Book + Product Reviews:
There is a growing canon of work on the opioid epidemic. The best of these books include “Dreamland” by Sam Quinones, “Dopesick” by Beth Macy, and “Chasing the Scream” by Johann Hari. Each tells the story from a different angle. Together, they describe the confluence of heroin, Oxycontin, and fentanyl, the complicity of Big Pharma, and the failed “war on drugs.”
There is a new book to add to the list: “The United States of Opioids,” by Harry Nelson, JD. As a practicing health care attorney, Harry brings a legal eye—as well as a deep heart of compassion—to this very complex subject.
“Food Will Win the War,” was a slogan propagated by the U.S. Food Administration, as it provided fertilizer to American farmers, who in turn produced food for American troops during World War I. The Allies were well fed. American soldiers consumed an average of 5,000 calories per day, while French and British troops consumed slightly fewer, at 4,000 calories per day. The Allied Forces defeated the Germans, who received barely enough…
If you are a health care professional of any stripe or caliber this book is a must read. But you don’t need to be a health care professional to understand the urgent, powerful message of this book. Why? Because the “decimation of sleep throughout the industrialized world is having a catastrophic impact on our health, our life expectancy, our safety, our productivity and the education of our children.”
Perhaps nobody in healthcare today challenges the status quo quite like Dr. Eric Topol. He now has two books under his belt: The Creative Destruction of Medicine, and, The Patient Will See You Now. In both, Dr. Topol explores how digital technologies are changing the healthcare landscape. The analogy he uses when describing this change, is the printing press. Yes, it’s that big!
Witches, Nurses, Midwives (WNM) is one of the seminal works of second-wave feminism. It was written in 1973 by two professors at State University of New York at Westbury, a new public college. At SUNY Westbury the curriculum included alternative subjects, such as Women’s Studies, and served a student body of older, ethnically diverse and working class students. …
I have some good books on my office bookshelf — books about what to eat and what not to eat, food science and reference books, volumes about food culture, cookbooks, and many others about the human diet. However, before picking up Gary Taubes’ A Case Against Sugar, I had never read a definitive text that makes a legal case against sugar in its many forms…
“Irresistible: The Rise Of Addictive Technology And The Business Of Keeping Us Hooked” by Adam Alter
With the recent revelations about the Russian trolling of the 2016 presidential election, during which both Facebook and Twitter were manipulated by a foreign power, we are witnessing the beginning of a national reckoning with social media. A global network that was initially seen as a great gift to humankind is now being reconsidered. Hailed as a great unifier, and a way to connect people—social media was the force behind the Arab Spring and other revolutionary movements—the broader implications of this network have come crashing down on us…
I just returned from a relaxing week-long vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The ocean was beautiful, the sunsets magnificent, and the tequila sweet, strong and flowing. My wife and I stayed at a large resort, supported by lots of local workers: gardeners, maids, cooks, waiters, maintenance people, and many others. As a chiropractor, I could not help but notice that many of the workers were wearing lumbar (lower back) support belts. These are the cloth and Velcro braces that can be wrapped tightly around one’s waist. The reason workers use these is to prevent low back injury, which is the most common work injury.
So, is it a good idea to wear them?
Part of my frustration, as I watch the current health care debate, is realizing that most of those charged with reforming our economy simply do not understand the health care system. This holds true from the House of Representatives up to the Presidency.
The health care sector is one sixth of the US economy. Those making decisions need to be educated about how this behemoth works. What are the cost drivers? Where are the inefficiencies? What are the relationships between interest groups—such as the pharmaceutical, medical device, hospital and insurance lobbies—and legislators in Washington, DC?
Growing up, I remember my parents sitting in front of the television set in their big faux leather Lazy Boy recliners. They would lean back and the foot supports would rise as they sank into their chairs dreamy soft cushiness. Usually, after about twenty minutes, they would be asleep and when they finally trudged off to bed, it would usually be with aching backs. Another chair related “injury!”
“An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back” By Elisabeth Rosenthal
The Republican Congress has been doing its best to bring down the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and replace it with the cruel joke that would be known as “Trumpcare.” Despite the fact that only 17% of the public supports the Republican proposals, the GOP is still trying to burn the ACA to the ground. It is in this environment …
“Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery” by Cathryn Jacobson Ramin
I first heard about Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery from a patient of mine who was about to undergo his second spinal surgery.
“Wow, she really trashes chiropractic big time,” he let me know. “And I think the book is getting a lot of notice.” …
I’ve just gotten back from my fourth NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show in Anaheim, CA. NAMM is a yearly gathering of makers and sellers of instruments, amplification systems, headphones, concert lighting, digital interfaces and many more tools for the musician. The show is not open to the public. I attend as a volunteer with MusiCares, the health care arm of the Grammy Foundation. In that role, I spend time in the Musicares booth, advising musicians on health issues–from proper lifting techniques and nutrition to recommendations about stools, straps and other ergonomic equipment.
I just finished reading The End of Illness, a provocative new book by David Agus, MD. Agus is a medical oncologist and a leading cancer researcher. The focus of his research has been the varied mechanisms of cancer development. One of the simple, profound conclusions he reaches, is that we must stop thinking about cancer as a “thing” to be cut out or poisoned, but as a pathological systemic process. Cancer, he believes, should be seen as a verb. We don’t just “have cancer.” Instead, we “cancer”.
Once a year, in the Anaheim Convention Center, the National Association of Music Manufacturers (NAMM) provides space for the creators of musical instruments, amplifiers, recording equipment and every imaginable music accessory to display and demonstrate their newest wares. As a long-time bass player and a bit of a gear head, I was excited to finally be attending this legendary trade show. Those of you who have read my previous “Rock and Roll Ergonomics” columns know that I’ve been on a crusade against the tube amp. Don’t get me wrong; there are certain sounds that can be created only in the mysterious circuitry of Marshall and SVT heads.