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.

The AMA Will Oppose M4A…Until It Doesn’t

Prior to 1965, the American Medical Association fought against the creation of Medicare, warning – correctly – that it would lead to “socialized medicine.”  The AMA and their allies in Congress depended on then-Ways and Means Committee Chairman Wilbur Mills to craft a limited, more fiscally responsible plan to head off a more gargantuan insertion of the…

NEJM Leads the Cleanup

“Neither the gravity and enormity … nor the unfortunate politicization of this health emergency should cause us to shy away from action.”  I cut the specific issue from this sentence to make the point that as in practically all else, everything in health care is political.  The sentence is ironic, bemoaning “politicization” even as it politicizes. I…

Gray Wave Building

We live amidst a graying society.  If the constant walk-in-tub ads and exhortations to buy gold haven’t convinced you, then this story will be a shock.  The Washington Post has a story about a “catastrophic” age demographic mismatch impending in the state of Maine, and what it portends for the nation at large. This article makes a great…

You Gotta Pay to be in the Phone Book

Back in the Summer of ’99, I was excited and a little nervous to drive 5 hours down to Orlando to take my very first family medicine board exam, and I was really proud to get a passing score in the mail six weeks later.  Seven years later, having left family medicine forever for the ER,…

Cirque D’Erreurs

Many years ago, and old timey surgeon told me a hilarious story.  After his intern year, he did a tour in the Navy, where the duty was often easy and the docs could do practically anything they wanted.  So lounging around the clinic one day, he go an interesting request:  a strapping, tall 19 year old marine decided…

New Ideas from the Volunteer State

Medicaid has been busting state budgets for decades, and there is not end in sight.  The authors of the Affordable Care Act actually bragged about putting more people on the welfare program, with some pols and wonks even claiming the expansion was an economic good.   That is absurd on its face, as it still represents…

Living the Dream

Okay, so maybe this one should for “Friday Funny.”  As a rabid college football fan, I remember back in 2001 when George O’Leary left Georgia Tech to become the head football coach at Notre Dame.  Several days later he resigned from this legendary post, because of what was described as “resume padding.”  Seems O’Leary had…

The Candy Man Always Has Customers

So another candy man was busted and convicted in the ongoing fight to end the opioid “CRISIS.”  Dr. Joel Smithers ran The Center for Integrative Health at Smithers Community Healthcare, where they apparently integrated a lot of narcotics into a lot of repeat business.  Smithers was arrested and arraigned in August 2017, and released on a $25,000…

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…