A Brief Overview Of Obamacare

A Brief Overview Of Obamacare

ObamaCare2_2Being a doctor insurance was often one of the thorns in my side. Thankfully, since I’m retired I don’t have to deal with it any longer. Even moreso, I’m glad I won’t have to deal with the new health care law in the United States. Obamacare is the informal name for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is also sometimes shortened to the Affordable Care Act. President Obama signed the statute into law on March 23, 2010. It is an attempt at sweeping health care reform in the United States, with the primary aim being to broaden access to affordable health insurance and reduce the rising costs of health care in the country. It includes requirements for uninsured individuals to buy health plans, for businesses with fifty or more full-time employees to provide health insurance to those workers, and it expands Medicaid eligibility for those states that choose to participate.

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How To Become A Doctor

How To Become A Doctor
doctor-and-patient-art-6b7bbfdda5c09479Many people dream of becoming a doctor. With hard work, extreme dedication, and the right expectations anyone can work towards becoming a doctor. But prepare yourself – becoming a doctor is a long, hard road and will require years of study and thousands of dollars in educational costs.
A basic college education is the first step in becoming a doctor. Earning a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is a basic requirement. There is no specific Bachelor’s degree that is required to apply to medical school. However, a deep understanding of science is generally required and majors in chemistry or biology will help prepare you for medical school. There are also many pre-medicine programs that will allow you to take many of the undergraduate classes that medical schools look for when considering applicants. As an undergraduate, you should also participate in internship or volunteer opportunities that involve the medical field such as working at a local health clinic. A typical Bachelor’s degree will take approximately four years to complete.
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How You Can Get The Best Out Of Cosmetic Surgery

How You Can Get The Best Out Of Cosmetic Surgery

More and more people are going under the surgeon’s scalpel in order to enhance their looks. This rush has sometimes led to people regretting their decision to be operated on, while others have ended up with surgeries they wish they could reverse but it is impossible.

Dr. Basile, a plastic surgeon who can be found at http://www.basileplasticsurgery.com/, spoke with me and discussed a number of things that you must do in order to get optimal results from a cosmetic procedure.

Know What Is Possible, And What Isn’t.
Plastic surgery does not work miracles. It simply makes adjustments here and there so you should go for it when you are well aware of what the possibilities are.

Cosmetic surgery can’t for instance give a 70 year-old the looks of a 20 year-old model, just as it cannot wipe away decades of disease and neglect showing on your body.

Knowing this will enable you to have realistic expectations about the outcome you wish to see and you will not be duped into spending tons of money chasing the wind.

Decide, And Stick To Your Plan.
Cosmetic surgery is wide and varied so before you make that appointment you should make up your mind as to what exactly you want done.

If you don’t have a plan, you will be talked into undergoing this “tuck”, that “lift” and so on. The end result is that only the surgeon will be smiling all the way to the bank as you are left looking worse than a rag doll.

Talk To the Surgeon.
Before going for the surgery, talk to the doctor that will be carrying it out. Ask him or her about the best procedure that would be ideal for the results you desire. Talk about the complications that can arise, as well as hearing their plan on how those complications can be kept at bay.

Talking to the surgeon is also important because you can get to learn about their qualifications as well as their experience in doing the procedure that you would like to undergo.

If you are not satisfied by what they say, keep looking around and you will certainly find a surgeon that will meet your criteria.

Learn About The Post-Surgery Phase.
The period after the surgery is critical to getting the results that you wanted to get. You should therefore learn all that you can learn about this recovery period so that nothing goes amiss on your watch.

Know what activities you should avoid, know which medications you shouldn’t take at this time and now how long the recovery will take so that you plan accordingly.

Wrap up…
Cosmetic surgery can deliver some very good results if it is done by the right people, and it can leave you looking like an alien with goggle-type face if you land in the wrong hands. You should therefore look for only board certified surgeons so that you can avoid many of the pitfalls that are inherent in any surgical procedure that people are subjected to.

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What You Should Know About Dermal Fillers

When I was practicing, there was no such thing as dermal fillers, or injectable wrinkle fillers, as we know them today. Instead, we had Zyderm and Zyplast, introduced more than 20 years ago and made from cow collagen. Today, wrinkle fillers are one of the most common cosmetic procedures and there are several big brand names, including Restylane, Juvederm and Voluma.

If you, like millions of other people, are thinking about getting fillers, you’re probably interested in turning back the clock a little bit with a quick nonsurgical procedure. Still, is there any reason to be concerned? Are fillers as safe as they seem, or should you be a little worried? Here’s what you should know before you schedule an appointment.

