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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

Society-changing infections - parallels to the polio epidemic of 1927
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Poliomyelitis – a.k.a. “The Crippler” or “infantile paralysis” - is a viral disease that primarily, and quite harmlessly, infects the gastrointestinal system. But if the poliovirus survives and is able to enter the bloodstream and nervous system it can cause damage to motor neurons in the spinal cord that connect the brain to muscles. Such damage interferes with muscle control, causing weakness or paralysis.

What are ethics and why are they important?
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PM Justin Trudeau, politics and tech giants.2019-03-12 Dr Z.Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

Ethics are a big part of our lives as principles that govern our actions. Doctors take an oath to serve the patient's interest and not their own or that of others.

We expect ethical actions of people involved with our daily lives: teachers, accountants, professionals, merchants and others. It is the basis of the trust we have in them. We depend on them as people with privilege and power over ourselves, children and others.

It's not just ethics in medicine and health: it's ethics in politics, in technology, in corporations and the list goes on. People are growing more concerned about the decline of ethical leadership in politics and also business tech giants like Facebook, Google and others.

What happens when an individual's actions run contrary to ethical principles?

The late Dr Morris VanAndel, a well-respected GP and subsequent Registrar of the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons, reminded doctors in 2002 this way: "An ethical principle, by nature, is not modified by circumstances, regardless of the validity or justification of the reasons leading to the action."

BC Auditor General issues report on Electronic Health Record (EHR) Implementation.
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Health professionals not effectively or adequately engaged.

Approach should ensure health professionals, stakeholders and the public are informed.

BC Auditor General, EHR implementation in BCOn February 17, 2010 the Auditor General of BC, John Doyle, issued his report on “Electronic Health Record Implementation in British Columbia” which is available on their website http://www.bcauditor.com

In his report, the BC Auditor General, acknowledges “The development and implementation of an EHR system … is a complex and high-risk endeavour … because of the large investment of public funds” and “because collecting, storing and disclosing information electronically raises concerns about the privacy and security of personal health information”.

Concerns about the privacy and security of personal health information is not covered to any great extent in the BC Auditor General’s report.  However, several issues have been reported on by the BC Commissioner of Privacy and individual orders are available on their website, http://www.oipc.bc.ca/.  The BC Civil Liberties Association also provides information and discussion on eHealth issues on their website, http://www.bccla.org/ehealth.html

BC is one of five Provincial Auditor General Offices that will issue separate reports for their jurisdictions and the Office of the Auditor General of Canada will be issuing a joint summary report in April 2010.

There’s more in the full report than contained in the news release and Executive summary.  Here are some key highlights.

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.

Has the BC Medical Association been stolen from the members?
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Doctors and members of the BC Medical Association are asking what is happening at the helm of the BCMA? Some are saying they think the new CEO Allan Seckel is not good for the Association and a sign that bad things are happening to the Association.

Who is Allan Seckel? How did he get to be the BCMA CEO? What is he doing as the CEO? And what is the BCMA Board doing?

Understanding Generations X, Y, Z and more
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Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the growing list of names for different generations; boomers, gen-X, millenials, zoomers and what follows? Here are a couple of links that may help.

The Future of Psychiatry?
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Dr. Chris Sedergreen.

A highly respected psychiatrist has recently sent a letter to her patients announcing her decision not to return to clinical practice. I've known her professionally for over 15 years and can attest that her departure will leave a gap in her patient's lives that will be almost impossible to fill.

BC Covid19 Math and Stats modelling lecture May 14, 2020
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BC Covid19 Realtime modellingThe "bcCOVID-19 group Lecture: Real time modelling of the COVID-19 epidemic - perspectives from British Columbia" was delivered as a Zoom lecture and was recorded. The first speaker Caroline Colijn provides an interesting explanation of the use of mathematical modelling and how this is being used to develop data driven policies. Her presentation includes some graphs that are quite useful.

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?

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".

Internet search activity as measures of human health trends
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With millions of searches done on the Internet every day it is no surprise that search engine giants like Google are exploring many applications of the search activity data.

One interesting application of Internet search activity data is Google Flu Trends that while providing graphs of results from New Zealand, Australia and the United States, says of itself:

Nutrients in Our Food
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USDA Nutrient Database search urlIf you ever find yourself wondering what nutrients are in different foods you might want to take a look at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient database. 

