Info

Straight Talk MD

I’m a skeptic searching for the truth in all matters related to science and medicine, especially where it intersects with economics, politics, and public health. The truth is out there and we’re going to find it together...
RSS Feed
Straight Talk MD
2023
January


2022
November
October
September
August
July
April
January


2021
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
January


2020
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February


2019
October
September
August
July
June
May
February


2018
November
October
September
July
June
May
April
March
February


2017
December
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: Page 3
May 4, 2020

Knowing how a pandemic started is the key to stopping the next one.

A novel bat coronavirus first appears in Wuhan, China in late November of 2019.  This family of coronaviruses normally reside in bats living in caves 1000 miles south of Wuhan.

Understanding where the virus came from and how it entered the human reservoir will help prevent a similar pandemic in the future.  No matter what you may have heard, no one has produced evidence to prove exactly where or how the virus entered the human reservoir. There are two competing theories to explain where this virus came from and how it entered the human reservoir. Both are plausible. Both have merit.  Episode two critically examines both theories of origin.

Apr 20, 2020

The worldwide spread of COVID-19 is being called the “pandemic of the century” by some. Others are watching the debacle unfold can only wonder if the response to the COVID-19 pandemic will someday be called “the fiasco of the century.” The 24/7 news channels have created worldwide mass hysteria by reporting events from a sensationalist point of view without giving appropriate context. Civilians are terrified. The economy has been damaged for a generation. These commentaries share observations, analysis, experiences, and perspectives from a narrator who is both an observer and a participant on the front lines of healthcare. Episode 1: Ill Prepared…

Apr 8, 2020

In Wuhan China and later Italy, the healthcare system was rapidly overrun with critically ill patients and insufficient resources to save them all. When the population’s health needs vastly exceeded the system’s capacity, “utilitarian ethics” quickly replaced normal medical ethics; disaster standards of care replaced normal standards of care. Ventilators and drugs in short supply were allocated only to those patients most likely to survive; family members were not allowed to visit dying relatives in the hospital, and CPR was suspended for COVID-19 patients. Entire countries have been shut down with catastrophic economic consequences to tens of millions of people in an attempt to contain the virus. In each case, the health of the community trumped the needs of the individual. Bioethicists Arthur Caplan and Gregory Pence discuss the complex ethical issues we face in a COVID-19 world.

Apr 2, 2020

Dr. Paul Offit is a virologist and infectious disease specialist from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. We discuss the COVID surge in NY, immunity testing, the coming surge in California, the safest/best timing to lift the national quarantine, and much more.

Mar 24, 2020

As we enter the logarithmic phase of the U.S. COVID-19 epidemic, the Coronavirus Pandemic just got very real. Today we discuss the Federal government’s preparedness for this pandemic, protective gear shortages for healthcare workers on the front lines [especially N-95 masks], chloroquin, Remdesivir update, ongoing failures of testing, and much, much more. Today, Dr. Paul Offit assesses the arc we’re on and so far, it isn’t good. Definitely worth a listen.

Mar 18, 2020

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic of fear is escalating rapidly. In an attempt to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and a public health disaster “like no other,” life as we know it in the U.S. has come to a grinding halt.

Today, world renowned virologist and infectious disease specialist, Paul Offit, talks about the draconian measures being taken in the U.S. to avoid repeating the Italian experience with COVID-19. He opines on the risks of expediting a COVID-19 vaccine, the tepid promise of antivirals (Remdesivir), sane measures to minimize exposure, the likely impact of widespread COVID-19 testing in the U.S., and much, much more. Definitely worth a listen.

Mar 10, 2020

A lot has happened in the world since last week! In today’s show, Paul separates fact from fiction on what we know about COVID-19 infections. He opines on the extreme [and often irrational] measures being taken worldwide to try and contain the coronavirus epidemic. Finally, he makes some cautious predictions about what to expect in the coming weeks. One thing is clear: the pandemic of fear surrounding the coronavirus is causing far more damage worldwide than the virus. It’s definitely worth a listen.

Mar 2, 2020

When I contacted Dr. Paul Offit last Thursday for an interview on the coronavirus, he was literally at the CDC getting the latest update on what’s happening with COVID-19. In today’s show, Paul separates fact from fiction on the coronavirus and makes some cautious predictions about what to expect in the coming weeks. It’s definitely worth a listen.

Feb 17, 2020

The most cynical surgeons like to say that anesthesiology is ninety-nine percent boredom and one-percent sheer terror. Strange Daze is about the one percent.

The “one percent” can occur with any type of anesthesia, not just general anesthesia, which brings us to today’s episode: “On Pins and Needles.”

Spinal anesthesia is still a popular alternative to general technique for certain types of surgery, but every anesthetic technique has its limitations, including spinal anesthesia.

In today’s episode, our narrator learns the limitations of spinal anesthesia in his first year of anesthesia residency when assigned to the orthopedic “total joint” room.

In the hands of a master, spinal anesthesia is a beautiful and elegant alternative to general anesthesia. In the hands of an inexperienced anesthesia resident, spinal anesthesia can suddenly and unexpectedly devolve into the “one percent”.

You may be wondering how spinal anesthesia can go so wrong. Truth be told, in about a million and a half different ways… Tune in and you’ll find out how…

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.”

Nov 12, 2018

On September 20th, The World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] made a “U-turn” and lifted the suspension on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency [RUSADA] even though they had not fulfilled the terms for their reinstatement and despite worldwide protests from its member anti-doping agencies and athletes. This has created what some insiders are calling the greatest anti-doping crisis in WADA’s history. But this is only the latest in a series of crises and scandals in the world anti-doping system that threaten their very existence. Today we begin our six-part series “The Anti-Doping Crisis in Sport” with the events leading up to the September 20th WADA decision to reinstate Russia and the background for those new to this important subject.

Oct 15, 2018

There is a growing wave of anti-rationalism that has been destroying respect for expertise and undermining our institutions, preventing rational debate. It is spreading an epidemic of misinformation, which threatens to weaken the very foundations of our democracy. Tom Nichols, a Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, discusses his latest book on this subject: “The Death of Expertise and the Campaign Against Established Knowledge.” If you’re an anti-vaxxer, an Obama birther, a 9/11 Truther, or if you believe there really are aliens at Roswell, you need to listen to this show.

Sep 3, 2018

In our haste to get a surgery started, sometimes we do things we shouldn’t do…

And sometimes, we don’t do the things we should…

In anesthesiology, either of these errors can have serious consequences…

Jul 23, 2018

On today’s show, Dr. Robert Wolff, author of the most extensive systematic reviews of cannabinoids used in medicine, analyzes the strength of the scientific evidence supporting the use of cannabis as medicine, and he separates fact from fiction in the “medical cannabis” debate.

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.

1 « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next » 8