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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: 2019
Oct 28, 2019

I have Dr. Paul Offit in the virtual studio to discuss seven stories of science gone wrong. The seven discoveries were initially promoted as “stunning scientific breakthroughs” but each one turned out to have a dark side that was harmful to the human race. Some of these “stunning breakthroughs” still threaten the future of our species today.  

In the final part of the interview, I ask Paul to comment on some of today’s high-profile health controversies: e-cigarettes, Bisphenol-A, PSA screening for prostate cancer, mammograms, and Genetically Modified Food, and question if perhaps we’re repeating this same “science-gone-wrong” history. Paul presents some practical advice on how we can avoid repeating these same kinds of mistakes as we tackle our top challenges in science and medicine today.

Oct 7, 2019

Today we discuss the latest physician-fueled prescription pill epidemic. This time it’s Xanax and benzodiazepines, the class of drugs called “benzos.” As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

Whether it’s Xanax, Ativan, Restoril, Klonapin, or Valium, the bad news is that millions of people have become addicted to benzos through inappropriate physician prescriptions. Tens of thousands more have overdosed on benzos.

Tune in to my interview with Dr. Anna Lembke, Chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic, and bestselling author of the expose on the prescription opioid epidemic, “Drug Dealer MD.” We discuss the other prescription drug problem and what we can do about it.

Sep 16, 2019

Every day we hear about otherwise law-abiding citizens with no history of mental illness or violence that snap and commit savage, senseless, and brutal acts of violence for seemingly trivial provocation. What caused them to snap? It turns out there are a limited number of triggers in our environment that cause the rage circuits in our brains to fire. The violent behavior is the result of the clash between our evolutionary hardwiring and these triggers in the contemporary world.

Today I have neuroscientist, R. Douglas Fields, in the virtual studio to explain the biological roots of why we snap and to reveal the nine triggers that set off the hardwired circuits in our unconscious brain that move us to rage and aggression without us even understanding the reason for it.

Aug 19, 2019

Making sure today’s teens and adolescents receive appropriate treatment for chronic pain may help them avoid becoming another statistic in the opioid addiction epidemic in the future. Today, I interview pain psychologist Dr. Rachel Zoffness, author of “The Chronic Pain and Illness Workbook for Teens.” We discuss strategies that teens with chronic pain can use to turn down the volume on their pain, break the pain cycle, and get their lives back.

Dr. Zoffness has a number of strategies and techniques that are likely to change the way you look at chronic pain, and studies have shown that these same strategies and techniques Dr. Zoffness discusses are more effective in treating chronic pain than opioid medication. If you are a teen with chronic pain, or know a teen with chronic pain, or are the parent of a teen with chronic pain, tune in and please share the episode!

Aug 12, 2019

Gene Healy, Vice President of the CATO Institute and author of “Indispensable Remedy: The Broad Scope of the Constitution’s Impeachment Power” and “The Cult of the Presidency”, is in the virtual studio to provide the analysis on the merits of the potential articles of impeachment against Donald Trump. Gene makes one thing clear: he’s not on the red team or the blue team and calls it exactly the way he sees it— no spin. Take a listen.

Jul 24, 2019

More than 1000 current or former federal prosecutors have signed a letter stating that: “The conduct of President Trump described in the Mueller Report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.”

Today, I have former federal prosecutor and CNN Legal Analyst, Jennifer Rogers, in the virtual studio to explore the multiple acts by Donald John Trump described in the Mueller Report (Volume II) that would qualify as crimes and misdemeanors.

Jul 1, 2019

On this July 4th week, there are more than 80 members of the U.S. Congress calling for an impeachment inquiry into the crimes and misdemeanors of Donald Trump. So far, the two ranking members of Congress who could make that happen today, Nancy Pelosi and Jerrold Nadler, are resisting that pathway. Today, I interview Dr. John Gartner, contributing author to the 2017 bestseller “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” to find out why he believes that these members of Congress are correct and why the impeachment inquiry is necessary now.

Jun 17, 2019

The most cynical surgeons like to say that anesthesiology is 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror. Strange Daze is about the one-percent. This episode is about a routine anesthetic for a baby having a hernia repair that devolved into one of the most terrifying cases of my early career. For a pediatric anesthesiologist, a hernia repair in a healthy baby is about as straightforward a case as you’ll ever get. Until it becomes part of the one-percent. How can a routine anesthetic go so wrong? Truth be told, in about a million and a half different ways.

May 23, 2019

Obamacare 1.0 is terminal, but what will take its place? 2020 Democratic hopefuls are running on a platform that includes some version of universal health insurance, but only one bill, the Medicare for All Act of 2019, has more than 100 sponsors in Congress. This bill may be the most ambitious healthcare reform ever proposed in this country. If the Dems win back the Senate and the White House, Medicare for All is positioned to replace Obamacare.
Today Ron Howrigon joins me to dissect the Medicare for All bill and how it is likely to affect providers, insurance companies, and the people it serves.

May 5, 2019

On the ninth anniversary of the signing of Obamacare into law, Donald Trump is trying to overturn it in the courts.

Republicans in Congress have been trying to repeal and replace Obamacare unsuccessfully for more than seven years. Many Democrats acknowledge Obamacare is a rolling disaster and are divided between trying to “fix” it (whatever that means) and replacing it with some version of a Medicare for All plan.

Obamacare 1.0 is the status quo and neither party appears satisfied with the status quo. Today we examine where we are, how we got here, and where we’re headed in 2020.

Feb 24, 2019

The use of substances to enhance performance in sport--what we call “doping” today--is as old as sport itself.  In Episode I, we introduced the current anti-doping crisis in sport.  Today, we search for the origins of the anti-doping movement to understand how we got here.  This is Episode II in our six-part series: “The Anti-Doping Crisis in Sport.”

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