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

peerspectrum laura beil- Dr. Death Podcast

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…

Continue reading

NFL to the Olympics: Surgical Treatment of Elite Athletes with Dr. Robert Watkins, IV.

Dr. Robert Watkins, IV- PeerSpectrum Podcast

“I don’t want to retire. I still want to play.”

-Peyton Manning

Name: Robert Watkins, IV, M.D.

Specialty: Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Location: Watkins Spine Center. Marina Del Rey, CA

All right, welcome back. On this episode’s release, we find ourselves in week 3 of the 2018 NFL season. So what could be a better time than now to talk with a surgeon who’s spine practice has treated more NFL, and other professional athletes, than any in the world.

Patients such as Dan Marino, Tony Romo, Peyton Manning, Wayne Gretzky, Reggie Jackson and Rob Gronkowski, just to name a few.

If you like stats, check out this patient roster:

173 NFL players, 21 Superbowl Champions, 43 NBA players, 60 Pro Hockey Players, 8 Stanley Cup Champions, 112 Major League Baseball players, 30 World Series Champions, 12 Olympic Gold Medalists…and the list goes on and on.

Today’s guest is Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Robert Watkins, IV. Along with his father, Dr. Robert Watkins, III and their partner, Dr. David Chang; they together run the world renowned Watkins Spine Center in Marina Del Rey, California. We’ll go behind the scenes to discover what’s involved with the treatment of these elite high profile athletes. We’ll separate what really happens from all the noise and misconceptions out there. And we’ll explore how modern surgical techniques can return many elite athletes, (with what were once career ending injuries) to a highly competitive level of play.

This episode was a blast so sit back and enjoy. With that said let’s get started…

Continue reading

Extreme Makeover: Hospital Edition. Physician & Architect, Dr. Diana Anderson

Diana Anderson- PeerSpectrum Podcast

 

For something this complicated, it’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

-Steve Jobs

Name: Diana Anderson, MD, ACHA

Specialty: Internal Medicine and Architecture

Location: Boston, MA. Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics

Steve Jobs once said,”If Henry Ford had asked his customers what they want, they would have said a faster horse…[you see, he said] It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.” When you create a trillion dollar company and the iPhone, you get to say stuff like that.

How would your life be different if Steve Jobs designed your EHR? Could a dream team from Apple design a perfect hospital without any input from the physicians and nurses who will work there? What if they said,” it’s not the doctors job to know what they want because we know what’s best for them.”

Yeah, probably not.

Medical space design is something we take for granted everyday, often only crossing our minds when we’re frustrated about it. And sometimes it’s really frustrating. Much of this frustration originates from the gulf between those who design these spaces and those of us who actually work in them. It effects our work, our mood and as research is now showing even patient outcomes.

As a trained physician and architect, Dr. Diana Anderson (the “Dochitect” as she is known) understands this better than most. She has worked on hospital design projects in the US, Canada and Australia, and is widely published in both architectural and medical journals, books and the popular press. She’s currently a Fellow at the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics. Just the kind of unique perspective we love to find on the show.

When it comes to problems in design, and medicine in general, perhaps we’re all looking for faster horses when what we actually need requires a different perspective. With that said, let’s get started…

Continue reading

28 Days That Saved a City. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha & the Fight for Flint.

PeerSpectrum.com- Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

 

Name: Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD

Specialty: Pediatrician and public health advocate

Location: Hurley Medical Center: Flint, MI

 

Today it’s our distinct privilege to have Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha on the show. Before her best selling book, her countless TV interviews, before Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world, “Dr. Mona” (as she is known) was just another pediatrician taking care of children in one of the poorest cities in the country.

If you’re like us, you probably think you know the Flint story pretty well. This episode may change your mind. Here’s some things we didn’t know:

  • Flint Michigan was once one of America’s most prosperous cities. Many historians say the middle class was born there.
  • The crisis began when the city switched its water source to the Flint river. This river was once so polluted it caught on fire twice.
  • The entire crisis was completely avoidable, like 80 bucks a day avoidable!
  • Lead poisoning may be one of the largest threats to American children today. It’s literally everywhere around us.
  • The first abortion pill was made of lead
  • The same thing happened that happened in Flint happened in Washington DC in 2004. Thousands of adults and children were exposed to high levels of lead contamination and we still have really no idea what the long term effects will be.
  • Choosing to be a whistleblower carries tremendous risk. We only hear of the success stories. We never hear of about the whistleblowers who lose their jobs, go bankrupt, get divorced and even commit suicide.

