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Straight Talk MD: Health | Medicine | Healthcare Policy | Health Education | Anesthesiology

Straight Talk MD is a podcast that examines current hot-button healthcare issues from the informative and unconventional point of view of Dr. Frank Sweeny. With over twenty-five years of experience as a medical doctor, he approaches the latest and greatest topics with a skeptical mind, presenting all the information, so you can decide for yourself.
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Straight Talk MD: Health | Medicine | Healthcare Policy | Health Education | Anesthesiology
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Now displaying: 2018
Jun 20, 2018

The U.S. has an incoherent national drug policy. While states pass laws permitting the possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana for either medicinal or recreational purposes, Federal Law still prohibits the possession, sale and distribution of marijuana for any reason in all 50 states.

For those who are undecided between complete prohibition of marijuana and fully legalizing it, tune in. My guest, Robert MacCoun of the Stanford Law School and the co-author of Drug War Heresies: Learning from other Vices, Times, and Places, does a masterful job of analyzing the pros and the cons of marijuana legalization. And for those of you that are absolutely convinced you’re right on either side of the marijuana legalization issue, please stick around. By the end of this show, you may change your mind-in either direction.

Jun 4, 2018

While much of the public conversation regarding legalization of cannabis is about its potential medicinal properties, the vast majority of Americans currently using marijuana are admittedly not using it for medicinal purposes. Today, we move beyond the discussion of the purported medical benefits, and Dr. Kai MacDonald examines five brain-based risks of cannabis in recreational users.

May 23, 2018

In Part II of the Cannabis Conversations, mental health expert and Addictionologist, Dr. Anna Lembke discusses the use and misuse of cannabis in vulnerable populations: those with mental health disorders, those addicted to opioids, and adolescents and young adults. We talk about the increased addictive potential of today’s cannabis, the increasing use of cannabis in the treatment of opioid addiction, Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, and much, much, more…

May 11, 2018

On today’s show, we begin our 5-part series, Cannabis Conversations, with Dr. Mary Bridgeman. In this segment, we discuss the science, the complex pharmacology, and the pharmacokinetics of the different methods of cannabis ingestion. We also tackle the legal challenges surrounding cannabis use in the acute care setting, and the potential risks when using cannabis even in states where it is legal…and much, much more!

Apr 9, 2018

A California Lawmaker has written a bill to create a government-appointed commission to price-fix physician fees with the intent to control California healthcare costs, improve quality, and increase equity in California’s healthcare system. All objective evidence and experience suggests that government price-fixing of physician fees will accomplish none of those things. Today, I have healthcare economist and President of Fulcrum Strategies, Ron Howrigon, in the studio to analyze this bill and the unintended, and potentially disastrous, consequences to California’s patients, physicians, and hospitals.

Apr 2, 2018

Today I talk with NPR’s distinguished science writer, Richard Harris, about his latest book, “Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope and Wastes Billions.” We delve into the specifics about the broken culture that exists in biomedical research: the perverse incentives to publish rubbish, the reproducibility crisis in published research, and the lousy science that is the product of flawed research design and analysis. The most disturbing symptom of this dysfunctional culture is the massive increase in retracted papers and outright fraud. Richard exposes the broken culture in biomedical research, but he also tells us what some of the leaders in that field are doing to fix it.

Mar 19, 2018

Today we discuss two hot topics in plastic surgery: the “Brazilian butt lift” procedure and why it is the most dangerous plastic surgery, and the undisputed link between breast implants and a rare type of T-Cell lymphoma. Tune in to hear my guest, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ivan Turpin, put these issues in context to tell us who is at risk, how big the risk is, and what to do if you’re at risk.

Mar 15, 2018

Strange Daze is a bi-weekly podcast from the creators of Straight Talk MD, hosted by anesthesiologist Frank Sweeny. Each episode fuses narrative storytelling with science as our host examines a real case of a surgery or a procedure that went terribly wrong and dissects out why. Even the best doctors practicing at the best medical institutions make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes have serious consequences. And sometimes, even when you do everything right, things can still go terribly wrong. The most cynical surgeons depict anesthesiology as 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror. Strange Daze is about the 1%.

Mar 12, 2018

The care for back pain in the U.S. has been called “the poster child of medical waste.” Today I talk with Dr. Richard Deyo, author of “Watch Your Back,” about the various treatments for back pain and what the evidence shows works and what doesn’t.

Feb 19, 2018

Today I talk with Tim Caulfield about his two national bestsellers: “The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness” and “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash.” Tim talks about what the evidence really tells us is good for our health, and deconstructs the misinformation, myths, and bogus claims coming from the pseudoscientists and some celebrities.  Tim is also the host of the popular Canadian documentary TV series: “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death.

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