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The 5 Dumbest Cancer Myths?
Written by Dr Vasilev   
Monday, 17 August 2009 19:05

My mom just got a piece of junk mail that caught my eye.  It was from a non medical healthcare practitioner, certainly not one who has ever been qualified to treat cancer, and entitled "The 5 Dumbest Cancer Myths".  As this website and my other online blogs attest, I am certainly open to alternative and complementary treatments which fall under the rubric of Integrative Medicine (i.e. "the best of both worlds" effective remedies). However, what I found literally ALARMED me such that I had to write this post.

Here are the "Myths"......

Last Updated on Monday, 17 August 2009 20:14
Surgeons and the President
Written by Dr Vasilev   
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 16:27

I get political EXTREMELY rarely, but enough is enough.  I am getting more and more dismayed about leadership in this country and even more dismayed about misinformed and underpowered weakminded individuals thinking they are going to "reform" healthcare in the blink of an eye. 

Is there work to do to better the state of affairs?  Absolutely!  My experienced bias is that additional layers of bureaucracy is not the answer.  But more importantly the statements out there are getting moronic and counterproductive, and the President is apparently sounding like one of the morons. 

When one is charged with such a leadership role, there is no place for "oopsie" statements, particularly those that challenge the integrity of what is still one of the noblest professions around.  The rest is a quote from a statement which reflects the facts.

Statement from the American College of Surgeons Regarding Recent Comments from President Obama

CHICAGO--The American College of Surgeons is deeply disturbed over the uninformed public comments President Obama continues to make about the high-quality care provided by surgeons in the United States. When the President makes statements that are incorrect or not based in fact, we think he does a disservice to the American people at a time when they want clear, understandable facts about health care reform. We want to set the record straight.

Yesterday during a town hall meeting, President Obama got his facts completely wrong. He stated that a surgeon gets paid $50,000 for a leg amputation when, in fact, Medicare pays a surgeon between $740 and $1,140 for a leg amputation. This payment also includes the evaluation of the patient on the day of the operation plus patient follow-up care that is provided for 90 days after the operation. Private insurers pay some variation of the Medicare reimbursement for this service (Ed. almost always a lot LESS).

Three weeks ago, the President suggested that a surgeon's decision to remove a child's tonsils is based on the desire to make a lot of money. That remark was ill-informed and dangerous, and we were dismayed by this characterization of the work surgeons do. Surgeons make decisions about recommending operations based on what's right for the patient.

We agree with the President that the best thing for patients with diabetes is to manage the disease proactively to avoid the bad consequences that can occur, including blindness, stroke, and amputation. But as is the case for a person who has been treated for cancer and still needs to have a tumor removed, or a person who is in a terrible car crash and needs access to a trauma surgeon, there are times when even a perfectly managed diabetic patient needs a surgeon. The President's remarks are truly alarming and run the risk of damaging the all-important trust between surgeons and their patients.

We assume that the President made these mistakes unintentionally, but we would urge him to have his facts correct before making another inflammatory and incorrect statement about surgeons and surgical care.

American College of Surgeons

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 August 2009 20:36
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