So Who the Heck’s Dumber? Health Pros or the Public?

Dunno. We’d say it might depend on how badly you need these warning labels:

Warning: May cause sleepiness. (Ambien Sleep Aid)


Contains iron. (Good Neighbor Pharmacy Ferrous Sulfate)

Do not take capsules if allergic to zantac. (Zantac)

This formula may cause drowsiness. Do not operate heavy machinery or drive a vehicle. (Demazin Infant Drops)


Take 1-2 teaspoons but only by mouth. (Prometh Cough Medicine)

Do not drive a car or run machinery. (Boot’s Childrens Cough Medicine)

Warning: Do not take if allergic to Aspirin. (Equate Aspirin)

WARNING: If an amount considerably larger than being swallowed is swallowed, contact a poison control center immediately. (Mentadent Duel Action Mouthwash)

Directions: Use like soap. (Dial Soap)

WARNING: Intentionally inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal. (Fun & Fantasy Fluorescent Hair Color)

Keep out of reach of children. (AAFES Baby Oil)


Warning: May contain foam. (Stridex Face Wash Foam)

Keep away from children. (Little Ones Baby Lotion)

Do not swallow. In case of ingestion call poison control. (Listerine Mouthwash)

Warning: Do not use this product on infants under 6 months of age. (Clearasil Antibacterial Acne Cleanser)

Do not use as an ice cream topping. (Epitome Hair Coloring)

Warning: Do not use while taking a shower. (G E Hairdryer)

WARNING: Do not smoke until hair is dry. (Clairol Herbal Essences Maximum Hold Hairspray)

Use only on underarms and not other sensitive places. (Old Spice Red Zone Deodorant)

And finally, our very own personal favorite healthcare warning label:

If breast-feeding, ask a health professional before use. (Children’s Dimetapp)

All because . . . you know . . . they’re looking out for us.




It’s Sunday. Time for Physician Phunnies . . .

You maybe think these comments were never actually uttered, deep within the cloistered walls of our sophisticated healthcare system?

Ohhhhhhhh, yes they were:

(From Susan Leitner, St. Louis):

“Why did I switch to a woman doctor? Because my last idiot gynecologist used to whistle ‘I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener’ during my pelvic exams.”


(Tina Lopez, RN, Fayetteville, Arkansas):

“I can see it coming in the very near future: The night Robo-nurse calls Robo-doc away from the techno-lounge for a problem. Robo-doc throws a bio-tantrum for being bothered. Robo-nurse, in whom they totally forgot to insert the “cower & whimper” software, calmly emits an electromagnetic shockwave via the blogosphere, frying Robo-doc’s cranial wires all to hell. Robo-doc gets tossed into the bio-waste, where he belongs. Bio-nurse takes a sip of her nutra-tea, and smiles quietly.”


(Kirsten Dillow, LVN, Dallas Parkview):

“Why did I become a nurse? Well, let’s think about this. It paid slightly better than McDonald’s; I liked the idea of being surrounded by men who never act juvenile; it was an opportunity to expose myself to new and exotic diseases;  and how else would I ever get to wear shoes as sexy as these?”


(Lisa Vega, RN, Dell Children’s Medical Center, Austin):

“We have a court case here in Texas where a pediatric nurse is suing a doctor for deliberately spraying blood on her. It’s your typical off-the-wall, brain-fart behavior by an obstetrician. After a delivery he was showing everybody how he’d learned to use an umbilical cord as a squirt gun. I swear to God, some female somewhere thinks he’s quite the catch.”


           (Dr. Robert Bicker, Newcastle University, England):

           In Europe, bio-engineers are preparing to replace at least some nursing roles with highly-sophisticated ‘nurse bots’ capable of performing all manner of clinical duties independently.

           The considerable funding from the European Union is allowing a wide range of concept and development of these rather amazing advances, and their success at creating mechanical “people” is advancing at almost warp speed.

