How Can We Not Fall in ‘Wiggle-Our-Toes Love’ With Our Gifted Lab Coat Leaders?


In Washington DC there actually exists a medical job title called the Orthopedic Surgeon General of the U.S.  Yes indeed. Now as many of you know, we already have a Surgeon General, the head of the Public Health Service (That’s their nifty warnings on every pack of cigarettes) The person who currently occupies the post of “Orthopod-Surg-Gen” is Doctor Brock Hammersley, and he has seen fit to take time out of his busy schedule to proclaim today a national holiday honoring – you guessed it bones. Yes, today is National Bone Day.


Show a little appreciation, for Heaven’s sake

“Bones mean a lot to me; they mean a lot to all of us in the orthopedic community, and they should mean a lot to every American with a skeleton.” explained Hammersley. “That’s why I’ve created National Bone Day.  So we can reflect and maybe even toast a glass of milk.”

He went on to argue, and correctly so, we must admit, that without our bones known as the skeleton, the rest of our bodies would be weirdly fleshy puddles on the floor, which we’d all keep slipping and sliding on. We wouldn’t be breaking any bones, of course, but you can visualize the problem of bones vs no bones.

“When was the last time we all took a minute to thank our bones?” Hammersley asked.  “We owe them gratitude for their service. They don’t get the glitz & glamour that the face does, nor the flashy PR of sexy abs.  How fair is that?”

So now we suppose we can all look forward to other lab coat libertines naming future holidays after body parts.  We kinda like Tummy Tuesday, and could really take a shine to National Navel Week.

But that’s just us.


America’s Addictions? It All Starts With The Evils of Unethical Advertising. It Ain’t Exactly Rocket Science

Promotes Active Lifestyle! Boosts Personality! Gives Body Essential Sugars!

Why are Americans among the most stupefied, drugged-out primates on the planet? Well, take a peek at this ad from 60 years ago today, before you struggle for an answer . . . .

VINTAGE Coke ad (2)

“For a lifetime of guaranteed happiness.”

Aren’t we the pride of the planet.

Doctor Elana Shamji was ‘Planning to Escape’ in Weeks Before Her Murder

A chance encounter between a Toronto real estate agent and Doctor Elana Shamji has shed some new light on the prosecution’s case for murder against her husband.

Dr Elana Shamji

Doctor Elana Shamji, in a far happier moment

The real estate agent – who is asking to not be identified – told police she met the Scarborough Hospital family doctor while canvassing her upscale neighborhood one day for potential home-sellers, in September 2016.

“I knocked on her door and we chatted on the steps for a while. She was very nice . . . very sweet. But I could sense something was bothering her,” the woman recalled in an interview with police. They now know Elana Shamji was planning to leave her unhappy marriage; to move from the family home and into the center of town closer to her work.

Dr Mohammed Shamji 2

Behind closed doors at home, Doctor Mohammed Shamji (right) was a monster

The real estate agent fears for her safety, because she will likely be called as a witness at the upcoming trial of the neurosurgeon. She asks that her name not be revealed. She says that “I was just asking her if she’d ever thought of selling her home. I was looking for sales leads. And she said she just might be. I got the clear feeling that she was about to leave her husband. I think she knew she had to leave . . . that she might be in danger.”

They exchanged phone numbers and planned to stay in touch.  But several months went by and they never spoke again.

Then, in the first week of December, the agent happened to see a television news story about the police discovering a lady doctor’s body, found stuffed into a large suitcase near the Humber River a few days before.  They announced the arrest of her husband, Doctor Mohammed Shamji, on the charge of First Degree Murder.

At first, the agent didn’t connect the horrifying story to the woman she’d met, until her coworker called and they started talking about the case during the newscast. And when they showed a picture of a smiling Doctor Alana Shamji on the screen – she knew.

“Oh my God. That’s the nice woman with the little girl I’d spoken to months earlier.”



Why Medics and Nurses Don’t Watch TV Medical Shows: The ‘Drama-Goofs’ Drive Us Crazy

Wanna know what really makes a medical professional scream and holler?

GOOFY MED CartoonAs a Paramedic I’ve mentioned on this site more than once, why TV medical dramas – which purport to be realistic – often drive medical professionals stark-raving mad. Just for fun, we’ll note here what a few of our nurse friends have to say about Holly-Weird hospital programs:

“The patient starts having a seizure. The family screams for a nurse. The nurse runs in (first off, we don’t RUN) and her priority move is to take his temperature. Yeah, there’s a nifty move. Let’s pop a thermometer into a seizure patient’s mouth, so he can bite it off and swallow it. ERRRRR.” (Annie, RN)

“My jaw drops when the doctor goes to the patient’s home to explain to them why they need to return to the hospital to have a life saving operation. Yeah right.” (TwilightRN)

“In 40 years of TV goofy-dramas, I’ve never ever, ever seen ANYBODY wash their hands.” (Nerd2Nurse)



