The Uncommon Doctor
John Joseph Prendergast, a renaissance man, is an accomplished scientist, physician and humanist. As a young man, overcoming his own severe learning disability, he developed compassion. As a n adult, he sought relief for his inherited physical health problems, and has subsequently empowered countless patients in the art of self-care for more than thirty years. This scientist's tireless, groundbreaking work on diabetes has won him numerous awards. Now, for the first time, Dr. Prendergast explains how he overcame his personal obstacles to achieve success and how the lessons he has learned can apply to your life. More information on the book.
What people are saying about the book
Review by David Mendosa
This is an uncommon book about an uncommon doctor. One
of the ways in which the book is different is because it is divided
almost equally between Dr. Joe Prendergast the person and Dr. Joe’s
I have known “Dr. Joe,” as he likes to be called, for years. But until I read his book, I didn’t realize just how uncommon he is.
What amazed me the most about Dr. Joe, the person, as I read about him is that here is a man with a rare but severe learning disability. He has the inherited galactosemia trait that makes it difficult for him to learn. He just works harder to learn than most people do. My guess is that this is one of the reasons why Dr. Joe has so much understanding for the rest of us.
He says that the core of his practice is patient empowerment. I know that from my own experience, because seven years ago when I was writing about a new thing called “telemedicine,” he was my telemedicine doctor, one of the first to reach out to people with diabetes in that way. I was living then in Santa Cruz, California, which is about 50 miles from Dr. Joe’s office, and all of our contact was by email, modem, and phone.
During the period of almost a year in which I participated in Dr. Joe’s program, I continued to see my endocrinologist in Santa Cruz from time to time. But the long-distance care and attention that Dr. Joe and his staff of nurses and educators gave me inspired me to take better care of myself.
One huge enthusiasm like telemedicine is enough to set a doctor well apart from common folk. But what amazes me about Dr. Joe, the endocrinologist, is the number of his enthusiasms.
I don’t know all of his enthusiasms, and there must be many that he doesn’t mention in this book. For example, he is a leading advocate of Anodyne Therapy, a treatment for diabetic neuropathy, and wrote one of the leading research reports about it. But he doesn’t cover it here.
He does write at length about l-arginine, a precursor to nitric oxide, which helps our arteries. Dr. Joe’s personal discovery of l-arginine opened up the whole world of nutritional supplements to him.
A high level of Vitamin D — 3,000 IU daily — is a nutraceutical that he also believes in. He adds the caveat that if you take more than the recommended level, you need to have your blood regularly tested for toxicity. He doesn’s say what the recommended dose is, but it is much lower. However, the U.S. government’s new dietary guidelines endorsed much higher amounts — 800 to 1,000 IU per day — than they previously did.
Byetta is one of his most recent enthusiasms. In fact, he waxes so enthusiastic about it that I am about to try it!
The Uncommon Doctor: Dr. Joe’s Rx for Managing Your Health is a 176-page trade paperback listed at $19.95. Endocrine Therapeutics Inc. published it on January 15, 2006. The ISBN is 1-59975-022-8.
Review by RCA
Dr. Joe's RX was a thoroughly enjoyable read. The story of his young life was particularly poignant as he dealt with the early death of his parents and then as he conquered the beginnings of heart disease that had taken his father. Dr. Joe presents medical guidance to diabetics and other patients and grounds that advice in the belief that we as patients are responsible, along with our doctors, for our own health. I recommend this book.
Review by I. Mifflin
I found it powerful to see prevention and compassion at the core of prescriptions for health. The Uncommon Doctor's biographical narrations remind us that it takes courage to remain steadfast when we believe in what is not popular and that it takes a visionary to see what most of us cannot imagine. The Uncommon Doctor is just that "Uncommon". Whether you are a person living with diabetes, seeking to protect yourself from heart disease, or simply seeking more support in living a fit life, this book is an excellent reference. As a health conscious consumer myself, this book has given me options that are within reach. It taught me more about over the counter supplements like L-Arginine and gave me new insight into less invasive options for treating old problems. For example: what we should all know about vitamin D and what a new class of drugs may offer the millions facing diabetes. With this information I can make better decisions about my health and I can start doing it today.
Review by Caron B. Goode
Dr. Joe's book touched me deeply when he had the courage to tell his story of illness, and how he had to step out of the bounds if his medical training to find his answers. As a result I find his suggestions for reversing the symptoms of the two deadliest diseases in America today to be a phenomenal breakthrough and a relief for those suffering from diabetes, the scourge of this century. I read the book from cover to cover in one easy sitting. Then I went back and started making notes on Dr. Joe's suggestions that I wanted to apply.
After reading Dr. Joe's book, I am encouraged to take a more active role in my health care, and not be discouraged. There is light at the end of the tunnel.