Dr. Daniel Katzenberg (Dr. Katz) grew up in south shore Long Island and went to Massapequa High School or as he likes to call it “Matza Pizza” High School because half of the student population was Italian and the other Jewish. In addition to Dr. Katz, other renowned graduates were Jerry Seinfeld and Brian Setzer, the lead singer from the rockabilly band The Stray Cats.
After high school, he attended Princeton University but didn’t focus on medicine until he got his MD and a PhD in molecular biology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. It was there that his love affair with the Mets began.
The school had 8th row season tickets for its’ students and he totally bonded with them in 1969 when they won the series. After med school, he decided to pursue a neurology residency in the San Francisco Bay Area. He wanted to come to California because as he puts it, “The Grateful Dead play here and the weather is really good for biking”. He regularly logs 200 miles a week on his bike.
Initially, Dr. Katz worked with adults in his residency at Stanford University. He soon switched to pediatric neurology because, “some children you can actually help more and make better and they’re more fun to interact with. And they don’t have as many bad health habits as adults.”
After his residency, he began a fellowship that focused on sleep disorders because “it’s a really interesting field that we virtually know nothing about.” In the early 1970s, The Stanford School of Medicine was the first to open a medical clinic specializing in sleep disorders. Currently, Dr. Katz is a Pediatric Neurologist at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and a sleep medicine physician at Alto Sleep Clinic.
Dr. Hilton recently interviewed Dr. Katz about the importance of diagnostic and follow up sleep studies:
Can someone just know if they have sleep apnea?
The person themselves can’t know because they’re asleep. All they can tell you is that they’re waking up repeatedly in the night and they are tired in the morning.
But, a bed partner can make a reasonably accurate diagnosis.
They can sit there and count off how many times you stop breathing just as well as a tech can with their computer. But do you really want to sit up for nine hours when you can just send them to a sleep lab who can give them a proper diagnosis in a way that insurance companies will recognize and will lead to proper treatment.
And the proper diagnosis is…
A sleep study! An “in lab” sleep study.
What about home studies?
The home studies are not so good in some ways. They aren’t good enough for sorting out the subtleties like how severe the sleep apnea is it or if there are other sleep disorders going on. I mean how do you know they just have sleep apnea? How do you know that there isn’t something else going on?
Why do patients need a follow up sleep study?
To make sure that the treatment is working.
What I tell my patients is that a study is necessary because it gives your health care team a direct “apples to apples” to comparison to determine just how well their retainer is working. I always schedule a follow up consultation appointment with them to go over their results.
I also developed a sleep diary for my patients. Sometimes the changes are so subtle that they might not even notice them. The diary is designed to reflect on the changes, keep track of them and report them to me.
Thank you so much Dr. Katz for taking your time to speak with me and helping to educate my patients.