What is a Bariatrician?
A bariatrician is a licensed physician (Doctor of Medicine [MD] or Doctor of Osteopathy [DO]) who, as a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP), has received special training in bariatric medicine- the medical treatment of overweight and obesity and its associated conditions. Bariatricians address the obese patient with a comprehensive program of diet and nutrition, exercise, lifestyle changes and, when indicated, the prescription of appetite suppressants and other appropriate medications. (The word bariatric stems from the Greek word barros, which translates as heavy or large.) While any licensed physician can offer a medical weight loss program, members of the ASBP have been exposed, through an extensive continuing medical education program, to specialized knowledge, tools and techniques to enable them to design specialized medical weight loss programs tailored to the needs of individual patients. If needed, they can modify the programs as the treatment progresses. ASBP members are uniquely equipped to treat overweight and obesity and associated conditions. A physician-supervised medical weight loss program may be the safest and wisest way to lose weight and maintain the loss. Overweight and obesity are frequently accompanied by other medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cancer and others. A bariatric physician is trained to detect and treat these conditions, which might go undetected and untreated in a non-medical weight loss program. In many cases, the drugs needed to treat these conditions will no longer be needed with successful weight loss.
Should I see a Bariatrician for weight loss?
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has clear guidelines as to who should try to lose weight and how they should do it. Their guidelines state the following:
A person should see a physician to lose weight if any of the following apply:
#1 You are trying to lose more than 15 – 20 pounds -and/or-
#2 You have any health conditions -and/or-
#3 You are taking any medications -and/or-
#4 You are planning to take medication to lose weight
What is a realistic expectation of my weight loss results?
Since beginning Idaho Weight Loss, Dr. Rader has tracked the average weight loss of all 19,000 patients making at least three visits to the clinic. He and his associates share the results in a series of presentations at local medical practices and at National Weight Loss Physician programs. His hope is that by documenting the successes of the program, insurance providers will begin to reimburse the medical expenses for patients.
As of December 2015, over 16 years of patients, 97% of patients lost weight by their first follow up visit. The average weight loss of the first month is: 4.6% of beginning body weight.* That is why we stick to the program and the medicines that have proven to work at a fraction of the cost.
However, long term loss and maintenance is actually more important than first month loss. The following chart shows the long term results that weve achieved with our patients. All patients who made at least 3 visits to the clinic are included in the chart.
Over 80% of patients that make at least three visits lose enough weight to reduce their risk of diabetes 50%. Most patients choose to enter the Maintenance Plan after they lose more than 10% of their body weight. Remember, another persons results will not predict your outcome, but the numbers are presented to give you an idea about the success stories our program is creating.
Overweight and obesity is a very complex medical disease. Very often, unrecognized or undiagnosed medical conditions are associated with weight gain. These conditions may prevent weight loss or worse, be harmful to you if not recognized and treated. A medical weight loss specialist can test for these metabolic conditions, and subsequently treat them.
*Individual results may vary.
Why should I see a medical weight loss specialist?
A medical weight loss specialist has undergone additional education, training, and testing to become board certified in weight loss medicine. Also, to become board certified, the national board of Bariatric Medicine sends a previously board certified physician to observe Dr. Rader’s and Dr. Freshwater’s practice. This physician then reports back to a board of other physicians before certifying Dr. Rader or Dr. Freshwater. Dr. Rader and Dr. Freshwater are the only MD’s in Boise to pass all three of the processes to become board certified in weight loss medicine.
The new certifying body only requires a written test. Dr. Freshwater has recertified and Dr. Mary Hafer obtained her certification through the new board of certification.
Not only is Dr. Rader a treatment specialist, he is an instructor teaching other physicians in his weight loss medicine methods. He has presented and lectured at national conferences from 2003 through 2015. Physicians from across America trained with Dr. Rader by visiting his office. Local physicians refer patients to Dr. Rader but a referral is not necessary to visit the clinic.
