Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Dr. Val Interview

This week The Doctor Anonymous Show welcomes Val Jones MD. She writes the blog called Dr. Val And The Voice of Reason over on the Revolution Health site. You can read her promo post here. Dr. Val has supported the show since its beginnings - and I very much appreciate it!

Some of her recent posts include Why Do People Enjoy Being Frightened? Also, she blogs about concierge medicine and rating doctors. What's up with that? Check it out over there and take a read.

Join us on Thursday, November 1st, 2007 at 10PM eastern time. I'm really hoping that the chat room will be working this time. The BlogTalkRadio chat room has not been working for me for the past two shows. So, keep your fingers crossed. Who knows what we will talk about? Check here tomorrow for details....

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Pain Relief

Yes, I know this sounds like an album name, but this story has nothing to do with the music group. (Great music, though.) Imagine this: How do you treat an open knee wound during a surgery? Well, you put chemicals in there from chili peppers. No joke. Really..... (Associated Press)
How could something searing possibly soothe? Bite a hot pepper, and after the burn your tongue goes numb. The hope is that bathing surgically exposed nerves in a high enough dose will numb them for weeks, so that patients suffer less pain and require fewer narcotic painkillers as they heal.

"We wanted to exploit this numbness," is how Dr. Eske Aasvang, a pain specialist in Denmark who is testing the substance, puts it.

Chili peppers have been part of folk remedy for centuries, and heat-inducing capsaicin creams are a drugstore staple for aching muscles. But today the spice is hot because of research showing capsaicin targets key pain-sensing cells in a unique way.
Who knew Red Hot Chili Peppers could be so useful? How would you like to be in the research studies for this? Ok, so, what we're going to do is putting a cream on your skin and you tell us how much pain you are in before and after. How about in the operating room? I guess the key is not to spill this stuff on yourself during surgery. Yeaoww!

MRSA overkill?

It was only a matter of time until hospitals succumbed to the pubic outcry of what the press is now calling "The MRSA Epidemic." Now, don't get me wrong, MRSA is a serious infection and we should not ignore it. Following up this story, communities are well aware that this infection is out there. Here is another local story.

All that being said, I believe that some hospitals are starting to be too aggressive in looking for MRSA. Yesterday, Loyola University Medical Center announced that it will test every patient for MRSA. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Now, this is nothing new. Other hospitals in that area have been doing this for years. And, according to the stats in the article, it has made somewhat of a difference. But, is screening EVERY patient the best way to look for MRSA?
But some experts believe universal screening may be overkill. Dozens of studies have found that screening only high-risk patients, combined with other proven infection-control measures, are sufficient to control MRSA, said University of Virginia emeritus professor Dr. Barry Farr.

Farr noted that hospitals in the Netherlands have achieved extremely low MRSA rates without universal screening. Had those hospitals screened every patient, "it would have wasted large amounts of resources unnecessarily," Farr said.
Everyone is always complaining about the cost of health care - especially in the United States. I'm curious in these hospitals at what the cost is for screening everyone who comes in the door. I believe that this is an expensive program, and someone is going to have to pay for this. "Yeah, but Dr. A, how can you put a price tag if a program like this saves one life?" (Like this story from New York)

I totally understand that point. But, let me put it to you this way. How much more of your pay check are you willing to give up to have this program in place in every US hospital? How much more of a deductible and co-pay are you willing to pay for these health care services? These are just part off the hard questions that need answered as the US figures out how to deliver its health care in the most cost-effective manner.

Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds 4.06 is now up and running over at Running A Hospital. This blog is run by Paul Levy who is the president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. According to the site, the theme is the following: A personal experience I (or a loved one) had at a hospital and how it caused me to change my behavior or beliefs.

If you don't know what Grand Rounds is, it is a weekly compilation of the best posts from the medical blogosphere that moves to different sites each week. And, who doesn't like reading about medicine and science? Next week, GR moves to Counting Sheep.

AHEM! If you haven't heard already, on November 13th (two weeks from now) Grand Rounds 4.08 will be right here! Yay! So, get ready. Right as of this moment, I'm not planning to have a theme. So, start getting your best posts ready.

Also, The Doctor Anonymous Show is scheduled to have Dr. Nicholas Genes (the GR founder) on Thursday, November 8th, 2007 at 10 PM Eastern Standard Time. I hope you will be able to join us for the show and to participate in Grand Rounds!

Monday, October 29, 2007

What time is it?

So, I come into the office this morning to find all the phones and computers screwed up. The time is off by an hour. How could have this happened? Is this the twilight zone? Well, sort of. Thanks to our favorite US Congress, they changed the dates when Daylight Savings time happens. Yeesh! Why do they have control over time? They can't even run Medicare? (image credit)


I had a great weekend! I hope that you did. I was out of town relaxing and not thinking about work or even blogging (ek!). So, if I'm not posting that much for the next few days, I'm slowly getting back into things. And, I'll be getting my home Mac ready for upgrading to the new system released last week. (image credit)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mimi LIVE tonight on Dr. A show

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 10:00pm Eastern Time

Join us tonight (actually in a few hours) for Mimi Lenox. There is a little bit more detailed post below, or just click here.

After the last couple of shows, I'm getting a little more comfortable with the 60 minute format. So, we'll be doing that again tonight. I chat it up with Mimi for most of the first half hour of the show. And, then welcome callers (like you) for questions, to say hello, or to talk about whatever your like.

The chat room is always "the show within the show." The chat wasn't working for the last show. So, hopefully, it will be working tonight. The only way to find out it to tune in tonight! Talk to you later....

Update: Thanks so much to Mimi for appearing on the show. Also, thanks to MJRN and Roy for calling into the show. I'm very frustrated that the chat room was not working again tonight. This is the second time that happened. I really have to get that fixed.

Anyway, that's not going to get me down. This show is continuing to grow. We had the largest live audience this show has ever had. And, it's growing every week - Thanks to you. If you missed the show, you can listen in the sidebar or check it out anytime on my BTR site (you can even download it, that's scary LOL). Have a great weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

MRSA panic

There is so much apathy in the country these days about a number of issues. Unfortunately, the only way most people learn about pertinent issues is during a crisis situation (image credit), or during a tragedy. This is evident now through the California wildfire situation. I admit that I really did know much about the specifics of how wildfires happen until recently reading about them.

