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

The Toughest Doctor We’ve Ever Met. Former Navy SEAL, Dr. Robert Adams: Part I

robert adams- navy seal- peerspectrum

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.  -George Orwell

Name: Robert Adams, MD, MBA

Location: Raleigh-Durham, NC. UNC Health System

Specialty: Primary Care/ Family Medicine

Today we’ve got a pretty awesome guest for you. What was once a secret, and very much unknown group of elite US military soldiers, has now become a virtual household name inspiring countless books, news stories and even movies.

While all of you have certainly heard of Navy SEAL’s, very few of you have likely met one. They’re a small, select and rare group. Even rarer are the handful of Navy Seals who have gone on become physicians. Today’s guest is one of these few.

Continue reading

Forget Peer Review: Dr. Susan Culican looks to the crowd for untrained eyes and unconventional funding.

susan culican -peerspectrum

Name: Susan M. Culican, MD, PhD

Location: Washington University School of Medicine & St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO

Specialty: Pediatric Ophthalmology. Residency Director

Welcome back. During our last episode we had an incredible conversation with the founders of Experiment.com, a very novel and exciting platform for crowd funding scientific research. If you missed this episode, definitely check it out. Keith and I came away so impressed with their venture, we decided to take a deeper look at some of the current research. One experiment really jumped out, so we invited the lead researcher to join us. That researcher is today’s guest, Dr. Susan Culican, professor of Ophthalmology and residency directory at the Washington University School of Medicine, and the St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

We covered a lot of ground in this episode: alternatives to traditional grant funding, resident education and best of all… Susan’s current research that …get ready… actually challenges the long held assumption that only surgeons have the expertise to reliably assess surgical skill. Her experiment seeks to prove that non-clinicians (i.e. the public) while viewing surgical videos can assess surgical skill just as accurately as highly skilled attendings. Not a chance, you say! Well, see how you feel at the end of this episode. You might just change your mind. With that said, let’s get started.

Continue reading

Undiscovered Country: Research Funding 2.0 with Cindy Wu & Denny Luan, founders of Experiment.com

peerspectrum- experiment.com - Cindy Wu and Denny Luan

“This solution helps close the gap for potential and promising, but unfunded projects.”       – Bill Gates

Name: Cindy Wu & Denny Luan

Location: New York City

Specialty: Co-Founders of Experiment

 

 

How do you feel about funding scientific research, particularly medical research? How efficient, effective and fair is the grant system in deploying billions of taxpayer dollars? Are funds targeted towards diseases proportional to their occurrence in patient populations? Are the influences of disease specific non-profit groups helpful or hurtful? Are the interests and activities of biomedical companies aligned with the needs of you, and your patients?

Well, if you think there’s room for some serious improvement, today’s episode is for you.

Continue reading