           The initial ‘three robot swarm’ is expected to be in limited use in clinical environments by early 2010.

           These nurse robots will communicate with each other in teams, or what we call a ‘swarm.’ They will use their own language and be capable of teaching themselves to improve their efficiency as a unit, day by day.”

           Early uses of the ‘nurse bot’ would be to clean rooms; deliver blood draw samples to the lab; determine a patient’s temperature from a distance via thermal imaging; pushing wheelchairs; alert staff when needed and eventually dispensing medications.

And in twenty years?


We appreciate this contribution from Steve Salas RN, Stanford Medical Center:

“Late-night intern games witnessed by teaching hospital nurses”

  • Playing “Guess which nurse is wearing a thong”
  • Competition Wheelchair Races in the hallways
  • Betting which patient will “Kick the Bucket” tonight
  • “Twenty Questions” shouted in a good ear
  • “Hide and Go Pee” is popular
  • Trying to get nurses to play “Spin the Bottle” of Mylanta

And finally, 

(Cassie, BSN, Mountain View Hospital, Las Vegas):

“Here in Nevada we don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Our state assembly is working on a new law that’s going to have doctors apologize for their screw-ups. That way our physician discipline policy will finally live up to . . . you know . . . the level of first-graders.”

 Have a terrific weekend, readers. And we thank you for all the notes and ideas for stories you send us.



‘Paramedic Heretic’ Doing Well in Swedish Translation

And just for fun, here’s what a sales page looks like:

Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions

HERETIC COVER 1av K Patrick McDonald  (häftad, 2014)

Pris:  187:-

Skickas inom 3-6 vardagar. Lägg i varukorg Spara som favorit

Fri frakt inom Sverige för privatpersoner vid beställning på minst 99 kr!

(Libri) + Visa hela texten – Visa kortare text

Kundrecensioner Bli först att betygsätta och recensera boken Paramedic Heretic.

Fler böcker inom

  • Häftad (paperback / softback)
  • Språk: Engelska
  • Antal sidor: 296
  • Utg.datum: 2014-12-08
  • Förlag: Dog Ear Publishing
  • Illustrationer: black & white illustrations
  • Antal komponenter: 1
  • Komponenter: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781457531804
  • Fler böcker av K Patrick McDonald


Is Honesty the Best Policy? Many Doctors Don’t Think So

It is generally accepted by doctors that being honest with patients is the best approach. Unfortunately, not all physicians agree, according to a survey whose results are published in the February 2012 issue of Health Affairs.

The study revealed that 33% of doctors who were asked – about 630 – did not agree that they should tell patients when there was a medical error in their treatment.

40% said they did not agree they should disclose their financial relationships with drug and device companies to patients. 10% said that, in the previous year, they had told patients something that was not true.

Dr Lisa Iezzoni

Care to see a healthcare hero at work? Meet Dr Lisa Iezzoni


The findings certainly reflect poorly on the healthcare facilities that brag about being “patient centered” and “focused on the needs of patients,” says Lisa Iezzoni, a physician herself, as well as a professor of medicine at  Harvard Medical School. “Patients who do not get the full story might not make an informed choice about the best course of action for their care,” Iezzoni says.  “Until all physicians take a frank and open approach to communication, it will be very difficult to enact patient-centered care more broadly.”

Iezzoni and her colleagues surveyed 1,900 doctors nationwide to learn if they were following proper standards of communication, as defined by the ABIM Foundation’s Charter on Medical Professionalism. That landmark document, published in 2002, urges physicians to be open and honest with patients and to disclose medical mistakes immediately.

Although it’s true that most doctors agree physicians should inform patients about the risks of treatment, a large number admitted  they themselves were sometimes dishonest with patients.

Consider that 20% of them said they had not fully disclosed a medical mistake to a patient in the previous year because admitting the error would trigger a legal action. These doctors are out of touch with the real world. Research shows that prompt admission of mistakes  reduces anger and makes patients less likely to pursue a lawsuit.

