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Mistakes were made (but not by me): Cognitive dissonance
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Mistakes were made (but not by me): Why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts... a book co-authored by Elliot Aronson.

Psychiatrists specialize in the ails of individuals. Social psychologists specialize in the ails of groups. The eminent social psychologist Elliot Aronson was interviewed in a CBC audio "podcast" available from the following site:

http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/ideas_20080428_5430.mp3

It is an interesting program from the CBC radio “Ideas” on the subject of cognitive dissonance. It offers some insight into how people can so badly misinterpret things to fit their preconceived notions and prejudices and become incapable of accepting any other view.

The program runs about 50 minutes and I suspect if people even listen to just the first 12 minutes they might find it sufficiently compelling to listen to the rest. (The MP3 file can be imported into iTunes or other music manager or burned to CD.)

Will Artificial Intelligence merge with human genetics?
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 The Machine That FeelsAs it hurtles ever faster at us will Artificial Intelligence merge with human genetics or will it be artificial stupidity? See the episode "The Machine That Feels" on CBC The Nature of Things. How AI has been applied to complete Beethoven's Tenth Symphony and how the future might combine genetic material with AI leading to new hybrid life forms. Is it no longer a question of if but when will this happen? Are we going to become these new beings? Do we need to remember who and what we are now, because it will soon be gone?

The courts will not save Canada's sick health system; Dr Day is not a gadfly
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The BC ruling, after grinding through the courts for a decade, is but a reminder that Canada's sick health care system will not be cured by its dysfunctional legal system. To expect our system to be saved by the courts amounts to, at best, magical thinking, while more and more Canadians who suffer in silence and risk dying from inability to access essential care will "just have to wait".

We are in grave danger, we have taken people out of the picture.
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Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - October 17, 2022

It’s about learning, knowledge, sharing and understanding so we can make our society and the world better.

We are in grave danger. Soon those with memories of how things were different will be gone. We will be left at risk of believing the way we do things is the only way.

We have taken people out of the picture. We have become leaders of entities, not leaders of people.

Disagreement is central to progress
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It's never too late to change the world !

Ted Talks - Margaret Heffernan - Dare to disagreeIn this TED talks video Margaret Heffernan demonstrates "that disagreement is central to progress, that the best partners aren't echo chambers and how great businesses allow people to disagree".

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/margaret_heffernan_dare_to_disagree.html

JN Mahy MD FRCSC

Getting easier to de-Google or de-Apple
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efoundation-ungoogledYou hate those ads and pesky messages from Google, but you’ve become increasingly dependent on their services, right? Cloud storage, Gmail, Google Calendar and so on have just become so necessary that you feel you have to put up with the intrusions on your privacy and constant marketing of 'stuf', and being stalked by trackers everywhere you go? Well, there are alternatives, but one is growing rapidly and can do everything you want and need without those downsides: the eFoundation (Android) operating system.

The future of medicine and health care in BC and Canada: Where are we going?
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Norman Rockwell Doctors Office2016-07-21 Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

What is the future of medicine and health care in BC and Canada? Where are we going?

While everyone is out having fun in the summertime, the Government and other organizations, use the time to put out information they know few people will have time to see or digest. Much like they also use the busy time of Christmas and the winter holiday season to slip through items. Some people may just consider it prudent timing, others may see it as deliberate avoidance of proper public consultation.

Health issues for adults born with cerebral palsy
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What happens to children born with cerebral palsy when they become adults?

In one case an individual born with cerebral palsy when they were an adult in their early 30’s had progressive deterioration of function involving their affected upper limb.

The individual was reviewed by their orthopedic surgeon who suggested botox injections for spasms and possibly some cosmetic improvement to the upper extremity although not optimistic for functional improvement.

Don't get swept away by the spin on health care
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medical spin2016-08-22 Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

We better be careful not to get swept away by the spin of BC Liberals pre-election buzz.

And when it comes to the spin on health care they're not alone.

The same spin seems to be coming from the leaders of the medical association DoctorsOfBC. Is this the result of being co-managers of BC healthcare for almost a decade through the GPSC and other initiatives?

Is it any surprise they are all so complimenting of each other?

What are we to believe? That they have a plan? That it's going to work, someday, soon?

Yes, the plan to spend tax payer dollars is happening. Billions of dollars and hundreds of millions over budget. So where are the results?

Federal Government seeks intervenor status in B.C. health care court case
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Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver - April 26, 2016.

Below is a link to the Globe and Mail article from April 13, 2016.

