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.

Authentic Nursing

There is a lot wrong with health care, most of it in fact, from my very jaded perspective.  But there is one component that is still very good and decent.  Some of the truly finest people I’ve met since entering medicine have been the nurses.  As a class of professionals, they hold themselves, and the rest of the…

“Quality and Me Can Save You a Bundle!”

“Waste in the U.S. health care system ranges from $760 billion to $935 billion per year, or more than total annual federal defense spending, according to a new study.”  For my money, the U.S. military is too big, way too expensive, and should be pruned back.  Yet all of that wasted money is expended under the permission…

Well, At Least We Cared!

As major universities continue to crank out heavily indebted graduates increasingly incapable of self-sufficiency or even independent thought, so our medical schools are trying to customize their graduates to care for them.  Or rather, their fragile self-esteem. Not content with bothering the rest of us with their ill-informed views on gun control, medical academicians now want to…

Down the Rabbit Hole on Medicare

After getting his proposed budget cuts to Medicare stuffed in March (cuts to doctors and hospitals, of course), Pres. Trump zoomed down to hit the Florida hustings to cheer on the continued survival of this beloved program.  He hit the premier gray ghetto in The Villages, promising to protect Medicare from “socialism,’ which is akin to…

Proliferative Anxiety

Often writing for this site, I am reminded of the fantastically apt Jeff Goldblum line from “Jurassic Park”: “YEAH, BUT YOUR SCIENTISTS WERE SO PREOCCUPIED WITH WHETHER OR NOT THEY COULD THAT THEY DIDN’T STOP TO THINK IF THEY SHOULD.”  Amen. Right out front, let me cheerfully admit that I don’t like much of what…

Beware the Schadenfreude

The chief executive for Blue Cross and Blue Shield for North Carolina has resigned, following an arrest for drunk driving earlier this summer.  Dr. Patrick Conway, “a prominent federal official before he came to Blue Cross of North Carolina two years ago,” was spotted weaving between lanes, and he sideswiped a tractor-trailer.  His two children were in…

Flush With Good Intentions

See, now this is the kind of thing I’ve been talking about:  today’s headlines regarding medicine and health care are often so stupid, so incomprehensibly ridiculous, that it’s getting tough to tell whether or not I’m being had by well-crafted parody. Take for instance, the opioid “CRISIS.”  Apart from inviting state officials to further meddle in practices…

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…