Alan Pocinki, MD
Speaker, Practitioner, Advocate
About Alan Pocinki, MD
Private Practice, Internal Medicine. 301-762-6777
( New location!)
10110 Molecular Drive, #209
Rockville, MD 20850
Practice sometimes closes to new CFS and FMS patients. Ask for one-time consults in that case, perhaps for disability documentation.
Dr. Pocinki began studying CFIDS at the National Institutes of Health in 1987.
Special interests in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Orthostatic Intolerance,
Dysautonomia, joint hypermobility and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Attended
our 2005 kNOw MORE CFS conference.
Patients voted him a Top Primary Care Doctor in Washington in a major consumer magazine
Peer honors include
American Society of Internal Medicine's national Young Internist of the Year 1997
D.C. Medical Society's Distinguished Service Award, 2003
A Washingtonian magazine "Top Doctors"
CSN (CFIDS Support Network) Action Champion Award by the CFIDS Association of America, 2000
Cornell University Medical College.
Internship and residency:
Washington Hospital Center.
Clinical Assistant Professor at George Washington University Medical Center,
Fellow of the American College of Physicians
Service to the D.C. Medical Society in a variety of capacities, including as a Member of its Board of Trustees.
Past President of the D.C. Society of Internal Medicine
The Cycle of Pain, Fatigue, Poor Sleep, and Depression in CFS and FM
A presentation by Alan Pocinki MD, to the
CFS/FMS Support Group
Mason Governmental Center
April 21, 2007
Paraphrasing Dr. P:
My discussion will
address the importance of treating all aspects of the cycle--sleep,
pain, and depression--in order to improve fatigue. Helping one or two
alone isn't enough--it's the holistic thing. You can't just fix one
piece and expect the other pieces to fix themselves. For sleep, and of
course this applies equally to pain and other symptoms (and depending
on time we can talk about them, too) I'll stress that different people
have non-restorative sleep for different reasons, so sleep needs to be
evaluated, eg with sleep study, to have the best chance of concocting
an effective cocktail to improve it.
Handouts selected by Elly:
Books & Other Recommendations by Alan Pocinki, MD
as reported by patients
Hypermobility Syndrome Diagnosis & Management for Physiotherapists
by Rosemary Keer and Rodney Grahame. Softcover. June 2003.
Amazon price as of 4/07 is $57
syndrome (HMS) is an inherited connective tissue disorder affecting
collagen that is characterized by a collection of features and
symptoms. HMS is often encountered in patients, but it is easily
overlooked. This practical resource educates readers to its
presentation, what to look for, and how best to treat it. Following a
brief description of the historical and genetic background of the
condition, HMS is described in relation to other connective tissue
disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and the Marfan syndrome.
Since HMS may occur in childhood, adolescence, adulthood, pregnancy, or
old age, each of these stages is covered in the book, with detailed
information on the presentation of the condition and its management.
the implications of generalized joint hypermobility, how to recognize
it, and identify when the hypermobility syndrome is present. Describes
assessment and management of the syndrome from children through adults.
Includes sections on relevant ergonomics, rehabilitation, and fitness.
From a CFSupport Member & patient of Dr. Pocinki:
your e-mail about Alan Pocinki coming to speak at the support group
meeting. He is my CFS doc. Just wanted to share w/the group
about how he has helped me, as it may help people to formulate
Pocinki has been more creative and interactive than my past doctors in
helping me to find a combo of drugs that helps for sleep, despite my
resistance to and fear of drugs. It sounds as though he plans to
focus mainly on sleep during the meeting, but he is also a/the? leading
specialist on the link between hyper-flexible joints and CFS.
explains things in a way that gets you to understand the adrenaline /
OI / mobile-joint affects of your body type and makes you feel 'less
[OI = orthostatic intolerance, poor circulation while upright. See our OI Q&A. ]
experience with a sprained/partially dislocated arm and working with
Dr. Pocinki and physical therapists has taught me so much about the
physiological characteristics of my body that contribute to my
illness. He recommended a book to help me understand my
hyper-mobile joints and to help me communicate with physical
therapists, Hypermobility Syndrome Diagnosis & Management for Physiotherapists,
by Rosemary Keer and Rodney Grahame. This book is written for
physical therapists, but it has also helped me to get to know my body
much better, explaining more details than the doctors and PTs have time
to, even though I don't understand all the technical bits of the
text. Am about half-way through the book now. Will bring
the book along if I can (hopefully) make it to the meeting 4/21/07.
Web Links for Alan Pocinki, MD
On this site / CFSupport:
Articles/video/radio quoting or
mentioning Dr. Pocinki:
- Sluggish? Confused? Vitamin B12 May Be Low - Wall Street Journal - January 18, 2011
deficiency is much more common than the textbooks and journal articles
say it is," says Alan Pocinki, an internist in Washington D.C., who
routinely tests his patients who fall into those categories. He also
notes that since the Metformin connection was discovered only recently,
some physicians aren't aware of it. "They assume that if patients
complain of numbness and tingling in the feet, it's a diabetes issue
and not a B12 issue."