The same can be said of MRSA. I think it's reasonable to say that most of the public didn't know what MRSA was until recently, especially before the tragic death of that Virginia teen.

Now, it seems to be everywhere in the media. And, our office is getting calls about this every day. In today's Newsday, an associate professor at NYU School of Medicine outlines what's probably been happening in doctor's offices across the country.
But thanks to widespread media coverage of the CDC report, people are worried. Last week many of my patients called me with fresh concerns over their usual pimples and boils, and a frightened neighbor refused to shake my hand, pointing out that because I worked in a hospital I might be in contact with the superbug.

Such hypervigilance will do nothing to eradicate MRSA. Quite the contrary, in fact. Excessive concerns over rare bacteria lead patients to pressure physicians for antibiotics to treat the slightest sniffle or scratch. Though more than 90 percent of upper respiratory infections are viral and don't respond to antibiotics, and though most skin bumps go away on their own, physicians are nevertheless quick to overprescribe oral antibiotics. This bad habit leads to more impervious bacteria, which develop resistance to existing treatment.
This is an interesting national article, and I encourage you to check it out. But, when it comes down to it, all politics is local, right? People really don't learn all the ins and outs of an issue until it hits home. Here is the beginning of an article from one of our local papers today:
Niles — A McKinley High School football player has contracted a drug-resistant staph bacteria infection, sparking city health and school district officials to take precautionary measures. ‘‘We are taking precautions,’’ Niles schools Superintendent Rocco Adduci said.

City Health Commissioner and school physician Dr. William Eddy said it takes 48 to 72 hours to determine that a staph infection is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). The confirmation of the Niles case was made Tuesday.
But, what I really enjoyed was the end of this local article. It is so pragmatic. It makes total sense. It's definitely what this community needs right now. And, of course, the quote is not from a doctor, but from a nurse and mother. I couldn't have said it better myself.
Still, infections can happen, according to parent Cindy Rosenberger of Niles. Although she’s a nurse in a local hospital and taught her kids how to wash their hands and prevent infection, three of her children — one of them an athlete in the schools — have come down with staph infections over the years. ‘‘It’s definitely a concern,’’ she said. ‘‘You hear of schools where there are staph infections, where kids may have died.’’

When her children had staph infections, Rosenberger watched for signs of illness, such as fever and chills, and also made sure they finished the prescriptions their doctor gave them. ‘‘Kids want to take one or two of the doses, and then when the symptoms go away, they don’t want to take any more,’’ she said. ‘‘I always make sure they finish them.’’
Update (1pm): Niles player has MRSA infection

The Mimi Lenox Interview

The Queen of Memes herself is coming to visit the Doctor Anonymous Show on Thursday, October 25th, 2007 starting at 10pm Eastern Time. What time will it be where you're at? Well, click here and find out so you can tune in.

As you know, Mimi is the Founder of the Peace Globe Movement and will be having the Blogblast for Peace coming up on Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 (only two weeks away now). We'll be talking about this and a lot more on the upcoming show.

I encourage you to check out her post from Thursday, October 12, 2006 as kind of an insight on how this entire idea started. In addition, Mimi's own post from Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - the first peace globe day. Here's my post as well.

If you haven't already, get your 2007 peace globe right here and place it on your blog - place it on your sidebar - place it anywhere and everywhere. Do it now, before you forget. Tell you friends about it. 

And, while you are personalizing your peace globe, don't forget to join Mimi on the Doctor Anonymous Show on October 25th. We'll be LIVE on internet radio and will be taking your phone calls. Check here tomorrow for more details....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vibrate to lose weight

I know this probably sounds like an exercise DVD with Jenna Jameson, but I assure you, this real science here. And, no, I'm not an investment partner in the equipment featured above in this youtube link. What am I talking about?

Well, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, here is an article from National Geographic (really). Researchers in New York placed mice on a vibrating platform for 15 minutes a day. The result? These mice developed 28 percent less fat than the mice not receiving this intervention.
Scientists theorize that as the mice developed, the vibrations mimicked muscle activity and induced their stem cells to develop into bone or muscle cells rather than fat cells.

"We're not burning fat or taking fat mice and making them skinny," said lead author Clinton Rubin, a biomedical engineer at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. "We're taking mice who are growing and ... influencing the decision of stem cells [so that they don't] become fat cells."
Uh, yeah. Likely story. I don't believe that. Finally, a way to avoid the gym, eat what I want, and still lose the weight. This sounds too good to be true! Oh yeah, that means it is probably too good to be true. Oh well....

Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds 4.05 is now up and running at PalliMed: A Hospice & Palliative Medicine Blog. The writers of the blog are Drew Rosielle, MD, Christian Sinclair, MD, and Thomas Quinn, APRN, CHPN. This is an interesting blog. I encourage you to check it out.

The theme for this week's GR is "Prognostication." If you don't know what Grand Rounds is, it is a weekly compilation of the best posts from the medical blogosphere that moves to different sites each week. And, who doesn't like reading about medicine and science? Next week, GR moves to Running a Hospital.

Breathalyzer for smokers

Are you a secret smoker? Have you been fooling your family and co-workers into thinking that you're smoke free? Well, your days of secrecy are coming to an end - because of a science project. Yes, that's right, a high school science project.

Ashray Reddy, a sophomore high school student, and his father Dr. S. Reedy presented data at the American College of Chest Physicians meeting in Chicago on Monday. They took a pulse cooximeter, a machine used to identify carbon monoxide in patients and firefighters, to identify if the study subject was a smoker (HealthDay News).
The device, which Reddy said costs $4,000-$5,000, measures the level of carbon monoxide in hemoglobin. It accurately spotted up 95 percent of all smokers when Reddy looked only at those who had a 6 percent or higher level of carbon monoxide.
It will be interesting to see if these results are able to be repeated. If they are, then the ramifications of this are huge. I can see insurance companies using this to see how high your premiums will be if you're identified as a smoker. I see other entities like schools and employers utilizing this machine for their own purposes. Who knew a high school science project could have such wide ranging implications? (image credit)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Professor/Student Love Contract

Now, when I was in college, I always wished that I could date the hot female professor. Isn't that the dream of most male and some female college students? Of course this was taboo and of course it was against the rules. This was part of the thrill of the whole thing, right?

