Press Release: “The Paramedic Heretic” Exposes Curious Conundrums within EMS

The author was not even out of medical school before he witnessed his first doctor commit murder. It would not be his last – Lord, no – but he can recall that night as vividly as though it happened last week. Few medics forget their first physician homicide.

PR URGENT art

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

heretic-cover-1When Patrick McDonald began rescue training in the 1970s, he was among the first paramedics in the nation, filled with the zeal to save lives in ways not imagined even a decade before. More than 20,000 911 calls later however, pride in his profession has eroded. So he turned to his three-decades of note-taking to scribe an imminently readable, jaw-dropping assessment of the power struggles within the cloistered world of rescue – a battle that sometimes has fatal consequences. He also defines what he calls the “Immutable Laws” that reign supreme in the business of saving lives.

McDonald, having experienced the trenches of rescue for more than 30 years, offers story after story in which rules and policy corrupt paramedic efficiency. He details some success stories, but reveals dozens of cases where the consequences of protocol short-circuit rescue efforts. In one fascinating case the author himself nearly lost his medical license because he authorized a non-EMS helicopter to fly out critically injured Girl Scouts in a Palm Springs bus tragedy – until the famous Sonny Bono (who had been on the disaster scene) saved the day.

psa-flt-182-full-color
“The Paramedic Heretic” – a first-person account of San Diego’s PSA Flight #182 tragedy

“The Pedigree of a Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions” reveals that time after time, saving lives is not rescue priority. Instead, following policies, ensuring team safety and avoiding lawsuits all trump patients’ lives. “Heretic” also points out numerous medical myths, such as ambulance sirens saving lives (they don’t); the “Golden Hour” of patient care (one doctor’s silly fantasy); and the futility, in many cases, of CPR. Some of the biggest problem areas, McDonald writes, are mistakes made in prescriptions; wholly unnecessary surgeries and flawed medical records.

That paramedics remain mute in the presence of incompetent or criminal physicians, for fear of losing their jobs, is a maddening reality. Saving lives, in the end, has become far more about capitalism and power struggles, than heroism.

Author K. Patrick McDonald knows of what he writes. He was appointed the first EMS supervisor for San Diego city and created one of the country’s first Special Trauma & Rescue teams. McDonald, a graduate of University of California, San Diego School of Medicine original advanced field medicine program, co-wrote the National Pool & Waterpark Lifeguard Training Manual. He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Secret Service and Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix

L A Book Fest Art (2)

 

‘The Paramedic Heretic’: “Not for the Faint of Heart”

psa-flt-182-full-color

Read the author’s experiences when PSA Flight 182 destroyed a San Diego  neighborhood

What readers say about the book:

HERETIC COVER 1Makes you realize that good health is OUR responsibility – Not doctors. Not hospitals. Definitely not that of Big Pharma.”  (Mark Brown, Kansas City Star)

“What you have here is a paramedic/researcher who really does his homework. The author cuts right through the smoke-screen that so many of us are programmed to believe and never question. Either you make the decision to take charge of your own healthcare, or you can count on becoming a victim of a system whose priority is money.” (Eric Keese, Miami)

I spent 30 years in healthcare and grew to seriously distrust the medical industry. Far too often, what goes on in the name of ‘care’ is a sad commentary on what isn’t even necessary. ‘The Paramedic Heretic’ is an excellent look at medicine from an insider who’s seen it from the inside out. His observations and experiences are, at times, jaw-dropping. We all absolutely must realize that much of the ‘red lights & sirens’ mentality is simply wrong. Here’s a book that certainly opened the eyes of my wife and I, and incidentally, we are BOTH nurses.” (Tom & Lynn Frederick, New Haven)

bus-crash-10

The author was the first medic on the Palm Springs Girl Scout bus crash that killed 7 and injured 46.

“Face it. What you don’t know can kill you! Every adult in the U.S. should read this book and remember what it teaches you. Well researched, well documented, well written. (Macario Corpus, Reno)

mcdonalds-medic-pic

When James Huberty shot 40 people in San Diego, the author was there, too.

