RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - You're sick or experiencing chest pains, so you go to the doctor...but what if that doctor could help you before you ever showed signs of an illness? It's an interesting idea at work at a doctor's office in Richmond.
Kevin McDonough woke up one morning and just didn't feel right. He was having bad heart burn - or so he thought.
"I wasn't feeling well and I suspected something was wrong with me," said McDonough.
He called up his doctor at N1 Executive Health Group.
"I think he used the word denial when he was interviewed and I think Mr. McDonough was in denial at that point at what potentially was going on with his health," said Doctor Rand Baggesen.
They ran the normal tests. Everything looked fine.
"So, we pushed it and we did the cardiac stress test and it showed up right away," said McDonough.
McDonough had extensive vascular disease. His heart was clogged. Within 36 hours, he had quintuple bypass heart surgery. "I was 49 years old and, you know, put if off. Put it off and probably would have been dead," said McDonough.
McDonough is one of those patients doctor Rand Baggesen wished he's seen 20 years ago.
"I worked on Wall Street for about 10 years before I went to medical school," said Baggesen. He's a former investment banker-turned doctor. "I have 4 hours with a patient, not 4 minutes."
He's created a practice that delivers true preventative health care from a business background.
"People think preventative health care comes from their insurance. I'd ask, 'you have car insurances, does your car insurance pay for tires, gas, a car wash?' No, insurance is for catastrophic loss."
With the testing he now utilizes at health diagnostic laboratories. He's searching family histories, doing DNA testing to discover genetic risks and potential problems before they happen.
"90 percent of what we spend in the American medical system is spent in the last two years of life. 30 percent in the last four weeks," said Baggesen.
Baggesen challenges people to take more time and spend more diagnosing medical conditions before they become a problem.
"It's easier to be in denial then all of a sudden you have a major issue, than to be proactive because it takes some effort," said McDonough.
McDonough now follows a strict diet. He takes some medications and he exercises every day. "I'm a big guy, you know... I'm 6'5. I may have lost the equivalent of a small person. (Do you feel better?) I feel fantastic. Yes!"