Dr. Rader has lectured in the following cities over the past several years; Tampa, Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego, Louisville, Chicago and St Louis.
Because they are specialists, weight loss with a Obesity Medical Specialist is a complete program focusing not only on weight loss but also on weight maintenance. Specialists are skilled in helping overweight patients deal with their personal highs and lows during a weight loss program. They are experienced in the roadblocks of becoming successful in controlling the disease called overweight and obesity.
Ultimately, what is the cost to complete your program?
While developing his program and determining his fees, Dr. Rader considered many options. One program in Philadelphia advertised $2000 for the first visit. Local programs not staffed by specialists offer free “something” to get you in the door then switch to their over 1,000 dollar program. A local weight loss program tries to get the patient to commit to hundreds of dollars of food purchases on the first visit. While another is $350 just for the first visit. Yet another offers half off the first visit to get you started then sells you hundreds of dollars of other supplements and materials.
Our staff wants to make this program available to everyone. We know what weight loss did for our lives and we want to help you do the same or better. The cost of the first visit at the Boise is extremely reasonable and includes:
- History and physical exam done by the physician
- Infrared body composition determination.
- Weight, measurements, and vital signs.
- The physician also does a 60 minute presentation in a small group
- The physician will talk with each patient individually before and again after the class.
- Medications and nutritional instructions are included
Contact the clinic with specific questions about the first visit procedures and pricing. At the first visit, the physician may order certain blood tests. These tests include blood chemistries, liver functions, kidney functions, serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, CBC (white and red blood cell counts) and two thyroid blood tests. EKGs are often obtained. This depends on your medical history, physical and other factors. These tests are not done unless necessary. Typically, follow-up visits are monthly. After completion of the active weight loss phase, patients are encouraged to enter our maintenance program. Thousands of our patients are active in our maintenance program. Some see us on a quarterly basis and others just communicate their weight by phone or email. These patients understand that this is a life long disease and have been instructed at what specific weight they may need to return to the clinic.
What tests do you include in your initial examination?
Dr. Rader or an associate physician does only the blood test and EKGs that they feel are absolutely necessary… There are multiple causes of overweight and obesity that may be identified in some screening labs. Also, many consequences of overweight and obesity may cause abnormalities in blood testing. These must all be identified prior to beginning a weight loss program.
Most biochemical causes of being overweight and obese are fairly common. These can usually be identified with some basic lab testing. However a few causes of overweight and obesity are identified only with very unique and often very expensive lab testing. Many offices will do hundreds of dollars of blood testing on every patient to try to find the one patient with a very rare biochemical causes of obesity. This means in some offices patients spend hundreds of dollars on blood testing that wasn’t necessary. Our physicians choose to do only a basic profile on every patient, and then do the more expensive blood testing only on patients that don’t progress with weight loss as expected. This is always discussed with the patient in advance. Together, the doctor and the patient try to determine the least expensive way to obtain the labs. Our blood tests are commonly done for about $100 . These same tests cost over $600 in some labs. These tests include blood chemistries, liver functions, kidney functions, serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, CBC (white and red blood cell counts) and two thyroid blood tests.
Why should I choose your program over others?
- Successful results
- Scientific Knowledge
all at prices that are affordable to most everyone.
Successful Results and Experience
Dr. Rader and associate physicians are now tracking over 19,000 patients they have treated in the program in Boise, Nampa, Twin Falls, and Fruitland, ID. These numbers are compared to other clinics across the country to ensure we provide the best programs available. Dr. Rader has designed computer software programs that easily track patient results. This also helps document that changes in the program are improving patient care. Results have been so successful that Dr. Rader has been invited to train other physicians around the nation on how to become successful weight loss physicians. Four out of five patients that enter our weight loss programs for just three visits lose enough weight to reduce their long-term risk of diabetes over 50%.* Patients that lose weight in the program have improved their lipid profile (cholesterol and triglycerides) equal to or better than commonly used cholesterol medicines. Many patients are able to come off blood pressure medicines, lipid medicines and antidepressant medicines. Numerous MDs, DOs, and nurses are patients in the program.
