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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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…

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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…

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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…

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

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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…

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

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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…

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

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[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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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