What Can Dermal Fillers Do?
Dermal fillers can actually do quite a bit. They may be injected into the face to correct creases or fine lines, treat scars, fill in lost volume, reconstruct or alter the nose and chin, sculpt the jawline or plump the lips. Wrinkle fillers shouldn’t be confused with Botox, however, as they do not relax or paralyze the muscles like Botox does.

According to Dr. Ronald Lohner, MD, fillers can also be combined with other procedures safely, including a neck lift or something like this

Side Effects and Risks of Wrinkle Fillers
Fortunately, side effects are very minor in most cases. You may have minor redness or swelling that should go away within a day. There is a risk of a hypersensitive reaction or an allergic reaction, although this was much more common back in my day when bovine collagen was used.

The most common — but still rare — complications include the formation of cysts, bumps, nodules or other irregularities at the injection site. There is also the risk of an infection, but this is rare and may be treated with antibiotics.

Choosing a Filler
You should also keep this general rule in mind: the longer the filler lasts, the more careful and experienced the doctor who administers it should be. Some fillers last about 6-9 months, while some last up to two years. There are many fillers available on the market, and choosing the right one makes all the difference.

Calcium-based fillers such as Radiesse add volume to folds and wrinkles on your face and also stimulate the production of new collagen. Radiesse lasts up to one year and it’s effective at fine lines.

Hyaluronic acid fillers such as Perlane and Restylane are made from compounds that occur naturally in the body. There are some brands, such as Juveder XC, that include lidocaine to reduce pain during injection. These fillers last between six and 12 months. The main advantage of this type? If you don’t like the results, the filler can be broken down immediately with an enzyme.

Finally, a Poly-L-lactic acid filler, which goes by the name Sculptra, is made from the same compound used to make absorbable stitches. This is one of the only dermal fillers that can restore volume to the face, as opposed to simply filling fine lines, and it lasts up to two years.

Overall, fillers are very safe and effective, but they’re definitely not for everyone.

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What is the Recovery Period Like After Nose Surgery?

What is the Recovery Period Like After Nose Surgery?

Most people who go for rhinoplasty always ask about what they should expect during the recovery phase once they have had the surgery done. Dr. Paul Gerarchi, MBBS FRACS, who performs rhinoplasty surgery in Sydney, says that discussing what the recovery period will be like is a very important part of the consultation prior to scheduling the surgery.

Typically, the recovery period is different for each individual but the general guidelines are provided here.

7-10 Days after Surgery.
During this time, the patient still has a cast on their nose and some even have packing in the nose as well. The cast and packing are intended to protect the surgical site and reduce swelling. During this time, it is strongly recommended that the patient stays away from their normal work or exercise. The reason is that at this time, the cast makes the patient very uneasy and they would feel very uncomfortable being seen by other people like that.
The other reason is that this time is very critical in the recovery period since that is when most of the swelling subsides and if anything happens to affect recovery, the tissues in the nasal area may be dislodged since they are still very delicate.
Any stitches that have to be removed will still be in place in these first few days so it is better to go slow until the cast and stitches are removed.

2nd To 3rd Week.
One can go back to work if their work doesn’t involve lifting of objects or other strenuous physical activity. Light exercises like jogging are permitted during this time but one should not do any weightlifting as it can put pressure on the nose area.
4th Week.
There are no restrictions on what you can or can’t do, as long as you don’t engage in contact sports, for obvious reasons. By this time, most of the swelling has subsided and the nose no longer feels stuffy. It is also not easy to tell that you underwent nose surgery just by looking at you.
7th Week and Beyond.
By this time, your doctor will give you carte blanche to engage in anything you feel like, including contact sports. This is particularly so if no complications came up during the earlier stages of the recovery and your surgery was a primary one. Secondary surgeries usually take longer to heal.
Final Tips.
Recovery depends on patient factors like age, skin thickness and so on, as well as surgical factors like whether you underwent open or closed surgery. It is very important that you heed all the precautions given by your doctor, such as which medications or foods to avoid, as well as how to sleep or clean your face. Any deviation may delay your recovery or cause complications.
How much work was done also affects the recovery period. If there were bones broken to alter the nasal passage, more recovery time may be needed. You require up to a year, or even more, to get the full benefits of your surgery so don’t be in a hurry to show off your brand new looks!

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My Friends, My Books, And A Lifetime Of Learning

It’s hard to believe how many years have passed since I finally accomplished my life long dream of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. Today, many friends that I have the chance to reacquaint with seem like strangers from a distant land. But I can’t forget how many of these very same people influenced me in my life and propelled me in my quest for knowledge and pursuit of excellence.