It provides a wealth of information on over 7,500 specific food items and details of the nutrients they contain down to the many different minerals, vitamins, types of fats, carbohydrates, proteins and various amino acids.

There are two very useful ways to look at this information on their website.

BC Covid-19 Survey gets quite personal
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BC Covid-19 SurveyThe BC Covid-19 Survey has just been launched and people can participate until the end of May 2020.

The survey takes longer than the 10-15 minutes claimed and while the survey does allow people to answer anonymously and answer only the questions they wish to, it does include a number of questions that reveal a lot of private personal information including the individual's PHN if they wish.

Don’t FIPPA your PIPA without knowing this when it comes to personal health information.
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Vancouver, BC – May 3, 2010

Stethoscope and keyboardWhen it comes to the privacy of personal health information everyone in British Columbia needs to know how FIPPA (also known as FOIPPA) is different from PIPA, and the same may apply in other jurisdictions across Canada and elsewhere.

This is of particular importance when information is shared between your doctor's private office and a hospital or clinic operated by the Health Authority which is a public body.

In BC, three different legislative Acts govern the privacy and protection of individual personal health information.  There are some very important differences in how these work and the results they have that should be known to all doctors, health providers and patients/clients.

News Items

Rethinking the Internet: How We Lost Control and How To Take It Back
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Rethinking the Internet, scene of the debate.This is an interesting and thought provoking 1 hour video interview and debate. It begins with a 5 minute overview and then proceeds with an interview by moderator Bill Blakemore with Jaron Lanier, a long-time computer scientist and developer and the father of virtual reality, who is concerned about the use of behaviour modification "to engage and addict you to algorithmic exploration until we find whatever it is that will get you".

Following the interview there is a debate with four speakers; Tim Hwang, Meredith Whittaker, Aviv Ovadya, and Brett Frischmann. They touch on many aspects of not only the Internet but also power in organizations, how it's lost and who has it.

The Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive
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The Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive coverDr Chris Sedegreen.

Some time before the Christmas holiday a colleague mentioned a book, The Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive, on the Doclounge listserve. I’d like to thank him for bringing this lovely book to our attention. I ordered and received the paperback version (somewhat cheaper than the hard cover, but in retrospect I wish I'd ordered the hard cover). This publication is beautifully printed.

Is virtual medicine essentially unprofessional?
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How the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia

Fails the Citizens of the Province

Below the banner of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (CPSBC) web site, College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (cpsbc.ca), they proclaim that their mission is “Serving the public by regulating physicians and surgeons”.

Christmas Carols and Songs for 2020
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Hark When Bonnie Henry Speaks sheet music imageAfter the start of a discussion by our colleague Dr David Naismith sharing a parody on "We Three Kings" with lyrics by R.G.Huff another colleague, Dr Chris Sedergreen, added several more Christmas songs and carols where he has penned words for reflection of 2020. First shared by email they are now here for more people to enjoy. They are attached as pdf files with the words and the music.

There are pdf files for each of the four songs: "We Three Queens", "Tread The Ward", "The Rest’raunt Sign Says ‘Closed’ Again" and "Hark When Bonnie Henry Speaks".

The courts will not save Canada's sick health system; Dr Day is not a gadfly
Public

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".

Understanding Generations X, Y, Z and more
Public

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the growing list of names for different generations; boomers, gen-X, millenials, zoomers and what follows? Here are a couple of links that may help.

BC Covid19 Math and Stats modelling lecture May 14, 2020
Public

BC Covid19 Realtime modellingThe "bcCOVID-19 group Lecture: Real time modelling of the COVID-19 epidemic - perspectives from British Columbia" was delivered as a Zoom lecture and was recorded. The first speaker Caroline Colijn provides an interesting explanation of the use of mathematical modelling and how this is being used to develop data driven policies. Her presentation includes some graphs that are quite useful.

BC Covid-19 Survey gets quite personal
Public

BC Covid-19 SurveyThe BC Covid-19 Survey has just been launched and people can participate until the end of May 2020.

The survey takes longer than the 10-15 minutes claimed and while the survey does allow people to answer anonymously and answer only the questions they wish to, it does include a number of questions that reveal a lot of private personal information including the individual's PHN if they wish.

Telehealth, what does it mean?
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Telehealth collageWith tongue in cheek some might say it was about time we made more use of the tech we've got and now here we are all using telehealth. What does it mean? What does it look like? How does it work?

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