From Jail Cell to Stem Cell: The Next Con for the Ex-Con

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Way back in February of 2019, a documentary film-maker appeared at the IOF conference wanting to interview people about regenerative medicine. After a year and a half and a worldwide pandemic, his movie is out and it’s a must watch. Let’s dig in.

Doug Orchard

The film-maker was Doug Orchard, who has an interesting story. A decade and a half ago, Doug worked as a tech headhunter. He then got into physician recruiting and began making his own recruiting videos. That lead him to film-making, where amazingly, he is all self-taught. Initially, he took on small jobs in the medical and financial fields. Then he began to throw his hat in the ring on full-length documentaries and created several gems like:

His own journey in medicine and exposing fraud stems from his daughter’s congenital heart condition. I think that it was his desperation as a parent, seeing the hope that many bad actors throw out there that lead him to this topic. In talking with him while he interviewed me, he told me about his daughter’s plight and how he and his wife would have been one of the patients pulled in by the hype if he had not gotten involved in regenerative medicine and interviewed all of these experts.

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The New Movie

Doug showed up at the Interventional Orthopedics Foundation conference in February 2019 wanting to interview people about regenerative medicine. I and others had told Doug that if he wanted to see what legit orthobiologics looked like, that would be a good start. After interviewing 20 people or so, his travels took him to Paris France to meet with Phillipe Hernigou and even to the jungles of Panama to try to find a school that a bad actor had claimed she graduated from. He interviewed all sorts of experts from Lisa Fortier to Gerry Malanga to Jason Dragoo to Wayne McIlwraith. I also got interviewed.

Last year, five or six of the people he had interviewed for the movie were asked to see an early cut of the production before graphics or sound and I was one of those people. I had a long laundry list of suggested changes, being the opinionated person that I am. I even hated the title he wanted to use (which is the same today). Doug seems to have promptly ignored ALL OF THEM. Which is as it should be.

Why This One is Different

This space has seen its share of Docuseries on stem cells which end up being “Ra Ra” pieces promoting bad actors. Doug’s idea, through a series of contacts he made, was to peek under the covers of what was happening. He also wanted a real movie with an MPA rating, which is tough to get.

Doug’s movie introduced me to a bunch of people who I didn’t know existed. Social media influencers like the Bollingers and Erin Elizabeth (Health Nut News), who are on the side of trying to do what’s right in health education. There’s also Joe Mercola, who I know as a natural health blogger. Then you have others like Dan Pompa, who I had never seen before, and a long list of IMHO squirrely characters I knew like Brent Dedelitch, Jeff Hayes, and others who Doug uncovered as part of an extensive network of social media influencers and salespeople who have entered this space.

In this movie, Doug follows so many rabbit holes of fake stem cells and exosome products intertwined with a vast array of social media influencers that at times, it can be hard to conceptualize. However, he has masterfully woven it all together so it paints the same picture that I have often exposed here. We have a serious problem in this industry and much work to do if we want to get it cleaned up.

The upshot? I know that Doug spent way too long and way too much of his own money on this project and really extended himself financially. Also, there was obviously a pandemic in there. So please support this independent film-maker in yet another project where he lets the viewer see under the hood of what’s really happening in healthcare.

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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