Pat Conrad MD

Pat Conrad is a full-time rural ER doc on the Florida Gulf Coast. After serving as a carrier naval flight officer, he graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine, and the Tallahassee Family Medicine residency program. His commentary has appeared in Medical Economics and at AuthenticMedicine.com . Conrad’s work stresses individual freedom and autonomy as the crucial foundation for medical excellence, is wary of all collective solutions, and recognizes that the vast majority of poisonous snakebites are concurrent with alcohol consumption.

Wasping

A new recreational drug is taking flight among the meth heads:  bug spray.  More specifically, the budget party crowd is using spray that kills wasps, which can be inhaled or injected for a cheaper high when the top-shelf meth is presumably not available (this has actually been going on a couple years, bu the media is just catching…

Spare the Beans, Spoil the Budget

The Trump Administration has decided that we spend too much on kidney disease, and so has rolled out an initiative to fight it.  Kidney disease is bad, ultimately kills a lot of people, and costs a lot in the interim, particularly on dialysis (over $110 billion / year). The administration wants more people getting at-home dialysis than…

It’s Bedtime, But the AAFP Still Wants to Play

There is no appropriate role for the federal government in providing either routine health care, or food outside of acute disaster areas (which admittedly might include the entire state of California).  The reason that programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and SNAP aka food stamps are such disasters is because they are provided ultimately from a central, not…

Who is REALLY at Fault?

This photo is what dangerous arrogance looks like.  Angela Hock, an unlicensed midwife was charged with “negligent child abuse resulting in death after a baby died following an unsuccessful home delivery in Omaha.” Last month paramedics were called to the home, where they “found Hock, who operates Nebraska Birth Keeper, attempting to help 25-year-old Emily Noe deliver a…

Doc’s Gone Wild: Après Ski

“New Jersey Anesthesiologist Revives Patient after 10-hour Surgery without Complications” is a headline you’ll never read.  “New Jersey Anesthesiologist Receives Rave Reviews from Patients Who are Pain Free” is a story no one cares about. But “Doctor charged in ‘ski rage’ attack on 12-year-old, cops say” or “New Jersey judge hands down strange Valentine’s Day sentence to doctor…

Those Who Can’t, Lobby

The more medicine is immersed in the daily passions of politics, the less serious it becomes.  And it seems like a battle long since lost, as health care is injected into every political fight and agenda dominating the entire media spectrum.  And wherever there is a flight from seriousness, we may be sure that the AMA…

It’s Good to be a Non-Profit CEO

One of the worst aspects of our society, really of human nature, is the impulse for most people to go around counting each other’s money.  It reflects greed, insecurity, and is downright rude.  In fact the entire tax code is the embodiment of widespread covetousness, as is the ongoing fight over U.S. health care.  So before we get…

It’s All About the Packaging…

We see daily updates that the national budget is cartoonishly exploding, and a huge part of that are Medicare expenditures.  In failed efforts to rein in spending, we have seen DRG’s, coding updates in apparent perpetuity, “quality” measures, pay-for-performance shell games, delayed payments, audits, a “free-drugs-for-retiree-votes” program, and the ever-present threat of administrative fines and criminal…

Maine Doesn’t Need Doctors

This is NOT a piece about abortion.  I’ve been writing op-eds for 16 years and have thus far avoided that topic.  I know what I think about it, and I’m sure you do too.  Our views are probably pretty similar.  And if they’re not, for purposes of this column, I don’t care.  So before this gets hijacked off into…

Do You Feel in Charge?

Does your hospital run out of your preferred broad-spectrum antibiotic?  Does your clinic run out of fiberglass splint materials, lab testing kits, or on-the-spot IT wizards to fix your damnable EHR?  There is one thing you probably haven’t run out of (yet):  “But one resource that seems endless — and free — is the professional ethic of medical staff members.” Danielle…