Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Is There A Doctor In House?

Is diagnosis an art or a science? Physicians Lisa Sanders and John Sotos say the answer is both.

As technical advisers to the hit TV drama "House, M.D.," the two doctors are experts on the subject, having spent the last few years turning the medical science of diagnosis into art.

Source: 60 Minutes: Overtime

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Struck Blind

Sometimes, it's easier to see with your ears. From the medical files of the Twilight Zone.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pharmacy: A Career Choice?

The anonymous blogger going by the name "Redheaded Pharmacist" recently asked the following question on Twitter - "What would you tell a 9th-grader interested in a career in pharmacy who asks you for some advice?" So, I thought I'd fully answer that question here with my opinion about the profession and some further suggestions about guiding a 9th-grader into a career choice.

I think most pharmacists would agree that it's extremely difficult or almost virtually impossible for any pharmacist to "legally" make a good living these days by owning their own pharmacy and being their own boss. The age of "Independents" is behind us.

Corporations have taken over this profession (and soon the rest of the world), and if you want to work as a pharmacist, it's going to be at the expense of losing control of your professional destiny. You're not a "professional" anymore, you're an "employee", at the beck and call of anyone corporate leaders appoint. YOU are not in charge. YOU don't make the decisions. But YOU are still held liable.

IMO, we've become dispensable.

Some pharmacists can live with that loss and are perfectly happy using their education to become a bureaucratic Huckleberry, being manipulated more often than a broken marionette, racing around like a chicken with it's head cut off, and following the corporate herd. More power to them. (pun intended)

But, would you really suggest to your child that they become a pharmacist when corporations own the profession and the future of pharmacy lies in technology, robotics, and the elimination of those "costly humans" from the workplace?

Wouldn't you want your children to become so knowledgeable and empowered that they control their own professional destiny, and have the opportunity to become self-employed? If so, then why suggest a fading profession?

Instead, suggest they consider a career that incorporates both creativity and science. Point them in the right direction and encourage them to be the future - the geniuses who creatively envision things, create the computer programs, or build and maintain the robots.

Encourage them to become indispensable.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Arizona Prison Healthcare

I'm one for avoiding most anything described as a "system", and I've previously shared my opinion about the subject. But, if you live in the state of Arizona, avoiding the the criminal-justice system should be paramount to anything else. It's something even Caucasians should be concerned about.

Avoiding the legal system in Arizona is of even greater importance if you happen to have a medical condition or a health concern. It's still the "Old West" when it comes to law enforcement around here. I'm sure you've probably read the multiple case reports of prisoners needlessly dying because their medical conditions weren't addressed quickly or properly.

But still, people don't believe (or forget) these types of things continue to be reported.

Remember, it's often the Warden, Sheriff or other politician in charge of directing prison healthcare, not the individual doctors, pharmacists, nurses or other healthcare professionals. Fair or not, that's just the how the "system" operates.

So, before deciding to commit that crime in Arizona, always keep in mind the possible consequences of becoming incarcerated and incorporated into the system. Do your best to avoid it.

I thought I'd post this old CCTV video taken from inside the prison hospital just to solidify my point.

Related Link: Health-care quandary for Arizona's prisons

Friday, May 25, 2012

Necrotizing Fasciitis

I hate reading these case reports of patients who've contracted serious necrotizing fasciitis infections. It breaks my heart to see a beautiful young woman in the prime of her life having her body ravaged, when these type of infections can so often be prevented.

For my non-medical visitors - necrotizing fasciitis is a severe, sometimes life threatening infection that occurs when bacteria get into parts of the body where bacteria aren't usually found, such as the blood, muscle, or the lungs. Occasionally described by the media as "the flesh-eating bacteria", it is a rapidly progressive disease which destroys muscles, fat, and skin tissue.

These infections are termed "invasive GAS disease."

Many of us harbor this type of bacteria on our hands, and spread it around without even knowing it. Wash your hands multiple times throughout the day. Make it a habit. By doing so, you'll prevent bacterial spread to others. The spread of all types of GAS infection can be reduced by good hand washing, especially after coughing, sneezing, before preparing foods or eating, and especially after being in crowded places or visiting someone in the hospital.

If you're injured, take precautions and IMMEDIATELY wash the wound site with soap and water, use hydrogen peroxide, and an antibiotic ointment. All wounds should be kept clean and watched for possible signs of infection such as redness, swelling, pus, and pain at the wound site. If it's serious enough, don't hesitate to call your doctor or check with your local pharmacist. Be smart!

The last thing your loved ones want to hear is an apology for not following these easy precautions.

They're Old, Not Dead

Thanks to many factors - from online dating sites, to modern medicine, new and improved vitamins, and even because of a poor economy - more senior citizens today have active sex lives. That means they are also more likely to get sexually transmitted diseases.

In the past 5 years, the rate of STDs among active seniors has risen over 70%. The rates of STIs among older adults, including syphilis and gonorrhea, have doubled in the past decade, and HIV infections have almost doubled as well.

