, that’s where I would start. Those are the tools I have. And then I have a lot of other fun stuff I’m learning and getting into and always expanding.

James Maskell: That’s great. Well, look, I really want to just take a moment to acknowledge the journey that you’ve gone on. Ultimately, I think there’s a lot of practitioners out there who will resonate with this conversation because I spoke to hundreds of them during the pandemic. I was having conversations with doctors who were worried about what to do, looking for advice, seeing things that they didn’t expect to see, trying to work out how to participate in a way that could be the most helpful for patients, but also trying to understand, as you said, how the walls were coming in on their ability to be able to have autonomy in the way that they practiced. Yeah, I want to just acknowledge what it took to make the choices that you took. And it’s not easy, and for some people I think losing the things that you’ve lost would be career defining for them.

But I also want to acknowledge that the choices that you took are career defining for you and an exciting consumer focused patient-focused community-focused way, and it’s just what the doctor ordered. It’s just really what is needed in this moment. And so I just want to appreciate you for having the courage to step into it and acknowledge how exciting things can be when you continue in your integrity and now you see the opportunities that are coming out. The other side of that, and when I heard about your story, I was like, I really want to share this on the podcast, because so many people have had such a range of experiences across the pandemic and now as you said, post-pandemic. There are bigger opportunities if you can really help people. And I think the key thing is always just listening to the person in front of you and helping them with exactly what they need and not putting people into any particular structure. So, I’m grateful for you leading that charge. I think that this is going to be inspiring to a lot of doctors who have had some part of your experience in their experience. And yeah, I guess any last thoughts you’d like to leave the audience with?

Dr. Mollie James: Just two pieces of advice for people who are trying to go out on their own. Number one is keep your overhead low. You don’t need a big footprint. You can do a lot virtually. Don’t go buy a big fancy office. It’s not necessary. And the second one is the market is wide open. At least half of the United States does not trust the mainstream medical system, and they’re looking for options. So, that’s probably the biggest question I get on social media is where do I find a doctor like you? This place? So, they’re out there, they’re looking for you. You just kind of have to be brave and speak up and let ’em find you.

James Maskell: Beautiful. Dr. Molly James, thank you. You can find more about Dr. James at the James Clinic website. We’ll put all the details in the show notes. You can see exactly what’s up on that way. Thank you for being part of the Evolution Medicine community. Thanks for speaking your truth fearlessly, and thank everyone who’s listening to this for doing the work that you’re doing in the local communities. It’s never been more important. There’s never been more people that need you, and there’s never been more need for this root cause. Listen, first approach, lifestyle first approach. So, thank you so much for tuning in. This is The Evolution of Medicine podcast. This has been part of our series on healthcare post-pandemic. We’ve been with Dr. Mollie James. Thanks so much for tuning in and we’ll see you next time.

Thanks for listening to the Evolution of Medicine podcast. Please share this with colleagues who need to hear it. Thanks so much to our sponsors, the Lifestyle Matrix Resource Center. This podcast is really possible because of them. Please visit goevomed.com/lmrc to find out more about their clinical tools, like the Group Visit Toolkit. That’s goevomed.com/lmrc. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll see you next time.

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