B12 comes in pill form and a new nasal spray,
but injections are the fastest way to correct a severe deficiency,
since it does not need to be absorbed in the digestive tract. Many
patients learn to inject themselves or have a spouse do it to cut down
on doctor visits. "I have world travelers who take their B12 and
needles with them. It's like traveling with insulin," says Dr. Pocinki.
He says he has seen low-grade depression lift when patients were given B12 supplements.
- With Laura Hillenbrand on NPR, The Diane Rehm Show July 3, 2003 - 11 AM hour
- CFIDS Chronicle Special Issue 2005/2006 Treatment: Clinical Care for CFS
- CFS: Patient Care Basics. Fall 2003 The CFIDS Chronicle Flu vaccines: Balance risks against benefits
- CSN Recognizes Individuals and Groups for Their Efforts
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Fighting the Battle
Family Pratice News, May 15, 2001 by Christine Kilgore
"In women under age 40, "it's [CFS is] more common than multiple
sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and breast cancer. It's not
rare--it's out there," Dr. Alan G. Pocinki, a Washington, D.C.,
internist, told a meeting of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the
American College of Physicians -- American Society of Internal
Medicine. Dr. Pocinki, who initially had three patients who developed
CFS, now sees about 70 other patients who sought him out because of his
interest in treating patients with the disorder."
- Study: Veteran Doctors Not Staying Current But Clinical Experience May Trump Latest Knowledge
By Sandra G. Boodman, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, February 22, 2005; Page HE01
"Alan Pocinki, 45, an internist who practices in the District, said the
Harvard study has limitations. Adhering to practice guidelines and
measuring performance on recertification exams as some studies did, he
said, does not measure a doctor's diagnostic capabilities, clinical
judgment or other skills, which often accompany experience. Pocinki
said he is reminded of a saying popular among his medical school
classmates at Cornell that 'the top third of the class were the
smartest and made the best researchers, the middle third made the best
doctors and the bottom third made the most money.' Sometimes, he added,
young, inexperienced doctors become overly wedded to guidelines and
ignore the patient. 'They're going to follow those guidelines and if
somebody doesn't fit, they're going to make them fit,' he
said. 'I see that all the time.'"
Articles, Letters, Research by Dr. Pocinki:
Dysfunction Junction: The ANS and CFS by Alan Pocinki, MD, FACP
Research1st. March 5, 2012 (Blog entry)
Hypermobility & CFS by Alan Pocinki, MD. (PDF)
Research1st. October 31, 2011 (Blog entry)
Hypermobility & the Link with CFIDS by Alan Pocinki, MD. (PDF)
The CFIDS Chronicle. Sum 2004 (PDF)
- Annals of Internal Medicine | LETTER | Dialogue: A Core Clinical Skill by Alan Pocinki
August 1998 | Volume 129 Issue 3 | Page 253
- Clinical, epidemiologic, and virologic studies in four clusters of the chronic fatigue syndrome.
Arch Intern Med. 1992 Aug;152(8):1611-6. Levine PH,
Jacobson S, Pocinki AG, Cheney P, Peterson D, Connelly RR, Weil R,
Robinson SM, Ablashi DV, Salahuddin SZ, et al.
- Pocinki AG. Fireworks over fibromyalgia, CFS, and IBS. [letter; comment].
Postgraduate Medicine. 102(6):43, 1997 Dec
- Familial nasopharyngeal carcinoma in patients who are not Chinese
Paul H. Levine, M.D., Alan G. Pocinki, M.D., Patricia Madigan, B.S., Sherri Bale, Ph.D.
Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
Cancer. 1992 Sep 1;70(5):1024-9.
- October 19, 2011
Autonomic & Sleep Disorders in Chiari Malformation & Ehlers-Danlos Patients
By Alan Pocinki, MD, at Doctors Community Hospital
Applies to CFS Patients as well.
- September 2011
Developing an Individualized Treatment Plan for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
By Alan Pocinki, MD
For Pain Connection in Rockville, MD
- March 10, 2007
Dr Pocinki spoke on Treatment of CFS at the NJ kNOw MORE CFS Seminar
A DVD is available for rent from NJCFSA.
Meeting Flyer at CFIDS.org
"Dr. Pocinki will discuss how to work with a clinician to
develop individualized treatment programs to accommodate the
considerable variability in CFS symptom expression, in symptom severity
and in the efficacy of specific treatment protocols."
- April 21, 2007 - 2 to 4:30 p.m.
The Cycle of Pain, Fatigue, Poor Sleep, and Depression, with extra detail about sleep.
NoVA CFS/FMS Support Group
Mason Governmental Center, Annandale, VA
Paraphrasing Dr. P: My discussion will address the importance of
treating all aspects of the cycle--sleep, pain, and depression--in
order to improve fatigue. Helping one or two alone isn't enough--it's
the holistic thing. You can't just fix one piece and expect the other
pieces to fix themselves. For sleep, and of course this applies
equally to pain and other symptoms (and depending on time we can talk
about them, too) I'll stress that different people have non-restorative
sleep for different reasons, so sleep needs to be evaluated, eg with
sleep study, to have the best chance of concocting an effective
cocktail to improve it. See above.