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Submitted by uncomfortably numb on July 1, 2007 - 12:00pm

As a physician who has been in practice for nearly thirty years, I offer you the following advise:

1. NEVER assume that your doctor is acting in your best interests. Health care providers are working either directly or indirectly for the corporations which control the health care system, i.e., Big Pharma, technology, and insurance.

2. If almost all health care providers acted completely in the interests of their patients, they would be out of business within three months. Many doctors truly feel the harm they do is in the patient's best interests.

3. Take responsibility for your own health care. Eat well, exercise, and learn about alternative and traditional methods of healing.

4. Lose weight!!

5. Find a spiritual outlet.

6. Have sex often (with another person).

7. It's not about how long you live.

8. Eat an apple a day :).

Submitted by citydweller on July 1, 2007 - 12:31pm.

Thanks for the advise (advice?)

I completely agree with your post. Do you know of any blogs that support these beliefs. It's so hard to find like minded people. I would love to find a forum dedicated to this point of view.

Regarding #6, if one doesn't have a significant other is it a close second to have it with yourself? :-)

Submitted by eccen in esc on July 1, 2007 - 4:45pm.

eccen in esc
curezone.com is interesting,
I also like Dr. Mercola.com - you can get email newsletters a couple times a week, oh and my favorite, American Botanical Pharmacy

Submitted by KIBU on July 1, 2007 - 5:51pm.

#9 Don't be net addicted please, KIBU (for myself !)

Submitted by Nancy_s soothsayer on July 1, 2007 - 9:49pm.

Thank you, doctor. How about the aspirin?

Submitted by p-dude on July 1, 2007 - 10:41pm.

p-dude

just my 2-cents

10- Life is too short, don't worry about money/asset/house/.... too much.

Submitted by uncomfortably numb on July 1, 2007 - 10:43pm.

I should have premised my comments by saying that there are obviously wonderful doctors, drugs, technology, etc. I did not wish to minimize the contributions made by literally millions of health care workers of all stripes. It's just very important to know what you're up against.

I can't really give specific advice to individuals, but there is an almost unlimited amount of information on the net. The most important thing I can tell you is to trust your own intuition. Believe in yourself.

As far as sex with yourself is concerned, I believe the healing aspect of sex has to do with hormone secretions from each party, although I am no expert in this field (just ask my ex-wife :).

Submitted by ocrenter on July 2, 2007 - 7:12am.

blanket statements about an entire profession is generally counter-productive.

having said that,

advice #11. don't spend 4 hours a day commuting from Hemet just so you can have a mcmansion with a yard.

Submitted by uncomfortably numb on July 2, 2007 - 5:42pm.

ocrenter,
If you had the slightest clue what was going on in health care, you might believe differently. These are extreme times we live in. Your future, your children's future, and theirs' has been mortgaged with the proceeds stuffed into the deep pockets of the few. Those who control are so far removed from the common experience that only the mandate to generate the highest return on capital investment takes priority. In fact, it is illegal for a corporate board to act in any other interest then their shareholders. These are the people who are deciding what kind of health care we are all receiving.

Just as the debt bubble is a house of cards and must eventually crumble, so must the illusion that corporations care about your health. Believe me, they couldn't give a sh*t about anything except your $$.

Submitted by citydweller on July 2, 2007 - 8:46pm.

un,
I read a great book last year that expands on your comment that profit takes priority over all else in todays heavily corporate world. It points out how common decency is being lost, and being successful is now synonymous with having money (or the appearance of having money). When parents describe their grown children, the ones making lot's of money will be labeled "successful", with very little importance being placed on whether or not they are actually happy.

The book is called "Is the American Dream Killing You"? It was a good read.

The greed and corruption (and lack of common decency) that have been discussed in relation to this recent housing bubble are perfect examples of what the book points out.

Unfortunately, it didn't really go into detail about how to improve things.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 2, 2007 - 8:54pm.

I think I may have some clue to what's going on in health care.

sounds like it is time for you to retire, old man.

Submitted by uncomfortably numb on July 3, 2007 - 9:16am.

ocrenter,
Upon considering your advice, I think I will retire (from this site). I wish you all the best.

Submitted by jg on July 3, 2007 - 9:21am.