Hopefully, the debate around the court case, involving Dr. Brian Day's private Cambie Surgery Centre and the BC Provincial Government with a trial scheduled to begin June 6, will not become polarized with views of exclusivity between public and private health care but instead what we could and should do to make public health care more effective so that escape valves, like private care, are less needed without eradicating access to private care by individuals should they need it.

How far do individuals have to go? If the public system delivers the needed service great. If not, is there private care here at home in Canada or do people have to go to other countries?

Delegation to Campbell River City Council on concerns arising from HPOA
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Screen capture youtube video Cambell River delegation on HPOA, Feb 29.At the Campbell River City Council meeting on February 29, 2024, a delegation of physician Dr Anna Kindy and retired naturopath Dr Ingrid Pincott discussed the Health Professions and Occupation Act, HPOA, and the serious concerns it raises for health professionals, patients, and people living in and around Campbell River. Like most City Council meetings in BC it was streamed live and recorded and can be watched on YouTube. City councillors asked questions and expressed the view that these concerns are important and that they would like to ensure it is discussed when the UBCM meets this year, on September 16-20, 2024.

Burnout and Resilience
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Vancouver BC - Oct 19, 2011.

burning candleA talk on burnout in doctors at a recent conference in Vancouver provided good information and stimulated further exploration.

During questions the speaker said the prevalence of burnout in doctors is 20 percent and tends to occur in pockets or clusters.

The talk focused on burnout resulting from lack of recognition while caring for others. Although burnout can also result from lack of recognition from colleagues and co-workers, lack of resources, and degree of bureaucracy.

Burnout can also occur in other aspects of our lives besides our work.

Good news from the talk is research shows that when individuals examined their level of burnout and attended to the risk of burnout they were not only able to reduce their current risk but their future risk of burnout continued to remain less and even improved further over time.

Is this still the right way to give injections?
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injection technique with pullbackIs this still the right way to give injections, or are some of us just old fashioned, insisting on pulling back first to avoid injecting into a blood vessel? After seeing so many video clips on the news of vaccine injections being given without pulling back it may come as a relief to see this one from Global TV National news on November 26, 2021.

Attached is a video clip and an animated gif.

 

Media depiction of Flu shot technique
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David Naismith (retired physician), Vernon BC, January 15, 2019.

On January 11th I was so disturbed by the portrayal of health professionals on TV, both in adverts and on the National, that I fired off an email to some colleagues. As usual, I learnt something as the thread progressed, so here is a distillate of that exchange.

Three Reasons for a Chat with Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC Health Minister Adrian Dix and BC Premier David Eby
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Dr. Zafar Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - April 5, 2023

Trojan horse imageHaving worked for 40 years as a family physician in BC, when I heard the media announcements recently: that on April 3 vaccine mandates will be lifted on BC public service government workers but not on health care workers until it can become a permanent condition of work in health care, and that we may see only combined vaccines in the fall; it struck me that it’s time we had a real chat. This can’t wait.

Politics is often seen as a glamorous, shiny and sometimes slimy affair. But, seriously, politics is about how we make collective decisions and manage the affairs of our society in our democracy.

There are three things I believe we need to talk about now:

News Items

What loud bells will wake BC doctors and the public to the dangers of Bill 36, the HPOA?
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Dr. Zafar Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - November 6, 2023.

Image of the great bell ben.There is a sleeping sickness throughout our land. It has found its way into health care and affected all the doctors. It is not some esoteric thing happening in some small political arena or lawyers club. This impacts all of BC and all of us: the ability of doctors to practice medicine the way they were taught and trained, according to their conscience and oath for the benefit of patients.

The significance of Bill 36, the Health Professions and Occupations Act, is profound and the association, Doctors of BC, should be ringing alarm bells. Instead, they are subduing the importance of it, convincing all doctors to move on to the regulations, like lemmings over the cliff. Not only is this unhelpful to doctors, it is actually dangerous for doctors with their purpose and professional obligations to deliver health care to patients. Bells need to ring everywhere, and the association should be dissolved.

Documentary "Duty To Document" highlights the erosion of democracy in BC, in Canada, and around the World
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Duty to DocumentDr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver BC - June 6, 2021.

This is a very important and timely documentary illustrating from our own governments in BC and Canada how critical records are disappearing from public view. It highlights the "triple delete scandal" from 2015 when it came to light the BC Government was improperly deleting email records concerning missing and murdered indigenous women along the "Highway of Tears". The documentary illustrates the escalating, troubling trend in the use of post-it notes and the failure to keep records. A trend seen not only in government, but in associations and corporations striking at the heart of transparency and democracy.