Some of this paramedic’s experiences will scare the poop out of you.” (Lacy O’Brian, BSN, Stanford U.)

https://www.amazon.com/Paramedic-Heretic-Immutable-Ethical-Illusions/dp/1457531801/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473965193&sr=8-1&keywords=paramedic+heretic

 

 

‘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

 

Patrick McDonald Pens ‘THE PEDIGREE of a PARAMEDIC HERETIC’-Book Review

BROADWAY WORLD 2

K. Patrick McDonald Pens THE PEDIGREE OF A PARAMEDIC HERETIC

“We might want to listen to what this gentleman has to say.” (Dr Max Harry Weil)

New York, New York

When author Patrick McDonald first began medical training in the late 1970s, he was among the first paramedics in the nation, lit up with zeal to save lives in a way not imagined even a few years before. Now, after 20,000 EMS calls for help, his view of his own profession is jaded by ethical dilemmas, and he has written a book that focuses on the power struggles between physicians and paramedics – battles that at times have fatal results. He also describes what he calls the “Immutable Laws,” which reign supreme in the Twilight Zone world of EMS.

McDonald, who has labored in the trenches of rescue for more than three decades, details story after story in which rules and policy get in the way of rescuers simply doing their job. Some success stories are brilliant, such as when he was dispatched to the first paramedic-level EMS call in San Diego in 1979, saving a patient stricken with a dissecting aortic aneurysm. But other events, including some in other countries, point out the consequences of policies that hinder rescue efforts. The author himself once nearly lost his license, after authorizing a non-EMS helicopter to fly out critically injured Girl Scouts in a bus tragedy. Sonny Bono (who had been on the scene) saved the day.

“The Pedigree of a Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions” drives home McDonald’s argument that saving lives is no longer rescue priority. Instead, following policies, protecting oneself and avoiding lawsuits – all trump patients lives. The book boldly challenges numerous myths, such as lights and sirens Code-3 driving (and details dozens of ambulance crashes); the “Golden Hour” of patient care; and the futility, in nearly all cases, of CPR. Some of the greatest problems, McDonald writes, are the drug-rampant prescriptions, unnecessary surgeries, medical records fudging, as well as paramedics not questioning doctors’ orders for fear of losing their jobs. Saving lives, in the end, has become much more about capitalism than heroism.

Author Patrick McDonald knows of what he speaks. He was appointed the City of San Diego’s first EMS supervisor and created one of the nation’s first STAR teams – Special Trauma and Rescue. McDonald, a graduate of University of California-San Diego School of Medicine’s original advanced field medicine program, has served as a consultant to the U.S. Secret Service. He co-authored the “National Waterpark Lifeguard Training Manual” and wrote “America’s Dumbest Doctors: Ever Wonder About Yours?”

Order your copy today. You’ll be glad you did.
The Pedigree of a Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions
K. Patrick McDonald
ISBN: 978-1-4575-3180-4
296 pages
$16.49 US

Available at Ingram, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

“Paramedic Heretic” Author Interview

BOOKS ARTMedics in the News

“Paramedic Heretic” Author Interview

March 29, 2015 PatricParamedic Leave a comment Edit

Reading and Writing Addiction

Interview with K. Patrick McDonald, Author of “The Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions”

Reading and Writing Addiction was able to catch up with medical author Patrick McDonald this week. We are excited to share this insightful interview today with our readers:

RAWA: Patrick, when did you first discover that you were a writer?

KPM: When I was a youngster growing up in Indiana, I was sent to a small, very strict private school called St. Michael’s Academy. I was so shy that I found it very hard to even look the Jesuit priests and the Dominican nuns in the face and communicate with them. I was a terrified young fellow who figured out that it was far easier to write down my thoughts, than to utter them out loud. The nuns used to pat me on the shoulder and smile, telling me my notes to them were a joy. That’s when I learned the value of the written word.

RAWA: What is your favorite part of writing?

