doctoraaron's blog

Tales of a Family Doc.....a year later

Cross-posted at DKos

My professional life is full of stories.

There are some of remarkable bravery and happiness: Just last Friday I had the opportunity to trade emails with a patient who, finally, in his 60s (!) has managed to overcome drug abuse, alcoholism, crippling self-doubt, hypertension, and diabetes (yes, he managed to get off all medications!) through hard work and determination.  Another, a recently retired Greek American burdened with obesity and its complications, arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol came in to have me guide his discontinuation of his medicines after his health improved because he returned to a lifestyle "like I used to do in Greece."

The state of health reform in California

Sheila Kuehl is an amazing an sensible voice in California politics:

She is a termed-out State Senator who now sits on the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

She was the first openly gay or lesbian person to be elected to the California Legislature.

She was the first woman in California history to be named Speaker pro Tempore of the State Assembly.

In her fourteen years in the State Legislature, Sen. Kuehl authored 171 bills that were signed into law, including legislation to establish paid family leave, establish the rights contained in Roe vs. Wade in California statute, overhaul California’s child support services system; establish nurse to patient ratios in every hospital; require that housing developments of more than 500 units have identified sources of water; further protect domestic violence victims and their children; prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender and disability in the workplace and sexual orientation in education; increase the rights of crime victims; safeguard the environment and drinking water; and many, many others.

You Can Save a Life



Sun May 10, 2009 at 05:48:35 PM PDT

Dr. Don McCanne is a tireless worker on behalf of fundamental health care reform.

He is a retired physician who now devotes himself full time to fighting for change.

Dr. McCanne is passionate in his beliefs, yet he is a serious listener and believes that certain protocols must be observed in debate and in using our modern technological resources to further discussion.

So I was at first surprised Saturday evening to find that he had violated email protocol in a missive he sent to his extensive listserve.

On the other hand----

Thoughts on Cost Control from the Life of a Family Doc

Two weeks ago my associate, Dr. Michele Gomez, spent hours battling (as of today, still without success) for insurance approval of an MRI for a patient with neurologic symptoms and metastatic lung cancer.  Why this pointless waste of time?  Three managers recognized that although she was insured, it was not their branch which should take responsibility for payment.

Listening to Dr. Gomez’ crusade from across the room, I shook my head.  As the wheels begin to turn on health care reform I’ve agreed with the President's stark diagnosis: "The biggest driver of long-term deficits are the huge health care costs," he warned in his March 24 press conference.  "It is going to be an impossible task for us to balance our budget if we're not taking on rising health care costs."

Yet while I nod in agreement with President Obama’s diagnosis, his treatment seems homeopathically weak and doctoraaron's diary divorced from the reality I experience every day.