Grey’s Anatomy has raked in billions on its bizarre world “reality”. Sad to say, people are gullible enough to believe it 

“Ever notice there are pretty much NO nurses in “House”??? That’s probably because no RN on the planet would work anywhere near that ass.” (Smitty)

“Has anybody ever seen a TV hospital bed with the side rails up? I haven’t.” (Kenni)

House has to be the worst med-deadhead show ever. Some patients die like 5 times, then by the end of the hour they’re wide awake and talking after the commercial.” (AllyKat)

“Any show that has an MD starting an IV makes me turn it off with lightning speed. Too stupid for words.” (33nFree)

“My favorite Whhaaaa! moment was back in the days of Dallas. The cool Bobby Ewing, having been hit by a car, lying in hospital bed talking to his family. He’s connected to the EKG. Suddenly he goes from normal sinus rhythm to flat-line. Somebody calmly walzes in, switches off the machines and . . . one dead Bobby. Poor cutie Bobby. Never had a chance.” (GHGoonette)

“The last episode of Grey’s Anatomy that I ever watched, some coma guy had woken up perfectly fine after a year long coma and walked out of the hospital. Lord have mercy.” (Mazy)

“The whole idea of the nurses wanting to become doctors is science fiction. Never met a nurse in 30 years who would even consider it.” (CNL2B)

“Once in the ER (NOT “ER” but the real ER) I asked one of the cops, “How are the movies about you guys?” He answered, “Exactly the same as movies about you guys. Stupid.” (MaleRN)

How Many Bodies Did the Mental Hospital “Quietly” Bury?

Guess what underground radar discovered beneath the surface of the University of Mississippi Medical Center? Not much, just an estimated 7,000 bodies of former patients.

And some folks still wonder why we call the wide, wide world of medicine the Twilight Zone.

Because some things that go on behind closed doors are downright creepy, that’s why.

It has now been learned that the thousands of corpses are former patients of Mississippi’s first mental institution, the construction of which started in 1853 – well before the Civil War. In those days – as you may well know – they were called “insane asylums”, and this one is – or was supposed to be – the final resting place for wooden coffins aligned across a stunning 20 acres of the medical school campus.

Well, they think all the bodies were patients. No one knows for sure, do they?

The appalling discovery occurred when the university started construction on a parking structure in 2013. Underground radar revealed a jaw-dropping 1,000 wooden coffins and at least 2,000 coffins total. This created numerous pickles for authorities, not the least of which is the $3,000 cost to remove and relocate each and every corpse, which could cost more than $20,000,000.

Mississippi’s first mental hospital happened when Dorothea Dix of Boston leveraged support among Mississippi politicians to fund the project. It opened in 1855.


While the asylum provided a home for patients, life was not nice. Of the nearly 1,400 patients admitted over 2 decades – 20% died there, experts say.

The facility expanded to house 300 patients after the Civil War, and the area became known as Asylum Hill, a neighborhood of homes, a school and a Baptist Church, for former slaves.

At its busiest, authorities say about 5,800 patients lived there, so the facility was a major employer for area. During the Great Depression, the state moved all patients to the present location of the State Hospital at Whitfield.

And it was in 2013 when university contractors discovered the first 5 dozen coffins, as they started carving a road on the college campus.

Our Question:

If the following statement by authorities is true . . .

“Of the nearly 1,400 patients admitted over 2 decades – 20% died there . . . .”

And if 20% of 1,400 is 280 . . . .

WHO are the other 6,720 poor souls?

Well, if anyplace on this earth has a right to be haunted . . . .


One Doctor to Her Colleagues: ‘Don’t Give in to Drug Cartel Bribery’

‘Life destroyed’: A physician warns other physicians about accepting money from drug and medical device manufacturers

A New York MD who is now a convicted felon, is warning other doctors about the dangers of accepting bribes from sales reps for drugs and medical devices.

Dr Michele MartinhoDoctor Michele Martinho, who faces the possibility of jail time and the loss of her medical license when she is sentenced, pleaded guilty in 2014 to one count of accepting a bribe. This week she spoke to a small audience at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, telling her story as a warning to future doctors, according to The Washington Post.

While she learned about medicine, Martinho says medical school did not prepare her for the business of medicine.

Martinho is one of more than 25 doctors who have pleaded guilty in a $200,000,000 health fraud scheme operated by the now-defunct blood-testing company Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services in New Jersey. She accepted monthly payments of $5,000 to refer patients to the lab for blood tests and other screenings, the newspaper said.

She told students her life has been “destroyed,” and she advised them to never accept anything from drug, device and other representatives who parade through doctors’ offices and to consult an attorney who specializes in medical practice with any questions.

Martinho accepted $155,000 in monthly envelopes stuffed full of cash. She has now acknowledged she realized she was evading tax laws when she took the money. But she says she did not understand that the referral itself was considered a kickback.

