Wednesday, November 25, 2009


"Almost 20 years ago, when I finished my residency, the Infectious Disease fellows placed a message on the telephone saying, “If you are calling about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, call Dr. Bateman at this number,” essentially diverting CFS patients away from the state funded university hospital to my new internal medicine practice.

It was a joke—payback--- for the intense interest I had expressed for CFS during my training, about the time the 1988 Holmes case definition was published. My interest was initially fueled by a personal desire to help my sister, who became ill while I was in medical school, but grew as I searched the medical literature, evaluated hundreds of patients, and came to know the illness face to face.

Nine years ago, after 10 years of CFS, my sister developed non-Hodgkins lymphoma. She died at age 51, overwhelmed by an unknown infection following stem cell transplant. Now WPI has reported the presence of XMRV, a discovery that could potentially have changed her fate.

Two decades after diagnosing my first patient, and one decade after opening a CFS clinic, remaining self employed has been the best way to continue a search for answers and to provide a place for patients with CFS.

I have indirectly donated at least a million dollars to the cause of CFS in the form of lost potential income.

I still participate in Medicare and most major insurances and follow a large group of patients with CFS and related illnesses. As a small business owner I can not provide medical insurance for my staff and was myself recently declined individual medical insurance by Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The clinic generally runs in the red and continues as a service to patients in my community.

The effort is subsidized largely by pharmaceutical dollars since I moonlight doing drug research and consulting to pay my clinical staff.

The CDC researchers are still doing epidemiology, deny a viral contribution, and demonstrate little understanding of the clinical subsets that meet the Fukuda CFS Case Definition

The NIH has not matched research funding to the significance and immediacy of the problem.

There is little recognition, interest or expertise regarding CFS at academic medical institutions across the country, including the University of ..."

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