This is an amazing and heroic story, but also a haunting one. You really have to wonder…what would have happened to Flint if there wasn’t a Dr. Mona to stand up and fight? We really don’t know. The best we can hope for is that by sharing her story, others may find the tools and the inspiration to do the same. With that said let’s get started…

Continue reading

Space Medicine, EVAs, ISS and The Right Stuff: NASA Astronaut and Physician, Dr. Michael Barratt

 

michael barratt- nasa- peerspectrum.com

 

Name: Michael Barratt, MD

Specialty: Internal Medicine & NASA Astronaut

Location: Johnson Space Center: Houston, TX

 

The opening you just heard was the actual footage of STS- 133, the final launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery, and the second to last launch of the US space shuttle program. One of the astronauts aboard that day was Dr. Michael Barratt: A career astronaut, a physician by training and today’s guest on the podcast.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we were to do this interview. NASA gets literally thousands of requests every year for astronaut interviews, speaking engagements and visits. They can only accept so many. Thanks to the growing popularity of our podcast, and to all of you who are listening, we’re now getting more opportunities like this to speak with some really unique and incredible people. Put yourself in our shoes for a minute. Michael Barratt someone who’s been to space twice, lived on the International Space Station for 200 hundred days, conducted two space walks (EVA’s), he’s one of the world’s experts in space and aviation medicine, and we got to sit down with him for over an hour and ask him anything we wanted. It was a rare and unforgettable privilege and we want to thank all of you out there for making it possible.

With that said, let’s get started…

Continue reading

Emergency Medicine at 30,000 Feet: Dr. Paulo Alves, Global Medical Director for Medaire.

peerspectrum paulo alves- medaire

Name: Paulo M. Alves, M.D., MSc, FAsMA

Location: Phoenix, AZ.

Specialty: Cardiologist & Global Medical Director for Medaire/ International SOS

If you fly often, it’s only a matter of time before you hear those not so welcome words over the intercom: “Is there a doctor or medical professional aboard?”

So, do you hit your flight attendant button, or wait for someone else to do it first?

When you’re stuck at 30,000 feet, options are limited. You might even feel a little like our past guest, Dr. Gavin Francis, serving as the only doctor available in a remote Antarctic research base.

So what are your options? Who can you call for assistance? Is there medical equipment available? What are your legal risks and ethical responsibilities? How often does this stuff actually happen?

Today we’re going behind the scenes with Dr. Paulo Alves, global medical director for Medaire, a company contracted with most the world’s commercial airlines to provide real-time medical assistance from their emergency command center in Phoenix, Arizona. If that’s not exciting enough, they also specialize in emergency medical evacuations, crew training, and medical and security preparations for private jets, yachts and even cruise ships.

It’s a fascinating world many of us know very little about. With that said let’s get started…

Continue reading

Who Does Delta Force Call When They Need a Doctor? Former Navy SEAL, Dr. Robert Adams: Part II

robert adams- navy seal- peerspectrum

[He told me] there’s going to be a bomb placed in your conference site,”… “I am alive today because a good doctor decided to turn in his brother, the bad doctor.”

-Robert Adams, MD

Name: Robert Adams, MD, MBA

Location: Raleigh-Durham, NC. UNC Health System

Specialty: Primary Care/ Family Medicine.

All right, welcome back for round two with former Navy SEAL, Dr. Robert Adams. If you missed part one, go back and check it out. In Part II we move forward to Bob’s career as an army physician. We’re going to learn what it’s like being a physician attached to the Army’s elite counter terrorism and hostage rescue unit, known as Delta Force. A unit so secretive that even family members of Delta operators are treated by separate physicians.

Continue reading