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What's up Doc?

083010FEATURE.jpg What's up Doc?
Unique medical specialties

These aren't your average physicians. And there's nothing average about the quality of their work.

No, these two exceptional physicians put Cincinnati on the medical map with their unique specialties. Read on to find out how they relieve chronic pain and bring joy to their patients.



The human body is an amazing machine, and its intricate parts require medical specialties to keep everybody "working." Well, this week Cincy Chic reveals two local physicians who have made their mark in the medical field and changed thousands of lives forever.

 

Dr. NeeOo Chin, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) Doctor

 

From the time Dr. NeeOo Chin was a child, babies and the idea of new life fascinated him. He would breed guppies, and once he even tried to hatch a pasteurized egg by putting a heat lamp on it.

 

Obviously, that pasteurized egg never turned into a chick, but Chin now has played a part in bringing around 8,000 human babies into the world. What makes that number even more outstanding is that the parents of those 8,000 babies struggled with infertility.

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Yes, Chin's practice, The Infertility Wellness Institute of Ohio, focuses on helping couples who are having difficulty conceiving a child. And through the emotional roller coaster of infertility, Chin and his staff offer a human element in addition to their wealth of scientific knowledge. Chin and his staff show compassion and throw the idea to not get emotionally involved out the window.

 

"I do get emotionally involved. Every month that a couple doesn't conceive, you feel their pain, you feel their anguish," Chin says. "I think when we, as physicians, lose heart, I think we've lost a large part of our ability to care for people and to treat people."

 

So Chin holds listening as one of his top priorities — so much so that his initial appointment with his patients is an hour of pure discussion. And that comes after he reviews the five or six pages of personal information the patients fill out and any health records they provide. "A lot of the times, just by listening to the patient I'm able to formulate a plan and diagnosis," Chin says.

 

 But Chin's listening also has helped himself, which now helps his patients even more. When he had a severe case of diverticulitis with two major flare-ups, he went through seven diagnostic procedures with no success in finding the origin of his internal bleeding. "I was walking around like the walking dead for about a month and my wife grabbed me and said, 'You're going to go see my acupuncturist,' " Chin says. "And I said, 'No, I'm not,' and she goes, 'Yes, you are!"

 

Chin listened to his wife. "I felt about 80 percent better within two hours after being needled, and then two weeks later, I felt 100 percent better," Chin says.

 

After such dramatic results from his own acupuncture experience, Chin researched more about the practice and how studies have linked acupuncture with increased fertility rates. Now, Chin serves as one of only two REI doctors in the country who also practices acupuncture. This addition to his practice has helped his patients with everything from conceiving a child to getting morning sickness under control to helping parents deal with the loss of a child through miscarriage. 0110Fence_INSTORY.gif

 

Whether he's helping his patients through Westernized medicine or traditional Chinese acupuncture, Chin never tires of his work, especially when a new life comes into the picture.

 

"Being able to help life come into this world, I still don't get tired of that. I still don't get tired of when I do my six and a half week ultrasound and see the baby's heartbeat. I still don't get tired of 10 week ultrasounds when the baby will move around in the uterus being no more than about an inch and a half long," Chin says. "There are certain things that you never get tired of."

 

Dr. Brad Tinkle, Clinical Geneticist

 

Similar to Chin, Dr. Brad Tinkle had a clear calling. Before medical school ever entered his mind, Tinkle found his fascination with genetics in a high school biology class. The simplicity behind the complexity of genetics is what drew him in. "I could see the different combinations would lead to different things and explain hair color, eye color, skin color — those kind of things. It just made sense," Tinkle says.

 

So after studying genetic engineering in undergrad and human genetics in graduate school, Tinkle went to medical school to become a clinical geneticist. Now, Tinkle holds several titles at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, including clinical geneticist for the Division of Human Genetics, the associate director of the Molecular Genetics Laboratory, the director of the Skeletal Dysplasia Center and the director of the Connective Tissue Clinic. 083010FEATURE2.jpg

 

Tinkle's key title probably is co-director of the Marfan/Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Clinic, as he places his primary focus on patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). This connective tissue disorder is characterized by patients' hypermobility, which means they are extra flexible to the point of damage. With six major types of EDS, the genetic disorder can range from being painful to being life threatening.

  

While some people can be extremely flexible without having EDS, the syndrome is difficult to diagnose. In fact, the European Union recently published a study that said once a person started seeking a diagnosis for this problem, it took them an average of eight years to finally be diagnosed with EDS, Tinkle says.

 

The difficulty in diagnosing the disorder stems from the fact that the symptoms often seem unrelated and many of the symptoms are idiopathic, which means that researchers and physicians do not know what exactly causes them, Tinkle says.

 

The hyperflexibility characteristic of EDS comes from the fact that EDS patients' connective tissue is more elastic than normal, but connective tissue supports more than just the bones, ligaments and muscles. It also supports hollow parts of the body, including the stomach, lungs and blood vessels.

 

So one seemingly unrelated symptom is fainting or having near-fainting spells. "If you were to stand up, your blood vessels need to squeeze a little bit extra to keep the blood up in your head so gravity doesn't pull it all down to your ankles, and when your blood vessels are a little more elastic, that doesn't happen quite fast enough," Tinkle says.

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Another reason why an EDS diagnosis takes so long to receive is because of the lack of knowledge about the disorder. "Genetic disorders are pretty rare, so there's not necessarily a lot of information that's well-known. Most of it comes from experience," Tinkle says.

 

So Tinkle used his own experience and research to create two books: Issues and Management of Joint Hypermobility and Joint Hypermobility Handbook. By creating these books, Tinkle can help his patients understand their disorder and help educate other physicians and researchers about EDS.

 

In providing this knowledge to his patients, Tinkle helps heal the psychological pain that comes with having such a rare disorder by providing the patient with the power of communication. With these books, they are able to communicate better with their families, friends and even physicians.

 

"That sometimes makes me feel even better because they really feel isolated a lot of times because people don't understand them," Tinkle says. "When they say life just gets better psychologically, socially just because they have something in their hands, it's nice to hear.

 

 

PHOTO CREDITS

Top Photo
Photographer: Neysa Ruhl
Model: Dr. NeeOo Chin
Location: Lofts@4120


Bottom Photo
Photo courtesy of Dr. Brad Tinkle

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>


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