So, if you've got to do the nasty with grandma or grandpa, then make sure to do it safely.

Source: Safer Sex for Seniors

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Will Human Workers Become Obsolete?

I've believe for a long while now that pharmacists will soon be replaced by technology and lower-paid workers, and I've pointed out instances on this blog that lend credence to my claims.

I also think that many pharmacists live in denial about where the future of the profession is headed. It's a touchy subject that many pharmacists don't like to discuss. They don't want to believe that we could so easily be replaced by robots.

Perhaps it's because they listen to those with a vested interest in convincing pharmacists otherwise, or perhaps it's because it's just too frightening for pharmacists to accept. Who knows? But the way I see it, if the American Dream continues as is, eventually we will all be replaced.

Again, just don't take my word for it. See what the PBS Newshour reports about this subject -

Does Education Stifle Creativity?

I was having a conversation with Jerry Fahri last week over his thoughts about how bureaucracy may be stifling innovation. As it relates to the profession of pharmacy, I can understand his reasoning, and it makes sense - at least to me.

Having graduated from a COP that I felt provided a stifling and restrictive environment, I find that this videoed speech from the perspective of Woz does a good job of explaining how the higher-education system could be contributing to that lack of creativity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Arizona's Anti-Vaccination Epidemic

Arizona's Hard-Headed Parents
Parents, you're making a HUGE mistake by not vaccinating your children.

By not vaccinating yourself and your children, you're not only exposing them to potentially lethal diseases, but you're also extending that risk to your friends and neighbors who may not share your beliefs. Is that what you really want?

An Arizona Daily Star investigative report on vaccinations in Arizona show that one in three Arizona schools last year had kindergarten classes with vaccination rates so low children were left vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks such as measles, mumps or pertussis.

According to that same report, by far the worst offenders are charter and private schools, some with vaccination rates as low as 50 percent in Pima County and under 30 percent in Maricopa County. Rates need to be 80 percent to 95 percent, depending on the disease, to prevent the spread of infection through herd immunity.

Please don't listen to the quacks or vaccine conspiracy theorists, get your children vaccinated ASAP! Any local pharmacy can do it for you quickly and conveniently.

Image Source: Daily Fitz Cartoon: Plague

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tali Sharot: The Optimism Bias

Are we born to be optimistic, rather than realistic? Tali Sharot shares new research that suggests our brains are wired to look on the bright side -- and how that can be both dangerous and beneficial.

Source: TED: Ideas worth spreading

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Bookeeper Of Death

If you're any type of humanities history buff like I am, or if recent history has already proven it to you, then you should know that the organizers and leaders of massive crimes against humanity or society rarely suffer any consequences from their horrific deeds.

Many of these criminal leaders eventually get off Scot-free or with minimal punishment once they're brought to "justice". And it's usually only the people who foolishly listened to them, then followed and carried-out the orders from these psychopaths, who ever get severely punished for these crimes.

But yet, to this day, many people continue to follow the orders of such psychopathic leaders and enable their crimes, no matter how horrific. Just how these psychopaths are still able to convince educated people of the world to blindly do what they say continues to amaze me.

People just do not have the ability to say "NO!" in these type of situations and will always place their own selfish interests above anything else, even if to the point of torture, murder, and even genocide.

If any of my previous posts haven't convinced you of that yet, then watch the story of Comrade Duch (Kaing Guek Eav) a Cambodian mathematician who served as the Khmer Rouge commandant at Tuol Sleng prison in the late 1970s and who oversaw the torture and murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. Out of an estimated 17,000 people imprisoned at Tuol Sleng, there were only seven known survivors.

In this documentary Comrade Duch is brought up on charges of crimes against humanity at a special UN tribunal, and three of the prison’s seven survivors describe what they endured at Tuol Sleng.

Watching wrenching footage of his own brutality and facing the distraught families of his victims, Duch apologizes—leaving many to question his sincerity and raising the issue of forgiveness in the name of reconciliation. The full documentary can be seen on Global Voices, through June 19th or on your local PBS station.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Trying To Get Over

Even after the too-numerous-to-count news reports coming out of the state of Florida about pill mills and prescription drug abuse over the past five-years, there's still reports of highly-educated, superfly, healthcare professionals thinking that they're going to get over on "The Man".

According to the U.S. Attorney's Middle-District Office in Florida -

Tampa, FL - U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore yesterday sentenced Dr. Sanjeev Grover (49, Lutz) to five years in federal prison for dispensing and distributing Oxycodone pills outside the professional scope of professional practice. He pled guilty on February 14, 2012.

