Patient Safety | October 21, 2019

True story: Our patient, post-surgery, sees an oncologist who, perusing the pathology report, sees that cancer cells have apparently “penetrated the capsule.”  Ordinarily, this means the cancer is invasive and our patient will require a full-bore treatment regimen: chemotherapy with radiation.  OK then, but first, the patient asks, please, may I have a copy of that Path report.  Sure.  (Very accommodating oncologist here).  Our patient, who is not a doctor, reads the report very car...

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Deprescribing | September 18, 2019

Your grandmother fell and broke her hip.  A common occurrence for aging adults in America.  Just another accident.  And yet, you wonder, was it entirely an accident?  Could it have been prevented? Let us consider your grandmother’s medical situation.  Like many aging adults she is on several medicines for a variety of medical problems.  And it turns out, according to medical experts who have been sounding the alarm recently, she may have, like many in her age group, accumulated entire...

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First do no harm | July 29, 2019

It is widely recognized that 1/3rd of the money spent on health care in this country is wasted…and THAT isn’t even the BAD news. The truly BAD news is that all that unnecessary wasted money, $800,000,000,000 and counting, is actually making us sicker in so, so many ways.  We’re just beginning to understand those many ways. Consider the following quotations from medical practitioners: “Let’s get a test” “I need to operate” “Try this pill” Su...

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Mission Impossible? | July 29, 2019

I’m looking at something I never expected to see, no-one ever expected to see.  Take a photo of a black hole 54 million light years (318,000,000,000,000 miles) from earth?  Never!  Well, a 28-year old computer science graduate student believed it could be done and she was so bold as to tell the astronomers how to do it.  Simple, she explained.  Construct a camera the size of the earth by linking 8 radio-telescopes to work in tandem, then write some algorithms to blend their images.  Voil...

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Damaged children/damaged grownups | June 14, 2019

When I was first starting my practice, I spent a lot of time at the Saginaw County Juvenile Detention Center, where I was tasked with taking care of the young inmates’ medical needs, but where I could not help but notice that these individuals, many of whom were viewed by society as criminals, were more accurately described as childhood victims of emotional and physical abuse. The lives they lived were dangerous, lacking in parental care and devoid of love. We as a society had...

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The Good Structure | April 17, 2019

The good life we currently enjoy, professionally and personally, did not come about by chance; it is the result of a series of efforts by our forebears, both medical leaders as well as community business leaders; and is in danger of slipping away from us.  Long-term projections for the economic and physical health of our region show a slow but steady decline.  This is serious.  Two organizations - co-lead an initiative - which gives all of us in our community a path to fixing this, and you wi...

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The secret sauce | March 17, 2019

Why is it that we often overstate the disadvantages of the place where we live and understate the advantages of the places we visit?  The grass is always greener.  We stand in awe of Silicon Valley, the “Sunshine State,” the “Great Southwest.”  Wouldn’t it be great to live there?  They’ve ‘got it all’ where we’ve got ‘nothing but trouble.’  Of course, since we’re just visiting those places, we’re only seeing the good sides; living here full-time, we’re all-too-aw...

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The Big Picture | January 30, 2019

When Ben Franklin, during the heady atmosphere of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 warned those present that “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately,” he was reminding everyone that the success of the Revolution was anything but assured, many obstacles stood in the way, not least of which was Great Britain, the mightiest empire the world had ever known, which was known to deal harshly with those who oppos...

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