The American Society of Bariatric Physicians has a set of 15 criteria that all bariatricians are encouraged to follow. These “principles of excellence” include; always putting the patients’ welfare above all; avoiding value judgments concerning a patient’s behavior; complying with all state and federal laws; providing adequate and truthful information to the patient about their disease; and cooperating fully with other physicians in providing medical care to every patient.
As a specialist in weight loss medicine, Dr. Rader and Dr. Freshwater have passed numerous written and oral examinations. The office has also passed an on-site examination by the American Bariatric society. Dr. Rader and his staff attend National Conferences to maintain current knowledge on the advances in the treatment of obesity. Dr. Rader constantly researches current information on weight loss and has been a featured lecturer at the past seven national conferences. He also works with other physicians, and discusses overweight and obesity with various physicians around Idaho. He has been published in the field of research and patient care and is currently collaborating on a textbook about the Pathophysiology of obesity.
Compassion and Understanding
Upon your first visit to the clinic, Dr. Rader discusses that he too shares the disease of obesity. There was a time in his life that he would continually wear the same pair of pants to avoid trying to fit into his other suits. All the while he was working 12-hour shifts, chairing his department of the ER, coaching his sons Little League team, being a dedicated Scout Master, presiding over two companies, and staying actively involved in his church. Despite this busy lifestyle, his weight continued to rise. Dr. Rader then made a life changing decision to devote his time to helping those like him, and became dedicated to living and promoting a healthier lifestyle. With over 15% of his initial body weight and 90% of his excess body weight lost, he has been pioneering this healthy lifestyle for himself and thousands of patients for over 13 years. Obesity is a disease; Dr. Rader has experienced flare-ups, but has remained dedicated in his attempts to control the disease. His struggles with obesity allow him to be empathetic and understanding towards both the emotional and physical well-being of his patients.
Dr. Freshwater brings the same compassion to her Bariatric Practice. She also shares her struggles with obesity. She started Dr Rader’s program as a patient. In her classes, she shares stories about the weight she lost as a patient in the program … weight lost at prices that are affordable to most everyone.’
For more information on costs, see question What is the Cost to Complete Your Program.
*Individual results may vary.
How do you follow my progress?
The monitoring of a patient involved in a weight loss program is essential. The rate of weight loss, the amount of weight loss, vital signs, percent body fat and percent lean tissue, emotional stability, and biochemical health must all be considered while a patient is losing weight.
Dr. Rader and Dr. Freshwater are bariatric (medical weight loss) specialists that are specifically trained to know how and when to follow-up with patients. Most patients are monitored by monthly visits to the office. Sometimes a patient needs more frequent visits for closer observation, training, and motivation. Several programs are available to treat all aspects of a patient’s specific needs.
The clinic maintains a database that tracks over 19,000 weight loss patients. Based on information from the patient history, previous patient results, a physical exam, blood tests, and the first month results, Dr. Rader is able to predict what weight loss should be expected after that first follow-up visit. If expected weight loss is not obtained Dr. Rader knows the questions to ask, necessary tests, and medication changes that might help the patient achieve those expected results.
Training patients for weight loss maintenance begins on the very first visit. Information from national weight loss conferences, previous patients, his personal weight loss maintenance, and information from the national healthcare weight loss registry is used to help determine an appropriate maintenance plan for every patient.
With the patient, he establishes weight guidelines to help every patient be prepared for struggles with their weight loss. All patients have a safety plan and know when to return to the office.
Patients that fall out of the program for whatever reason are contacted by the office on a reasonable basis for encouragement or are invited to return to the office for additional bariatric care.
Over his thirteen years in Boise, Dr. Rader has contacted patients that do not stay active in the program for information as to why they did not stay active. Information obtained from these questionnaires is used to steadily improve the program. This information has proven invaluable because the percentage of follow-up visits has steadily increased and the average weight loss in each weight category has improved yearly.