Other important findings from the survey are as follows:

  • 56% of physicians said they often or sometimes described a patient’s prognosis in a more positive manner than the facts support. Physicians often rationalize this practice by saying they do not want to upset patients or cause them to lose hope. However, studies suggest that most patients do want to be told the truth, even if the outlook is dire, so that they can make the best possible decisions under the circumstances.
  • Women and under-represented minority physicians were significantly more likely to follow the Charter’s provisions on honest communication compared to white male doctors. The authors note that women and minority physicians have entered a field that historically has been dominated by white males. Women and minority physicians might feel compelled to rigorously adhere to standards of professional behavior, the authors say.
  • 35% of physicians did not agree they should disclose financial ties with drug companies to patients, even though such ties can influence treatment.

As these and other provisions are implemented, physicians will be under increasing pressure to communicate honestly and effectively with patients, says Eric G. Campbell, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.  Yet the survey clearly shows that some physicians have trouble accepting and living up to the tenets that underlie patient-centered care, says Campbell, who served as principal investigator for the study.

 Here’s more:
– the study abstract
– the Health Affairs blog post


Another Day: Another Doctor Pervert in Court. We Just Don’t Learn, Do We?

Dr Kevin Pezeshki

Dr Kevin Pezeshki

An L.A.-area physician whose medical license was already revoked after he sexually attacked a patient, now may be sent to prison time this week. Investigators learned he has been performing medical exams on pregnant women at a clinic in Panorama City.

Doctor Kevin Pezeshki, age 47 who lives in Tarzana, has been ordered to appear in  Van Nuys Superior Court for a probation violation hearing. The wayward MD faces 4 years in state prison, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

According to Deputy Attorney General Cindy M. Lopez, “After the exam, the patient said that when she turned around, she saw the doctor pulling up the zipper of his pants. He had ejaculated on her. The victim was smart enough to take the bed-sheet and turn it in to police.”

A subsequent DNA test by the Los Angeles Police Department crime lab showed the DNA on the bedsheet matched the doctor.

Pezeshki confessed to Felony Sexual Battery by Fraud in 2013. The doctor admitted to inappropriately touching a female patient during a 2008 exam at Northridge Hospital Medical Center and was sentenced to 3 years probation. The judge also ordered Pezeshki to register for life as a sexual offender.

Prosecutors now believe that the  now-unlicensed doctor performed ultrasounds on two women at San Joseph Medical Center.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Gregory Dohi revoked Pezeshki’s probation last month in response to those illegal examinations.

Here’s more:

Double-Murderer MD Admits to Brutal Killings; Avoids an Ugly Trial

In the city of Seattle, Doctor Louis Chen is back in court this week for his sentencing hearing. He had changed his “not guilty’ plea to “guilty” last February, admitting that in a fit of rage he stabbed his live-in man-friend to death, and then slashed the throat of their two-year-old son, in August 2011.

Dr Louis Chen

Doctor Louis Chen, seen here with Cooper Chen, before he slashed the child’s throat

Chen – who was supposed to stand trial in April – was originally charged with 2 counts of First Degree Murder. But early in the case, Prosecutor Dan Satterberg decided not to seek the death penalty, leaving life in prison without the possibility of parole as the only possible punishment, had Chen been convicted as charged.

Bloody KnifeChen was naked and covered in dried blood when police arrived at the home. They found the bodies of 29-year-old Eric Cooper – stabbed more than 100 times – and their son Cooper Chen, whose neck had been repeatedly slashed. The child was found butchered in a bathtub.

 Search warrants filed in the case indicate the two men were in the middle of a nasty  breakup at the time of the attacks.

Chen, now age 44, eventually confessed to premeditated First Degree Murder for the death of the child, and Second Degree Murder for Eric Cooper’s killing.

The physician, who trained as a resident at UCSD San Diego, faces a sentence of 50 years in Washington State Prison.

