From Dirt to Antibiotics, exciting times ahead

Thinking outside-the-box; innovation; using simple everyday things in a totally different way. We already have everything we need.

NYTimes: From a Pile of Dirt, Hope for a Powerful New Antibiotic


MUST READ! Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

Dr. Ada Igonoh survived #Ebola, this is her story.
I pray for the volunteers and all those who help despite the tremendous personal danger they face.

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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Our Caribbean Teens and Legalizing Weed




Smoking (tobacco or marijuana) is the MOST common gateway for teenagers to engage in further drug use.

Addiction is a disease that starts in adolescence, industries know they have to focus on young people for profits. After all, if you don’t start using any drug by age 21, you are unlikely ever to do so.

There has been a lot of focus on the benefits of legalizing marijuana. Can we as a Caribbean region quantify the risks associated with legally available Weed? Adolescents are at high risk of exposure and confusion about the dangers of smoking ganja in a legalized environment. Weed brownies, candy ganja, many marketing strategies make children their prime targets.

There has been a lot of talk about pot lately. Discussions of tax revenue, health benefits, violence reduction, and individual liberty. But one issue got completely lost: the developing brains of our children.

Read more of what Patrick Kennedy has to say on the matter: Legalizing pot endangers children

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.

Leading by example… “to the world”

Taking the first step is the hardest part. What do You do to make it past that hurdle?

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.

Oldest Known Depiction Of Circumcision Is Now On Twitter

The information is accurate.  I am still not sure how this ended up as a news item. However, here it is.

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?


Rising Penile Cancer creates a Stir

LINK: Penis Cancer is on the Increase: What are the Symptoms?

3 days after Valentine’s Day the Huffington Post Lifestyle (UK) posted a report on the increase in penile cancer of 21% over the last 30 years. SCARY STUFF! The Article goes on to highlight 3 possible causes for this, including a decrease in “routine” or newborn circumcisions. Circumcision is known to reduce ALL sexually transmitted infections including infections with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV causes a number of symptoms and diseases including penile cancer and… ladies pay attention… cervical cancer. While the reported rise in penile cancer is disturbing, let us not forget that cervical cancer is already the second most common cancer in women worldwide (source) and one of the TOP THREE cancers killing women in the Caribbean. Jamaica reports cervical cancer as the second most common cancer in women, surpassed only by breast cancer.

Vaccines against the HPV virus available in most Caribbean territories. Women whose partners are circumcised are less likely to be exposed to the HPV virus, and have a lower risk of cervical cancer. Get informed, talk to your health care provider, seek reliable information on protecting your own health and carefully consider the pros and cons of all interventions that can lead to prevention.