White Coat Underground

Archives for March, 2010

Chopra, soul, and a big, insoluble mess

The recent arrests of the Hutaree cult here in Michigan are part of a tradition of militant separatism in this part of the country, beginning with the militia movements in the late 20th century and climaxing (hopefully) in the terrorist acts of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. This latest incident is interesting in that it…

Sanity vs Insanity: cage match at HuffPo

I love Icelandic names. Just reading them makes me think of Vikings and valkyries. One name that I can’t get out of my head right now is “Iris Erlingsdottir”. She’s an Icelandic journalist who put up a pro-vaccine piece on Huffington Post. Not only is the piece pro-vaccine, but it is quite critical of her…

It has been alleged by Great Minds such as Jenny McCarthy (D.Goog.) that the US recommends far more vaccinations than other countries.  Her precise statement was, “How come many other countries give their kids one-third as many shots as we do?” She put this into the context of wondering if our current vaccine schedule should be less…

Health care reform—democracy in action

It’s hard to imagine the that the hyperbolic rhetoric that characterized the health care reform debate could get any worse (death panels, etc.). But it will. Representative John Boehner (Asshat-OH) started it of last night with what amounted to a call for the overthrow of our democracy. “Today we stand here amidst the wreckage of…

Chalk one up for spring

After a week of fine weather, the first weekend of spring was forecast to be cold, rainy, and snowy. I love it when they’re wrong. I would love to be able to sleep in, but if I can’t sleep in, I don’t mind the sound of tiny footsteps. After whipping up a batch of heart-shaped…

Early in the prolonged economic crisis a patient who had lost his factory job came to see me. He no longer had insurance, but he had plenty of health problems. Our office normally doesn’t see uninsured patients (we simply can’t afford to) but from time to time we make exceptions. I changed his prescriptions to…

A physician friend asked me today if I had seen the survey in the New England Journal of Medicine that says nearly half of us will quit medicine if health care reform passes.   My fried, a life-long Republican, found the numbers difficult to believe.  So did I. The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), one of medicine’s most…

Why I am not a primatologist

One of the things I love about the blogosphere is the give and take, the ability of people to comment on each others’ work, and the diversity of topics. The conversations that take place in the blogosphere have real value (a value which is so far under-recognized and under-utilized). Without the blogosphere, I would never…

(This piece appears today at Science-Based Medicine and is re-posted here today because I like it and I’m lazy. –PalMD) A couple of years ago, a number of us raised concerns about an “investigative reporter” at a Detroit television station.  At the time I noted that investigative reporters serve an important role in a democracy,…

Crowd-sourcing your medical care

The work up of “fever of unknown origin” (FUO) is a classic exercise in internal medicine. Originally defined as a temperature greater than 38.3°C (101°F) on several occasions for more than three weeks with no diagnosis after one week of inpatient study, the definition has shifted. This reflects the dramatic increase in the sophistication of…