Really? She spent 10 years in college and she didn’t know what ‘accepting a bribe’ meant?

Doctor Martinho now spends her time speaking at healthcare and ethics institutions. She is hoping her efforts of warning other doctors of the traps set by drug cartels and medical device makers, will persuade the judge to reduce her punishment at her sentencing hearing.

(We are indebted to investigative reporter Joanne Finnigan, who writes for FierceHealthcare, for her reporting on this little-known issue)

Here’s another look at the case:

New Jersey doctor, 79, faces jail after conviction in $200M fraud case

San Diego Paramedics’ First Life Saved? It Almost Didn’t Happen


Our first medic shoulder patch looked like this

By 1972 millions of federal dollars became available to counties that agreed to adopt the nationally acceptable EMS template. So in cities great and small, highly trained pairs of rescuers started popping up like dandelions on the landscape. But not so fast, Charlie Brown. Not in some cities and certainly not in our city. Not San Diego.

One of the largest cities in the nation, San Diego was a mere 90 miles down the freeway from Daniel Freeman, Harbor General and L.A.’s Emergency! television medics.  But our burgeoning border metropolis would wait nearly another decade for the level of street medical care enjoyed in Podunk, USA. And why would that be?


If you think San Diego’s most powerful doctors wanted something like this running around town, you don’t know your history. Doctors lobbied the City Council because they didn’t want to see ANY of this. They did all they could to stop it.

In ‘America’s Finest City’ the most vocal opponents of advanced rescue medicine were a handful of MDs who happened to hold pontificating sway over the City Council. Yes indeedy. These politically-bent MDs held a considerable level of contempt toward these “unproven, unnecessary, probably dangerous” rescue changes. San Diego had operated barren police ambulances for decades, and that was quite good enough, thank you. The last thing citizens needed – in the minds of these physicians – was a bunch of pretend-doctors running around in shiny trucks.



When evil struck a San Diego McDonald’s – the author was there. James Huberty shot 41 innocent people. Had the city’s politico-MDs gotten their way, there would have been no medics for this tragedy, either. Go figure.


So the years went by. Eventually, after nearly a decade of hearing little but a litany of negatives from some of the most respected physicians, the City Council decided to put its collective foot down and voted to approve San Diego’s first Paramedic program, to begin in February,1979. Of course a PSA airliner wiping out a neighborhood four months prior, did nothing to strengthen the contrarian physicians’ case. The Mayor – and future Governor – Pete Wilson, was pushing hard for a true EMS upgrade, and had it not been for his vision and persistence, San Diego might have waited another 10 years.

No need to look far for a training program: UCSD School of Medicine in La Jolla was, after all, smack in the middle of town, already generating qualified Paramedics for other, more enlightened cities. The highly-intensive curriculum was directed by Doctor Andrew Rauscher, under the School of Anesthesiology. It was overseen by Doctor Silvia Micik. It was managed by Gail Walraven, whose team of instructors were seriously dedicated, marvelous women, everyone: Ginger Murphy. Margie Nerney. Karen LeBlanc. Josie Harding. Marilyn Sheets, who came along just a bit later, should be included too.

Because it was so late in coming, we find it noteworthy to reference the first Paramedic-level EMS call in the city of San Diego, which occurred on February 2, 1979, at 8:19 in the morning. The emergency was what is known as a dissecting aortic aneurysm and there exists no condition more deadly. Had this gentleman collapsed the day before, he would have been picked up, loaded into a police van and carted away to die within the hour. But not on this day.


For those interested, an excellent overview of America’s EMS evolution

The rescue team – Medevac 2arrived within five minutes and performed a very sophisticated physical assessment of the poor man lying on the kitchen floor. They compared blood pressures on each arm in both sitting and supine positions – a technique likely unheard of by first-aiders who came before. They determined a 100% accurate diagnosis of critical internal bleeding. They placed their patient on high-flow oxygen and inserted two large IV lines, running fluid into the man as quickly as humanly possible. They interpreted his heart rhythm – sinus tachycardia with dangerous runs of premature ventricular contractions via a portable EKG monitor called the LifePak 5. They transported the patient slowly, smoothly – red lights but no ridiculous siren – to Mercy Hospital 3 miles up the street. He was admitted directly to surgery and he lived to tell his grand kids all about his nearly lethal adventure.

San Diego City EMS Case #79-00001 went down in medical history. It did. Mr. Ivan Kosygin, a 66- year-old Ukrainian emigrant – lived 18 more years. The Mobile Intensive Care nurse on the hospital end of the radio that morning was Diana Hunt, with her marvelous British accent. The ER physician of record was Thomas Kravis. The rescuers? Cyndi Stankowski, one of the first women Paramedics in the nation, fresh out of school.

And your author.

Have a happy and relaxed Easter Sunday, readers. And thank you for your ever-growing interest in subjects that we believe truly matter. Perhaps someday one of our scribbled bits of wisdom will save a loved one.