politics

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How low can you go? Stealing drugs from veterans?  I am a proud U.S. veteran, prouder still to consider myself a veterans advocate. I’ve seen too many veterans in pain.  I don’t think people who haven’t been there realize how much war is hell. They were stolen by a doctor.  A credentialed anesthesiologist.

I remember when I was first hitting dating bars and such, it was not uncommon for a  non-doctor to wear a T-shirt that said “trust me; I’m a doctor” that I guess was supposed to induce young women into the early stages of romance. Read more on Stealing Drugs And Eliminating Health Care…

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It was not political correctness, but rather a deep and visceral thirst that has driven me to reach out to people who are different — very different from myself. Being brought up Jewish (traditional eastern-European Jewish Ashkenaze) is not all of who I am, not even close to that, but it is the raw clay out of which I have been sculpted in America. Canada is different.  A pharmacist I worked with in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was well-traveled and told me how it was different from America. “America is a melting-pot — Canada is a salad.”

Americans really seem (or at least seemed) to want to be Americans.  I remember the emigrants to America joking about learning about baseball, the bat being likened to a chicken drumstick, a “pulkeh.” To understand and love baseball was a very important part of being American. Part of the lore of the time was that it was possible to unmask a foreign spy who spoke perfect English if you asked him who had won the last world series and he did not know. Very different from Canadians who kept their own traditions and their own languages in tiny equivalents of their native lands around Edmonton where ethnic traditions were publicly exalted, in places called “little Germany” or “little Italy.”

Read more on Cross-Cultural ‘R’ Us…

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Too many Americans can’t afford to and simply do not–take their medicines as prescribed. That estimate is based on information from the (American!) Centers for Disease Control). I have had patients come into my office who take their medications –in both cases, for life-threatening infectious diseases — only every other day, simply because that is all they can afford. I explained to each one individually the idea of the half-life of a drug. They only stay in your body for a certain length of time, then they leave your body in waste products.  That is why taking a drug every other day is not really effective. They both gave me almost exactly the same response — It was all they could afford, and it was probably better than nothing. Read more on Big Pharma Is Capitalism Out Of Control…

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While I was training in psychiatry 30 years ago, the field was changing around me.  The older psychoanalysts were forced — reluctantly — to add prescription of psychotropics to their practices or else patients would never make it to their door. Of course, they had little to no training in pharmacology and less interest so they didn’t usually know what they were doing. While I was ascending in the ranks of psychiatric trainees, the best and the brightest of us were ushered into special training in pharmacology research.  I was (and probably still am) about as idealist and apolitical an up-and-coming psychiatrist that anyone could have invented. Read more on The Politics of Drug Development…

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I have been in screaming and crying mode since this morning.  When I got started, I wanted to look up more info about veterans to help out my beloved veterans who have told me that they are having hard times getting enough benefits to survive.  I’m sure you read or have heard of by now about the story from the LA Times. Trying to figure out what happened is tough.  But it seems that about a decade ago, someone offered the California National Guard monetary rewards of ten thousand dollars and up for re-enlisting, which they took. I don’t think anyone can blame them for that. Read more on Can being a veteran (or soldier) get any worse?…

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As a proud veteran of the US Army, I fought tears as I read how the pain of our combat veterans has been manipulated by war profiteers. I put on that green uniform and I swore to put my life on the line.  I became a lifetime member of the Jewish War Veterans and the co-surgeon general for the Jewish war veterans and I tried, really tried, to make things better for the troops.

Read more on Veterans are getting screwed more than you or I knew….

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I remember, several years ago, going to a national drug development meeting; the first time I had been at such a meeting, with drug company folks from the highest national levels. I remember how excited I was.  Maybe someone could develop an antipsychotic that really could escape all those neuromuscular side effects.  Maybe they had new things that were more powerful than antibiotics, which I already knew were not working as well as they ought to. I remember, with characteristic naivete, that it felt impossible to find anyone with whom I could discuss the pharmacology that so impassioned me, for the “big” drug guys seemed to be more interested in the business and politics of the thing. Read more on Could Fish Oil Prevent Schizophrenia?…

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Congratulations are in order for Senator John McCain,a Vietnam veteran, and his Arizona colleague Senator Flake (I refuse to comment on HIS name) for pointing out to America that the Department of Defense is paying the NFL for demonstrations of patriotism. Here is the Washington Post article that my ever vigilant (and unabashedly patriotic) husband used to notify me of this wildly newsworthy knowledge.

Filed under Family, News, politics, war by on . Comment#

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People often want to know something about their psychiatrist.

There is this thing called “transference” where their past relationship history can certainly color what they think and feel. I have no big secrets to hide from my patients, so I can usually be direct and take only an insignificant amount of time on these issues. Usually it just takes one of my stabs at humor.

For those to whom religion is an important facet of life, I am often asked about my beliefs. I often end up saying things like, “I am very sorry I am Jewish and not the Christian you would have preferred, but do you think Christ could work through a crazy old Jewish lady like me who would work really hard to help you feel better?” A “yes” and a laugh and we get straight into the meat of things with that one. Read more on Liberal or Conservative — Different Brains or Different Opinions?…

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I never smoked.  In my family, it was simply not an option.  My grandmother of blessed memory used to stand at the front door and kick out anybody who opened a box of cigarettes on the concrete stairs coming up to the front door, let alone anyone who actually looked as if they were or would smoke.

My father of blessed memory swore once that when he tried to bring home a buddy from Harvard who was smoking and appeared poorly dressed; my grandmother kicked him out at the door. Read more on Everybody Knows Smoking Is Bad — So Why Do Some Still Do It?…

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