Three years ago, after more than twenty years of practicing medicine in Richmond, Dr. Neal Carl went back to school. His goal? Certification in Anti-Aging Medicine, or as he likes to call it, “Optimal Aging Medicine.” In this unique approach, the goal “is not just to have great longevity, but to have incredible quality of life while we're still here.”
At Dr. Carl’s previous practice, he considered himself to be a good doctor, able to address his patients’ concerns and get their numbers to healthy levels. Still, something felt off. For example, when he successfully balanced his patients’ cholesterol or glucose levels, they weren’t always satisfied. Even though everything looked good on paper, the patients just didn’t feel like themselves.
Dr. Carl recalls, “Patients would come back to me twenty, twenty-five percent of the time and say, ‘You know, Doc, I know my numbers are great, I know my labs are great, but the truth of the matter is I just don’t feel well. I don’t have any energy. I don’t focus. I don’t concentrate like I used to. My stomach’s bothering me. This just isn’t working.’”
At the time, Dr. Carl didn’t know how to address these concerns, and he got frustrated. He knew there had to be more to medicine, something that would allow him to treat the whole patient and not just the numbers. His search for answers brought him to Optimal Aging Medicine, in which he is now board-certified.
He says, “Part of that education was about learning about gut health, hormone balance, taking deeper dives into advanced cardiac labs.” With this new knowledge, Dr. Carl returned to Richmond and immediately noticed a change in how he was able to treat patients. “Beyond traditional medicine and beyond just treating the lab, I was able to actually treat the patient as a whole,” he explains, “And it's made a world of difference in these patients' lives.”
He concludes, “You know, it's not just about longevity. It really is about quality of life. And the science is out there now. The labs are there, the science is there, the technology's there. We have these tools at our fingertips now, and when used correctly, we really can help people.”