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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.

Will the new BC Societies Act transition be a train wreck?
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Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - February 13, 2017.

Train wreckNo one can deny the importance of BC societies to communities large and small throughout the province, assisting all kinds of people as charitable and not for profit societies, including associations that represent occupations and professions.

What can we learn from the early example of transition by the Doctors of BC, the BC Medical Association, formerly a Reporting Society, declaring themselves to be a member-funded society and escaping public disclosure. Do they even meet the required criteria?

When we ask, it may come as a shock to learn the BC Registry is not confirming compliance requirements are met. Is the BC Government failing to provide proper leadership and oversight to the tasks of government?

Is the public trust being neglected? Will there be havoc on public interest and individual rights? Are we going to see a train wreck?

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”.

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.

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.

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".

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.

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?

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.)

"Cracked Science" light-hearted in-depth science for everyone
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The youtube channel "Cracked Science" with Jonathan Jerry provides some good humour and scientific knowledge in ten minute episodes to bring you up to speed and get you thinking.

Take a look at CRISPR is a Puppy and learn how gene therapy may be applied to human diseases.

Another episode helps to debunk the media hype on the discovery of a new human organ - "the Interstitium, the largest organ we never knew we had", Does a New Organ Explain Acupuncture? While some of this is opinionated to the reporter's own views on acupuncture, the evidence of the Interstitium is a good reminder of what we already know.

Dr Karpiak on Bill Good CKNW - Bureaucracy in health care is not sustainable
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Dr Dennis Karpiak, Internist and former BCMA Board Director from the Interior of BC speaking on the Bill Good Show CKNW radio 980 on July 10, 2012.

"It's become increasingly more difficult to sustain a practice in this province."

"The BCMA 20 years ago formed the Regionalization committee that predicted the rise of bureaucracy and a decline in patient care funding."

"Currently you can walk through any hospital and you'll see more administration offices than patient rooms."

Listen to the whole interview.

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."

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

Health Records and Privacy (Humour?)
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If you haven't already seen this, here is a somewhat humorous piece from the American Civil Liberties Union

http://www.aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

You can also check out their home page for other interesting news stories,

http://www.aclu.org

Cannabis, marijuana, what do we know?
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Chemurgy2016-10-16 Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC

Cannabis is a plant that has been part of human history for thousands of years and on every continent. The uses of cannabis are far beyond just medical and recreational use.

What do we really know about cannabis?

Is cannabis more than just good for medical and health use, is it also good for the economy and the environment?

News Items

Documentary "Duty To Document" highlights the erosion of democracy in BC, in Canada, and around the World
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Duty to DocumentThis 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.

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?
Public

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
Public

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
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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".

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.

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.

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.

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