Aw, heck, Doc, ignore the young rude punks. Stick around. It would be good for the rest of us to have the counsel of a physician 'onsite.'

Submitted by blahblahblah on July 3, 2007 - 9:27am.

The doc's advice is 100% correct. I disagreed with #7 for a bit until I thought about it. We're not totally in control of how long we live, so it's more about making the most of your time here. And when you get right down to it, whether you die in a car crash at 30 or of cancer at 70, it's going to feel like you didn't live long enough. Probably only the healthy people that die peacefully in their sleep at age 95 feel like they've had enough of life, and there's not many of those...

Submitted by cjk on July 3, 2007 - 7:18pm.

Agreed, please stay around....your advice is right on.

Submitted by equalizer on July 3, 2007 - 10:33pm.

ocrenter:

rude and crude. Can't believe you are running Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking. had enjoyed that site. Don't normally attack on first strike but I think jg will pardon me this time:

"Do you have a clue about what's going on in health care because you take more meds than Paris and Lindsay"? Apologies to Don Imus

Submitted by PerryChase on July 4, 2007 - 9:38am.

uncomfortably numb is right. Health care is a lot worse than real estate.

Great advice on #6.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 4, 2007 - 9:47am.

equalizer,

if you dont know the full extend of the situation don't open your big trap.

I'm not rude nor crude about this. I simply told him he made a wide and general statement about the entire profession and that tend to be very counter productive. he doesn't know what i do, so when he assumed I had no clue about health care he mispoke. and when you fired your first shot you mispoke.

this guy is not just old, but he is disillusioned, and he is disheartened. I'm sorry he feels this way but when he gets to that stage, he might as well retire. that is a fact. when you don't enjoy delivering first class care to your patients because you are burdened and disheartened, then why are you still in the profession?

these old guys had all the benefits of Big Pharma for decades. have you thought about that before you start attacking me? how many private practice docs of the old days had free vacations, went to free Lakers games, countless free lunches for themselves and their staff, and now when things don't go their ways, they come out swinging.

these old private docs complaints and complaints away, but have they thought about how health care got this way. It got this way on THEIR WATCH! So don't tell me that ALL doctors don't care. that ALL doctors put insurance companies, health plans, and their wallets before THEIR patients interest. That is HIM speaking, and if that's true, then he SHOULD RETIRE.

let's look at it this way, this guy had his 30 years of free vacations, 30 years of high rolling life style, and 30 years rubbing each others backs with big Pharma. Why not take his fortunes and retire and live the good life.

and let the real doctors take over.

Submitted by uncomfortably numb on July 4, 2007 - 10:17am.

ocrenter,
You are correct that I should have not assumed that you are ignorant of health issues. I simple concluded this from your statements. You have made a plethora of assumptions yourself and although I feel little compulsion to defend myself, I will tell you that other than an occasional pen, pad of sticky notes, or coffee cup, I have taken nothing from anybody. Although I have done well in practice, I am not a wealthy person. Personally, I feel the road to hell is paved with hundred dollar bills, but that's another story.

I used to be quite active and wrote on the subject of national health care/health care reform back in the 80's when the corporate take-over was just under way. There are a great variety of issues in health care and it's difficult to intelligently address them in a forum such as this. What I try to do in practice is empower patients by telling them that they are responsible for their own care. This is most important. We live in a society where exploitation through dependency is the order of the day. Remember, nobody in this system makes money keeping people healthy; it's all about disease.

ocrenter, you are a very intelligent young man, but I don't believe you understand the entire picture. Most people have a fixed system of belief, then work their way back to the argument. Try to keep an open mind. Remember that all things intellectual are relative and personal. People generally get into trouble when they attempt to impose their own reality on others.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 4, 2007 - 4:05pm.

numb, what we have here is both of us jumping to conclusions.

I think both of us will agree that...

...seeing folks with a simple elevated chol on an expensive drug like Vytorin is wrong...

...doctors bending to patients coming in requesting the PURPLE pill instead of cheap-o-zantac is wrong...

...and drug reps getting tax deductions for fake boobs because they can make more docs write for the PURPLE pill is wrong...