Well, now there is a UCLA professor who is standing up for the professor/student romantic relationship. That's right, boys and girls. Psychology professor Paul R. Abramson, 57, currently on his fourth marriage, in a new book, argues that consenting adults (meaning professors and students) should be able to have a romantic relationship. (LA Times) So much so, that he advocates this:
To allay legal fears, he suggests an alternative: All faculty and students would read and sign a release (a "love contract") that would warn about the power differences and favoritism that can arise from faculty-student dating. They then would promise, as in a medical release, not to hold the school responsible if the romance goes sour.
Uh, yeah. Like that would really work. This "policy" would be in place for about half a semester until the first allegation of rape took place. Universities always like dealing with rape allegations (see: Duke University).

As far as concepts and policies similar to this idea, one only has to look here to the Antioch College Sexual Offense Prevention Policy. Yup, that worked so well it was parodied on SNL (although I couldn't find it on youtube, but it was hilarious!)

Finally, why the picture from The Graduate? (image credit) I don't know. It really doesn't fit with this post. But, oh well. This movie just came to my mind when I was writing this....

Update: Thanks to The Guardian for linking to this post. I really appreciate it!
Another blogger, Dr Anonymous, cheekily included an image of the actor Dustin Hoffman's most famous academic moment, as if to ask, "Are you trying to seduce me, Mr Abramson?"

Mind over matter: Not for cancer?

With illness, we've all heard that if you stay positive and optimistic, that the mind can do powerful things. "Mind Over Matter" is the mantra (image credit). Each of us knows someone or has a story of someone who seemed to "beat the odds," by staying positive and optimistic.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania released data today about patients with head and neck cancer. Contrary to what is currently believed, the data showed that people who are depressed about their cancer are no more likely to die than people who keep a positive outlook. (Reuters)
The analysis showed that emotional status was not associated with survival rate. A person's emotions were not associated with survival even after taking into account other factors, such as gender, tumor site or disease stage, Coyne and colleagues report in the journal Cancer.
Now don't get me wrong, being optimistic and having a positive attitude has many benefits - particularly for cancer patients. However, unfortunately, given this data, I can no longer give the opinion that I think that antidepressants and psychotherapy have a chance of improving survival or even extending life. Hopefully, further research on this topic will prove otherwise.

The Dashing MD Interview

I'd like to thank the Dashing MD for joining me on Doctor Anonymous Show #10 this evening. He has a great podcast that started during his surgery residency and now he is completing a research fellowship. Following the fellowship, his goal is to become a pediatric surgeon. We also talked briefly talked about the hot topic of MRSA in the news currently, how it was to be in a movie, and his recent trip to New Orleans.

No, that's not the Dashing MD's picture, but thought it may get your attention - Did it? I encourage you to check out his podcast. Don't forget later this week on Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 10pm eastern time. Our guest will be Mimi Lenox and she'll be talking about her Blogblast For Peace. Thanks so much for supporting the show. I really appreciate it!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Epilogue: Dr. A Live #9

The live chat room is really the show within the show. For some reason, the chat room was focused on the Halloween theme - with psychiatrists, no doubt. Pretty funny. Thanks to those of you who made the chat room so much fun! You can either listen to the show via my sidebar, or you can click here to listen through my Dr. A show site.

Thanks so much for all three shrinks from the Shrink Rap blog and My Three Shrinks podcast for calling into the show. That was a pleasant surprise. Clink is even at South Beach right now at a conference and she called us from her hotel balcony (at least that's what she said).

Thanks also to Ladyk73 and Turnbaby for calling into the show. According to the stats, this show had the most live listeners of all the shows that I have done so far. I really appreciate the support that so many people have given the show. Tell your friends; tell your neighbors; tell everybody about the show!

Sunday night, October 21st at 9pm eastern time, there will be a special Sunday edition of the show. Our guest? It will be the one and only Dashing MD from the Dashing MD podcast.

Then in the usual Thursday night timeslot at 10pm eastern - on October 26th - will be Mimi Lenox. The Blogblast for Peace is quickly approaching. We'll be talking about that and other stuff. Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tonight! Dr. A LIVE

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Thursday, October 18, 2007 at 10:00pm Eastern Time

I'm happy to welcome Roy from the My Three Shrinks podcast and the Shrink Rap blog to Doctor Anonymous Live tonight. Read here for more information.

I'm going to try things a little different tonight for the show. I've actually blocked off 60 minutes, so we'll see how that goes. Roy and I will chat for a bit and then I will welcome your phone calls - for questions for Roy, or to talk about anything you like.

The chat room is always "the show within the show." I'll also be distracted by the Indians/Red Sox game tonight. Will I be able to focus? Will the technical problems be able to stay away for this show? How will the sleep deprivation affect me tonight? You'll have to tune in to find out.

Forget stretching

Finally! A study whose results I can get behind. I hate streching. Stretching is for the birds. I hate those people in their ivory exercise towers who preach to me that for a proper workout, one needs to stretch before and after a session.

That's rubbish! And, now there is data to prove this. Researchers at the University of Sydney reviewed ten studies that tried to answer this question. The results have just been published in the prestigious Cochrane database. (WebMD)
The Australian researchers focused only on the ability of stretching to reduce soreness. And if your only reason to stretch is to avoid soreness, [researcher] de Noronha says the review proves "you don't need to go through the hassle because it does not actually work."
All right, I'm going to the gym and telling all those annoyingly perfectly physically fit people out there that I do not need to stretch to avoid soreness. Pshaw! Another myth exposed. But, to really avoid soreness, I just don't exercise? But, if I don't exercise, won't that lead to obesity? Apparently not! Read here.....

We overestimate our sleep

Think fast! How much sleep did you get last night? Six hours? Eight hours? Ten hours? More? Less? (Why do many questions? Hm....) This post is so apropos, because I'm writing this on call, and I have no idea how much sleep I'll get tonight.

Anyway, a new study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine finds that Americans overestimate the amount of sleep they get. (abcnews) They studied about two thousand people and the subjects were over forty years old.
"As we have progressed, people are losing sleep time," explained [lead author Graciela] Silva, who is concerned that a sleep deficiency may affect daily functioning. "Physicians should take into account that people overestimate their sleep time," Silva said.

