Mark R. Laflamme, M.D., is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Board Eligible in Clinical Informatics, is certified in aesthetic medicine and licensed to practice medicine in three states.
Dr. Laflamme is a graduate of St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the State University of New York-Stony Brook. He completed his fellowship in Medical Informatics while earning a Master’s in Clinical Research at Indiana University-Purdue University School of Medicine in 2005. He is a published researcher and has presented at a number of nationwide medical conferences, including the American Medical Informatics Association and the American Academy of Physician and Patient.
How long have you been in the Tampa Bay Area?
I have been living in the greater Tampa Bay area for just over five years.
What is your favorite Tampa Bay restaurant?
Depends on the occasion. If I am entertaining friends or relatives that come to town, it’s the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City. If it’s a brunch, I go to Love’s Artifact. If it’s sports bar food, then it’s Elmer’s. If it’s just a good cup of local coffee, then El Molino in Ybor.
Where is your favorite place in Tampa Bay to relax?
I love to relax and unwind after a long day of work in the rear bar at The Patio (South Tampa).
What is your favorite event to attend to in Tampa Bay?
Hockey is my favorite sport, so attending any Tampa Bay Lightning game.
What is the name of your favorite book that you read this year?
The last book I read was All-American Kidd by Rob Poulin. It’s a story of an impeached president who meets an expelled Harvard student and their journey across America to find themselves.
We see a lot of weight loss clinics in the market. Why did you choose to work with Nuviva?
In my years as a physician, I’ve been contacted by a lot of clinics. Most of them were prescribing high doses of appetite suppressants and very low calorie diets. That combination leads to metabolic damage, yo-yo dieting and is not a long-term solution to weight loss. I was impressed by the fact that Nuviva focused on various nutrition plans, patient education and support from the medical staff instead of just being another pill dispensing factory. The results of our approach can be seen in the sustained weight loss of our patients.
Besides weight loss, are there other benefits patients see from your weight loss program?
Well, besides seeing our patients coming off the medications prescribed to treat obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, I get a chance to see our patients enjoy a happier personal and professional life, improved relationship with their spouse and more self-confidence.
We’ve heard a lot about hCG. Can you explain what it does?
Nuviva utilizes hCG based on the theory that hCG combined with a VLCD [very low calorie diet] will help the body use stored fat as an energy supply in order to prevent the loss of muscle mass during the diet. What this means to our patients is that they retain their muscle mass and lose inches in the areas they want—such as their stubborn abdominal fat or ‘love handles’. This allows them to have a healthy metabolism and keep the weight off long term with proper nutrition and exercise.
Do you feel like these types of programs are a fad?
A fad is something that will eventually go away. In my eyes, proper nutrition, education, support and accountability will always have a place in weight loss. I take little credit, because I feel that the nutrition coach and medical staff inside our clinics play a major role in working with the patients on these four factors every step of the way. My role is to make sure patients are healthy and suitable candidates for our weight loss program, answer any medical based questions they may have and to prescribe any medications that can assist in the process if necessary.
Does insurance cover your program?
Our services are not covered by insurance. I hope that changes in our medical system and will eventually lead to participation from insurance companies in medical weight loss. Although we’ve noticed our patients are more compliant and put a higher value on our services because they are paying for their treatment.
What is it about weight loss and hormone therapy that attracted you to these fields?
Too many doctors overuse medications to fight diseases. I believe in helping treat the source of the problems through preventative medicine. Losing weight and balancing hormones can stop us from having to use so many medications—not to mention a better quality of life for the patients.