“We want to wipe out death from old age in your lifetime” by Steven Mussey MD

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The story behind this cartoon:

Typically, someone comes in worried. They feel great. On exam, they look in perfect health. Lab-work and other studies are great, too.

The problem comes up: “You know, my dad did die of a heart attack!”

I look down at my notes. “Yeah. But… He was 98!”

“…And my mother had a stroke!”

Me: “But she was 97!”

“But it’s in my family history! I should at least see a Cardiologist!”

Thus, the idea for this cartoon was born.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for ““We want to wipe out death from old age in your lifetime” by Steven Mussey MD

  1. Christopher Dobrose
    July 8, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    I have a very elderly patient population. My patients generally fall in to two categories on this issue: those that are scared of dying and those that accept it is part of life.

    The former often ask me if they are going to die and I tell them “Yes, but I doubt you are going to die today”. The latter the conversation usually goes like this me:”See you at your next followup in 6 months” them: “If I am still around”.

  2. July 3, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    I’ve had the reverse of that as a patient.

    They’ll look at my family history. “Your Grandparents all died of heart attacks and strokes. You don’t want to die like that, do you? Let me give you this medication…” To that I respond, “They were all over 90, and my grandfather was farming when he suddenly died.”

    Then, look at my parents. “Your parents are dead too! You really need this medication!” I respond, “My father was murdered by someone with a gun. My mother died of a disease which now has a vaccination.” “But, your father was on his way toward having a stroke. You need the medication!” There’s no clinical evidence that he was “on his way” to having a stroke.

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