Month: January 2015

Martin Luther King Day 2015

It is one day late, but its content is as relevant as ever.

Disrupted Physician



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What about your certitude (or is it a belief?) that the mind is stronger then the genes?

the biology of belief

The Beliefs and the Genes work together.  For years, conventional science emphasized that the genes control the physical traits.  NOW, science recognizes that genes are “potentials” and the mind and the environment provide the information that controls the reading of the gene’s blueprints.  BUT, the mind’s perceptions can alter the reading of the gene’s code. As epigenetics reveals, the nervous system’s response to the environment can modify the reading of the gene to produce up to 30,000 variations of proteins from the same gene blueprint.  Clearly, the mind and its beliefs are the primary mechanism and the most powerful factor in controlling an an organism’s genetics.

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Should Addicts Be Forced Into 12-Step Rehab Programs? No (Part 2)

Chaos Theory and Pharmacology

I would like to start this post by sharing Dr. Langan response to the first part of this post: “Should Addicts Be Forced Into 12-Step Rehab Programs? No

“The argument is often advanced that without coercion there is insufficient incentive to enter treatment and, within a medical paradigm, not wanting to enter treatment is considered a symptom of the disease. Moreover, the greater the denial of the disease is considered directly proportional to the severity of the disease. Although both of these may be true in the throes of an acute addiction, the chronic relapsing brain disease with lifelong abstinence and 12-step recovery model is being used to coerce treatment on those who do not need it as “denial” can be present. according to these folks, long after the drugs and alcohol are gone.” –-Michael L. Langan.

Comments – Jorge R. –
– I agree with Dr…

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God is in Control (1)

Life Project Blog

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time…

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Let The Children Come To Me-Effects of Armed Conflict on Children

I am a public health professional. As such, one of my passions is preventive health for all population groups. But more so for children. We adults owe it to them to protect them because it is the right thing to do. Jesus’ predilection toward children is exemplified in His admonition to His disciples who were trying to downplay the significance of this population group to the Lord: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,” (Matthew 19:14).

Graça Machel, widow of former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was entrusted with the task of conducting research on the impact of armed conflict on children by the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and the United Nations Children’s Fund in 1995. The ensuing Report is a significant resource for the evaluation of the human rights of children affected by armed conflict or war. The Report highlights the multidimensional plight of children under these circumstances including indiscriminate and senseless slaughter, rape, exploitation, health and nutritional deprivation, separation from families, and the isolation of children placed in refugee camps as a result of war. Armed conflicts are often triggered by an array of political and socioeconomic differences between the warring parties. However, these conflicts are never limited to the sphere of the antagonists only. There is always the issue of collateral damage with the most vulnerable individuals within the sphere of that conflict experiencing the worst form of suffering. One callous strategy characterizing modern wars is the exploitation and conscription of children as child soldiers in which they are programmed to conduct the most heinous atrocities to satisfy their recruiters’ Mephistophelian thirst for blood.

Max Easterman from the Stanley Foundation reports that although the global attention has mostly focused on child soldiers in Africa, industrialized nations also recruit children younger than 18 years as soldiers. For example, the United Kingdom allows children aged 15 ¾ years old to join the army as “junior soldiers.” These child soldiers are subjected to most of the problems their counterparts face around the world as child soldiers. At the Army Foundation College located outside of Harrogate in Northern England, more than a thousand “junior soldiers” aged 16 and 17 are being trained as soldiers each year. Motivation for signing up includes opportunities to travel abroad, holding a steady job with predictable income, and an opportunity to obtain both a military education as well as a civilian one. These “junior soldiers” are allowed to sign up at this age so that by the time they begin training they are at least 16 years old. The reason for recruiting at such an early age, according to Major Dickie Hamzart, the company commander, is that “I think it gets us a better army…They can be molded, even though the decisions they have to make are quite daunting for them, initially…. If we don’t start recruiting at this early age, these people will get into long-term relationships, will look at other aspects of their life in a settled job…. They won’t look to the Army for a career, and they’ll be lost to us.” Children become killer machines without proper comprehension of reasons for killing other human beings except that which has been indoctrinated in them.

What is astonishing is that children are sometimes made to commit monstrous violence in order to “toughen them” or “mold” them into “good” soldiers and yet it is scientifically factual that exposure to violence and participation in its perpetration only desensitizes the children so that they think nothing of committing similar atrocities to their own friends and family members as was the case in Mozambique, Nicaragua, Colombia and Afghanistan. The Machel Report adds Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Israel, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Thailand, Uganda and Zimbabwe to the list. This seems to me like a global indictment. We are in it together, one way or another. The suffering of the children in the form of psychological and physical maiming is a blatant affront to the moral impetus that inspired the crafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Exposing children to armed conflict whether as active combatants or as a passive victims adversely affects all aspects of their development including physical, mental and emotional development. The disruption of normal food supplies, the destruction of crops in the strategy of scotched earth, the disintegration of the family and community social and moral fiber, the displacement to strange environments and countries, the disruption of their education, the lack of access to proper medical care, sanitation and clean water supplies almost irrevocably ruin the future of these children victims.