In some ways, my oldest companions are the books I still have with me that have also served as a source of inspiration from as early as my pre-college days. I need them back then as not everyone was as encouraging as young boy might want them to be.

One particular book had a major impact on me in my earlier years. It was a book of philosophy built around the concepts of Greek and Roman wisdom which included the brief, yet astute saying, “Qui docet, discit” which translated means “he who teaches, learns.”

Using this simple saying really helped my skills as a surgeon to evolve to a lever that I hadn’t previously thought possible. Any surgical procedure I learned, any medical concept I studied, and any statistical analysis that I worked on grasping, I always made sure that I was able to explain it myself.

Unfortunately, it seems that these days more and more time is being spent preparing students for passing test than actually helping them to improve their skills. And even some of the skill training seems quite questionable to me. I’m thoroughly that robotic surgery is any better than traditional surgery – in fact, I’m quite convinced it’s not. Not only that, but it’s a certain that such so-called “state of the art” devices add additional costs to already mounting Medical Tuition hikes.

And that’s the last thing today’s future doctors need. I’ve seen too many young doctors file for bankruptcy, run up huge credit card bills, take out loans for people with poor credit, or take out second mortgages on their homes. I’m pretty sure the Affordable Health Care Act isn’t going to help their situation out either. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing gets repealed soon.

I suppose I probably am coming off as a bit pompous in my post here, but nothing could be further from the truth. My years in government service provided me with more than my share of humility. I won’t go into much detail right now, but it was inside of that environment that a person who I had initially scorned and thought inferior to me eventually ended up saving my life.

And that takes me back full circle to how I started out this post. My friends, my books, and my life have changed in ways that I never could have imagined when first starting out my quest to be an orthopedic surgeon. I was brought up in a family where I was taught that work has value and to value my work. Unfortunately, the value of friendship was discussed less, but as I made it through the maze that was my career I learned that sometimes both work and friendship are inseparable things.

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How to Get Rid of Spider Veins

How to Get Rid of Spider Veins

Spider veins are the common term used to refer to visible veins through the skin. Spider veins are usually blue or purple in color and are concentrated around a center spot that often gives off the look of a spider web. Spider veins are signs of not taking care of your body, but are common and do not directly expose the person to any health risks. Spider veins are caused by not giving your feet enough rest and often appear in women because of wearing heels too often. Spider veins are just a cosmetic issue and treatment is just for cosmetic purposes. There are various treatments to reducing and hiding spider veins through laser treatments that are quick, relatively painless, and high success rate.

If you have spider veins on your ankles or legs, you can rest assured that they are just a cosmetic issue and can be treated whenever you like. Treatment of spider veins, or sclerotherapy, is a specialty treatment and not often covered under most health insurances. You will also have to see a specialty doctor get treatment, such as Sclerotherapy Los Angeles. Typically, costs of spider veins treatment depend on the severity of the case. For small area treatments, costs can range from a few hundred dollars to $600. For larger cases however, treatment can cost from $1,000 to $4,000 for severe cases. Most people who get treated can expect to spend somewhere close to $500 per treatment. Once your spider veins have received the laser treatment, you can expect to not have to get treated again in the same spot for at least another 15 years.

Depending on your case, you might also need additional treatment to treat swollen ankles, blood clots, or discolored feet due to a build up of blood. You will need to ensure you go to a practice that can treat your exact problems. For example, vein treatment Aventura treats many different kinds of vein irregularities including spider veins. Your consultation with the doctor will determine whether you need to go to a spider vein treatment center or a more specialty doctor that can really help with your case. If you need to go to a specialty doctor, then you can expect to be billed for more amount of money as the treatment you need will be increased.

To prevent spider veins occurring in the future, ensure that you give your feet ample rest. If you are working and on your feet all day, ensuring you have good shoes and give your feet rest at the end of the day will significantly reduce your chances of spider veins appearing on your feet, ankles, and legs. Additionally, drink lots of water for better circulation and health. The amount of water you need to drink daily is 6 cups at least. Water will help the blood in your veins flow much more smoothly and interrupted decreasing your risk of spider veins appearing. As a final tip, eating healthy foods and less sugar also decreases your risk of getting spider veins. What do you do to prevent spider veins appearing?

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A Horror Story In The Emergency Room

So although I like to write about a lot of different topics, one of the ones that is near and dear to my heart is medicine. Let’s face it….I was a doctor for the bulk of my life. The only other job I have had longer than a physician is being a spouse and that really hasn’t been to difficult. I thought I would share here one of the difficult cases I dealt with back in 1993. At that time I was doing a shift at our local emergency room. If you ever want to become a physician I actually recommend that you spend some time in the emergency room as you really do see a little bit of everything. On that day I saw one of the worst non-fatal accidents I had seen…

It was actually a Tuesday as I remember it quite clear. The ambulance brought in a gentleman whose leg was just crushed beyond belief. One of the charge nurses on duty actually seemed quite surprised at the patient has he was wheeled in.  There was blood everywhere and this man was just screaming his head off in agony. We immediately gave him some pain medicine and got to work.  Being an orthopedic surgeon I very quickly realized that the man’s leg would need an immediate open reduction with internal fixation or ORIF as it’s called. This basically means that since the man’s leg was broken so badly, in fact the exposed broken bone was sticking out of his skin, that he would need surgery to correct this. The procedure involves opening the leg up, putting the bones back to together, and placing a rod to hold them in place. Not really fun for the patient but sort of routine for me.

Without getting into details the surgery itself went quite well. However, it wasn’t until he was in the recovery room that things started getting really bad. Unfortunately the man started to go into cardiac arrest and it was all hands on deck to save his life. The doctor who had taken over had to use the paddles to get his heart going (thank goodness I’m an orthopedist as those paddles scare me). Anyway, the man ultimately recovered just fine and all was well.

So, where is the “horror story” in all of this? You might not believe it but a year later my daughter married him! Oddly enough she had known the patient, who’s name is Seth, and they became boyfriend and girlfriend and ultimately husband and wife.  The “horror story” part of this is that he is now my son in law and I wouldn’t wish that surgery on anyone. It is in a whole new way you look at someone when they are family versus when they are patient. At the time he was my patient, but when he became my son-in-law my perspective changed.

Another interesting side note you might be wondering is how he got his leg crushed in the first place.  Unfortunately accidents like these aren’t exactly rare, he got it crushed by a forklift on the job where he works. Seth got his forklift license years ago and he is a very hard working man. He always jokes that he should have paid more attention during forklift safety training watching videos like these, when instead he was actually sleeping in safety training class. Oh Seth, if you are reading this, I hope you are now paying attention to those videos when they show them to you at work!!

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Eating Healthy Even If You Are Busy

By now I’m sure you know how important eating healthy is. From the time you were a child your mother harped on you about good nutrition. But what if you are just too busy? Eating healthy may be hard to manage for many people who are constantly busy. Maintaining a balanced diet may even seem hard to most people who are juggling their daily lives. Obesity has more than doubled since the nineteen seventies in almost every country in the world. The percentage rate for obesity in the United States today is a whopping seventy five percent. Many countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom are not very far behind the percentile for the U.S.The main reason for this is that people simply do not have the time to sit down and eat a healthy meal at home. There are fast food restaurants around every corner and that is what draws us to them when we are in a hurry. When we go to these restaurants we usually always buy what we are used to versus other menu items simply because we are in a hurry. Most of these restaurants today carry low fat menu items that can be swapped with the regular meal that you usually order.

One example is that instead of ordering a deluxe cheeseburger and French fries you can swap it for a large salad with light dressing and fruit on the side. Nutritionally, the large salad and fruit will be more fulfilling then the burger and fries, due to the fact that the burger and fries are loaded with empty calories. Food that has tons of empty calories has almost zero nutritional value and are loaded with calories that will not be used as fuel for the body. Our bodies require a certain amount of caloric intake of nutritional calories to maintain a healthy diet.

One of the biggest changes that anyone can make to their diet is eating a healthy breakfast. There are so many people who do not eat breakfast and this is one quick way to blow any diet. An example of the perfect breakfast would be to swap a sausage muffin for a bowl of old fashioned oats with fresh or frozen fruit mixed in it. By using the fruit you will not need to add any sweetener because the fruit is a natural sweetener by itself. For lunch instead of wasting twenty minutes to buy fast food you can pack a healthy lunch and enjoy sitting while you eat. Again, this swap may be the large salad with light dressing and fresh fruit on the side. Another possibility if ordering take out could be lean low-fat turkey, low fat cheese, fresh veggies, and whole wheat bread or wheat pita bread.

If you haven’t ever thought of the dangers of fast food dining, I recommend watching a movie called “Fast Food Nation.”  It’s really powerful.  Here is the trailer for that movie and it might just keep you from going to a fast food place next time you are hungry:

Every meal should be enjoyed while sitting. The slower you eat, the quicker you will become full. By changing up menu ideas to more healthy, low-fat foods, you will be able to lose weight and still feel satisfied with your meals.

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A Trip To Mexico – What A Great Time!

My wife and I just got back from an amazing trip to Mexico and I still can’t believe the amount of fun we had. We were able to get away from our hectic city lives and experience a lush, tropical playground. Our trip was completely affordable as well. I still can’t believe how well everything worked out.My wife and I decided to travel to Mexico City. Although we heard great things about the various beaches that Mexico has to offer, we really wanted to get away from traditional tourist stuff and really experience all that the culture has to offer. So off to Mexico City we went.

We first got to our hotel and I was really pleased. It was called the Sevilla Palace and it really did seem like a palace. We chose this hotel because it was located on the Paseo de la Reforma which is one of the busiest streets in Mexico City. We wanted to close to all the hustle and bustle.

Once we got settled into our hotel we were ready to start exploring Mexico City. Mexico City is an old city and there are many different monuments and architectural sights to see. The first thing we saw was the El Angel de la Independancia. This is a beautiful monument with a dramatic angel on top. It’s basically a tribute to Mexico people who lost their lives in the War for Independence. It is very moving and makes for a great photo opportunity.

The next thing to do on our list was to check out some museums. Mexico City is known around the world for its variety of famous pieces. We checked out the Modern Art Museum which was amazing. It had so many pieces that were unlike anything I have ever seen. After that, we went to the National Museum of Anthropology (unfortunately site is only in Spanish) which gave us a nice background on Mexico as a country and how it developed.

Of course, while my wife and I appreciate all the historical aspects of our trip, we definitely love to eat. We were eager to check out Mexico City’s vibrant restaurant scene. Café de Tacuba is a place that we liked so much, we went there twice on our trip. I had their chile relleno. Now this is a dish that I’ve had many times at Mexican restaurants in the states but none could come close to this. It was amazing and the sauce was out of this world. My wife was all about their tamales. She let me have a couple bites and they were awesome as well. We also tried Bellini, which is a restaurant that revolves. It allowed us to have a great view of Mexico City while we ate.

I truly loved our trip and can’t wait to go on our next adventure. Travel, truly is the spice of life and with my many years as a doctor, I didn’t get to travel as much as I would have liked. Well now, all those years of not traveling is being made up for!
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Things To Consider During A Home Remodel

Things To Consider During A Home Remodel

My wife and I have been in the process of remodeling our home. Let’s put it this way – it was time! We’ve lived in the same house for many years and quite honestly, the age of the home was beginning to show. Also, my wife has been super patient in her desire to remodel. I have always had a good excuse for delay: “I am busy.” “We need more money.” “I’m not sure what I want.” These were all just excuses to put off the home remodel. Now that I’m retired, well, those excuses are gone.

Now that the bulk of that process is behind us (we still have much more to do though) I can share my thoughts on things to consider if you are going to remodel. First, I would recommend that you not just increase the size of your home just because. Instead, you will want to focus on increasing the functionality of the space you already have. I think most people just assume they want a larger home. However, sometimes you just need to rework, re-purpose, or simply update the square footage that currently exists. In our case, the kitchen itself was just great size-wise. However, the appliances were old and didn’t work well, the cupboards were pine (I never heard the last of that one from my wife), and the plumbing needed to be redone. So, when we remodeled this was our first focus area. Right away we put in Wolf appliances, gorgeous cupboards handmade by a local craftsman, and of course reworked the plumbing.

Another consideration for a remodel that you might not consider is demolition. In the example of our kitchen my wife and I did the demolition. Why? Well slinging a sledgehammer is fun! Even though that is true the real reason we did it was to save $3,000 bucks. The contractor we hired quoted us that price to hire a subcontractor to do the demolition. Since I am retired, and my wife wanted that kitchen gone in a hurry, we decided to do the demo ourselves. I must say it was quite an experience with the added benefit of saving money. I recommend you do the same if you have the option and the time. Just know this – demolition can be very dangerous which is why so many people get injured on the job while doing it. Make sure you take safety precautions so you don’t end up getting hurt in an accident like this guy. There are tons of stories out there about people doing work and getting injured so my advice as “your” doctor, is to stay safe while having fun!

Something most people don’t think about during their remodel is the need to consult an architect. I can’t stress this point enough as it paid great dividends for us. The fact is our kitchen remodel was so extensive that we actually ended up removing a wall and placing a window to the outdoors where a wall used to be.  How did we accomplish this? By hiring an architect to spec it all out for us. It is also important to make sure that all the proper permits are obtained and the construction contractor has detailed information on how to carry out the remodel. You can plan on spending around $2,000 for an experienced architect but we are living proof that it is well worth the price.

I plan on writing a lot about home remodel and other things related to the home so this is just a start. I actually have to go now….my wife has made me dinner from our new kitchen haha!

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