Mike Nichols, M.D.

Almost from the inception of my practice, I could see that medicine was failing for many people. Surely this wasn’t what it meant to be a doctor, to be a healer. There were so many people with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Modern medicine was not curing them; in my mind worse, it was making no attempt to prevent these diseases . At best it was only prolonging the disease, and sometimes not even that. Surely this could not be what it was all about. I am not talking about the extreme or end stage cases, modern medicine didn’t seem to have a rational or coherent approach to disease in general.  (To have a more personal insight into why Quantitative Medicine means so much to me visit: When You Are Serious)

This conviction led me to a multi-year quest to figure out what was wrong. It was not the practitioners. They meant well. Modern medicine itself was flawed. It was failing to address the many problems inflicted by our modern civilization. Perception had been replaced by prescription. Patient-doctor interaction and understanding by “standard-practice.”


I dove again into the fundamental science and clinical literature trying to understand how to apply my ‘vision’ of medicine to the clinical practice of a day-to-day doc. Basic ideas began to form. Overlooked details became important. For instance, I met a stroke rehab specialist who had noticed that cycling with a “push” stroke resulted in much more improvement than a “pull” stroke and this planted the idea that concentric exercise was important. When I recommended these sorts of exercises to my patients, they got much better results too. Eventually the medical literature confirmed that the body enables healing and muscle building processes when it gets concentric exercise signals, but it doesn’t for the other sorts of exercise.

Ultimately this quest culminated in a seemingly simplistic point of view, but one with far reaching implications: The body wants to heal, and will if it can. Somehow it was being prevented from doing so. So the next steps were fairly obvious:

1) Could this be measured?

2) Could this be modified?

Then the next piece fell into place: apparently I am a geek by nature because my practice largely attracted Silicon Valley executives and engineers. They would come in with spreadsheets of their workouts, their meal plans, and their blood pressure at different times of the day. Bingo! I had made money as an undergraduate writing machine language programs for scientific applications; one was a program to convert the analog signal of EEG’s to digital data. My background and my patient’s spreadsheets caused me to start “The Performance and Prevention Clinic” in the early 90’s and this eventually became the Tempus Clinic which was a much larger enterprise. Thus began my work developing a software display environment for medical information that could serve as a display and learning tool for both me and my patients to be able to see trends and interconnected variables associated with behavioral changes.

The synthesis of my patient’s and their spreadsheets, my background in programming, my dissatisfaction with the modern practice of medicine and my own curiosity-directed ‘medical school’ led straight to Quantitative Medicine. From the nineties onward, I practiced medicine with this point of view, and the results vastly exceeded my expectations: everyone began getting well! Heart disease and adult onset diabetes were getting reversed, even cured. Almost the entire medical profession was insistent that all this was not even possible, yet here it was happening, right before my eyes.

My practice continues today, and my experience with Quantitative Medicine has now encompassed over 2000 people. Every single one of them improved, most markedly. What each person needs to do to attain peak health can vary considerably. Sometimes it is diet modification, sometimes exercise, sometimes dealing with stress and mindfulness, and sometimes even pills. It is different for everybody, but appropriate measurement teases out everyone’s personal formula. Anyone can achieve it. This blog is intended to show how. Measure it. Change it

I received my education from the University of Chicago, Loyola University of Chicago and Stanford. While I have an MD from Loyola and my residency was done at Stanford, I have to credit my pre-med training at the University of Chicago for the courage and doggedness to pursue a different way of thinking about problems. I deeply hope and pray my work is useful to you.

  12 comments for “Mike Nichols, M.D.

