Sunday, August 30, 2009

Medicine on Call – The Latest Episode –8/30/09



Dr. Elaina George, America’s favorite doctor, breaks down the healthcare information you need.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dr. George Discusses Chronic Pain and how to deal with it


How do you deal with chronic pain?  Let Dr. Elaina George break it down in the lastest edition of Medicine on Call.

 Click here to listen!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Take on the Death of Michael Jackson


The following is a statement made by Dr. Elaina George, an Otolaryngologist out of Atlanta and advocate for physicians.

‘Michael Jackson did not have a chance’ was my first thought when I read the report that just came out about what caused his untimely and tragic death. I was unprepared for the absolute disregard for the first tenant of the doctors’ Hippocratic Oath – First do no harm.

There was no way that harm would not have come to Mr. Jackson. It was beyond negligent to give him a mixture of three different kinds of sedatives, a muscle relaxant, an antidepressant in addition to Propofol, a general anesthetic that is only used in an operating room setting (because it can stop someone’s breathing). Each of these drugs by themselves can be lethal, but together it is a recipe that will almost definitely kill someone. I can think of no medical scenario that would justify mixing these kinds of drugs. Hopefully, Mr. Jackson’s death will teach us that prescription drugs, though helpful are no substitute for doctors doing everything in their power to protect the health of their patients, including just saying no when it is appropriate.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dr. Elaina George: How to Play the Insurance Game and Win


Dr. Elaina George, Medical Correspondent – 

For Americans, receiving heath care is like going to a casino, but here the typical rules don’t apply. In the healthcare casino, the medical insurance industry, Big Pharmaceutical Companies and hospitals make the rules to insure that the house wins every time. Over the years they have increased your stakes by increasing premiums, drug costs and hospital costs, while raking in windfall profits. The medical insurance industry has grown larger and more powerful by systematically fleecing patients and doctors. To hide the fact that they are playing with people’s health; they have been masters of distraction. The ever changing rules for patients and doctors have made it impossible to learn what you need to know. Moreover, it has placed doctors, who are the face of medicine, in a position where the patient has begun to question their motives. This has eroded the doctor patient relationship and has damaged the foundation of excellent medical care.

Over the next several weeks, we will examine how the game has been rigged so that you can finally understand the rules. Each week we will expose what you need to know to take back your power and put the odds back in your favor so you can win! This week we will examine the medical insurance industry.

Basic facts about the medical insurance industry:

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Defending All Doctors: Who’s to Blame for the High Cost of Healthcare?

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University 

Dr. Elaina George, a prominent family practice physician in Atlanta, has a bone to pick with President Obama. During various healthcare town hall meetings and press conferences, the president has villified doctors as the cause of the high cost of healthcare. But Dr. George doesn't agree.

As one of the few black doctors in America who is taking the time to speak out in the current healthcare debate, Dr. George says that the culprits in the high cost of healthcare are The American Medical Association, hospitals, big pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies. Here is how she breaks it down.

1) Our country has gotten away from preventing illness and is instead engaged in the high cost of managing disease. Dr. George explains in the interview below that rather than actually curing illnesses or preventing them, we simply try to manage them. Her argument, as with many others in the healthcare profession, is that this attitude is driven by the fact that pharmaceutical and insurance companies only maximize profits when people stay sick. Symptoms tend to be treated instead of the underlying cause of the illness, making problems worse in the long-term.

2) According to some physicians, the public option on healthcare may not be as great as it sounds. When it comes to the public option (which is being heavily debated right now), Dr. George argues that while the option may provide health coverage for many Americans who don't have it, it may not cause insurance companies to pay their fair share of the cost of healthcare reform. "The argument that the public option will drive down costs is disingenuous," says Dr. George. "How can a program designed to cover about 10 million people (as per the Congressional Budget Office) really exert any pressure on the health insurance industry when a company like Blue Cross and Blue Shield has over 30 million members and United Healthcare is even larger?"

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