Here’s another look at this awful case:



Female Genital Mutilations and the Tortures We Tolerate

The number of little girls – as well as adult women – who are forced into the appalling ritual of genital torture in America, has increased 300% over the last decade. And there is absolutely no reason to believe those numbers will shrink anytime soon.


American ‘healthcare’ and the horrors it tolerates . . .

That is but one downside of out-of-control immigration.

And if you think the typical physician in this country is willing to report the damage they see during their routine examinations, you are seriously mistaken. They almost never do.

The best estimates are that at least 500,000 females in the U.S. have been subjected to the torture, including at least 166,000 under the age of 18.* Mid-Eastern and African immigrants – who often embrace the torture as a deeply-rooted cultural tradition – are the driving factor for the unspeakable ritual.**

African and Mid-Eastern immigration to America has doubled every decade since 1970, with nearly 2,000,000 now living here. Immigrants from Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, and Nigeria, for example – are all countries that perform FGM. About 20% of females at risk are from Egypt, Somalians rank second.

One recent study of FGM in the U.S. was released by the African Women’s Health Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2004 and found more than 227,000 American women were at risk of or had undergone FGM.

But a more recent CDC report supports the PRB study, with 513,000 females living here with FGM today. 

California has the largest number of at-risk women and girls, with 57,000; New York 50,000, and Minnesota, with 45,000. New York, Washington and Minneapolis-St. Paul are the metropolitan areas with the largest numbers of at-risk women and girls. Included in the data are girls at risk of being sent back to their family’s origin country to undergo FGM—a practice widely known as “vacation cutting” 

The ritual, performed in 30 countries at the hands of midwives or physicians, involves cutting the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It can also include cutting away part of the clitoris to removing the inner and outer vaginal lips before sewing the remaining skin together, leaving a small hole for urination and menstrual blood.

The practice is extremely common, with its supporters believing it purifies the female, ensure she remains sexually inactive, prevent cheating on her future husband and keep her well-behaved.

Immigration to Western countries where FGM is not practiced, forces health care providers to adapt to the harmful consequences. Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham, England reports treating 1,500 cases of FGM over the last 5 years. They have identified special health care needs of these patients: psychological trauma; greater attention during childbirth due to pain; genital tearing and the injury posed to the unborn child.

FGM has been illegal in the U.S. for 20 years, but an amendment to the law banning vacation cutting wasn’t passed until 2012. In 2006, Khalid Adem, an Ethiopian immigrant, was the first person convicted of performing FGM in the U.S. after he cut his daughter’s clitoris off with a pair of scissors.

U.S. Representatives Joe Crowley of New York, and Sheila Jackson Lee, of Texas, introduced new legislation, Equality Now, to close a loophole that allowed parents to take their children abroad for the torture. The bill establishes a hotline for at-risk girls and better education for teachers and health care workers.

The introduction of the law was timed to coincide with the U.N.’s Zero Tolerance Day, held annually to celebrate the progress that’s been made toward FGM elimination—like the passing of legislation banning it in countries like Kenya, Guinea-Bissau and Uganda—but also recognize what still needs to be done.

“It’s an important moment for everybody to reflect on the harms of this practice, on the commitments that have been done at the international level,” says Nafissatou Diop, the coordinator of the UNFPA-UNICEF joint program on FGM. “We have girls fighting for their rights, we have communities, religious leaders, women, men, who are saying no to the practice of FGM.”

According to Diop, many doctors are pressured into providing FGM services by their communities. But, she adds, FGM performed by a doctor “is not safer. FGM cannot be safe.”

Medicalized FGM is commonplace. In Egypt, 75% of victims who undergo FGM are cut by healthcare staff. The torture is so widespread that it is a serious source of income for many doctors.

Without this insane ritual, many parents believe a daughter can never be an obedient wife.

* According to the Population Reference Bureau

** Mark Mather, a demographer at PRB who led the data analysis

Here’s more: