The American Doctor at Chernobyl, Part II. Dr. Robert Gale.

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“Progress is often made by those who investigate the boundaries of several areas, instead of having laser-like focus on a single discipline. That’s where many of the answers in science reside.”
Robert Peter Gale, MD, PhD

 

Name: Robert Peter Gale, MD, PhD

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Specialty: Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology. International Nuclear Accident Expert.

All right welcome back for part II of the American Doctor at Chernobyl with Dr. Robert Gale. As you heard last time, Dr. Gale (a bone marrow transplant specialist from UCLA) rose to international prominence after being the first American physician invited by the Soviet Union to treat patients suffering acute radiation trauma, only days after the horrific incident at Chernobyl.

Our journey continues as Dr. Gale is flown in by helicopter to personally survey the Chernobyl nuclear power-plant. This only weeks after the meltdown of reactor number four. We’ll see what it was like walking through the eerily empty streets of Pripyat. This was literally one of the most dangerous and heavily restricted areas on the planet. For an outsider, especially an American, to be personally inspecting this area, actually treating patients, all during the height of the cold war, was simply unthinkable… until it actually happened.

For those of you who enjoyed the recent hit HBO series on Chernobyl, we’ll spend a little more time there. Then we’ll move on to subsequent nuclear incidents such as Tokiamura and Fukushima, and Dr. Gale’s first hand experience with those. We’ll discuss his lessons learned and his thoughts on the future of nuclear energy. We’ll also see what he’s up to today.

It’s an incredible part II for this rare series. With that said, let’s get started.

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The American Doctor at Chernobyl: Dr. Robert Gale, Part I

peerspectrum podcast- peter gale- chernobyl

 

“Progress is often made by those who investigate the boundaries of several areas, instead of having laser-like focus on a single discipline. That’s where many of the answers in science reside.”
Robert Peter Gale, MD, PhD

 

Name: Robert Peter Gale, MD, PhD

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Specialty: Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology. International Nuclear Accident Expert.

 

Thirty three years after the worst nuclear disaster in human history, the name Chernobyl rings ominously, and continues to inspire fear, outrage, debate and grim curiously. It’s a captivating story now being re-told dramatically, though not completely accurately, through HBO’s new and very popular mini-series.

We’ve had some pretty unique people on this program but perhaps today’s guest is more unique than most. Dr. Robert Gale is an academic physician who’s spent his career researching and treating patients with Leukemia and other bone marrow disorders. He’s published over 800 research articles and books, he’s an international expert on nuclear disaster response, and get this…he’s even written for, and appeared in several Hollywood movies. Oh, he’s also the shared recipient of an Emmy award for his work in a, “60 Minutes” piece.

As you heard in the opening news clip, Dr. Gale rose to international prominence after being the first American physician invited by the Soviet Union to treat patients suffering from acute radiation trauma after Chernobyl. It’s where our journey begins on this special two part episode. With that said, let’s get started.

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Treating Mother Teresa & Model-T Medicine: Cardiac Surgeon, Dr. Devi Shetty

 

Dr. Devi Shetty- PeerSpectrum Podcast

 

Name: Devi Prasad Shetty, MD

Location: Bangalore (Bengaluru), India

Specialty: Cardiac Surgeon. Chairman and Founder of Narayanna Health

 

Today’s guest is Dr. Devi Shetty, a cardiac surgeon, entrepreneur and one of the most famous physicians in India. What’s he famous for? Well, he performed the very first neonatal heart surgery in India, and actually served as Mother Teresa’s personal physician after operating on her following a heart attack. Obviously, we weren’t missing the opportunity to explore these unusual stories, but they are far from the main focus of our conversation. Dr. Shetty is best known for the unique and innovative health system he created. A system so revolutionary, the Wall Street Journal has nicknamed him the “Henry Ford of Medicine.”

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Mismeasuring Medicine. “The Tyranny of Metrics,” with Jerry Z. Muller, PhD

 

Name: Jerry Z. Muller, PhD

Location: Catholic University of America. Washington, DC

Specialty: Professor of History.

Most of you know the quote, “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” It’s often attributed, incorrectly, to the famous nineteenth century physicist, Lord Kelvin. Wherever it came from, it’s sounds about right. Same goes for this familiar quote from a popular business book author, “What gets measured gets done.”

Well, in today’s episode were going to talk about what’s getting measured and what’s actually getting done. What’s getting measured are thousands of performance and quality indicators. What’s getting done is docking our medical system billions of dollars every year in costs and lost productivity. Nothing new to all of you out there. But what if this “metric fixation,” is doing more than just wasting time and money? Used correctly, metrics and big data analysis offer incredible promise for research, visibility and improvement. Used incorrectly, they can steer us off course, devalue professional judgment, manipulate, encourage fraud, and possibly cause real harm to physicians, hospitals and patients.

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Level I Guidance: “A Random Walk,” with Economist & Investment Icon, Burton Malkiel, PhD

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Name: Burton Malkiel, PhD, MBA

Location: Princeton University

Specialty: Economist, Author & Investment Icon

Today’s episode is about money, specifically your money. Now, if we’re going to take a break from interviewing astronauts, Navy SEAL’s, NFL surgeons and cutting edge researchers to do an episode on investing, you can bet we we have a very specific reason for doing so. You can also bet we have a rare and unique guest.

That guest is renowned Economist, Burton Malkiel. You can google him later but here’s a quick CV highlight reel: PhD from Princeton, Harvard MBA, author of 12 books and more than 150 articles, dean of the Yale School of Management, member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, corporate board memberships including Prudential Financial , the American Stock Exchange, and the Vanguard Group. At 86 years of age he isn’t stopping and currently serves as chief investment officer at Weathfront.

All very impressive you say, but what does this have to do with me? Well, Burton is also the author of one the most influential investment books of all time. First published over 45 years ago, “A Random Walk Down Wall Street,” has sold over 1.5 million copies and is now (as of Jan 2019) in its 12th edition. When it was first published in 1973, Burton called B.S. on the performance and excessive fees charged by professional money managers and other experts. He imagined a better, low cost investment tool that did not yet exist. Three years later that changed and today this simple investment tool is the vehicle of choice for 40% of the total invested stock market. Even Warren Buffet (the oracle of Omaha and one of the extremely rare few to actually outperform the market) now recommends this tool for investors.

What is this tool and how did Burton Malkiel’s ideas transform the financial world? How have his ideas become a sort of placebo control virtually no one can beat over the long run? How can an 86 year old economist help you avoid the time and money wasting decisions so many have, and will continue to make? Let’s find out, and with that said, let’s get started…

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Waking Up to Psychedelic Medicine. Neuropharmacologist, David Nichols, PhD

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Name: David Nichols, PhD

Location: UNC Chapel Hill, NC.

Specialty: Neuropharmacologist

 

All right, welcome back. We have really looked forward to this episode. Clinical research with Psychedelic compounds like psilocybin, LSD and MDMA have gotten a lot of press recently. Major institutions such as Johns Hopkins, UCLA and Yale are leading the charge with dramatic results in drug addiction, PTSD, end of life care, depression and other mental illness that is simply breathtaking.

When we think back to the psychedelic sixties, it’s hard to imagine that legitimate clinical research was taking place with psychedelics then, too; although much of it (think Timothy Leary) wouldn’t pass even the most lenient institutional review boards today. Much of this early research in the US came to a screeching halt with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Only now are we beginning to reawaken to the incredible healing and trans-formative effects these compounds can offer.

Today it’s our distinct privilege to speak with the researcher who carried the torch through a time when psychedelic research was nearly non-existent.

When it comes to the mechanisms of action, biochemistry and pharmacology of psychedelics, David Nichols is arguably the world’s foremost expert. He’s spent over 40 years researching and producing these compounds. And yes, all legally, as Nichols held one of the very few DEA licenses granted during this time.

If you’re skeptical about all this, hang in there. We’ll see how psychedelic tools can open new pathways to understanding neuroscience, mental illness and even perhaps change who we are and how we see the world. A majority of those who experience a psychedelic trip consider it among the most meaningful experiences of their entire lives. How is that possible? We’re going to find out. With that said, let’s get started…

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Examining, “The Dr. Death Podcast.” Award Winning Science Journalist, Laura Beil

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Name: Laura Beil

Specialty: Medicine and Science Journalist

Location: Dallas, TX

Today we have award winning science journalist, Laura Beil with us. Her investigative podcast series on the notorious former neurosurgeon, Christopher Duntsch is what brings her here today. Since its release last month, “Dr. Death,” as it is called is now one of top 5 ranked podcasts in the country. You’ve probably heard about this story but just a quick recap before we get started:

In 2011, neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch began his first practice in Dallas, TX. Through the next two years, he operated on 37 patients. Of those 37, 33 suffered severe injuries and complications. Several were left permanently paralyzed, and two left dead from what all should have been fairly routine, elective procedures.

It’s an appalling story, later described by a surgeon (testifying at Duntsch’s trial) as a “complete and utter failure of the entire system of checks and balances for patient safety.” A failure that likely would have continued were it not for the heroic efforts of other doctors in the Dallas community who battled to stop him.

This episode covers a lot of ground in a short time, including followup information that has come to light since the podcast’s release. There’s nothing enjoyable about this story. But it’s also too important to ignore. With that said, let’s get started…

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