According to court documents, Dr. Grover sold prescriptions for Oxycodone pills to a confidential informant and to an undercover agent on five occasions, between April and June 2011.
Dr. Grover met the confidential informant twice in a Burger King parking lot in Lutz, FL. The first sale involved four separate prescriptions, each for 60 eighty-milligram pills. The second sale included eight prescriptions, each for 180 thirty-milligram pills. On two other occasions, Dr. Grover met with the confidential informant and the undercover agent in a business center parking lot in Palm Harbor, Florida. During the first meeting, he sold six prescriptions. Four of the prescriptions were for 180 thirty-milligram pills and the other two for 180 fifteen-milligram pills. During the second meeting, he sold them twelve separate prescriptions, each for 180 thirty-milligram pills. On the fifth occasion, Dr. Grover sold six prescriptions to the undercover agent in a Walgreens parking lot in Palm Harbor. Each prescription was for 180 thirty-milligram pills.
Here's Mr. O'Neill's video report to the news media about this case -

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going

I was watching one of my favorite old television shows at home recently, and saw this chain pharmacy commercial. It seemed to me to be attempting to sell both product and subliminally trying to motivate pharmacists to fight for a role in providing MTM services. But, I could be wrong. What do you think?

Source: South Park Studios

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Lost Wizard

The tragic story of one of the greatest inventors known to mankind, Nikola Tesla.

Doomsday Preppers

Here I was thinking that unrestrained corporatocracy would be the trigger for a doomsday scenario. How foolish of me. Perhaps I should have researched the DSM-IV a little deeper.

Source: National Geographic: Doomsday Preppers

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Have You Beaten Your Mom Lately?

What do you know about Meth? Just don't try it, not even once. Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'm A Cool Jerk

It seems that in almost every hospital that I've worked in, the nursing department and the pharmacy department can never seem to get along. I've worked with my share of NWAs, but I've also witnessed pharmacists treating nurses disrespectfully for no apparent reason. It's like cats and dogs.

Personally, I see the nurses as being the front line of patient care, so I go out of my way to put myself in their shoes, and get them their meds accurately and promptly. Not having, or not being able to find, their patient's medications is the biggest gripe they have about pharmacy.

If you ask me, it's easy to get along with nurses. Once you remove "ego" from the equation, most nurses will appreciate your efforts and give you their full support too. And let me tell you, A LOT of problems and errors can be prevented when nursing and pharmacy work as a team.

It works for me. But, don't just take my word for it. Listen to how some of the strange nurses at my facility describe me, while also trying to convince others pharmacists to follow suit -

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Stay Out Of The System

Whenever you hear something in life that can be described as a "system", whether it be called the healthcare system, the political system, the judicial system, or something else, rest assured that it will always be imperfect, corrupt, and not something specifically-tailored to your individual needs.

Once you become part of any "system", you lose varying degrees of control over your life, and must turn over a portion of that control to other people who personally couldn't care less about you.

That's why it is IMPERATIVE in life to always keep your wits about you, and to think before you act. If you want to be happy and successful in life, you MUST learn to control your emotions and not let them control you. Stay out of the system!

Figure Father from Nomadique on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's A Jungle Out There

Ran into the ex-wife again at the grocery store. Seems as though she had some "work" done and somehow thinks I should foot some of the bill. Like she doesn't already have enough money.

Of course, we got into an argument again and her dark side quickly became visible to all the other shoppers. It's a jungle out there young men. Be very careful. A leopard is capable of changing it's spots these days. With her new looks, I'm sure she'll find another victim soon enough.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Modern Day Cynic

In Greek history, Diogenes of Sinope is considered one of the founders of the cynic philosophy. He was born in Sinope (modern-day Sinop, Turkey), an Ionian colony on the Black Sea, in 412 or 404 BCE and died at Corinth in 323 BCE.

Diogenes maintained that all the artificial growths of society were incompatible with happiness and that morality implies a return to the simplicity of nature. This meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and fame, and by living a simple life free from all possessions.

Of course, embracing a cynical lifestyle and living a cynical lifestyle are two very different things, especially if one has the responsibilities of a family. But, I try to embrace this philosophy.

While I've personally rejected the ambitious societal desires for excessive wealth and fame and live very simply, I do maintain possessions, seek income, and worry about my health. I still bitch about the unethical, immoral, corrupt, and criminal behaviors that those societal desires create, but don't totally reject all conventional desires. You can't expect me to live in a cave or to eat chipmunk.

So, I guess you could call me a "Jack Cynic".

But did you know that there are actually some modern day cynics in your midst? I guess the Great Recession has made some people think about what's most important to them, money or freedom?

Meet Daniel Suelo. Suelo gave up on money in 2000.

One day he walked into a phone booth, pulled out thirty-dollars and left it. Twelve years later, Suelo still does not have a personal I.D., bank accounts, a modern home, an automobile, does not take government money, or live off of federal welfare. Suelo lives in caves in the canyon lands outside of Moab, UT., harvests wild foods, eats roadkill, and dumpster dives.

Suelo is not an isolationist though. He's still very active in the Moab community, SE Utah politics, and he is also an active blogger.

The American Who Quit Money To Live In A Cave from David Eckenrode on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Boss

Dream on. You only wish this could happen to you.

The Boss from Sam Mausner on Vimeo.