[Phyllis] Zee [director of a sleep center] agrees, and added that doctors often rely on subjective reports. "So, doctors need to be cognizant that older adults may be overestimating, and if they are actually getting less sleep, [it] may be associated with increased risk for cardiovascular, metabolic conditions that have been associated with short sleep duration."
Now, if I told you I have gotten three hours of sleep while on call this evening, what would you say? Do I need help? Do I have a problem? I thought the paradigm in medical school training is that people tend to underestimate when giving numbers -- like alcoholic drinks, cigarettes smoked, etc. Shouldn't that apply here as well :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thanks so much!

I appreciate everyone who visited my blog today. Thanks for making this the best day in the past month for this blog. I'm humbled by all the hits today. You're the best!

Obesity inevitable in modern world

No, Mr. Peace Prize winner (image credit) didn't say this. That punch line comes later. Now, before people start throwing things at me, I did not say this either.

According to today's report from Reuters, a UK government think-tank states that obesity is a consequence of modern life, and not due to over-eating and lack of exercise. Huh? What's up with that?
It found in a report that the technological revolution of the 20th century has led to weight gain becoming unavoidable for most people because our bodies and biological make-up are out of step with our surroundings.

"Stocking up on food was key to survival in prehistoric times, but now with energy-dense, cheap foods, labour-saving devices, motorised transport and sedentary work, obesity is rapidly becoming a consequence of modern life," said Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser and head of the Foresight programme.
The article goes on to say that it may take three decades to reverse the "so-called epidemic." What needs to happen, according to the study's authors, is a change in the entire society, because this problem is too complicated to leave to personal responsibility. Here is my favorite paragraph of the entire thing.
Tackling obesity, like tackling climate change, requires a range of changes in society, from increasing everyday activity through urban design and transport systems to shifting the drivers of the food chain and consumer purchasing patterns to favour healthier options.
Comparing obesity to global warming? (Apparently now, climate change is now code-speak for global warming.) If that's the case, then Mr. Nobel Peace Prize winner should make a musical out of it - An Inconvenient Fast Food Nation! He can then win the Tony in addition to his Nobel, Oscar, Emmy and Webby. LOL

Largest Medical School Class Ever

Who says that no one wants to be a physician? The Association of American Medical Colleges announced that there will be a record 17,800 (approximate) first year medical students this year - a 2.3 percent increase verses last year. There was also an 8.2 percent increase in applicants. Approximately 42,300 individuals applied for medical school in 2006. (Newswise)

The article also says that a handful of schools (image credit) also increased their entering class size verses 2006. I think this is good news for medicine and for the public. Now, to burst this bubble, there is no mention of how many people wash out in the first year and how many actually finish med school after previous record numbers of first year students. Now, those would be interesting numbers to see.

Dr. A Show: The Shrink Interview

On Thursday at 10pm eastern time, The Doctor Anonymous Live welcomes Roy from MyThreeShrinks and the Shrink Rap blog. I'm very excited about this interview. I was on the My Three Shrinks podcast about a month ago, and I had a great time. I encourage you to take a listen before Thursday's show.

Over the past couple of weeks, Roy has had some very informative posts on various topics like postpartum depression, the Virginia Tech findings report, panic attacks, mental illness awareness week, topamax used in chronic alcohol consumption patients, and a post called "Sunday Brain Soup," that you'll have to check out. Click here to read these over before the show.

Or, we might just take the discussion in an entirely different direction. You have to be sure to listen live, join the live chat room, and/or call in to harrass, er, ask us a question about the above topics or anything else that comes to mind. Write it down! Thursday night at 10pm eastern time. Roy, me, you, and Doctor Anonymous Live - Don't miss it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

MRSA kills Virginia teen

It used to be that MRSA, or methicillin resistant staph aureus, a bacteria, was the rarely even seen. It was talked about as a hospital acquired illness and patients were usually elderly with many complicating medical problems. Unfortunately, now, it's being seen more and more commonly. (image credit)

The Associated Press is reporting that Ashton Bonds, a 17 year old Virginia high school student, died yesterday after being diagnosed with MRSA last week. Officials closed down 21 schools for cleaning to prevent spread of the bacteria.
Many of the infections are being spread in gyms and locker rooms, where athletes — perhaps suffering from cuts or abrasions — share sports equipment. Ashton Bonds played football last year but was not playing this season.

Ashton went to Bedford Memorial Hospital on Oct. 4 after complaining of pain in his side, his mother said. He was sent home after doctors ruled out appendicitis, but was readmitted three days later and transported to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Last week doctors diagnosed Ashton with a MRSA infection that had spread to his kidneys, liver, lungs and the muscles around his heart.

Early Thursday morning, Ashton had to be sedated and put on a ventilator. He was about to undergo surgery to drain the infection from his lungs when doctors detected a blood clot near his heart. Bonds said the clot was inoperable.
In my community, of course, we're not having tragic outcomes like this one. But, when looking at emergency room visits, community acquired MRSA infections are becoming more and more common. Almost every patient coming from a nursing home to the ER with an infection is assumed to have MRSA until proven otherwise.

This is becoming a major problem. MRSA is no longer a problem of the big cities and big university hospitals. It's occurring more and more in grassroots America. So, next time you have an infection that's not going away, don't ignore it - Have it checked out...

500th Post: Halloween Meme

According to the friendly Blogger ticker, this is my 500th post. Yay me! This is merely 485 days since my first day of blogging. So, what I'm going to do is go back into the Dr. A archives and dig up a post from last year.

Hm. Since this is a recycled post, would that mean this is not the 500th post? I guess we'll need to rules officials for that one. Anyway, for those of you who are wondering - YES - I used to participate in memes. And this one from last year was a good one. Enjoy this flash from the past all the way from October 5, 2006! (Don't forget to check out the comments from back then as well.)

I was tagged my Morgan (gee, thanks) who started his own meme. What is it that I'm always the first person picked when a meme gets started? (Was that whiney enough for you?) Anyway, this is a 13 question theme that goes like this...

1. What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?
Howard the Duck. Just kidding. Ever see this movie? Nope, not many people did -- I think in grade school, they showed a dracula movie around this time of year. I couldn't sleep for days. I think it scarred me for life - really. *smile*

2. What was your favorite Halloween Costume from childhood?
I was a superhero guy. My fave was Superman. Had the cape, had the big "S" on my chest, had the tights. I was 18 years old - just kidding. But, my mom has pictures somewhere of me. Don't worry she has them carefully hidden and will only reveal them at the worst possible time for me, like when I make my long awaited guest appearance on Gray's Anatomy (playing myself of course).

