I was introduced to medical research beginning at age of five by my father, who at the time was a graduate student in microbiology at Stanford University. I would accompany my father to the research laboratory and observe the techniques and the rigorous thinking of scientific investigation. As a teenager I worked in the immunology research laboratory taking care of the animals used for immunologic experiments. The desire to explore new concepts and satisfaction that comes from investigating and proving or disproving an idea originated during this period.
I graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and received my M.D. in 1977 from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. I completed a two year Research Fellowship at the UCLA Department of Orthopedic Surgery Bioengineering Laboratory in 1981 and co-authored two research papers about anterior cruciate injuries of the knee which were published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. I then completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Southern California /LA County Medical Center and Northridge Hospital Medical Center under the directorship of Dr. Renee Calliet.
As a part of my residency training in PM&R from 1981 to 1984 I evaluated and treated patients who were having chronic pain and the attendant social and physical problems that result from inadequate treatment and over or under medication. Having suffered an injury and three subsequent surgeries to my left knee in the 1970’s I was acutely aware of the discomfort, disability and frustration of patients living with musculo-skeletal injuries. My frustration over modern medicine’s limited ability to relieve the pain and suffering of many of my patients led me to examine complementary healing modalities in the early 1980’s. I found out first-hand that certain complementary therapies are effective for reducing symptoms of painful conditions in cases where pharmacologic drugs and surgery have failed.
I began practicing prolotherapy an innovative non-surgical treatment for musculo-ligamentous pain twenty-four years ago- well before its present-day surge in popularity. About nineteen years ago I incorporated apitherapy, particularly bee venom therapy, into my practice as a treatment for chronic and acute pain after hearing about it from Dr. Dedriech Klinghardt and attending a lecture and demonstration session with Charlie Mraz and Dr. Bradford Weeks in 1989. I established the Kochan Institute of Healing Arts Research in 2001 for the purpose of doing research into the uses of both prolotherapy and apitherapy in treating patients and alleviating their suffering.
I presented my clinical research findings regarding the use of honey bee venom therapy for the successful treatment of post-herpetic neuralgia, better known as shingles, at several meeting for conventional physicians, but they had a difficult time accepting the overwhelmingly positive outcomes. I plan on doing another study in the near future to confirm these results. The FDA has already shut down another study a Rheumatologist friend and I were doing using bee venom to treat knee arthritis. They say we need a new drug application for bee venom which has been used for thousands of years by healing practioners! I have successfully used raw honey to treat a woman in Honduras who had a non-healing fistula (communicating tunnel) between the skin and the small bowel after two surgeries failed to close it. Bee products have amazing healing properties!
In my past role as President of the American Apitherapy Society and in my current role on the Board of Directors of the AAS for the sixth year I continue to promote public and professional awareness about the medicinal value of honey bee venom and other substances produced by bees for a wide range of disorders.
I am a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honorary societies and am a member of the American Medical Association, American Association of Orthopedic Medicine, American Apitherapy Society, American Pain Society, and the Los Angeles County Medical Association. I am on staff at Northridge Hospital Medical Center. Earlier in my career I was Medical Director of the Head Trauma Rehabilitation Center at Synergos Neurological Center at Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills, CA, Medical Director at the Orthopedic Hospital RehabCare rehabilitation center in Los Angeles, and I was a staff physician at Northridge Hospital Medical Center-Chronic Pain Program.
I have been in private practice since 1984 and remain committed to furthering research and sound clinical practice in integrative pain medicine, combining conventional and proven complementary approaches for relieving acute and chronic pain. I am a volunteer physician and instructor with the Hackett-Hemwall Foundation, an organization based in Madison, Wisconsin which is dedicated to public education about prolotherapy and health care programs for under-served populations. I go to Honduras for two week once a year to perform prolotherapy and other pain treatments free of charge for indigent patients.
My other interests include mountain biking, scuba diving, racing my 1968 Porsche, performing close-up magic and playing the piano.