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Let's bring the public back into public health. Produced by a team of NPR veterans, and hosted by a brother-sister duo -- she's a nurse practitioner, he's in health care PR -- The Public Health Podcast shares the rarely heard experiences of the women and men who really make our health systems run. Sign up for the The Public Health Podcast email at: http://eepurl.com/hgBeM5 Follow @RyanBirchmeier and @Thunder11PR on Twitter. The Public Health Podcast is a production of Thunder11, a strategic ...
 
The Natural History of Chocolate being a Distinct and Particular Account of the Cocoa-tree, its Growth and Culture, and the Preparation, Excellent Properties, and Medicinal Virtues of its Fruit. Wherein the Errors of those who have wrote upon this Subject are discovered; the Best Way of Making Chocolate is explained; and several Uncommon Medicines drawn from it, are communicated. - Summary by D. de Quelus
 
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When Laura Johnson’s father Bill, a healthy and active senior, went for a simple medical procedure, Laura’s gut instincts told her to miss work and go with him to keep him safe. But Bill told her he had a friend accompanying him and assured Laura he would be fine because “how bad could they mess this up”. Tragically, Laura’s instincts were right. H…
 
Medical error and harm can take many forms and occurs in almost every medical context, except perhaps during autopsies. So when a medical error occurs during a joyous event like childbirth, it can not only impact the immediate experience, but may also cause lifelong suffering and disability. This is what happened to Carol Sunnucks when she went to …
 
Lyndsay Springer has turned a tragedy into a force for good. After her husband Chike passed away after a battle with Lymphoma, she worked with his family to establish the Chike Springer Foundation, which is charting a new course to improve treatment outcomes and increase diversity in cancer research. Learn more about the Foundation's work at: Chike…
 
Ashanti Daniel is one of those people who knew their career destiny as a child - and then made it come to fruition. As a nurse, Ashanti had the inside view of how the health care system operates - so when she got very sick and was hospitalized multiple times, she thought that being a health care worker would afford her legitimacy in the eyes of her…
 
In the early hours of the 28th of July 2016, Colette McCulloch was hit and killed by a bus. Eighteen hours earlier Colette had walked out of the specialist care facility for autistic adults where she was being treated. Throughout Colette’s short life, her parents Andy and Amanda, sought out medical professionals to try to explain and ease their you…
 
Implanting plastic mesh inside our bodies doesn’t sound like a smart thing -- and it wouldn’t have happened to Michelle Hedgcoth if a previous medical error hadn’t damaged her body. Michelle was a healthy and happy career woman when she gave birth - but the doctor, who had given Michelle an episiotomy, failed to sew her back up after the baby was d…
 
Like the vast majority of people, you have probably taken an antibiotic at some point in your life. And it probably helped you. However, a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones can cause permanent and severe damage -- this is known as fluoroquinolone toxicity, or, in the US, fluoroquinolone induced disability - FQID. This is a global healt…
 
Anyone seeking medical treatment hopes to get better. But what happens when treatment make things worse? Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD joins The Public Health Podcast to discuss her book, When We Do Harm: A Doctor Confronts Medical Error. She is a founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Bellevue Literary Review, the first literary journal to arise from a medic…
 
Multiple award winning author Marcus Sedgwick is best known for his popular fiction books, but his experiences with deeply entrenched medical gaslighting inspired his new book titled “All In Your Head - What happens when your doctor doesn’t believe you.” Marcus describes how he got sick with flu like symptoms...but they never went away. Marcus was …
 
The medical ICU -- reserved for dire medical situations -- can be one of the most intense units of a hospital. Those who work there on a daily basis may never picture themselves as patients in the unit. Philadelphia-based medical ICU nurse, Jelena DeCarolis, joins The Public Health Podcast to share her experience landing in the ICU. The Public Heal…
 
When Alice Urbino was a young teenager she got the flu and never got better. Her mother - desperate for her daughter to recover - paid for what she thought was a legitimate treatment -- even though young Alice could plainly see the ‘lightning process’ was based on pseudoscience. Nevertheless, Alice was pressured to partake in a cult like atmosphere…
 
Ryan Clark had it all. Successful career. Great relationships. Healthy body. When Ryan noticed a bit of hair loss, like many men, he took a common medication known as Propecia to promote hair growth. Unbeknownst to Ryan, Propecia can cause post-finasteride syndrome - causing sexual, neurological, physical and cognitive adverse reactions - it is a c…
 
If a surgeon told you that they were going to implant plastic mesh around an organ -- perhaps your bladder or bowel -- and screw the ends into your pelvis and spine -- would you have that surgery? What if the surgeon also told you the plastic mesh may disintegrate and release toxins into your body causing multi system dysfunction -- and that the pl…
 
When Dr Simon Breidert tried to discontinue use of the hair growth medication Finasteride, he experienced a myriad of very disturbing and disabling symptoms in multiple body systems. But the medical system doesn’t recognize Post Finasteride Syndrome and has labeled any one who says they experience those symptoms as hysterical. Dr Breidert was now c…
 
