The Third Leading Cause of Death in America
Many of you have read the recent study by Johns Hopkins researchers that showed medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in America. Deaths from medical mistakes – some 251,000 people per year – are outnumbered only by deaths from heart disease and cancer. Medical mistakes have become a national epidemic.
Reasons for medical errors: I am going to explore some of the factors that have led to so many medical errors. … Read the rest
It has been a pleasure writing The Pearl for you over the past several years. I have very much enjoyed your feedback on my newsletters. Because the response has been so positive, I have taken several hours every month to write these articles. However, due to some challenging new developments in the Tucson medical community, I will no longer have the time to write The Pearl. So this will be my last newsletter. In some of my newsletters, I have warned you about the coming crisis in medicine as a result of the sweeping changes of ObamaCare.… Read the rest
The Most Important Human Behavior
Thanks to all of you who responded with your thoughtful opinions on the most important human behavior. Here are some of the answers you submitted: “Moderation; courage; self-confidence; self-reliance; and communication.” These are certainly useful qualities for success. However, these are not fundamental behaviors. I was looking for an action – a simple behavior – which is critical to survival. This behavior is necessary not only for our psychological survival, but for our literal survival and the survival of our nation.… Read the rest
Of all of the newsletters I’ve written over the past several years, the one that received the most positive responses was titled, The Most Important Word.
For those of you who have not read this piece, I argued that the most important word in the English language is not “love.” It is not “compassion,” “generosity” or “peace.” It is not “compromise.” If you look through the prism of survival, both as individuals and as a society, the most important word in the English language is the word “no.” If you have difficulty saying “no” to other people, by definition, you lack the healthy boundaries necessary to thrive in a competitive and dangerous world.… Read the rest
Before we get started, a quick disclaimer: No animals were harmed in the making of this newsletter. However, I cannot say the same for my awesome medical assistant, Sheri. Before you get too upset with me for attacking Sheri, understand that she asked for it! She literally asked me to write this newsletter about a conversation we had about smart phones, during which time she was mercilessly humiliated and abused. When I asked her why she wanted me to write the newsletter, Sheri sarcastically quipped, “For the good of mankind.… Read the rest
For those of you who have not been following the story, the VA medical system has come under attack over the past month after a whistleblower, a Dr. Foote from the Phoenix VA Hospital, disclosed that 40 veterans have died waiting to be seen by a doctor. It is not clear at this point in time if some or all of those men died as a direct result of the delay in their care. However, many of these patients were waiting 6 to 9 months to see a primary care doctor, even after some had been to the emergency room for life-threatening medical conditions.… Read the rest
During challenging times in American history, we the people have used various strategies to get a respite from the problems of our day. Sometimes we become so disgruntled by human behavior that we look to animals instead of people for inspiration. I suspect that one of the reasons for this phenomenon is that animals cannot talk. Animals are not capable of lying to us. Animals are more pure. They just do what they were born to do.… Read the rest
During the last installment of The Pearl, I wrote about the great social discovery of our time – the realization that you can change your gender like a pair of Nikes. We need no longer feel bound by our X or Y chromosomes. The double-helix is dead and DNA is irrelevant. In their place is Governor Moonbeam, broadcasting new-age wisdom from his intellectual death star on the planet California. In this new era of pick-your-own-gender, Moonbeam has been waging war on biology and science.… Read the rest
A sentinel species is an animal used by human beings to detect early threats in the environment. The classic example is the canary in the coal mine. Well into the 20th century, canaries were carried into the mines to detect the presence of deadly carbon monoxide gas. Canaries react to carbon monoxide faster than people, so if the canary dies, it is a warning to the miner that he has only a few minutes to get out.… Read the rest
“There is nothing new under the sun” is an idiom that dates back to biblical times. In some ways, it still feels true today. This is because much of human nature has not changed over time. If we pick up a newspaper we see that politicians are still lying, poverty is still with us and people are still being murdered every day – usually at the hands of someone they knew. On the positive side, we still see acts of heroism.… Read the rest