Delegation to Campbell River City Council on concerns arising from HPOA
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Screen capture youtube video Cambell River delegation on HPOA, Feb 29.At the Campbell River City Council meeting on February 29, 2024, a delegation of physician Dr Anna Kindy and retired naturopath Dr Ingrid Pincott discussed the Health Professions and Occupation Act, HPOA, and the serious concerns it raises for health professionals, patients, and people living in and around Campbell River. Like most City Council meetings in BC it was streamed live and recorded and can be watched on YouTube. City councillors asked questions and expressed the view that these concerns are important and that they would like to ensure it is discussed when the UBCM meets this year, on September 16-20, 2024.

Judicial Review of Dr. Bonnie Henry’s Orders begins in BC Supreme Court on Monday, November 20, 2023.
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Update (April 12, 2024): A Judgment has not yet been delivered. Many people hoped it would be sooner and still hope it will be soon.

Dr. Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - November 19, 2023.

Vancouver Law CourtsFinally, an opportunity for everyone to hear a BC Judicial Review of the ongoing orders of Dr. Bonnie Henry, Public Health Officer, and the BC Government that, since November 2021, have impacted the livelihood of thousands of health care workers in BC who are unvaccinated, prohibiting them from working in health care. BC and Nova Scotia are the only jurisdictions in the world that have not allowed unvaccinated health care workers to return to work. Orders and actions that have caused severe division even among health professionals and workers; where nurses, doctors, paramedics, porters and others are not sure who is safe to talk to if they disagree or think consent for vaccination is paramount.

Starting Monday, November 20, 2023, the BC Supreme Court will begin the Judicial Review of Dr Henry’s orders and the October 2023 amendment perpetuating them.

Documentary: Waiting To Die - Canada's Health Care Crisis
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 Waiting to Die - Canada's Health Care CrisisA new one hour documentary by Aaron Gunn, "Waiting To Die - Canada's Health Care Crisis" was released yesterday (August 14, 2023) and in less than one day had more than 23,000 views and more than 700 comments from people sharing their own experiences and thoughts.

Times-Colonist OpEd: Dix needs to listen to healthcare providers
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Dix needs to listen to healthcare providers, The Times Colonist.Please read the OpEd by a BC family doctor that while Health Minister Adrian Dix uses findings of the Cayton report to defend the rapid introduction of Bill 36, the HPOA, he refuses to comment on the contradictory content in the report and snubs the issues raised by the Doctors of BC.

More than 400 doctors attend Bill 36 HPOA Webinar by Doctors of BC
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Update (April 16, 2024): Almost a year has passed and the association Doctors Of BC still has not made the recording of the webinar on Bill36/HPOA available for members to view. Why not?

Dr. Zafar Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - May 3, 2023.

How important is Bill 36, the new Health Professions and Occupations Act, to doctors, nurses, all health care professionals, and patients? Important enough that more than 400 doctors attended the Doctors of BC Townhall Webinar on Tuesday April 25, 2023 at 6:30 pm. This, in the middle of the week, while doctors are trying to finish work or balancing family and meal time. When was the last time you saw 400 doctors attend a meeting? We haven’t seen a number like that at the DOBC AGM for decades.

It was a very informative webinar organized by DOBC with over 100 questions from doctors to a panel of three Ministry of Health staff, as architects of Bill 36, followed by a panel of the DOBC: President, Dr. Josh Greggain; new CEO, Anthony Knight; staff lawyer, Deborah Viccars; and moderated by Marisa Adair, Director of Communications.

Three Reasons for a Chat with Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC Health Minister Adrian Dix and BC Premier David Eby
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Dr. Zafar Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - April 5, 2023

Trojan horse imageHaving worked for 40 years as a family physician in BC, when I heard the media announcements recently: that on April 3 vaccine mandates will be lifted on BC public service government workers but not on health care workers until it can become a permanent condition of work in health care, and that we may see only combined vaccines in the fall; it struck me that it’s time we had a real chat. This can’t wait.

Politics is often seen as a glamorous, shiny and sometimes slimy affair. But, seriously, politics is about how we make collective decisions and manage the affairs of our society in our democracy.

There are three things I believe we need to talk about now:

Provincial Health Ministries disregard for the five principles of the Canada Health Act
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In a farewell editorial published in the March 2023 issue of the BC Medical Journal, Dr Brian Day chronicles how the five principles of the Canada Health Act have been disregarded by provincial governments and health ministries across the country. Does this help us understand the sorry state of our medicare system as we see all the media attention related to the nationwide suffering of patients?

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