I think it is extremely hard to empower the patients because they don't understand that Valtrex and acyclovir are really the same thing. But they will request the Valtrex because there's commercials for them and not acyclovir.

but a lot of docs try very hard to go against the type of waste I just described, at the expense of extra time educating each patient as each one of them need to be deprogrammed by the mass-advertisement effect of Big Pharma. so when you made blanket statements about the entire profession, you ruffled some feathers. that's all.

Submitted by jg on July 4, 2007 - 9:23pm.

Hey, oc-, do you do drugs, or just sell them?

Just joking. Thanks for a measured, thoughtful response.

All's well that ends well.

Submitted by uncomfortably numb on July 5, 2007 - 10:06am.

ocrenter,
I don't disagree with anything you are saying but I believe you are looking at an extremely complex problem in an overly simplistic way. The local (individual) dysfunctional behavior manifest throughout the health care system is tied into the over all dysfunction present systemically. In other words, what's happening in health care is intimately tied into what's happening in housing, government, and in every other corrupt institution. All things are inter-related. How can it be any other way?

The point of my post was to inform those benignly unaware that they must take responsibility for their own care. As to your point about blanket statements; I would still contend that it is nearly impossible to be honest and profitable simultaneously. Perhaps the great tragedy of our time is the self-imposition of what I have always referred to as the 'corporatisation of the individual,' i.e., individuals who have internalized bottom-line mentality as a strategy for economic survival.

Submitted by drunkle on July 5, 2007 - 12:57pm.

the new century collapse is a great insight into how an entire organization becomes corrupted by management.

it should go without saying that people tend to conform. and that good people will do bad things under the right conditions; authority, disinterest, mob rule, etc, etc. without knowing how bad things have become, by assuming an organization is above reproach, you can forget your own caution; note how some people are adamantly trusting of the president. how anything bad that comes out about the government is simply derided as communist propoganda or bitter loserism. similarly, crotchety old bastards who think doctors are all shysters are labeled as crotchety old bastards and ignored.

Submitted by bsrsharma on March 2, 2008 - 9:10pm.

OT: Very good story on Remote Area Medical (a charitable health care provider) on today's CBS 60 minutes

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/02/2...

I encourage everyone to watch it.

Submitted by paramount on March 2, 2008 - 9:38pm.

#4 Lose Weight

I wish I knew how...about 6 months ago I cut out probably 95% of all sugar, lowered my carbs and continued with my nearly daily energetic walks and have lost "0" lbs...

Submitted by Navydoc on March 2, 2008 - 10:28pm.

Wow, I'm surprised I never saw this post before.

I can't quite disagree with the OP, but I agree with OCrenter about generalizing about an entire profession. My take is this: there's a reason I'm a military physician. It completely eliminates the profit motive from my practice style. I make my decisions based on what my patient most needs, not what the drug rep gave me. To be honest, the thought of running a private practice and dealing with insurance companies fills me with great dread, and I have every intention of staying in the Navy until they throw me out.

In keeping with the spirit of the original post, I'd like to add an observation I've made. It seems to me (I realize I'm getting dangerously close to a generalization) that really good businessmen make really lousy physicians, and the converse appears to be true as well. You would not believe some of the stupid financial decisions I have seen some of my excellent colleagues make. The two professions seem to require very different minds.

Paramount, I think I can help. You didn't post how much you weigh,or how old you are, and truthfully it probably doesn't matter, it just gives me an idea how long this might take you. First and foremost, you must control your appetite. As far as carbs go, all the fad diets are pure rubbish. A 200 lb 40 year old male can eat 1500 calories of lard in a day and still lose weight. It all comes down to one simple formula: clories in less than calories out=weight loss. The way I do it when I have to lose a little weight is I go on a 48 hour fast, where I drink 500-600 calories of fruit juice over a weekend. When I start eating again Monday morning I can comfortably live with MUCH smaller portions. When I do this I can survive quite happily on 1500 calories/day.

Now for the most important part, and the one thing nobody talks about. When you diet your body goes into an energy conservation mode, and will actually break down muscle tissue preferentially. In this way, when you do gain the weight back you are actually INCREASING the percentage of body fat, making it even more difficult to lose the weight the next time. The secret is to strength train. If you do 2-3 sessions per week you will force your body to conserve the muscle tissue, and break down the fat twice as fast. The weight comes off like magic. I can easily lose 10 lbs a month doing this.