3. If you had an unlimited budget, what would your Fantasy Costume be for this Halloween?
Without a doubt, I would be giving some love to Pluto. I mean the planet, and not the dog. It'll be part of my "Save Pluto" campaign.

4. When was the last time you went Trick Or Treating?
Last year, did you know, I went to a neighborhood and they were giving out iPods? Yeah right. The last time I remember was probably junior high. I remember because my friend went as Michael Jackson. That explains a lot about where he's at now in life.

5. What's your favorite Halloween Candy?
Any time of year, my fave candy is M&Ms. This time of year, of course, the Halloween colors. And, for giving out candy, the M&M minis. Is that too much information?

6. Tell us about a scary nightmare you had.
I was out of town without internet access. Oh yeah, that really happened. Read here.

7. What is your Supernatural Fear?
That slimy ghost from the Ghostbusters movies is going to get me some day. Who you gonna call?

8. What is your Creepy-Crawlie Fear?
Everyone who comes to my office stating they have a spider bite is always fearful of the brown recluse spider. Why? Because the bite injects a venom that literally eats away at your skin and has the potential (although rare) of causing a fatality. Scared yet?

9. Tell us about a time when you saw a ghost, or heard something go Bump in the night.
The first house I lived in following residency was in the woods. Beautiful landscape, although it was hard to maintain. Anyway, one night, I think it was in October I heard something on the roof. I was definitely freaked out. The wind was swirling and you could hear the leaves outside the window. What happened? Just some squirrels on the roof. Funny now, but not that night.

10. Would you ever stay in a real Haunted House overnight?
No. Let me think about that - No. Wait a sec --> Still no!

11. Are you a traditionalist (just a face) Jack O'Lantern Carver, or do you get really creative with your pumpkins?
Just a face. I'm not much more creative than that.

12. How much do you decorate your home for Halloween?
Decorate? What's that? I'm lucky to "celebrate the season" by wearing a Halloween tie to work. I'm kind of a minimalist that way.

13. What do you want on your Tombstone?
That's easy: I'm Dr. A, and I'm a blogaholic...

Cleveland school shooting update

I briefly discussed this last week. In the aftermath of this tragedy, the Associated Press released a story talking about a teacher from SuccessTech Academy in Cleveland -- Michael Grassie. The student he was talking about was Asa Coon, 14, who wounded two teachers and two students before taking his own life.
Grassie, sitting in a wheelchair, said Coon was doing poorly in his class at SuccessTech Academy and risked failing.

"I know that made him really mad," he said. "He just seemed really troubled, really troubled."

Grassie said Coon came into his classroom Wednesday holding two revolvers and said something Grassie didn't understand, and then Coon said, "Now what have you got to say to me?"

"He just shot me," Grassie said.

"I remember the expression on Asa's face," he said. "Anger, total anger. Real hatred. It's something I haven't seen on a 14-year-old's face before."
Now the title of this article is this: Cleveland School Shooter Upset About Failing History. That's what drew me into this story initially. I was asking myself, "How can just failing a class drive a student to take shots at others and then take his own life?"

It's clear that there was more going on in this student's mind. And, this teacher, unfortunately, said what is commonly said in tragedies like this one, "All the warning signs were there. No one picked up on them." There will be a lot of finger pointing and blame passed around. Hopefully, a definite solution can be developed to prevent something like this in the future.

Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds 4.04 is now up and running over at the NY Emergency Medicine blog. The theme this week is everything to do with emergency medicine. I wasn't able to write anything for GR this week (how can I get more time in my week?).

If you don't know what Grand Rounds is, it is a weekly compilation of the best posts from the medical blogosphere that moves to different sites each week. And, who doesn't like reading about medicine and science?

Be sure to check out the new Blogborygmi template, and the ability to put future GR hosts into your Google calendar (it's cool). Next week, Grand Rounds moves over to PalliMed.

Monday, October 15, 2007

920 calorie burrito

Yeesh! Would you like fries with that? (AP)

Dentist breast massages

You're probably going to think that I'm making this up, but you be the judge. Now, I'm no dentist, but I don't recall any kind of gynecology classes in that curriculum. This article from the Associated Press should speak for itself. (image credit)
Woodland, Calif. — A dentist accused of fondling the breasts of 27 female patients is trying to keep his dental license by arguing that chest massages are an appropriate procedure in certain cases. Mark Anderson's lawyer says dental journals discuss the need to massage the pectoral muscles to treat a common jaw problem.

Police say Anderson said during recorded phone calls that he routinely massaged patients' chests to treat temporo-mandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, which causes neck and head pain.
In a related story, SmileWright's Office and Massage Parlor is announcing the grand opening of a new branch in Woodland, California. For all new patients, with your teeth cleaning, you get a coupon for [insert joke here].... HA!

By the way, who knew there was a movie called "Dentist Visit" with the picture above? How weird is that? Is this art imitating life, or life imitating art? You be the judge.....

Update: A judge has ruled that he cannot practice while his case is pending. Duh!

Filipino Mob found me

For those who tuned into The Dr. A Show on Friday night and on Sunday night - you heard that I was having technical problems. On Friday, my internet connection totally dropped. And, my connection did not come back until Sunday. So, Sunday, I tried to have another show, and more technical problems happened.

During my show, I criticized the "Filipino Mob" for totally overreacting (image credit). So, during both my radio shows, I was feeling totally paranoid that "someone" or "someones" were either gaining access to my computer or cutting off my internet connection. Could they really do that? Can't the Mob do anything?

After the paranoia passed, I checked out my system to see if there were any problems on my end. After a cursory check, I didn't find anything obvious. My next step was looking at the site of my internet service provider. Interestingly enough, I found the following message on their site.

Red 10/12/2007 4:38:03 PM
TW-NEO Road Runner is currently experiencing issues with the cable network. Subscribers in the affected area(s) may experience a loss of connectivity, usually indicated by flashing modem lights and/or a loss of video service. Our engineers are working quickly to resolve this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Now looking back, this was about four hours prior to my Friday night show time. So, this was probably the culprit. I feel a little better (kind of). On Sunday night, I was having problems with calling in via Skype, so I had to use my landline.

