The doctor who took a virtual reality course at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota last year is using his skills to help patients find the right drugs to treat their symptoms.
Meredith McLeod, a former nurse practitioner, took the virtual medical training and applied it to the symptoms of chronic pain and arthritis, and she has helped patients to improve their quality of life.
She said her experience has been therapeutic.
“I had some amazing people tell me that their doctors would never have given them the treatment they wanted, because they would have felt like a fraud,” she said.
“It was like a therapy to help them heal.”
McLeod is part of a growing group of doctors who are using virtual medicine to help treat patients who suffer from chronic pain.
The virtual medical courses at Mayo Clinic are aimed at helping patients identify the drugs that work best for them, and how to use those drugs safely.
Patients can choose from a list of about 40 medications, and doctors will prescribe them to them on a regular basis, helping them to get better, get back to work, and find their answers to their questions.
The courses were developed at the request of the Mayo clinic, which is a leading provider of virtual medical care to people with chronic pain, but McLeod said it was the first virtual medical school she’d attended.
“We wanted to be a part of this revolution in medicine,” she told CBC News.
The program offers three virtual medical classes each month for $99 each, or $1,948 for four hours of virtual training.
McLeod has taken the course about 20 times.
She also took the class for the first time last fall and said it helped her find a treatment for her chronic pain that she was “still struggling with”.
“I’m really glad I did it because it’s really helped me,” she added.
McLeod said she had been struggling with chronic fatigue for years, and had experienced chronic pain since the age of 10.
“The more I started to feel better and get back on my feet, I started thinking about other things,” she explained.
“In my mind I was thinking about my job, my career, my future.
It was really a big problem for me.”
In the course, she was taught about pain and its effects on her body, and about painkillers, such as morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.
“They were great, but I needed to have them, so I was not getting the best outcomes,” she recalled.
In the end, she found the best painkiller, fentanyl, which she was prescribed by her doctor.
Fentanyl is a powerful painkiller that can be deadly in high doses.
McDonnell was treated for chronic fatigue in January, but her pain is still not fully controlled.
“There’s not really a lot of information out there that I can get information on about fentanyl,” she admitted.
“So, it’s not something that I know for sure, but there’s definitely a lot out there about fentanyl and the side effects that it can have.”
McDonnell said she is looking for a new prescription for fentanyl, but it would not be until later this year that she would have a better idea of what it would be.
She has also started using a new drug to help with chronic pains, but she said she still has some questions about it.
“At the end of the day, I’m just still trying to figure out what is it that is doing it,” she commented.
McClendon said she has used fentanyl, oxymorphone, and other opioids to help control her chronic pains for years.
“As a physician, I can’t really say that there’s anything I’m not using, because I am,” she stated.
McLeary said that when she was in the hospital in November, her chronic fatigue was back.
“You go back and you look at your patient and you can see how much they have struggled and how much pain they have,” she noted.
“And they’re just so thankful for the medications that they have, because it has helped them to feel like a better person and a better patient.”
People that have these debilitating chronic conditions, you can’t take a drug that makes you feel better for a long time.
It just doesn’t work.
“McLeary hopes to continue taking the virtual medicine course and said she was looking forward to using it to find the best drugs for her.”
One of the things I really want to do is to find something that will work for me, and for the people that I’m helping,” she remarked.
McLean has also been using the course to find a new treatment for chronic pain in her knee.
The first step is to start a medication trial, which involves using a pill that McLeod says has the potential to be the best treatment for someone with chronic knee pain.
She and her family have been using Oxymorphone for several years, but that drug has side effects and is not recommended