Family physician, author, blogger, speaker, physician leader.

Recent Articles

Is HealthFair or Life Line Screening Worth the Money?

Is HealthFair or Life Line Screening worth your money? Both groups offer similar screening packages. Using an ultrasound machine, they scan the public for peripheral vascular disease, heart disease, carotid artery disease, and aortic aneurysms. For more advanced packages, HealthFair will also do blood work which can include testosterone, high sensitivity c-reactive protein, PSA (prostate specific antigen), and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Is it worth it? Medically speaking, no. If you have no symptoms of leg pain with walking, shortness of breath, or symptoms of a stroke or mini-stroke, then the chance you will find something medically important is low. Except for aortic aneurysm screening, which should occur in men between age 65 to 75 who have ever smoked 10 packs or more of cigarettes, there continues to be NO evidence that ultrasound testing for these conditions actually results in better outcomes, particularly in patients who have NO symptoms.  Again […] Read More »

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A Healthy Life Is More than an Annual Physical Examination

Having a healthy life is more than getting an annual physical examination. It is about having healthy habits. Some of these healthy habits make common sense. Others seen unnatural, but yet are vitally important. A healthy life is more than feeling well. It is about living life to the fullest and ensuring you are doing your part to improve both your quality of life and longevity. Which ones are you missing? How do you measure up? Five or more – servings of fruits and vegetables. Those that live longer seem to have this simple habit. Common traits included not smoking, drinking in moderation and…. Physical activity Although many recommendations advocate 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week, consider some other options. 10,000 steps per day – measure with a pedometer or an app for your smartphone. Surprise yourself and see how much you. If you don’t […] Read More »

What iPhone 6 Bendgate Can Teach Us About the Vaccination Debate

I received my new thinner bigger iPhone.  Within a few days, news reports highlighted how new iPhone 6 owners accidentally bent the latest Apple iteration of the modern smartphone. A blogger bent an iPhone 6 Plus with his bare hands. This story, the subsequent fallout, and response has learnings for doctors and health care on the challenges facing the vaccination “debate”. The best launch in iPhone history with roughly 10 million smartphones shipped was drowned out by Bendgate which trended on social media and the news. Bendgate brought to mind a similar controversy, Antennagate, which erupted with the launch of iPhone 4. Antennagate, the issue was poor cellular reception if one gripped the phone a certain way – the grip of death. Even my spouse warned me about this latest controversy; she never reads anything related to technology. Within a week of launch, Apple responded that out of the millions […] Read More »

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Healthcare Future in 2030 – Think Car Insurance. Doctors Will Work for Walmart and CVS.

With health care reform and the creation of a retail marketplace to buy health insurance via exchanges, the future of healthcare delivery has become cost shifting from employers to employees. What will health care look like in 15 to 20 years? Think car insurance and retirement planning. In a future post, I will cover how health care will look like retirement planning. This new reality will impact both patients and doctors in a very different way. Auto Insurance – Don’t Use It! People will trade low premiums for higher deductibles. In auto insurance, people avoid filing claims for fear of increasing future premiums and access alternative services like windshield repair and body shops to get the job done without using insurance. This will also occur with high deductible health insurance as now it will be essentially catastrophic health insurance and not comprehensive health insurance. This is a perceptive championed by […] Read More »

Is Dr. Daniela Drake Correct? Your Doctor May Feel But is NOT a ‘Beaten Dog’

Dr. Daniela Drake writes an provocative and bold piece on the plight of doctors in America and the impact it has on patient care in her  The Daily Beast article Why Your Doctor Feels Like a ‘Beaten Dog’. Many doctors do feel disenfranchised. Others would not want their children to become doctors. Though health care is very bureaucratic with administrative paperwork, obstacles, and hassles, her linkage of how patients were neglected as a consequence of the system we work in is weak. She talks about Victoria, a teenager, who shortly after a necessary surgery which required mesh placement, developed painful rashes that no one could help with until she found a specialist a decade later who had seen a similar issue. Mesh removed. Painful rashes gone. Is this a fault of our health care system? No. Not getting the right diagnosis isn’t necessarily a problem of the health care system. […] Read More »

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