We have taken what Jesus elevated to a model population group and sullied it by using it as a tool for quenching our thirst for vendettas. Lord, forgive us.


Easterman, M. (2003). Britain’s Very Young Guns. Accessed January 16, 2015 from

United Nations Report of Graça Machel (1996). Impact of armed conflict on children. United Nations; UNICEF. Accessed January 16, 2015 from

Mandating Drug-Testing of Unknown Validity while removing the procedural safeguards of forensic drug testing: The plan to Introduce Laboratory Developed Tests into Mainstream Healthcare

Disrupted Physician

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Chain-of-Custody refers to the document or paper trail showing the collection, control, transfer, analysis and disposition of laboratory tests.  It is the written documentation of a specimen from the moment of collection to the final destination to the review and reporting of the final results.   The multi-part chain-of-custody form or “custody and control” form is part and parcel of this process. It contains stickers to sign and seal the specimen so that it cannot be tampered with and the form itself is signed by the appropriate parties as the test specimen travels from place to place. Information is added to the form as it travels from person to person.  It has been given the status of a legal document as it has the ability to invalidate a specimen with incomplete information.  Once the sample is analyzed it is reviewed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO) for final review. In…

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Matthew 9:6 (The Power To Forgive)


Power to Forgive

So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” (Matthew 9:6)

Read: Genesis 26:17 – 27:46, Matthew 9:1-17, Psalm 10:16-18, Proverbs 3:9-10

Relate: Jesus knew what they were thinking. He had just said to the paralyzed man, “your sins are forgiven.” As was accurate and proper, the religious leaders who were there believed that only God can forgive sins. Not some priest. No prophet or rabbi can do it. No politician or judge can forgive your sins. Nobody. Only God. Yet Jesus had just said, “your sins are forgiven.” If He was not God, they were very justified in accusing Him of blasphemy.

But because Jesus was God, He knew exactly what they were thinking. Knowing their objections, He didn’t try to…

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Grief: The Great Learning, Day 434

Bertram's Blog

I’ve saved the letters I wrote to my life mate/soul mate after he died, thinking that one day I would write a sequel to Grief: The Great Yearning, the story of my first year of grief. I’d planned to call the sequel Grief: The Great Learning, and detail the lessons gleaned from the second and third years of my grief. Because I no longer want to keep revisiting such angst, there will be no sequel, so I’m publishing the letters here on this blog as a way of safeguarding (and sharing) them.

Although this letter was written three and a half years ago, it reflects so much of what I am thinking about now. My father recently died, and I am packing to leave his house and go . . . I know not where. I am trying to hope for some sort of great new life, but it’s easier not…

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Disrupting Healthcare: The Community

The Private Practice Consultant


Innovation is looking at problems that exist in business, community, or society and hand-crafting a solution. Disrupting the status quo, and improving the outcome in a given scenario. It’s stepping up to a challenge that seems insurmountable and breaking it down piece by piece, then rebuilding it with reinforcement and new technologies. Innovation creates structured chaos, and from that chaos emerges a host of potential opportunities.

I am an innovator, and I am not alone! As a matter of fact I am in the company of some of the most passionate and brilliant minds in the medical industry today. I have spoken to CEO’s, physicians, nurses, and developers. To internet marketing rock stars, and people at every level of the Hospital, Community Healthcare Center, and private practice.

I have shared great conversation with leaders in business and finance. They all have one thing in common, they want to see…

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The Beautiful Disaster That Is Healthcare Delivery

The Private Practice Consultant

If I were forced to define the current state of healthcare in as few words possible (at least through the private practice lens) I would have to say its a… beautiful disaster.


All across America more and more agencies are implementing EHR, including federal agencies like the Department of Defense, and State Correctional systems like the one i consulted for in Connecticut.

With all of the EHR adoption currently it would make sense to reason that we are very close to a fully interoperable system.

Unfortunately, that is absolutely not the case (I will certainly speak more to this in a future post, so be sure to stay tuned).

So, what does the private practice have to work with today?

EMR – Electronic Medical Records
PMS – Practice Management Systems
Outside Labs and Radiology Providers
Community Agencies and Providers
HIE – Health Information Exchange
HL7 – Health Level 7

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