My Photo

Website Motto

  • "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has."MARGARET MEAD

FREE Honest Medicine Chapter

  • Sign up to get a FREE chapter of "Honest Medicine" by Julia Schopick. You'll also be signed up to get interesting news and updates delivered to your inbox.
    Please be assured that we will never sell your private information. We don’t like SPAM any more than you do!

AHHA Membership

  • American Holistic Health Association

Experts You Should Know About

Cutting Edge (Sometimes Controversial) Treatments

« For Tom Daschle and Barack Obama: Part 1: Advocating the Integrative Healthcare Solution | Main | Julia Schopick’s “Anecdotal” Medical Treatment Series: Eight Articles, So Far »

Comments

Ronald Hoffman, MD

13 Things I’d Do as Surgeon General of the United States

Paging Dr. Gupta! CNN health and medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta got the call from the Obama administration to become Surgeon General. (I kind of suspected I wouldn’t get it after all my criticism of America’s medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry). Oprah has dibs on Mehmet Oz, so Sanjay Gupta became the next logical choice

Gupta is an adroit media communicator and a brain surgeon, so he’s certainly well-equipped to occupy a position that is essentially a bully pulpit for exhorting Americans to be healthy.

Previous Surgeons General haven’t fared so well in recent times. Dr. Richard Carmona, an avid fitness buff, blasted the Bush administration that appointed him for muzzling him on crucial health issues. And Jocelyn Elders, MD, the first African-American woman to occupy the post, left in ignominy after opining that teenagers should be taught masturbation techniques as a way of curbing pre-marital sex.

What would I do if I were Surgeon General? Here’s a list of 13 initiatives I would champion:

1) TAX BREAKS FOR EXERCISE, SMOKING CESSATION, WEIGHT LOSS.
Using current technology, we could equip Americans with pedometers to award them tax credits for mileage logged. Electronic transmitters installed on scales could relay your weight and body composition to IRS servers to incentive optimum fat/lean ratios.

2) NO MORE FOOD STAMPS FOR JUNK FOOD. If you want to use your own money to buy poor-quality, calorie-dense food, fine, it’s a free country. But using government support to cultivate health problems for which the public health system is responsible—enough already!
3) CHECK THE VITAMIN D LEVEL OF EVERY AMERICAN MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD. Then, for those who are deficient, provide free supplements which would cost pennies a day. The savings, in terms of cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases, and osteoporosis, would pay many times over for testing and the free D.
4) ESTABLISH A CHILDHOOD HEALTH CORPS. We are witnessing a crisis of obesity and premature degenerative diseases among our kids. Early intervention to promote optimal weight, fitness, and healthy eating habits is just as important as literacy and math. Healthy children are a prerequisite to a healthy adult citizenry. The Corps would be empowered to ban junk food ads targeting kids during children’s programming, and to apply warning labels to kids’foods.
5) QUINTUPLE THE BUDGET FOR THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE. Some Washington pols are calling for the dismantling of NCCAM, which does research on alternative therapies, as a cost-saving measure. They decry NCCAM as an enabler of “quackery.” Actually, initiatives like NCCAM are the last best hope for American medicine, which threatens to collapse due to its expense, inefficacy, and toxicity.
6) ERADICATE END-OF-LIFE INTERVENTIONS THAT MERELY PROLONG SUFFERING AND DRIVE UP HEALTH-CARE COSTS. It’s estimated that 80% of Medicare dollars are expended on patients’ 12 months of life. A special commission needs to be convened to investigate futile medical procedures that cause terminal patients to languish in intensive care units with little prospect of recovery, costly unnecessary surgeries, or aggressive cancer treatments with no proven efficacy for elderly patients. Patients and families must be given the resources to make ethical and humanitarian end-of-life decisions (and we’re NOT talking about euthanasia, just rational compassionate care!)
7) ESTABLISH A TASK FORCE ON CHRONIC DISEASES. Our current medical system prides itself on quick fixes. But decades in-the-making conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, prostate cancer, breast cancer, asthma and obesity account for over 75% of health care costs. All of these maladies are amenable to diet, lifestyle, and nutritional intervention. An intensive initiative needs to be mounted to come up with ways to forestall these illnesses which are sapping our nation’s productivity and resources.
8) CONVENE A SPECIAL, EMERGENCY SUMMIT ON DRUGS THAT DON’T WORK. Especially egregious examples include anti-psychotic drugs used as chemical straight-jackets for elderly demented patients in nursing homes, excess use of antibiotics for simple ear infections, sinusitis and bronchitis, and futile chemo regimens in many advanced cancers. The drug industry spends billions of dollars to get doctors and the public to use more drugs, and the government even subsidizes their overuse—a counterforce needs to be empowered immediately to stem the tide of dangerous and unnecessary prescribing.
9) LEAD THE CABINET IN DAILY EXERCISE, NUTRITIOUS EATING, AND HEALTH PRACTICES LIKE YOGA AND TAI CHI. Government officials need to exemplify healthy lifestyles—the culture of the White House and Federal Government should reflect positive values. How about a morning staff meeting conducted while jogging—or a press conference featuring healthy fare instead of the usual coffee and Danish for the White House press corps? Morning Tai Chi on the White House lawn, or a yoga break in the White House gym might inspire Americans to incorporate similar practices in their homes and workplaces.
10) BRING BACK “VICTORY GARDENS”. They helped our grandparents support the war effort in WWII. Amidst the current economic recession, more people are eschewing expensive fresh fruits and vegetables in favor of cheap processed foods. The Surgeon General should collaborate with the Agriculture Department to encourage individual and local community gardens and food co-ops to provide abundant, fresh and inexpensive seasonal produce.
11) And while we’re at it ELIMINATE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES FOR SUGAR, CORN, AND WHEAT. These price supports artificially drive down the cost of processed foods laden in carbohydrates and fat and give them an unfair competitive advantage relative to healthier food choices. Instead, why not tax breaks for farmers who raise broccoli, blueberries, and arugula?
12) FLIP THE SCRIPT ON DOCTOR’S SALARIES. We’re currently experiencing a critical shortage of primary care docs—internists, family practitioners, and pediatricians—because their salaries lag behind those of ultra-specialists. Plastic surgeons, cosmetic dermatologists, and other niched practitioners work less hours and make bigger bucks recommending costly medicines, surgeries and procedures. Guaranteeing better salaries for doctors working “in the trenches” could help turn our bloated system around. And,
13) REIN IN THE AMBULANCE CHASERS. Easing the current malpractice crisis could help keep our “best and brightest” doctors from leaving the field, and from practicing wasteful and ultimately dangerous defensive medicine.

coach outlet

Damn, I hate to say it , and I dont drink Bud. But, I liked it. Alot. I hate to say it. I am a classic trained Chef In San Francisco, and own three very well known establishments. I have trained under some of the best. I dont know what happened to me but this stuff was tasty, in a trashy, sorta.. tangy.. by the trailer kinda way. It could be paired with some yummy treats.

Professional Plus 2010

I’m constructive I’ll be back again yet again and

can deliver a number of of my friends.

ghd australia

well this blog is great i love reading your articles.

top running shoes

Life is often a sigh of no return, in the process, we are always longing for more good things to happen to us. However, most of the time, we need to experience pain, suffering, frustration and even disappointment.

Ken Griffey Shoes

replacement and that they are going to not be as desirable to their companion. There are a few professionals who

North Face Fleece Sale

take clips from the video; and for audio, do the same thing.

buy steroids

This book, as I state in my review, is simply one of the most powerful “odes” to Integrative Healthcare. In Part 1, Dr. Ozner “blows the whistle” on much of invasive cardiology, pointing out that “of the more than 1.5 million angioplasties and coronary bypass surgeries performed annually in the U.S.

http://www.cheapjordansair.com

Thanks for sharing. This website is to I too have to help. Very good.I like the way you write.

my website

That's the kind of image that i really thing is super image like. If more images very real like this were out there we'd be super full of graet images in the world.

legitimate work from Home jobs

Ahaa, its pleasant dialogue about this piece of writing at this place at this blog, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.

Bbm For Pc

I pay a quick visit each day some blogs and blogs to read content, but this blog gives quality based articles.

Plants Vs Zombies 2 For PC

Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it's really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I'll appreciate if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

IMVU Free Credits

I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I'll learn plenty of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

IMVU Free Credits

A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you ought to write more on this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people don't speak about such topics. To the next! Many thanks!!

TéLéCharger Fifa 14 Gratuit

Asking questions are truly fastidious thing if you are not understanding anything fully, except this post presents fastidious understanding even.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Buy HONEST MEDICINE Now

Honest Medicine a Health Central Award Winner

  • HealthCentral Top Site Award

Selected as a Top Health Blogger by Wellsphere

Get Honest Medicine’s Podcasts & Email Updates