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KENNETH DECK, MD, San Juan Capistrano
I read with interest the guest opinion from Dr. Michelle Hure regarding the City Council’s approval of adding an In-N-Out establishment in San Juan Capistrano. Dr. Hure extensively describes her ability to diagnose and treat patients, and how one must take into consideration all of the data before making a diagnosis because it will not only affect the patient but the entire family.
“A good physician will look at all of the evidence and treat the patient holistically.” I found this to be worthy of commentary. While I have little background in holistic medicine per se, I do have extensive training in traditional medicine. Without going into my extensive background as Dr. Hure felt necessary to do, I have been a physician in Orange County since 1980. I am a board-certified general surgeon, with fellowships in vascular and breast surgery. I also was very involved in the initial implementation of the trauma center at Mission Community Hospital.
With that background, I am compelled to describe how a physician makes a diagnosis and proposes treatment. Having treated thousands of cancer patients over a professional lifetime spanning 40 years, I fully realize how decisions can affect not only the patient’s life but many others. While one “cannot marry a test,” if a mammogram tells a physician that a patient has breast cancer, one certainly cannot ignore this and just “trust your gut.”
I think her comments about the City Council and the individuals performing the traffic study are both disingenuous and disrespectful. She states the traffic study was flawed but gives no evidence to support that comment. I sat in a meeting listening for 45 minutes to the traffic study, how extensive it was, discussions how the traffic would be impacted compared to other local In-N-Out sites, how the outside eating area will be so much larger, and so on. I believe in our elected City Council members, and to insinuate that they would look no further than a single study to make this decision is just wrong.
It is highly objectionable that Dr. Hure and her approach to medicine should illustrate how to guide our city planning. In looking at her web site it says she specializes in chemical peels, antiaging treatments, acne and eyebrow treatments, and other cosmetic procedures. I am not sure how much of “gut decision-making” is involved in aesthetic medicine, and I suggest the members of the City Council and Traffic Commission deserve an apology. There is no question that they had an arduous task, and I believe they took their jobs seriously. I am confident that when all was said and done, they relied on more than just “their gut.”