We’re excited to introduce you to our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Josh Trutt. Known for merging Western technology with Eastern alternative therapies, he’s a true pioneer in the medical field. His journey through medicine is fascinating and as an advocate for wellness, his efforts are noble to say the least. Here, he talks about his start in Emergency Medicine and how he now treats individuals holistically through genetic testing, acupuncture, supplements, and even stem cells. His eye-opening definition of success played a significant role in the transition from his traditional training to his current practice.
How many years have you been practicing traditional medicine and when did your curiosity about supplements begin?
After medical school, I trained in Emergency Medicine, at Mount Sinai in Manhattan. During that time one of my best friends was an acupuncturist, and through him I became very interested in Eastern and alternative therapies. In my last year of residency, I organized a conference of alternative practitioners to come speak to the Emergency Medicine residents. I’m not sure why the residency director let me do that– it had little to no bearing on our work in the E.R.! Luckily for me, she was open minded.
After residency, in 2000, I applied to Andrew Weill‘s fellowship in Complementary Medicine. Today that fellowship can be completed online, but at the time it required spending the better part of two years in Arizona. I was very drawn to complementary therapies, but I couldn’t justify spending two years accruing interest on my med school loans while learning skills that couldn’t be applied in my chosen field, Emergency Medicine. I’d just finished four tough years of training; it was hard to imagine that one day I’d walk away from it entirely. So, I cancelled my interview for the program. About ten years later, I left Emergency Medicine.
What finally motivated you to change your focus away from conventional medicine?
It was a slow process, but it began as soon as residency ended. The very next year my grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I had to tell her that I didn’t think she should get chemotherapy… which, at the time, meant I was telling her that she should do nothing. I’ve been asked before whether that was some sort of gut-wrenching decision, but it wasn’t– chemo would have only made her final days more miserable. Instead, she was at home with her children when she died, under her own terms. I have no regrets about that at all– but it did set me on a path of asking what else I could have offered her. That was when I started downloading and collecting research articles about supplements and herbs. I started with turmeric, a plant that has attracted tremendous attention for its anti-cancer properties. From there, it snowballed.
Fast forward to today where the supplement industry is booming. What makes Curos unique?
Curos is a chance to overcome four challenges that consumers are faced with when they look for supplements or herbal remedies.
Many plant-based supplements are not absorbed well, and it can be a real challenge to determine which brands actually make it into your bloodstream. In many cases, the only way to know for sure is to read the actual human trials (if there are any) where they measure absorption– and even then, you may need to speak to a biochemist to know how to interpret the studies. By reading the human trials, you learn not only which brands are absorbed, but what dose was actually effective. That’s the piece that most people are missing– and it’s what I’ve spent the last fifteen years reading up on. So, this is an opportunity for me to put my passion to good use!
The last piece is the cost. Proper dosing usually means more capsules than people are used to, so combining exactly what you need into as few capsules as possible is important. And by consolidating what would be eight or ten separate supplement bottles into one, we should be able to compete even with the low prices on Amazon– and simplify your kitchen cabinet!
Check out Curos here.
How else do you incorporate holistic approaches to wellness when working with patients?
The important thing is to have enough tools available so that you can meet the patient where they are most comfortable. In my practice, we partner with acupuncturists and other practitioners as appropriate. I use genetic testing to determine what supplements make the most sense for a patient. Obviously, we address diet and exercise; that sort of goes without saying. I also incorporate stem cell therapy, intravenous vitamin therapies, injectable peptides, oxygen therapies… whatever works!
Your philosophy on practicing medicine changed throughout the years. What’s the biggest difference?
The biggest difference is in what I consider a successful outcome. When I started training in Emergency Medicine, the show “ER’ had just taken off, it was a big part of the public consciousness. I couldn’t go to dinner without someone asking, “What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen??” So, some of that rubbed off on me. Success meant saving lives, resuscitating someone who was in cardiac arrest, making some sort of rare diagnosis. From the standpoint of my interest in supplements, success more or less meant finding a cure for cancer. It was sort of a ridiculously high bar.
About five years into my ER career, a nurse changed my focus. A young man had died in a car accident, and the family was in the waiting room– the nurse needed someone to break the news to them. It’s obviously not a pleasant job and I was only peripherally involved with the case, so I asked her why she’d come to me. She said, “Because you’re able to actually be present in that moment with them.” That was an eye-opener for me. She pointed out what should have been obvious…
Success didn’t necessarily mean saving lives– success also meant making that family’s most difficult moment just a bit more bearable. Success could mean just being present for someone.
Shortly after that, I started laying the groundwork for leaving the E.R.. My practice now allows me to spend as much time with my patients as they need, and I love it.
If you were to give Curos readers one piece of advice, what would it be?
The old adage of diet and exercise still holds true. Even the most high-tech treatments such as stem cells are no match for a diet of Big Macs and fries. And there is not a single aspect of aging that isn’t helped by regular exercise– even just walking for 20 minutes a day. I know, that advice isn’t sexy, but it’s the truth.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I can’t give away those secrets just yet, but suffice it to say that we have a lot more planned for Curos in the next year! We hope to add some incredible services in just a few months. Stay tuned!