The End of Healthcare As We Know It?

Doctor with Patient's ChartI’m frustrated – in case you couldn’t tell from the title.

Our country has the best scientific innovation in the world. The rapid explosion of knowledge in genetics, pharmacology, bio-medical engineering – just to name a few – are enough to make anyone’s head spin. It’s an exciting time to be in medicine.

And yet we aren’t living much longer. We aren’t living any healthier. And we spend about twice as much on healthcare per person as our friends in any other country.

I believe our country is rapidly moving toward a two-tier system in healthcare.

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A Big Enough Reason

Recovery ButtonMaking a change is hard. Habit, routine, addiction, convenience, or a thousand other reasons keep us doing the same thing over and over again, even if it’s terribly unhealthy. Or dangerous. Or even deadly.

It takes a big enough reason to endure the anxiety, setbacks, difficulty, or even pain that may be involved in making a lifestyle change. Sometimes that reason is positive, where the outcome you desire is enticing enough to work hard for. Sometimes that reason is negative, where the pain of remaining where you are is big enough to force a change.

We usually respond better to positive reasons for change. But when severe enough, sometimes a negative reason will do.

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A Baby: God’s Opinion That the World Should Go On

Baby SleepingAs an OB-Gyn physician I’ve seen it many many times. A brand new baby comes into the world, takes that first cry, and begins the long journey of life with its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and more than a little uncertainty.

But today you’ll have to excuse a few of my personal musings. This morning the youngest grandchild in our family entered the world much earlier than planned, but alive and well. She has her mother’s checks, and all ten fingers and ten toes. Mommy and daddy are already exhausted, but thrilled that Madelyn is here. And Poppa and Grandma Carol are proud!

If you are a parent or grandparent perhaps you can remember the soft feel of a baby’s skin, their unique smell, the silkiness of their baby hair, the feel of tiny fingers wrapping around your finger – and your heart.

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Faster, Higher, Stronger: Your Gold-Medal Run

Faster, Higher, Stronger: Your Gold-Medal Run

The 2012 Olympic Games in London have just come to an end. For these two weeks every two years I spend more time watching sports on TV than probably the entire two years between them. I love watching a gold-medal run.

Names like Michael Phelps, Usian Bolt, Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin, Oscar Pistorius, and others are now household words around the world. There’s something about the Olympic Games that draws us in.

There is such drama packed into those two weeks that little else can rival – the exhilaration of winning, the agony of defeat, and the sometimes heroic achievement of some athletes just to make it to London.

I love the intensity of the Olympic Games. I love seeing people who have pushed themselves to the limit, overcome great obstacles, and kept going even through periods of “failure” to reach their dream.

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Alzheimer’s Disease: A Scary Thought

Elderly WomanWhat was I going to write about? Oh yes, I remember. I just had a senior moment there.

Have you ever felt like that? Are you worried about whether it’s “just” a “senior moment”, or something much more scary – Alzheimer’s?

Losing one’s mental capacity ranks near the top on any list of fears about the future as people get older. The good news about some of our health care advances is that people are living longer. The bad news is that with living longer comes a significant risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.

Of all the topics we have asked our listeners to comment on from the Dr Carol Show, this one generated more response than any other. When we asked our listeners if they would want to know if they were going to get Alzheimer’s disease, and what they would do differently if they were, here’s a sample of the responses:

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