The Fiscal Cliff

It seems that again, Washington is in a state of gridlock.  Politics seem to be trumping good cents.  At risk is our economic future.

Personally, I refuse to participate in worrying about it.  We’re all in this together.

I do know one thing you can do to protect yourself.


Preventing the need for healthcare intervention is the most cost effective form of medicine and dentistry.

Learning about yourself and what you can do to regain and maintain your health is time much better spent than watching the goings on in Washington.   At least you have some control over that.


To your health and wellness,


Leviticus 19:18, Luke: 6:31 and Health Care?

These Biblical verses say, “Love your neighbor as yourself” and “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” respectively.

What do these concepts, which are found in various forms in most religions, have to do with Healthcare?

These proverbs are the foundation of what we now call the “Golden Rule”.  It guides the moral compass and ethics we are urged to follow in regards to our interactions with others.  It is the same for healthcare providers.

Here is the question that I always ask myself when recommending care for patients.  “Knowing what I know, what would I do if this were me?”   The answer to that question guides me.  As a consumer of healthcare also, I would ask that of my healthcare provider just as I ask it of myself when I am that provider.

Yet, there are pitfalls with this question.  First is: what is “knowing”.   With over 35 years experience, I know more now than I ever did.   Does that change my treatment recommendations?   Yes it does.  I know what works and just as important, I know what doesn’t work.

With the half-life of medical knowledge estimated at 5 years or less, keeping up on up-to-date knowledge is increasingly difficult.  Current “knowledge” is the key.

So, another key question I ask myself constantly is; “Is the knowledge I have the most current or is there something more I need to know before making a recommendation?”  Sometimes, the answer to this question is “I don’t know”.  What do I do then?

I rely on a group of highly passionate specialists for consultation.   I can’t keep up with everything there is to know about the increasing complexity of just Dentistry not to mention Medicine.

That’s why I may ask a patient to see a specialist.   It’s as much for my edification as it is for theirs.

That’s why I ask for all your Physicians names and phone numbers.   I may need to contact them to get me up to date on a specific medication, treatment or illness.

How can you, as a health care consumer appreciate the level of your healthcare provider’s “Knowledge”?

One way is membership in specific organizations that require reaching a level of expertise or maintenance of continuing education.   For instance, I belong to the American Dental Association.   That means nothing to you as consumer as it relates to my knowledge of dentistry other than it means I graduated a Dental School.

However I also belong to a several organizations that are selective.   You can’t just apply; you have to be voted in based on exacting criteria.   The International Academy of Dental-Facial Esthetics, The New York Academy of Dentistry and the American College of Dentists are 3 such organizations.   There are several others.

It is incumbent on you, the consumer, to look at your Healthcare provider’s credentials and scrutinize them to determine what they mean and how relevant they are to your needs.

To your health,


Integrative Medicine

After attending the symposium on Oral-Systemic health at The Cleveland Clinic last month I have a new appreciation for the field of integrative medicine.  The term Holistic has gotten a bad rap.  It implies non-scientific, non-traditional and even unproven therapy, especially to those of us in the traditional medical community.  That’s unfortunate because alternative medicine, also known as integrative medicine has a great deal to offer and many of its more effective advocates make a lot of sense.  Acupuncture, for instance, was once mocked as “voodoo medicine” and is now an integral part of accepted therapy.

Personally, I subscribe to several health newsletters.  They are short, concise and packed with useful information.  The Cleveland Clinic’s and Dr. Andrew Weil’s are two of my favorite.  They’re free too.

Our current system can best be described as a “sick-care” system.  We treat disease with medication, surgery or other therapies.   This is the model that insurance and pharmaceutical companies promote.

This type of care is expensive and not on the public’s best interest.  It’s certainly not in your personal best interest either.

How can the system change?

It can only change if we demand it of our healthcare practitioners, government and employers.

I’ve written 2 letters to a President of the USA.  Both were to President Obama and both were on healthcare reform.  I outlined a comprehensive restructuring plan.

While I’m not a policy expert, I am in the system as both a practitioner and a patient.  I’m also a citizen who, I believe has an obligation to exercise my right by letting politicians know my mind.

You can write too.   You can exercise your rights to express your opinion.   Do you like our system?  If not, let the people who are crafting it know.

To your health,