New post up over at The Atlantic — Improving US healthcare by looking at strategies from India

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Some things are hard to see until one leaves his or her normal surroundings. For American doctors, especially procedure-based doctors, it’s easy to get used to the wastefulness and largesse of delivering care.  Then you travel. You go to another healthcare system and are left to gasp. An AF ablation ‘costs’ 100,000 in the US, […]

With vaccines…Is there no middle ground, no room for questions?

“We should be as demanding of ourselves as we are of those who challenge us.” Dr. Jerome Groopman, writing in the New Rupublic Writing about the medical decision-making surrounding vaccines proved to be sketchy. Yesterday’s post brought stinging criticism from both sides of the debate. A pediatrician felt the structure of the post was patronizing. […]

Health lessons from Reverend Al Sharpton…

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However you see the Reverend Al Sharpton, one thing is certain: you see less of him now. His Twitter pic tells you he is proud of his 167-pound weight loss. Good for him, he should be. If you care about health, the disappearance of the Sharpton-of-old is worth mention. His story teaches us a lot, […]

Successful US healthcare reform must consider human nature

Reform of healthcare in the United States is infinitely complex. Millions of words have been written. The noise drowns out the signal. It’s rare therefore that one paragraph could sum up the problem so concisely. It came from Edward Davies, an editor at the British Medical Journal. He was quoting journalist Owen Dwyer who was […]

ObamaCare will not make us sick…

On day 1 of ObamaCare, the headline in our paper said “SHUTDOWN.” It’s here; it’s really here. You might be wondering what’s been going on in the hospital or office–the contact points where healthcare actually happens. The funny thing is: nothing seems any different. And…this is the problem with ObamaCare. It hasn’t, won’t, or perhaps […]

Heart health is not about Telomeres…It’s much simpler than that

A recent study on healthy lifestyle changes got me thinking about why heart disease remains the most deadly human disease. A small study of just a few motivated men with low-risk prostate cancer garnered attention because it contained two important key words: Ornish and Telomeres. Everyone knows Dr. Dean Ornish. And most of us know […]

Thoughts on being a flexible doctor

Flexibility… -Bend easy without breaking. -The ability to be easily modified. -Willingness to change or compromise. Social media physician leader Dr. Bryan Vartabedian wrote a post last week in which he called flexibility a necessary skill of the 21st century doctor. He got the idea from another physician leader, Dr. Eric Topol. I’ve been thinking […]

How much sunshine is just the right amount?

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This morning I awoke to a picture of myself in the Wall Street Journal. I was asked to comment on the effects of the coming Sunshine Act. Respected health care journalist Peter Loftus found me through social media channels. What follows are some thoughts about how the Sunshine Act might play out. — Every Thursday […]

The George W Bush stent case: An incredible teaching opportunity on the basics of heart disease

The wrist artery hardly had time to seal. (Surely it was a radial.) The controversy came that fast. The drumbeat of naysayers seemed to start only minutes after a prideful press release announced that George W Bush had undergone successful cardiac stent placement. The ever-quotable cardiologist from Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Steven Nissen, said, “This is […]

Exhibit A on how hubris in medicine can be deadly…Let’s take a time out for skepticism

Thanks for all the support on my last post. It’s striking how sometimes pointing out the obvious gets a lot of attention. I have a quick follow-up post. The purpose is to show you a real-life and current example of how medical hubris might have killed thousands of patients. My friend and colleague, Dr. Wes […]

The most important verb in our health crisis

There was great commentary on my last post. Thank you all. I learned a lot from your words. This is how it’s supposed to work here. One comment in particular has stuck with me. It concerned the formation of a how-to be-healthy booklet. An information manual, if you will. I’ve thought about this many times […]