It is an open secret that hospitals’ standard of practice is to deny, diminish or cover up their medical errors. When they occur, there is often immense pressure from hospital administrators on employees to conform to a narrative that protects the hospital. The employee may feel that their job and career are in jeopardy, and they may feel peer pres…
 
Medicine is so messed up. It has been fatally bitten by its own dogma. When singer-songwriter Dana Parish suddenly got very sick, she quickly had a correct diagnosis of Lyme disease and was given the standard antibiotic treatment. But Dana never fully recovered and eventually ended up in heart failure. Dana saw many top doctors in New York and they…
 
When nurse Denise Crawley connected with me about sharing her experiences with her own medical errors in the workplace, I thought it was a great opportunity to hear from a health care worker from their side and perspective of medical errors. As Denise states, there is a big problem with how the health care system responds to medical error, especial…
 
When author Maya Dusenbery started to experience pain after a viral infection, she was introduced to a medical system that mostly marginalizes women and dismisses diseases that predominantly affect women. This of course will come as no surprise to any female that has a disease the medical system does not readily recognize. If that disease doesn’t h…
 
“We’re living in a horror movie” says Anton, speaking for his brother Holger who is so severely sick that he cannot eat or drink and has to be tube fed. Yet the Swedish medical system thinks Holger has a psychiatric disorder and has threatened to have him forcibly committed to an institution against his wishes. If the medical system succeeds, it wi…
 
Homeless patients with chronic medical conditions who need long-term care often repeatedly present to emergency departments to receive treatment. Following a performance improvement analysis, clinicians at UCSF developed an emergency department–based team who work with the community to provide care for this challenging population. Hemal Kanzaria, M…
 
Medical knowledge is embryonic. They are still discovering new body parts. Sometimes medicine doesn’t break new ground, but has to be dragged into the light. A case in point is cannabis. The therapeutic value of cannabis has been known for millennia, yet modern medicine vilified the medication, pathologized cannabis users, while the legal system cr…
 
Author and writer Maija Haavisto caught my attention with her article titled ‘Medical Trauma: Gaslighting and Continuous Stress Eating Away at Your Self Worth’. In her writing, Maija accurately captures the consequences of harmful medical experiences I witness in my counseling clients. As I’ve said elsewhere, medical error and trauma are the unackn…
 
For many, the road to become a nurse is challenging. Bev Warne, an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe, tells us how this road can be even tougher for Native Americans. Bev joins The Public Health Podcast to discuss her work with the Native American Nursing Education Center at South Dakota State University. The Center's vision is to provide …
 
One of the good things about interviewing people about their medical error experiences is the feel good stories about making the health system safer, and making meaning out of trauma, a phenomenon known as post traumatic growth. In this interview with Jessica Pin, she shares the insights she’s learned about the gross deficiencies in the medical sys…
 
When you’ve been sick since a child - as Jeanne McArdle has been - you gain a preternatural insight into the world of medicine and medical care. And if you have a disease unknown or misunderstood by medicine, you get the advantage of being an ‘outsider’ while inside the system. Of course, this cuts both ways: having a medically marginalized disease…
 
When yoga teacher Liz fell down a flight of stairs while moving a mattress and injured her foot, she had no idea that multiple misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis would cause her years of medical gaslighting and chronic pain. Liz’s health care experience is littered with story after story of incredible incompetence, false accusations and patient blam…
 
When Daria Oller got sick with mild Covid symptoms in mid March, she assumed she’d be back to full health in a week or two. Now over 7 months later, Daria -- a physical therapist, athletic trainer, runner and dancer -- is still beset with physical symptoms, especially a delayed and dysfunctional response to exercise, known as post exertional malais…
 
How much do you know about chronic disease and what really determines patient success? Garry Welch, PhD, an expert in behavior medicine for chronic disease care, joins The Public Health Podcast to discuss all of the surprising behavioral, motivational, and psychological drivers of chronic disease. Dr. Welch is the Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Of…
 
There are hundreds of thousands of liver transplant patients, all of whom will be seen in general clinical practices. It is common for them to develop elevated liver enzymes—a potentially serious problem that may be a sign that the transplanted liver is failing. Traditionally, patients with these findings are sent to a liver transplant center for a…
 
Unless you’ve experienced it yourself, it is hard to fathom the cruelty and abuse by some doctors and nurses on sick, vulnerable and dying people. It is hard to reconcile that the ultimate helping professions can have so many people who exhibit truly sadistic and sociopathic behaviour. To understand how ubiquitous medical abuse and neglect is in ou…
 
What is the connection between a ‘weak bladder’ in childhood and spine surgery in adulthood? For Melinda Maxwell, a diagnosis of craniocervical instability (or CCI) provided clarity of that connection after decades of doctors dismissing her symptoms or giving a misdiagnosis. Craniocervical instability, as its name implies, is essentially a mechanic…
 
