An eternal battle
I have always been fascinated by the history of medicine and disease. I minored in medical history in college and have probably read dozens of books on the subject.
If you’re interested but don’t have that kind of time to invest, I just ran across a couple of short (very short!) videos on YouTube that I found to be remarkably good overviews of a complex topic.
The first is from Crash Course World History:
If only my history teachers in high school had been so entertaining!
I especially loved his statement: “You … Continue reading
OK, this post is just for fun.
Last year I mocked the new catalog of diagnosis codes, the ICD 10. Every medical bill must include a diagnostic code, and I thought the ICD 10, which increased the number of available codes from 13,000 to 70,000, was really over-the-top ridiculous.
New diagnoses included such notables as “injured when knitting,” “sucked into a jet engine” and “problems with the in-laws.”
But my niece, who just graduated from medical school and is now a first-year resident, toured one of the first hospitals built in Washington state and shared with me a list … Continue reading
Healthcare Not Fair is a satirical YouTube video series created by a real-life physician, Dr. Waqas Khan, to highlight problems within our broken healthcare system.
Their latest video takes a stab at electronic health records, EHR—or, as they call it, Electronic Hell Records!
Other videos by Healthcare Not Fair:
I just saw my primary care physician a few weeks ago, and I can relate to the fictional patient’s experience in the video. Receptionists really do keep their eyes glued to their computer screens!
My physician isn’t that bad, … Continue reading
I love John Oliver and his show Last Week Tonight. Maybe because he frequently comments on or makes fun of our behemoth and costly healthcare system.
Related post: John Oliver mocks Big Pharma tactics
If you missed it, here’s the video of his show lampooning “scientific studies.” You know, the research mass media loves to package into scary sound bites (everything causes cancer) and healthcare corporations use to sell us something we probably don’t need.
Especially funny is this skit that shows how those TV infomercials can beguile us into thinking their … Continue reading
A friend sent me a YouTube link to a hilarious comic sketch that parodies homeopathy: Homeopathic A&E.
It’s by a pair of British comics, David Mitchell and Robert Webb. A&E stands for Accident and Emergency, the British equivalent of ER.
To understand why it’s so funny, you need to know that homeopathy’s alternative-reality medicine is based on a belief that “like cures like,” with remedies prepared into extremely diluted solutions.
I love the pub scene at the end!
There are plenty of scientists and physicians who have spoken out against homeopathy and provided scientific evidence … Continue reading
Don’t take health advice from celebrities
I just finished reading a thoughtful, informative and thoroughly entertaining book that examines how our celebrity-crazy culture affects our healthcare and lifestyle choices.
In “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?”, author Timothy Caulfield makes it his quest to “analyze and debunk the messages and promises” behind celebrities’ overhyped and oversold health, diet and beauty products.
Indeed, celebrity culture has emerged as one of the most significant and influential sources of pseudoscientific blather….The popularity of juicing, cleanses, detox diets, weird exercise routines, and a boatload of beauty and antiaging products and practices can be
… Continue reading
Knowledge is king
That’s the take home message from Professor (of pharmacy) James McCormack’s latest parody video, End of the Line, which takes a whack at healthcare’s increasingly pervasive and rigid medical guidelines.
If followed to the letter, these guidelines (often based on research funded by drug companies) would have everyone diagnosed with a disease and taking one or more medications. Medical guidelines may be great for the drug business, but not so much for individualized, patient-centric care and shared decision-making.
Chronic disease state guidelines (blood pressure/lipids/glucose/bone density) do not provide clinicians with
… Continue reading
The United States isn’t the only country that is burdened with too much medicine (and subsequent out-of-control health care costs).
I belong to a network of health care professionals around the world who are having a dialogue about overscreening, overdiagnosis, overtreatment, and what to do about it.
A physician from Spain shared this amusing YouTube video, “Así es la Vida” (It’s Just Life):
The subtitles are in English, but I had to translate for myself the words on the “prescription” box of medicine given to each patient:
No little pill can solve the reality … Continue reading
If, like me, you’re interested in science and putting a little more “evidence-based” into your health, check out Is That a Fact?: Frauds, Quacks, and the Real Science of Everyday Life by Dr. Joe Schwarcz.
Dr. Schwarcz, a chemist as well as a radio host and a best-selling author, brings some much-needed attention to the overabundance of health information found on the internet and in the media.
As he says in the book’s introduction:
We suffer from information overload. Just Google a subject and within a second, you can be flooded with a million references.
The University of Google is
… Continue reading
I was watching Game 5 of the World Series this weekend (go Royals!) and I couldn’t help but notice all the ads for prescription meds—Belsomra, Cialis, Lyrica, Cymbalta and Symbicort to name but a few.
Direct-to-consumer advertising has been legal since 1997. There is no doubt in my mind it has contributed to the over-prescribing of medications in this country, as well as our skyrocketing health care costs.
Anyway, watching all those commercials made me want to repost this hilarious video from Consumers Union: The Drugs I Need.
Did you check out the fine print … Continue reading