Munich is famous for it's university clinics and great healthcare. People come from far and wide to seek medical treatment here. It’s the one thing I always know, no matter where I’ve been, I can always go back home to get world class treatment at a decent price.
There is a doctors practice in Ottostraße 11, tucked away in a little street close to Karlsplatz/Stachus. I know the practice well as I visit regularly to see either my uncle or the Malouviers, they together cover a whole floor - forming an expert centre for internal medicine. The other partner and someone I never had the pleasure of meeting is the renowned Dr Med Tobias Sokolowski, a specialist in Gastroenterology (basically anything to do with the stomach and intestines). My parents, also his patients, mentioned his impressive reputation and interesting persona to me, so I had to go and meet him for myself.
I tried to do some research prior to my interview with him, however you will find almost nothing online about the elusive doctor other than perhaps a picture of him, with his wife and children having a blast at the Octoberfest. I found it odd how difficult it was to find even the smallest piece of information about a Doctor whose reputation precedes them. However it makes sense: he’s clearly not in this for the fame, he’s does what he does to do good work for his clients. And with any excellent doctors it seems they have one thing in common, a kind of elusiveness around them or shall we call it exclusiveness. They simply do not have the need to search for clients - word of mouth seems to do that for them.
As a doctor who works 60+ hours a week, and is more likely to be busy dealing with clients needs (some of whom are celebrities) than to answer any questions, I felt I was pretty cheeky asking for a rare moment of his time. I tried my luck though, rang politely and spoke to the font desk who were really lovely and helpful, they suggested it would be worth trying. I visited the practice and after about a 45 minute wait I was lucky enough to make it into his office. I am used to encountering private doctors offices, mostly who have big wooden desks and fireplaces and I was surprised to see that Dr Sokolowski’s office in comparison turned out fairly modest.
He walked in smiling (carrying my file!!!) and in a good mood asked what he could do for me. I’m not sure what I was expecting exactly but he turned out to be a very friendly, warm and relaxed character to my surprise - even after I told him I was there for a quick interview!
I initially wanted to find out how healthy he is himself, so my first questions were asking his views on food (whether he bothers with organic) and how often he exercises. First he leant back smiling and then he started laughing... from his point of view he was totally human and was very relaxed about food and exercise. At one point he even mentioned alcohol as a successful remedy for a stressed out doctor... In moderation of course!
I moved quickly on to pro-biotics and supplements and asked his view on both. In regards to pro-biotics he orders them specially from Italy, there is only one kind he prescribes, which is the only one that has had a full clinical trail proven to actually work: It’s called VSL 3.
With food supplements his views were very simple: Nobody has the perfect diet anymore - it’s very hard to get the full spectrum of nutritional value in what there is to eat nowadays, and even the healthiest person ever will still eat the odd unhealthy thing. Therefore food supplements are worth it to ensure you’re getting all your body really needs. Also, he very accurately mentioned nobody knows their Vitamin D levels or B12 etc therefore it’s worth the investment to know you’re getting the right levels. If you’re curious about what your levels are there are quick tests nowadays that determine how much is in your body and how much your body needs. His advice is simple. Get yourself tested and then supplement what is actually needed from there.
After I had used up all of his time. I asked if I could take his picture and he needed a bit of convincing but eventually agreed. It's was refreshing to meet a doctor with a impressive client-base and reputation, who is down to earth, honest, accessible, friendly, who clearly takes his job very seriously but not himself.