Regardless of which side you’re on, chances are, you’re keyed up for election night. To quell these anxieties, Ryan and Katie solicit the advice of three medical professionals for how to stay calm and healthy during election night, the best ways to engage family members with different political views, and what to do if the results don’t turn out th…
 
Jonah McGarva is one of what will be millions of people around the globe with Long Covid. And many pandemic survivors that develop Long Covid are frustrated by their government’s lack of appropriate response. Most government health leaders barely mention - or even warn the public - about Long Covid. This is known as political invisibilization. And …
 
When Tracy Fossum had all the symptoms of a heart attack, the emergency room doctors thought Tracy was drug seeking and sent her away. Then her pain specialist physician implored her to go to a different hospital’s emergency room because they were heart attack specialists and would have to run appropriate tests. But they thought Tracy was drug seek…
 
Ryan's future sister-in-law and public health expert, Robin Pfohman, joins The Public Health Podcast to discuss her work with the Community Resilience and Equity Program, serving vulnerable populations in Seattle and King County. *** The Public Health Podcast is a production of Thunder11, a strategic communications firm with audio production by Pau…
 
When Melissa Shiff had surgery on a cyst in her back, the surgeon nicked her spinal fluid canal causing it to leak spinal fluid. This medical error would lead to more errors and medical harm for Melissa. As Melissa wrote to me after the interview: “I get internal tremors, non epileptic seizures, slurred speech, sometimes I lose the ability to move …
 
Dr Terri Lewis is a clinical educator with more than 30 years of experience in the development and administration of community rehabilitation and counseling programs. Terri’s insights into the machinations of the medical system come from both her professional career and her role as a mother. When Terri’s child experienced pain, it was by and large …
 
When journalist Miranda Levy couldn’t sleep due to a relationship upheaval, she sought support from her doctor and fell down a multi year rabbit hole into the wacky world of psychiatric medicine. Miranda lost herself in a health care system that has little understanding of the powerful psychiatric drugs they dispense like candy. The health care sys…
 
Sustainability expert Tony Schifano, Founder and CEO of Antos Environmental, joins Ryan and Katie to discuss the massive issue of waste management in hospitals and what health care organizations (and everyone) can do to reduce the ballooning amount of waste we produce every day. Hospitals produce 6,600 tons of waste every day, according to a 2012 r…
 
If you had any doubt the medical system, in collusion with the legal, political and insurance systems, were corrupt, those doubts will be waylaid when you hear Beau Tiffany’s experiences with medical error. Beau has had to endure and battle biased systems since he slipped and fell hard down wet stair steps, causing him multiple injuries. But it was…
 
Pretty much everyone who’s had a chronic or complex illness will have a story to tell about some of the most ignorant and arrogant - and dangerous - utterations made by physicians. I’ve spoken with a lot of health care workers and patients from a wide variety of health care systems, and regardless of their geographic location, the god complex physi…
 
Have you had an MRI? Was it an MRI ‘with contrast’? That’s when the MRI technician injects you with a chemical called gadolinium so they can read the MRI easier. They probably told you to drink a lot of water to flush it out of your system, and that it would be gone from your body in 24 hours. What they probably didn’t tell you is that some people’…
 
When Donald’s pregnant wife was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, and then a few months later their newborn son was also diagnosed with a similar, but different, life threatening heart condition, the Lepp family started 2 similar, but different, simultaneous journey’s in the health care system: one designed for children and the other for ad…
 
In spite of our great science and medical advances in the last 100 years, what we know about how the body works is still embryonic. Especially when it comes to our body’s most complex organ - the brain - as Dr Susan Cunliffe can attest. Dr Cunliffe received numerous rounds of ECT - aka shock therapy - each more powerful than the last, each designed…
 
Mack Doyle has been sickly since birth -- and along the way medicine gave her numerous diagnoses to explain her symptoms, none of which turned out to be correct. When Mack’s allergy skin tests showed her positive to over 140 foods, grasses, and pollen, the doctor didn’t believe it. “Impossible” he said. He told Mack she wasn’t allergic to anything,…
 
If you’re living with a complex chronic illness, you’ve probably had many medical appointments -- and probably experienced many medical errors, from the benign errors that did not impact your life, to potentially serious errors that will forever lower your quality of life. When Charis Hill’s pain skyrocketed and health tanked and no doctor’s were p…
 
When Candia McCullough went in for routine hysterectomy surgery for her heavy periods, she was expecting the surgery to give her a better quality of life. What she was not expecting - and did not consent - was to have a medical device implanted into her abdomen and have it attached to her spine, bladder and colon. When Candia awoke from the surgery…
 
As we learned in part 1 of Rachel’s interview, she comes from a family of physicians, and when she was seriously injured by Accutane, a medication many teens and young adults take for acne, Rachel found herself at odds with her family’s complete buy-in to the corporate pharmaceutical narrative and their wholesale acceptance of Big Pharma’s so-calle…
 
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