Hopefully, these tech problems can be worked out. I really didn't believe that the mob found me - well, kind of. They really can't find me, can they? What's that? Oh yeah, it's the paranoia that's coming back. hehe

Cancer rates falling

It's not very often that the press reports good news. So, I'm giving credit where credit is due. Reuters is reporting today that death rates from cancer (in the United States) are continuing to fall compared to previous studies.
They found important declines in deaths from lung, prostate and colorectal cancers in men, as well as in breast and colon cancer among women. Lung cancer deaths were still on the rise among women but this increase slowed, according to the report.

The annual decline in cancer death rates from 2002 to 2004 was nearly twice the decrease of 1.1 percent per year from 1993 through 2002.
This is definitely great news. A lot of work from a lot of different people and a variety of different organizations helped make this possible.

What will be interesting to watch now is these different organizations - whether they be government agencies, private sector research firms, patient advocate organizations, or others - take credit for this work (which they should) and fight for government budget dollars, private foundation dollars, and your public donation dollars (you can already see this at the end of this Reuters article). Let the games begin!

Chocoholic metabotype

Some people may think this sounds like the latest album from that youtube guy who sang chocolate rain, but this is real science I'm talking about here -- hehe -- Anyway, the Boston Globe describes a study was recently published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Proteome Research (is that really the name of the journal?). Of all places, the study was conducted by Sunil Kochhar at the Nestle Research Center in Switzerland.
Kochhar and colleagues enlisted 22 men of approximately the same age and weight - 11 claimed to be "chocolate lovers," and 11 said they were indifferent to chocolate. The subjects were all put on the same diet for five days, and all ate chocolate or bread for the duration of the study. Researchers found that the "chocolate lovers" had lower LDL-cholesterol and higher albumin levels in their urine and blood, even on days when they didn't consume chocolate.
Let me get this straight. So, when asked to take part in a study at the chocolate research center and asked if you enjoy eating chocolate, they then give you either chocolate or bread? I'm no researcher, but if I'm not receiving chocolate and getting bread - I pretty much know that I'm in the placebo group. Research bias?

What this study concluded was that if you have the favorable metabolic type (metabotype) for chocolate, then basically you can eat as much chocolate as you want and it will not affect your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Finally! A study which justifies the amount of chocolate I consume.

Close to the bottom of the article, it says that the research was limited by the fact that only males were used. The next step was doing the same study using female subjects. Any takers?

Dr. A: Guest Blogger

I was contacted last week by Dominic Carone, Ph.D. from MedFriendly to write a guest post for them. Naturally, I was flattered. I don't think I've been asked before to write a guest post. In checking out the MedFriendly blog, I was that Kim Emergiblog herself wrote a guest post about ED visits. So, hey, this site is probably ok.

If you get a chance, I encourage you to check out the site and their blog. It looks like the site has been around for a number of years and has won some awards. Thanks again for the opportunity to write a guest post. I talk about Family Medicine physicians on my post over there.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Allergy season

My allergies are making me a little grumpy today. Are doctors allowed to get sick? (image credit)

Dr. A show Friday night

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Yes, I'm the worst host -- ever! I cancel my show for Thursday night, and what do I do? I just come back the next night with a show. And, yes, I have nothing better to do on a Friday night except blog and talk on internet radio. Your point would be...

Well, I will tell you this. I will be watching the Indians/Red Sox game Friday night during the show - and will probably give you real time reaction - At least that should be interesting, right?

There are no scheduled guests - except you if you would like to call into the show. I'm calling this "The Dr. A Chronicles." I've been meaning to talk about the DH thing (which I know people either never heard of, don't care about, or have moved on from), some medical news, and, of course, the American League Championship Series.

It'll probably be more like the Dr. A monologue, but, hey, who cares? I'm going to have a good time. And, if you're by a computer Friday night at 9pm eastern time, feel free to join me. Go Tribe!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cough & cold meds withdrawn

Following up this post on avoiding cough medicines in kids, it was announced today (I have the fax from J&J in front of me) that there will be a voluntary withdrawal of ALL cough and cold remedies for children under the age of 2. (image credit)

There is an FDA advisory panel next week, and there probably would have been a recommendation on this already. (Chicago Tribune)
"It's important to point out that these medicines are safe and effective when used as directed, and most parents are using them appropriately," said Linda A. Suydam, president of Consumer Healthcare Products Association. "The reason the makers of over-the-counter, oral cough and cold medicines for infants are voluntarily withdrawing these medicines is that there have been rare patterns of misuse leading to overdose recently identified, particularly in infants, and safety is our top priority."

Many of the medicines contain pseudoephedrine and phenlypephrine. The branded cough and cold medicines that are being voluntarily withdrawn are: Dimetapp Decongestant Plus Cough Infant Drops; Dimetapp Decongestant Infant Drops; Little Colds Decongestant Plus Cough; Little Colds Multi-Symptom Cold Formula; PEDIACARE Infant Drops Decongestant & Cough and certain brands of Robitussin, Triaminic and Tylenol brands of infant and toddler cough and cold remedies.
I really feel bad for all those family practice offices (like ours) and pediatrician offices today. We're already been getting phone calls on what parents are supposed to do now since these medicines are going to be voluntarily withdrawn. Ah yes, just another day at the office....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cleveland school shooting

When is stuff like this going to end? Here is the latest from CNN:
A 14-year-old gunman shot students and teachers at a Cleveland high school, wounding four, and was then killed, the mayor told CNN affiliates WOIO and WKYC. It was not known if police shot the gunman or if he took his own life.

The shooting victims include two adult men, 57 and 42 years old; and two teenage males, 17 and 14 years old, according to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. A 14-year-old female hurt her knee in the chaos, he added.
Not that I'm comparing situations, but I remember back about what I was thinking during the Virginia Tech tragedy back in April (Can the cycle be broken, depression = murder?, privacy laws need scrutinized, mental health care delivery in the US).

School shootings are tragic and my thoughts and prayers go to the families affected by this. I'm just not looking forward to the 24/7 news coverage and people jumping on the bandwagon to advance their political agendas. Can we just figure out why this happened (if we can) and prevent it from happening in the future?

Show cancelled

Don't you hate when real life gets in the way of blogging life? Last night, something came up at work such that I'm probably not going to be at my computer at 10PM tomorrow night for the Doctor Anonymous show. It wasn't a definite, so my dilemma was this - Should I just cancel the show now, or wait possibly until the last minute to cancel, depending on what happens tomorrow night.

