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Fixin' Healthcare

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Medical Odyssey

I am a seventy year old man who entered medical school in August 1960. My life includes being a son, brother, friend, husband, father, medical student, resident physician, U.S. Public Health Service officer at the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), postdoctoral fellow, faculty member in Departments of Internal Medicine at three universities, medical school dean, university academic vice president and provost, interim president of two universities and, currently, practicing physician. This is my story about personal involvement in medical care, health care and health during the past fifty years. I call it an odyssey defined as an epic journey of special significance to the traveler because the experience contributed to insight and wisdom about life and health.

If optimum health status is the desired main stream for society, then medical care is the default position for illness, disease and injury. The biggest health problem for the United States and possibly the bigest problem of any kind is a population that fears illness, disease and injury more than they understand or pursue optimum health. The status quo aggravates the problem and the concept for health care reform, as well as every proposal from Congress and the Administration are more of the same.

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