HERETIC COVER 1

KPM:  For me, the most enjoyable aspect is going back over a section or chapter and tweaking the sentences; honing the concepts; tossing out superfluous language; substituting good words with great words. I suspect I may well be an editor at heart.

RAWA: What do you think is the most challenging aspect of writing?

KPM:  Because I write mostly non-fiction, the challenges I face are often in the research. I envy the fiction writers who can let their imaginations run wild – stretch deep into the world of make-believe. Because my work is highly critical of the medical profession, I simply cannot afford to stretch very far, or exaggerate. I examine real events and use real names. I do not particularly enjoy putting in the hundreds of hours necessary to be as accurate as a non-fiction critique of healthcare needs to be. But in order to make the book fun to read, I do write non-fiction with the feel of fiction story line.

RAWA: Tell us about your latest release.

KPM:  The short version is that my classmates and I were faced with numerous ugly realities within the world of EMS before we even got out of medical school. One of our most popular lecturers, for example, was a physician convicted of murdering his wife and three children. From that day forward, I started taking notes, just to make sense of what I was experiencing. These were private notes, and it certainly never occurred to me that the appalling misbehavior of professionals around me would continue. But it did and it does, day after day. So one day I pulled out several thousand pages of dusty notes and started the process of assembling them into a cogent string of rescue experiences and how they often went wrong. The result is “The Paramedic Heretic.”

RAWA: How did you come up with the title of your book?

KPM:  Like many authors, I suppose, I bounced title ideas around for quite a while. In the end, I realized that two undeniable facts kept bumping into each other: my profound Catholic upbringing during a time when the word “heretic” was commonly used. And later, as a young adult, benefitting from a highly traditional medical education at UCSD School of Medicine in San Diego. It dawned on me one day that anybody who actually writes a scathing critique of his own profession might rightly be called a “heretic.” I find it disturbing and regrettable that I no longer have faith in much of what bills itself “the finest healthcare in the world.” The fact is, U.S. healthcare generally ranks between 25th and 37th.

RAWA: Who are some of your favorite authors?

KPM:  In fiction, I’ve always admired Anne Rice for marvelous fictive worlds, and Michael Crichton for medical suspense. For reality I love Joseph Wambaugh. My favorite non-fiction book is Marcia Clark’s memoir of the O.J. Simpson case, “Without a Doubt.”

RAWA: What do you think has influenced your writing style the most?

KPM:  Well, as so many of us who love words woven into stories, I’ve read a thousand books. But I think what I’ve tried to emulate are authors who teach you as they entertain you; express thoughts cleanly, while not going off the deep end with the flowery adjectives. Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard do this very well in their “Killing” series.

RAWA: As a writer, what is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

KPM:  In “Heretic” Doctor Max Harry Weil – considered the ‘father’ of critical care medicine – was impressed enough with the book that he agreed to write the Foreword. I am honored. More than two dozen other physicians were good enough to support what are – at times – extremely critical views of physician misbehavior. I am extremely proud that so many doctors actually support my blistering exposure of their incompetent peers.

RAWA: How did you get published?

KPM:  In 2009 my book “America’s Dumbest Doctors” was put out by Dog Ear Publishing. When they learned I was working on a second one in a similar vein, they contacted me and offered to publish “Heretic.” I spoke with two other publishers, but what truly separates Dog Ear from so many others is their terrific author reps. They work with you every step of the way, and they are available by phone just about every time you call. They simply do exactly what they promise, and the quality of their books is outstanding.

RAWA: Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?

KPM:  Yes. Create the finest end-product you possibly can. In order to do this, you need to read, read, read, and then write, write and write some more. There are some terrific online guides to writing Query letters to agents, and you will need to master this, too. Submit at least a dozen Query letters to appropriate agents. Then submit a dozen more. And while you are awaiting their responses, download a copy of Mark Levine’s, “The Fine Print of Self Publishing.” If and when you have no positive responses from literary agents – and that is a very real possibility – go for the most appropriate choice in Mark Levine’s book you can find. In fact, you may just discover – as I have – that the literary agent path is not the path for you.

Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions by K. Patrick McDonald is available at Amazon.com.

 

“Overdosed America” a Paramedic Heretic Book Review

An irrefutably logical argument that the U.S. healthcare train has gone tragically off the tracks.

__________________

Dr John Abramson

Our 30-year sojourn in the world of emergency medicine provides a front-row seat at our drug-induced societal circus, and I am here to say it is a gut-wrenching viewpoint. Physicians right out of school allow themselves to led by the nose ring, by the most egregious drug cartels on the planet. No need to overthink it – just follow the money, boy. And boy, do they ever. Their inherent “Primum Non Nocere” vow little but a vague memory, they substitute disease care for health care and pocket the polyps. Consider this:

It wasn’t a full week after “Overdosed America” hit the bookshelves before pharmaceutical giant Merck shocked the health provider world by halting production of their juggernaut money machine called Vioxx. After all, their much ballyhooed “arthritis remedy” was churning out $200,000,000 a month in profits. Pulling Vioxx off the shelves was in fact the single biggest drug recall in history. And in the early going, Merck was applauded for its decency of pulling the plug on what was clearly a very dangerous drug – doubling, as it did, the chances of heart damage.

But the critical subject of the time was not that Merck had taken the ethical tack, back in the Fall of 2004. the real subject – for those paying attention – was that U.S. physicians had pumped out $7,000,000,000 worth of the nasty drug in the first place. And the direct result was countless thousands of heart-damaged patients and untold thousands of needless deaths – 4 years AFTER both Merck and the Federal Drug Administration found out that Vioxx was considerably more lethal – and no more effective – than the cheaper anti-inflammatory pill, Aleve.

And that’s merely an overview of one drug-nightmare this book discusses. There are, regretfully, many more.

So you can believe us, when we say that this book fights the good fight. And thank heaven for those few like the author, Doctor John Abramson, who has the nerve to say, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

“Overdosed America” is a must-read for anyone who pops pills because somebody in a lab coat said it was the way to wellness.

Buyer beware. whenever . . .

Your ill-health . . .

Pads anybody’s wealth.

_________________

“PARAMEDIC HERETIC” AUTHOR INTERVIEW

MEDICS IN THE NEWS

Reading and Writing Addiction

Interview with K. Patrick McDonald, Author of “The Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions”

BOOK NEWS logoReading and Writing Addiction was able to catch up with medical author Patrick McDonald this week. We are excited to share this insightful interview today with our readers:

RAWA: Patrick, when did you first discover that you were a writer?

KPM: When I was a youngster growing up in Indiana, I was sent to a small, very strict private school called St. Michael’s Academy. I was so shy that I found it very hard to even look the Jesuit priests and the Dominican nuns in the face and communicate with them. I was a terrified young fellow who figured out that it was far easier to write down my thoughts, than to utter them out loud. The nuns used to pat me on the shoulder and smile, telling me my notes to them were a joy. That’s when I learned the value of the written word.

RAWA: What is your favorite part of writing?

KPM:  For me, the most enjoyable aspect is going back over a section or chapter and tweaking the sentences; honing the concepts; tossing out superfluous language; substituting good words with great words. I suspect I may well be an editor at heart.

RAWA: What do you think is the most challenging aspect of writing?

KPM:  Because I write mostly non-fiction, the challenges I face are often in the research. I envy the fiction writers who can let their imaginations run wild – stretch deep into the world of make-believe. Because my work is highly critical of the medical profession, I simply cannot afford to stretch very far, or exaggerate. I examine real events and use real names. I do not particularly enjoy putting in the hundreds of hours necessary to be as accurate as a non-fiction critique of healthcare needs to be. But in order to make the book fun to read, I do write non-fiction with the feel of fiction story line.

BOOK ADDICT logo

RAWA: Tell us about your latest release.