It really wouldn't have been fair to the guest or to all of you to wait until the last minute. The whole balance thing between real life and blog life is difficult sometimes - and this is an example of that. So, my apologies. There is an outside chance that I'll be back by my computer by 11pm. If I'm feeling nutty, I might just have a show anyway where I talk to myself for 30 minutes. hehe

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The myth of healthy restaurants

Are you like me in that cooking is just not your thing? That being said, I probably eat out a little more than I should. And, when I do go out, I like looking for that healthy-type restaurant, so that, at least, I feel a little bit better ordering off the menu there.

Well, I just learned that this may be a bad move. According to this article from Fox News, most people ingest more calories when eating out at so-called healthy restaurants.
Researchers say healthy restaurants often prompt consumers to treat themselves to higher-calorie side dishes, drinks or desserts than they would normally eat at fast-food and other restaurants that do not claim to be healthy.

"We found that when people go to restaurants claiming to be healthy, such as Subway, they choose additional side items containing up to 131 percent more calories than when they go to restaurants like McDonald's that don't make this claim," said Brian Wansink, Cornell's John S. Dyson professor of marketing and applied economics and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, in a news release.
Yeesh! I admit that I totally do this. Oh boy, now what am I going to do? The easy solution is to just forget all those "additional side items" that they are talking about above. But, of course, maybe I should just ditch the entire healthy restaurant thing, because isn't that what I'm doing anyway? Man, I'm such a hypocrite... hehe..

Filipino boycott working

Remember last week when the mob was protesting and encouraging a boycott of the Desperate Housewives show for the "Filipino Diploma" comment? Well, the Sunday night ratings have just been announced and I'm proud to say that the boycott is working (well, not really).
One week after “Desperate Housewives” returned for its fourth season on ABC, the network’s Sunday night lineup remained down but still solid in the ratings, finishing second only to NBC’s live football coverage.

While audiences for the ABC shows fell by millions of viewers compared with their week-ago debuts, Desperate Housewives remained No. 1 overall, with 17.4 million viewers at 9, Nielsen estimated. (New York Times)
Now, those in the mob will say, "Hey, we caused a million viewers to tune out the show because of our protests last week!" Wrong! America wanted to see if Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers could remain undefeated - and that's why a sporting event, and not a network TV show, won the ratings race Sunday night.

Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds 4.03 is now up and running over at Nurse Ratched's Place. Mother Jones RN calls this post "It's Military Week at Grand Rounds" - a tribute to health professionals who serve their country by serving others. Thanks for including my post:
In 1945, Surgeon General Norman T. Kirk was asked to name the first three outstanding innovations brought about by World War II, and without hesitation he said, “Surgery, the sulfa drugs, and penicillin.” Other outstanding achievements in military research included dried plasma, which was developed and first used during World War II. Medical research conducted by the military during wartime continues to save countless lives.

Research in the civilian world is also saving lives. Dr. Anonymous sent in this post about the American Cancer Society and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One day researchers will find a cure for breast cancer, but until then Dr. Anonymous is urging readers to learn the facts about the disease.
If you don't know what Grand Rounds is, it is a weekly compilation of the best posts from the medical blogosphere that moves to different sites each week. And, who doesn't like reading about medicine and science?

Thanks again to MJ for being a guest on Doctor Anonymous Live last week. I really appreciate it. Speaking of the show, we have a great list of guests coming up this month. Next week, Grand Rounds moves to NY Emergency Medicine.

Cleveland Rocks!

Indians beat Yankees! Bring on the Bosox!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Dr. A Show: Upcoming Guests

As I announced on last week's show, I'm very excited (and grateful) to have so many guests already booked on the show for the month of October. Mark your calendars now, so that you can join the fun, and be our guest!

(All these are tentatively scheduled guests, dates, and times which are subject to change at any time. Check back regularly to the blog for the most current information.)

October 18th @ 10pm ET: Roy from the Shrink Rap blog

October 21st @ 9:30pm ET: Dashing MD from the Dashing MD podcast

October 25th @ 10pm ET: Mimi Lenox from Blogblast for Peace

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Cell phone personal trainer

What's better than an iPhone? Well, nothing -- But, there may be a phone that I may place in that coveted second place spot on my list of the best cell phones out there. Here's an Associated Press article which explains.
Chiba, Japan - It can take your pulse, check your body fat, time your jogs and tell you if you have bad breath. It even assesses stress levels and inspires you with a pep talk. The prototype Wellness mobile phone from Japan's NTT DoCoMo Inc. targets users with busy lives who want a hassle-free way of keeping track of their health, according to company spokesman Noriaki Tobita.

The phone, unveiled this week at the CEATEC electronics show outside Tokyo, has an inbuilt motion sensor that detects body movement and calculates how many calories you burn. The sensor can tell whether you're walking, running, climbing stairs, or resting, and counts the calories accordingly to tally daily totals, Tobita said.
According to the company, this also has the capability to be a body fat calculator, tell you if you have bad breath, and claims to give advice about stress. Wow! I didn't know a cell phone could do all that? The most important question I have is this: Will it blend?

Anatomy of a mob

Now, I know what you're thinking. I'm posting something else on this Desperate Housewives controversy - just to get some more hits. So, why not? It's just been interesting watching this thing unfold over the past week.

So, let's review. The show airs a week ago. Almost immediately, the blog posts begin. Within 48 hours, the blogosphere mob starts to talk of boycotts, petitions, protests, and demanding an apology. Within another 48 hours, the Philippine government gets involved (don't they have anything better to do?).

Now, when the apology is issued, you would think that would satisfy the mob. But, alas, no. They demand more:
The Nafcon leaders and Sentosa 27 ++ nurses demanded a more proper apology from ABC Studios that would include: a) at least one broadcast apology before the show’s next episode, b) an investigation of the show’s writers and producers to find who wrote the line and who should be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, c) the cutting of the offensive scene from the episode permanently, as well as in all productions of DVDs and boxed sets of the series. The group also threatened to call for a boycott of the series if an appropriate and timely apology was not issued by the network.
As what happens with most mobs, their intended goal will fail. They will over play their hand here and be so over the top that the producers, writers, and actors of the show will gain the sympathy of the American public. Even though the show's producers will edit that line out of the show, in two weeks, no one will remember this ever happened.

