On this Thanksgiving remember that happiness is the difference between our reality and our expectations.
Fifteen years ago I traveled with a team of physicians that had been invited to address some health care needs in Kenya. After a few days attending events to showcase Kenyan schools, culture and its health care system I asked a cabdriver to allow me to spend the day with him and take me to Kenya’s less glamorous side—the one’s that aren’t showcased by the Ministry of Tourism and Health.
At the time Kenya had a horrific HIV/AIDs epidemic that had been covered by several national news outlets including 60 Minutes. I walked into an “otherworldly” Nairobi and Kisumu where coffins were sold in the market place and –all too often—in the streets. Many coffins were no more than 3 feet long and served as a reminder of the innocent children that fell victim to the AIDs epidemic. Continue reading “Thanksgiving 2015”
The costs of health care have simply gotten out of control. It is now routine practice for me to discuss not only my recommendations for ultrasounds, pap smears, bone density scans and other tests and procedures but increasingly I have an ethical responsibility to discuss the out of pocket costs of these tests and procedures as well.
There is a perfect storm brewing—one that has the potential for dramatically increasing your out of pocket medical expenses. The mixture of declining physician reimbursement, continuing liability concerns, high-deductible insurance plans and larger co-pays will translate into more expensive health care costs for all of us. So here are some thoughts on reducing your personal health-related expenses.
Rule #1: Stay out of emergency rooms unless it’s an emergency!
Continue reading “Controlling your health care spending: Managing the perfect storm”
As Veterans Day approaches it would serve all of us to remember how this day came to be. Nearly a century ago—during World War I—there was an armistice between the Allied forces and Germany. The cessation of hostilities went into effect on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918–at the end of the “war to end all wars.”
A year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first “Armistice Day” to be recognized at 11 AM, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. After WWII the name was changed to Veterans Day and the day was set aside to honor American Veterans of all wars.
Throughout the years I can’t help but reflect on how my life has been touched by veterans. The veterans of WWII were key to bringing an end to the Nazi regime in 1945 and defeating the Axis powers. My father was liberated on a transport train from a German concentration camp by the U.S. Army. It was the U.S. Military that set up Displaced Persons camps in Germany after the war –it’s where my parents met and remained protected until they came to this country in 1947.
Half a million American men and women died Continue reading “Veterans Day: A brief reflection”