Q&A with Dr. David Cunningham, MD

August 8, 2019  |  By Elise Hamann

How One Physician Puts Patients First Using a Direct Primary Care Model and EPAT/ESWT 

After 12 years of practicing in the traditional fee-for-service environment, family medicine practitioner Dr. David Cunningham knew he needed a better way to treat patients’ complex health issues. Three years ago, he made a bold move and co-founded Infinity Family Care, which uses the direct primary care model for treating patients. This ultimately led him to a focus and passion for regenerative medicine and EPAT (Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology).

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Q: How is direct primary care different from traditional care? 

A: Our practice is one of more than 1,000 in the US that no longer accepts insurance for services we deliver. Instead, patients pay a monthly fee, not unlike a gym membership, which gives them access to as much direct care as they need, including unlimited office visits, phone visits, online consultations, in-office procedures and even vaccinations for our pediatric patients. This allows us to spend more time with patients, so we can address their complex issues and focus more on wellness.

Q: How does regenerative medicine fit with your new service delivery methodology?

A: Unlike the traditional fee-for-service model, where I could spend only about seven minutes with each patient per visit, I am now able to take the time to uncover the root cause of medical problems, so I can treat the real issues. For many patients presenting with pain, instead of only managing symptoms with treatment like steroid injections, I can now treat pain at its source. 

Q: How did you first get introduced to EPAT/ESWT?

A: My foray into the area came when a patient told me about how EPAT/ESWT technology was effective for treating his erectile dysfunction. Through research and my own experience, men’s health issues became a growing focus of my practice. It is such a thriving part of my business that I’ve created a separate company called Infinity Men’s Health.

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Q: What treatment protocol do you find most effective? 

A: For ED cases, I typically use six to eight treatments along with two PRP injections. I find that the two work very well together synergistically. I follow a “P shot” protocol, taking approximately 20 ccs of whole blood, spinning it down to a 1.6 to 1.8 concentration. Then immediately before injection, we activate with calcium chloride to help keep the material localized when injected. We do the P shots after the shock wave treatment, typically after the second or third visit and again after the last one. 

Q: How else are you using EPAT in your practice?

A: Using this technology has opened my eyes to not just the men’s health, but to other indications as well. I am always looking for what I can do to stimulate a patient’s body to heal without having to add a lot of external material such as medication. As our knowledge and experience with regenerative techniques has grown, EPAT and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections have become fundamental in many of our treatment plans. 

Q: What health issues are you treating using regenerative medicine?

A: We see a lot of orthopedic cases, such as degenerative knee meniscal tears, osteoarthritis, tennis elbow and shoulder and rotator cuff tendonitis. I especially enjoy treating plantar fasciitis. When someone hobbles into the office due to discomfort and walks out feeling less pain, it’s incredibly rewarding. 

Q: You recently invested in focused shock wave as well. How do you feel this is going to change how you treat your patients?

A: Having had extensive experience with radial pulse wave, I’m very excited to add focused shockwave to my toolkit at the office. I believe it makes me a more complete regenerative medicine physician.  They are very complementary technologies, and each has some unique properties that make it suited for specific roles in my treatments. Most of the research in the Men’s Health/ED space has been based on the focused shockwave technology, and it’s believed to be a more efficient way of obtaining the results we’re looking for. And in the musculoskeletal realm, it significantly expands the types of issues I can treat, including cervical spine, hip and knee issues.

Q: What would you tell a colleague about your experience with EPAT/ESWT?

A: They’ll be amazed at how satisfying it is to have something they can offer patients right away. Patients come in expecting a prescription for an anti-inflammatory, a referral to a specialist or a physical therapy script. It’s exciting to be able to offer them a way to reduce their pain today, tomorrow and the next day by treating the problem at its source. 

Want to know more about the benefits of EPAT/ESWT? 

EPAT/ESWT is evidence-based and clinically proven to treat pain. Interested in exploring more about how it works? Download this introductory white paper, The Art of Shockwave.

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Topics: EPAT