Do you think anyone in Hollywood will consider putting a Filipino/Filipina actor on a culturally diverse medical show like Grey's Anatomy or ER? Well, not now - and probably not for a number of years - because of fearing the mob.

Hollywood producers like creating controversy - but, not dealing with with controversy. Do you hear that? It's all the doors that are being closed on writers, actors, and producers of Filipino descent. Thanks to the angry mob...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Not Filipino Enough?

On my show earlier tonight, I tried to parody this Desperate Housewives situation. I described a situation similar to what happened in the DH show and then I tried to parody the "leave britney alone" video. I don't think this attempt of levity went over very well (if you have to explain the joke, then it's probably not that funny) However, I have to say (as I mentioned on my show tonight), that there are just a lot of angry people out there.

I have received more than a few e-mails who have told me that since I was born in the US and did my medical training in the US, that I really have no idea and that I really don't understand how offensive that remark was on the show. If I was "really in touch with my roots," I would understand better.

So, let me get this straight. Since I do not agree with your point of view, it's ok for you to make a personal attack on me for being "not Filipino enough" for you - That I have been "Americanized" too much and have lost touch with my true heritage.

Gimme a break! I have listened to the other side of this DH issue. I feel that I do understand it. But, I respectfully disagree with it. Attacking me is not going to make me change my mind. I remember reading a Time magazine article called Is Obama Black Enough?

That's what made me come up with the title for this post. Now, don't get me wrong. In no way am I comparing this situation to the senator from Illinois. I guess it comes down to this: You're not going to make everyone happy, so don't even try. So, instead of personal attacks, let's just agree to disagree, shall we?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Listen Live Tonight!

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

Thursday, October 4, 2007 from 10:00-10:30pm Eastern Time

I'm happy to welcome Mother Jones RN from the Nurse Ratched's Place blog tonight on Doctor Anonymous Live. MJ RN is going to be the host for Grand Rounds next week. Want more information on that? Well, then, click here.

I'm going to ask her about her blog and how it's going this week gathering together all the GR posts, sorting through them, and organizing them into some cohesive format for your consumption (how wordy was all that? I'm in kind of a quirky mood today - maybe good for the show tonight).

We'll also be taking your calls and hope you are able to join us in the chat room LIVE during the show. This is kind of "the show within the show" - So, you definitely have to join us live tonight! Check out the links above to help get to where you're going. Who knows? If there's a lull in the show, we'll talk about this Desperate Housewives controversy.

Desperate Housewives flap

Now, I have never watched this show, but I know a lot of people who do. When I came into the office Monday morning, I heard of this bad joke that was told in the show the night before - making a reference to Filipino medical schools. Now, I have to tell you that I'm of Filipino heritage, but received my medical training in the US.

I first heard reference to this story over at Kevin, MD. Apparently, some in the Filipino community were offended at the comment that was made on the show (see youtube video above). When I did more research on this, apparently the Filipino government is seeking a formal apology now. And, there are some out there who said the phrase was taken out of context.

First of all, the clips on youtube only show about 20 seconds, and I can easily see how they could be taken out of context. I have about a 240 second clip above for your review. Honestly, I don't understand why people are so offended about this. This is clearly not a shot at Filipino doctors or Filipino medical schools.

The Teri Hatcher character in this scene is nervous and possibly anxious about a certain diagnosis and the writers had the character blurt out this really bad line in this situation. I'm not offended by it, and, in my humble opinion, others should not be either.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Behind the counter meds

Everyone has heard about over-the-counter medications. You just walk into your local pharmacy, look around for your favorite cough/cold medicine, or stomach medicine, or pain medicine, or whatever. You take it off the shelf, go to the register, and that's it.

And, everyone is familiar with prescription drugs. You visit your favorite physician, have the appropriate interview and physical exam, receive the prescription, and then go to your local pharmacy to have the prescription filled.

Now, the FDA is looking at what is being called "behind-the-counter" medications. What the heck are they talking about? (With the FDA, sometimes it's difficult to figure out what they are talking about sometimes.) In this Associated Press article, they try to explain what the FDA is looking for.
"Behind-the-counter" sales offer a middle ground. Last year, the FDA allowed the emergency contraceptive Plan B, also called the morning-after pill, to be sold without a doctor's note to women 18 and older — but only by pharmacies that checked women's photo identification before handing over the pills. Minors still require a prescription.

Now the question is whether requiring additional interaction with a trained pharmacist — health advice or even, say, a blood pressure or cholesterol check — might further spur the evolution of nonprescription drugs from quick symptom relief to more complex therapy.

Routine birth control pills are an often-cited candidate. And in 2005, the FDA rejected a bid to sell cholesterol-lowering Mevacor without a prescription — although some of the agency's scientific advisers said such a move might one day be possible if pharmacists could help guide which customers bought the pills.
Now, as far as behind the counter medicines go now, there are certain cough/cold medications which are not OTC (ie - pseudoephedrine containing medications), apparently because of federal law and state law.

However, I think what the FDA is talking about here is distinctly different. I remember a couple of years ago when there was talk about making cholesterol medications available without a prescription. Even though this is done in Britain, I still don't think that it would be a good idea to do that in this country. I believe physician oversight is essential for a situation like this.

The FDA has to be very careful about looking at which medications they are considering to be behind the counter. Giving advice on certain medications and then dispensing them as a pharmacist is one thing. But, then, potentially taking the next step and evaluating/treating a patient for things like elevated cholesterol is something else. This is practicing medicine in my book.

The Dr. A Show

I'm very excited to announce that Mother Jones RN will be joining me this week on Doctor Anonymous Live! Tune in Thursday, October 4th from 10:00-10:30pm eastern time. (Need a time conversion chart? Just click here.) MJ will be hosting Grand Rounds next week. Click here to see what her theme will be.

We'll talk about Grand Rounds and what ever else comes to mind. If you remember, MJ was gracious enough to call into my very first show. Thanks so much MJ!

Not only can YOU listen live to the show, you can also participate by calling into the show and/or in our LIVE chat room. Never heard my show before? What's wrong with you? LOL. You can listen to an archived show in my sidebar. You can also check out my Blog Talk Radio site.

Finally, as an added bonus, I will have a Major Announcement that I'm going to make sometime during the show on Thursday night. YOU will definitely have to listen live to check out what that is? (What could it be?) Hope you'll be able to join us! Spread the word!