Something else that can be helpful is a food diary, where you write down absolutely everything you eat. I find that when people do this they discover they were eating more calories than they thought. By the way, about the strength training, it's actually MORE important than aerobics while you are dieting, and even works great for women as well.

Good luck, weight loss is the easiest thing in the world in theory, and one of the most difficult things to do in practice. It can be done the old fashioned way, and is usually more successful. I personnally am quite biased against bariatric surgery, as my own father was a casualty of the practice.

Jeez, I think this is my longest post ever. I hope someone out there gets something worthwhile from it.

Submitted by Raybyrnes on March 2, 2008 - 10:54pm.

The concept of the food Diary is OK but it is responsive to what you already ate.

I found it a lot more productive to take out a spreadsheet and write out a menu for a week. Rather than cheating and having to document it I found it way easier to just try and stick to the times and food I put on my spreadsheet.

It takes about 45 minutes on a Sunday night to write out your plan and t is funny how compelling it is once you've written it down. Makes it easy to walk by the free food samples at Costco becaseu they are noton your spreas sheet.

Dropped 24 lbs in 15 weeks using this approach. Have gained back 4 lbs since I went off.

Give it a shot. A litte tough the first could of weeks but once you got it down it is pretty easy to copy and paste.

Submitted by patientlywaiting on March 3, 2008 - 1:42am.

1) Another good way to lose weight is to become a food snob. Make yourself believe that you only deserve the best and eat only the best ingredients.

I think that it's one reason well-off Americans are thiner than less properous Americans.

2) Drive a small car such as Mini Cooper, Corolla, Civic, 3-series BMW, or Porsche, depending on your budget. In california, we spend a lot of time driving. If you have to fit in a small car, you'll adjust your weight accordingly.

3) Get a small counter-depth refrigerator. You can't store a lot of food so you won't run to the fridge all the time.

4) Cancel the Costco membership.

Submitted by zk on March 3, 2008 - 7:59am.

I missed this post when it first came out, but I'd add some advice to the original list:

Don't take medical advice from a paranoid, ranting, bitter person who thinks that "all things intellectual are relative and personal." That last one alone is more than enough to entirely disregard anything he says.

As for the "alternative and traditional methods of healing," well, I think the average person is much more likely to be harmed (or at least bilked out of lots of money) if he attempts to heal with those methods than he is to be healed. While there may be a few methods not accepted by mainstream medicine that are safe and effective, I believe the vast majority are worthless and many are dangerous. And I don't think your average person with an IQ of 100 and no medical training has nearly the ability necessary to research and analyze alternative methods effectively enough to ensure that he's getting a safe and effective treatment.

As for weight loss, I've known many, many people who've lost lots of weight. But I've only known three or four who've lost more than 20 pounds and kept it off for more than a couple years. And they all had one thing in common: Regular, vigorous aerobic exercise. Not walking around the block a few times, but really getting their heart rate up and putting a lot of effort into it.

Submitted by ocrenter on March 3, 2008 - 10:06am.

zk,

agree withe the exercise comment strongly.

which really gets back to housing once again. with the housing bubble, people ended up moving further and further out into the desert, and commutes of 1-2 hours each way for both parents became common place.

while the parents sit in traffic, the kids sit in front of the TV.

the parents get home with pizza or fast food in hand, or pop in sodium and fat rich microwave dish from Costco. after they eat, it is pretty much bedtime because the whole family got to get up at 5 am to do the commute all over again.

where is the exercise? you don't.

that's the true cost of the bubble. it eliminates all hope of home ownership for families in established areas. families react by moving to the boonies. result? you end up with millions of morbidly obese families knocking down the doors of Big Pharma looking for the next diet pill.

Submitted by robson on March 3, 2008 - 12:01pm.

Median time spent commuting to work increased from 24.4 minutes in 2000 to 25.0 minutes in 2006, for the nation. You might guess SD is different but it is not. In 2006 the median commute time was 24.9 minutes.
http://factfinder.census.gov
It's true that weight gain/loss is completely dependent on the difference of calories in vs. out. I would add though, that what type of calories your "in" consists of will partly determine whether it is muscle or fat you will lose/gain. If you ate 1000 calories of lard a day while burning 1500, you would be more likely to lose muscle than fat. If you ate 1000 calories of tuna while burning 1500, you'd be more likely to lose fat.

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