  1. jim
    April 20, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    send book

  2. jeanette mckay
    July 7, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Doctor Nichols,
    I have been taking supposedly quality calcium for 15 years as prescribed by doctors. I have continued to loose bone density.
    I read your plan for exercise and I am going to do what you say and see what happens.
    I took Fosamax for several months and it made my bones hurt, therefore, I stopped taking it.
    Also, my triglycerides continue to be above normal. I will try your suggestions.
    Jeanette McKay

    • July 9, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Hi Jeanette,
      I don’t offer these suggestions as any kind of diagnosis, impossible in a blog format anyway, but unexplained bone loss needs an explanation. Consider Celiac disease, kidney or parathyroid disease, etc.; in other words ‘get to the bottom’ of the cause. The exercises described here are key no matter the cause.
      God Speed,
      Dr. Mike

  3. Jeanne
    August 9, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Very interested in your blog. I have been fighting high blood pressure for years and no one told me I had a hardening of the heart until lately. I am researching how to help myself as most medicines have failed to work or have made me so sick I can’t tolerate them. I don’t like taking pharmaceuticals however I have not been able to build up my HDL. Would you recommend taking Zetia ( prescription given by dr.) or working just with diet and exercise?
    Just was put on Monoxidil Clonidine and Lisinapril. Thanks for all the information you are sharing and I look forward to seeing your blog grow.

  4. Alexia
    May 14, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    according to my ancestry.com we are first cousins how can this be? my name is Alexia Baca Morgan and I’m a psychologist from Fresno my family is from New Mexico. I also I’m interested in alternatives to our Healthcare System. Please be in touch I don’t know how we can be related but we are? sincerely Alexia

  5. November 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Hi Dr. Mike,
    I just bought “Eat Real Food or Else” and noticed that at the close of your intro you put AMDG. Given your post-secondary education in Chicago, I was wondering if you have a connection to Saint Ignatius College Prep. My daughter is a junior there and loves it.
    Holli Boyle

    • December 5, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      Thank you, Holli, for noticing, but no, I have no connection to Saint Ignatius in Chicago. Now, San Francisco SI prep is another matter. Dr. Mike

  6. Donna Small
    December 9, 2016 at 7:36 am

    I do a franchised program called Osteostrong because I have lost mobility after a total knee replacement. There are four different exercises — chest press, leg press, core pulls and vertical list. Each exercise is push/pull as hard as you can for 5 seconds. — once a week. Does it sound like this program would reach the level of fitness you describe with your plan?

    Thank you,

    • December 23, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Another person talked with me in some detail about this program and it sounds intriguing but I do not know enough about the device they use to broadly endorse it. Donna, the only way to know is track the relevant parameters like HDL/HDL 2b transformation and ratios as well as bone mineral density. If you would, please, let me know your progress. Dr. Mike

  7. Agnes Ivanovics
    November 16, 2017 at 8:49 am

    I both 4 books of quantitative medicin. I am intending to give as a gift to 3 of the physician I go to.
    They have not the slightest idea about how to treat diabetes involving strict lo carb management, etc. I live in Los Angeles I am desperate to find a general practitioner, or a endocrinologist, diabetes educator, and a cardiologist following Dr Nichols or having at least similar ideas. My nephew is 48 years old, facing amputation, after being treated long years by his JP, diabetes educator and endocrinologist. We are desperate. We need help. Give us a name please.

  8. Angel M
    July 9, 2018 at 7:45 am

    hello Mr.Nichols. Pardon if i message in another medium but ill do so unsure if you don’t respond here. I am a teenager, and overweight. I wish to lose weight, however i recognize that healthy weight loss is fat loss. I’ve been reading your book “eat real food or else,” and i’ve been left dumbfounded in the way ive been trying to eat. I would count my calories, and eat bars loaded with preservatives and sugars. I was unaware of the detriment this could be to my health. So far, i have lost weight, however after reading the book i am unsure how to continue about it? if i follow the tips of the book alongside exercise will i surely see results? thank you so much.

  9. Deborah Laclair
    September 24, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Hi Mike..blast from the past..Hope this finds you well. This is Debbie Ezerski(now Laclair) We worked together at the walk in clinic for awhile. I thought of you because I heard some things about Dr Wetterholt, which in turn made me think about whats going on with you..Just happned to google and find this page..Take care and god bless… D

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