KPM:  The short version is that my classmates and I were faced with numerous ugly realities within the world of EMS before we even got out of medical school. One of our most popular lecturers, for example, was a physician convicted of murdering his wife and three children. From that day forward, I started taking notes, just to make sense of what I was experiencing. These were private notes, and it certainly never occurred to me that the appalling misbehavior of professionals around me would continue. But it did and it does, day after day. So one day I pulled out several thousand pages of dusty notes and started the process of assembling them into a cogent string of rescue experiences and how they often went wrong. The result is “The Paramedic Heretic.”

RAWA: How did you come up with the title of your book?

KPM:  Like many authors, I suppose, I bounced title ideas around for quite a while. In the end, I realized that two undeniable facts kept bumping into each other: my profound Catholic upbringing during a time when the word “heretic” was commonly used. And later, as a young adult, benefitting from a highly traditional medical education atUCSD School of Medicine in San Diego. It dawned on me one day that anybody who actually writes a scathing critique of his own profession might rightly be called a “heretic.” I find it disturbing and regrettable that I no longer have faith in much of what bills itself “the finest healthcare in the world.” The fact is, U.S. healthcare generally ranks between 25th and 37th.

RAWA: Who are some of your favorite authors?

KPM:  In fiction, I’ve always admired Anne Rice for marvelous fictive worlds, and Michael Crichton for medical suspense. For reality I love Joseph Wambaugh. My favorite non-fiction book is Marcia Clark’s memoir of the O.J. Simpson case, “Without a Doubt.”

RAWA: What do you think has influenced your writing style the most?

KPM:  Well, as so many of us who love words woven into stories, I’ve read a thousand books. But I think what I’ve tried to emulate are authors who teach you as they entertain you; express thoughts cleanly, while not going off the deep end with the flowery adjectives. Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard do this very well in their “Killing” series.

RAWA: As a writer, what is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

KPM:  In “Heretic” Doctor Max Harry Weil – considered the ‘father’ of critical care medicine – was impressed enough with the book that he agreed to write the Foreword. I am honored. More than two dozen other physicians were good enough to support what are – at times – extremely critical views of physician misbehavior. I am extremely proud that so many doctors actually support my blistering exposure of their incompetent peers.

RAWA: How did you get published?

KPM:  In 2009 my book “America’s Dumbest Doctors” was put out by Dog Ear Publishing. When they learned I was working on a second one in a similar vein, they contacted me and offered to publish “Heretic.” I spoke with two other publishers, but what truly separates Dog Ear from so many others is their terrific author reps. They work with you every step of the way, and they are available by phone just about every time you call. They simply do exactly what they promise, and the quality of their books is outstanding.

RAWA: Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?

KPM:  Yes. Create the finest end-product you possibly can. In order to do this, you need to read, read, read, and then write, write and write some more. There are some terrific online guides to writing Query letters to agents, and you will need to master this, too. Submit at least a dozen Query letters to appropriate agents. Then submit a dozen more. And while you are awaiting their responses, download a copy of Mark Levine’s, “The Fine Print of Self Publishing.” If and when you have no positive responses from literary agents – and that is a very real possibility – go for the most appropriate choice in Mark Levine’s book you can find. In fact, you may just discover – as I have – that the literary agent path is not the path for you.

Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions by K. Patrick McDonald is available at Amazon.com; Barnes & Noble; AdLibris; SAXO, WisePress

“Paramedic Heretic” Contents
Dedication
Forewords
Prologue
Introduction – a Brief History of EMS 
Chapter 1. The Paramedic Parallel Universe 
Chapter 2. How Much is a Patient Worth? 
Chapter 3. A Curious Truth about Nurses and Doctors 
Chapter 4. If Fast is Good – is Faster Better? 
Chapter 5. The Bona Fides of Death 
Chapter 6. So You Believe More Care is Better Care? 
Chapter 7. Medical Charts and Scribbling of Scriveners 
Chapter 8. The Nastiest Drug Cartels on the Planet 
Chapter 9. The Noble Profession . . . Often Isn’t 
Chapter 10. This Carriwitchet Affair Called Rescue 
Final Thoughts
A Few True American Heroes
In Memoriam
Further Reading

__________________