Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery but taking the painkiller.
– President Barack Obama
I read in the news with great jubilation that one-third of Georgia hospitals earned an "A" grade on patient safety. Overall, Georgia was rated at No. 10 "among states with the highest percentage of top-performing hospitals." Even more apropos, Middle Georgia was not left in the boondocks by Metro Atlanta. In Macon, both Coliseum Medical Centers and Coliseum Northside Hospital received "A" ratings for autumn 2015. Unfortunately, the Medical Center, Navicent Health, did not fare well and earned a "C" rating.
Source: The Telegraph
MIGUEL A. FARIA, JR., M.D.
BORN: September 30, 1952 in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba
U.S. CITIZEN: 1971
FLUENT IN LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH: Spanish
* Eau Claire High School, Columbia, South Carolina (1970; National Honor Society)
* University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina (1970-1973). Bachelor of
Science (B.S.) degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology (1973; graduated
Magna Cum Laude)
In a recent letter to the editor published in my local newspaper, the Macon Telegraph (9/16/11), Jack Bernard, a self-described "Republican,” retired health care executive, was "disconcerted by the ideological free market rigidity” that he observed during a debate by the Republican presidential candidates concerning “the health care reform question.”
If you asked most physicians in the past what one thing characterized their profession, the most likely answer would have been fierce independence. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. We have been and continue to be battered from an all-out assault of collectivist forces that infest our society and the legal profession that drains our substance. As a result of this assault, we have become daunted — lot, leaderless, frightened, and overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness and doom in the face of sundry forces working tirelessly to affect our demise.
I was shocked and sorry that you published a biased article on how we need to irradiate food. This is another failing industry that has lived on government subsidies since its inception, looking for an outlet for their business. Common sense defies the use of radiation in our food supply. We have enough contamination in our food supply as it is. The author states that the AMA and World Health Organization supports irradiation. This in itself should be enough evidence to keep us from irradiating our foods.
William J. Rea, MD
The Hippocratic Oath — Is it relevant today or does it belong in the scrap heap of history’s discarded relics?
I submit it is relevant today. I submit it is a touchstone that offers a moral compass — an ethical framework — for navigation through these times of crisis. In short, it is the soul of medicine.
French social critic Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) once said, “The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.”(1) During much of the history of our republic, our intellectuals and those who digest these ideas for consumption by the general public, did a poor job of defending the basic foundations of our freedom. Until the sixties, it was taken for granted that private property, absolute moral principles, and free enterprise were desirable.
In A.D. 1212, a Children's Crusade was formed allegedly
to rescue the Holy Sepulcher. Instead, the children were
lured and sold into slavery by unscrupulous and cruel
traders. Thousands of innocent children died of hunger
and disease and from their brutal ordeal. It is said that
the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, who led
the children by the tune of his pipe,
derives from this dreadful affair.
Canadian Health Care
While Canadian physicians have been going on strike protesting the deterioration of medical care which continues to be rationed for Canadian citizens --- Canada's defense department confirmed on Sept. 2 that the military has agreed to pay for sex-change operations.
Twelve health care practitioners with a commitment to private practice were interviewed to determine common factors in attitude and motivation. Interviewed were 8 physicians, two psychologists, one dentist, and one psychiatric social worker. All were from New York except for one each from Virginia and California. Seven of the professionals studied received less than 50 percent of their practice income from managed care and five had no managed care contracts.
Psychological characteristics present included:
Jan Malcolm, Vice President of Public Affairs for the Allina Health System, Minnesota's largest HMO, was appointed on January 19 as Minnesota's new Commissioner of Health. We question whether Commissioner Malcolm, a top-ranking HMO executive, can effectively deal with the problem of managed care.
Monkey Medicine and Clinical Pathways
Well, it's official. Physicians who practice medicine in hospitals that have implemented "Clinical Pathways" no longer have to think. All they have to do is "follow the yellow brick road." Patients will be issued a pair of ruby slippers on admission and taught to recite "there's no place like home" so as to insure that they don't overstay their welcome (i.e., allotted DRG time).
Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP)
Dr. John Sonne's article, "The Health Care System as a Dysfunctional Family" (Medical Sentinel, Vol. 4, No. 1), was right on target. Among the many cogent ideas he expressed was the importance of recognizing the misuse of words, and the subtle alteration in thinking which results therefrom. I would like to bring attention to additional examples of the misuse of words serving to alter people's perceptions of themselves and their relationships with others.
Dear Dr. Faria,
I obtained your address from directory assistance so that I could write to you and express my appreciation for your letter of July 23, 1999 to The Wall Street Journal.
I, too, have long believed that the best way out of the current mess is to make either all or none of health care expenses tax deductible, and to end the fiction that health insurance is a free "benefit" from employers, rather than representing compensation that might be much more wisely spent if the employee were in charge of it.
An eminent medical scientist, Prof. Emil J. Freireich of the University of Texas Cancer Center of the M. D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas, tossed off casually over lunch a few months ago the comment, "Of course we are immortal. All we have to do is eliminate all the causes of death."
Vaccines --- Kill or Cure?
As the controversial debate over mandatory vaccine policy heats up igniting passions, it is perhaps appropriate we summarize what is known about the manifest benefits of modern vaccines, not forgetting the tremendously salutary impact on health and longevity wrought about by better living conditions, hygiene and sanitation, in general, and the introduction and subsequent widespread use of antibiotics, in particular.
Physician, psychiatrist, theologian, and author of the bestseller, The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck, M.D., gives us an in-depth look at the current euthanasia movement and its origins in the inability of physicians to "pull the plug." Peck states that although Dr. Kevorkian gives him the shivers, he must credit him more than any other individual for the genesis of this book. Almost single-handedly over the past five years, Kevorkian has turned the debate over euthanasia into a national issue within the United States.
Despite the assurances by managed care proponents that health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and other forms of managed care would solve the duel problem of spiraling health care costs and the rising number of the uninsured, that has not been the case. Public-private partnerships and managed care health initiatives which have been promoting the herding of workers and Medicaid and Medicare patients into HMOs have likewise failed to alleviate those problems, at least for the long haul.
The Politics of Psychiatry in Revolutionary Cuba by Charles J. Brown and Armando M. Lago,(1) the subject of this issue's Editor's Corner, only came to my attention because its documentation value was mentioned in two special issues of The New American magazine chronicling the Elián González saga,(2,3) the story of the six-year-old Cuban boy who had been a point of contention between the Cuban-American community in Miami who wanted him to stay in American freedom, on the one hand, and the U.S.
Dear Wall Street Journal Editor,
Restoring the erosion of the public's confidence in the practice of medicine must be the foremost priority of the new editor of The New England Journal of Medicine in light of questions about the objectivity of recently published articles ("NEJM Appoints Drazen as Editor in Chief," 5/11/00).
To insure the future of our Peoria County Medical Society, we keep our current members and recruit new members. To this end, we can look at what has recently transpired.
We have finally been able to give our membership the choice of national medical society membership. They can now choose to be a member of the American Medical Association (AMA) or the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), as well as their specialty organizations to represent them at the national level.
Big Brother is Watching You
"Render the following in B-movie, staccato-style German and see if it reminds you of anything:
'Your vehicle was seen traveling on southbound I-95 near I-195 on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Please provide the following information:
'Where were you going? Who was with you? What was the purpose of your trip?'
I enjoyed the article by Vin Suprynowicz entitled, "Ritalin -- Pharmaceutical Blackmail." The economic, political and moral dimensions are most interesting and rather disturbing. What is happening when state agencies overrule family care of children except in the most extreme situations?
Nothing is so invigorating to the American consciousness as freedom. It is the lifeblood of our nation, as in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address --- "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." It is of great importance, then, that the public pay close attention to how they handle the promise of the Internet, the engine that is driving our long economic boom.
In response to one of my columns on health care, a reader wrote and called me an "old geezer" ranting in opposition to universal health care. I confess to having a healthy discontent for the way things are, but I have to draw the line at being called an "old geezer." Having just turned the corner on 66 got me to thinking about ageism --- an ignorant practice of judging people on the basis of age rather than the ability to perform.
Putting This in Perspective