Category Archives: Muse and Views

some of the thoughts that dwell in my mind


Fermented foods

reuben sandwich

In med school my close friend and study partner always had yogurt culture at home. I was spoilt by the creamy deliciousness of this “real” live food. NOTHING  from a store tastes the same.

In recent times as I read all I can find about gut science I see more and more articles singing the praises of fermented foods. Everything from acne to constipation has allegedly been cured by the Lactobacilli that thrive in these foods. I’ve decide to try my hand at homemade sauerkraut. I will keep you posted!

Does anyone make their own yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha or kimchi? That’s a lot of Ks. Have you seen anything for sale in Kingston? Are there any mommies out there who found a fermented food made things better for their little ones tummy troubles? Please share your tips and discoveries.

LINK 1: Why you should eat more fermented foods

LINK 2: How to make a jar of sauerkraut for the beginner or skeptic.

Working in the Community

Luke 4:18 from promisebradley.WordPress.comimage

Every year during Christmas and Easter Food for the Poor helps to free and rehabilitate non-violent prisoners as an Act of Mercy throughout the countries that they work in. You can read some more details here. This year is the Jubilee Year of Mercy for the Church and so far 256 persons have been released through the Prison Ministry. I wanted to highlight and share this project of Good News in the Caribbean region. How can I share God’s Mercy with others? How will you?


Passing on the effects of trauma

girl hug

Compassion and Support

Scientists continue to assess some of the long term effects of childhood trauma: mothers less able to bond with their child – generational effects. It is important for health care workers, care-givers and all person who work with children to understand as much as they can about the long-term effects of childhood trauma. Recovery from such trauma and resilience to thrive are linked to support, compassionate adult support, as much as it is to physical protection. We have to give them a safe place to “be”. Clink this link for the findings of the study done at Rutgers University: Does sexual aggression alter the female brain.

Thirty percent of women worldwide experience some kind of physical or sexual assault during their lifetime. In a recent animal study, scientists — who have developed a new model to determine how stress affects females — discovered that prepubescent female rodents paired with sexually experienced males had elevated levels of stress hormones, could not learn as well, and expressed reduced maternal behaviors needed to care for offspring.

Rate of police killings slows in 2014

There is a weekly rate for police killings in Jamaica. Weekly. Wow.

Jamaican Journal

This graphic below is courtesy of Jamaicans for Justice, a human rights advocacy group. Think about it for a second.

While it is positive that the rate of killings by those charged with protecting the citizenry is slowing, in theory, this phenomenon should not occur at all.

And this issue is beginning to attract international attention (at least related to extrajudicial killings).

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Rethinking Solutions


From Getty Images

Re-focus! How do I perceive “helping”? When I read this article, I had to stop and think about WHO it is I wanted to help and how THEY would like to receive help. Time for a review of the Tots to Teens Mandate.

A note on Open Notes


I was intrigued by this article “What the Therapist Thinks About You –” see link below. As a surgeon the thought of patients seeing my notes isn’t frightful at all. I can see a distinct advantage to compliance and family involvement in care. This takes me back to my baseline philosophy:

Doctors teach, God heals.

I believe that my role as a doctor is to teach the patient and their family the best way, the science and the options for living with,  eliminating and coping with whatever problem brought them to see me. Maybe open notes, or a written summary of the visit, would be a useful tool in teaching families how to live with the illnesses they face, and with each other. Much food for thought. The way we practice medicine is changing.

The Practice of Medicine: The Dilemma Neglected in the Healthcare Debate

The article quoted provides an interesting perspective on the true cost and long-term value of “experimental” care.

The decision to treat an illness is not simply a decision about the fate of a single human being. It is a decision about what we will or will not learn about treating illness. It is also about what we will or will not have at our disposal to treat illnesses in the future.

I hasten to add that in countries where primary health care needs are NOT being met for the majority (85% or more) of the population, fantasies involving experimental medicine are certainly fewer and more far between. 

What are your thoughts on this aspect of distributive justice and healthcare?

Committed to building tourism!

Here is a statement made by a Prime Minister: “We’re going to be a government that understands the huge potential of our tourism industry, that gets tourism and that gives the industry the backing that it needs”.  That statement was not made by a Caribbean leader whose country depends on tourism for more than 60 per cent of its GDP – as is the case now in most of them.  It was made by the British Prime Minister in relation to Britain.

Read more:

I say no more.

Why Paediatric Surgery?

A historically accurate, delightfully personal reflection that serves to put into words so many of the reasons I chose to be where I am today. Paediatric Surgery is much more than a list of diagnoses and procedures. It is a commitment to the total health of children – mind, body and soul.

“Why pediatric surgery?” asked my first and most illustrious mentor in surgery, Dr. Alfred Blalock (Chief of Surgery in the Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1941–1964)… He then continued, “I am not sure there is a future for a specialty of children’s surgery, and I would advise you strongly to complete your general surgery training here first to be on the safe side!”

After a few days of sober reflection on Dr. Blalock’s response, I sought the advice of my other great teacher and subsequent colleague, that self-proclaimed “surgical curmudgeon,” Dr. Mark Ravitch ….“Why not pediatric surgery?” I asked him. “Because you may not be able to make a living operating only on children. The professor’s advice is sound; become a well-trained general surgeon first, and let pediatric surgery be your hobby.” He then added, “It is a great field! But there may be no future for the specialty.”

Why Pediatric Surgery? (published in the Annals of Surgery, May 2003)

The more I learned about this rapidly developing new field of children’s surgery, the more convinced I became that this was a worthy commitment and that there were many challenges that lay ahead in the surgical care of children. The need for understanding the pathophysiology of these complicated congenital abnormalities was underlined by the fact that if they could be corrected, most of these children could have normal, productive lives.

 “I treated him and God healed him” Ambroise Paré, barber-surgeon of France, circa 1585.

So why pediatric surgery? I hope that the answer is clear: “because children are not little adults” They have some unique problems that require very special surgical management. They also do not vote, so we have another critical role—to be their advocates for the best surgical care in the world. That remains today a daunting challenge.