"I have never thought people should have to pay for being sick."

Rick Redalen, MD. 1969

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August 24, 2015

Does anyone ever wonder how our government thinks when it comes to controlling medications? Sorry, that is kind of an oxymoron. Our government thinking?

For years in my early practice of medicine the very best medications we had for weight loss were the amphetamines.

Historically amphetamines, speed, or bennies (a few of the street names used), were prescribed for our armed services members, our bomber and fighter pilots and for many jobs requiring a higher level of alertness and avoidance of fatigue.

Suddenly in 1971 amphetamines were put on a schedule II controlled substances list. Someone, in spite of wide spread use for many years, decided that these substances could be abused.

Multiple countries decided this would be a good ban and me...

August 10, 2015

Have you ever wondered why you go into your physician with a pain syndrome of any kind and suddenly they become the long arm of the law?

No sir, or no mam, we can’t give you any pain meds for your broken ankle. You will have to go to a pain clinic for that. But it’s Friday night and we can give you enough pain meds to last until Saturday night and then you can come back on Sunday morning and we can see if you are still in pain. Oh, by the way we are not open on Sunday so just go to your local emergency room and they can make that determination.

How on Earth did we ever get to this point? We now have a cadre of physicians that cannot make even the most basic determinations when it comes to prescribing a medication labeled as a controlled...

July 27, 2015

A CEO from Wolverine Software recently asked me how many of the tests physicians order are done primarily to prevent medical malpractice suits. The following is how I answered his question.

I don’t know if physicians ever order tests to prevent lawsuits. I think they are ordered mostly to pad pocketbooks of physicians and hospitals.

After all, a physician can hardly say he orders tests to pad his bill. It sounds so much better to say, “I order many tests and x-rays to prevent lawsuits.” As an expert medical witness for many years I do not recall a single malpractice case being brought only on the basis of la ack of lab results and x-rays.

Most of the physicians you know are genuinely altruistic, kind people who entered medicine to care fo...

July 13, 2015

A number of years ago I was working in the emergency department of Richardson Medical Center in Rayville, Louisiana. A patient was dropped off by ambulance. Immediately following the drop off, the ambulance drivers left. I asked the nurses why the patient was here. No history or paperwork had been delivered with the patient and the patient did not even know where the ambulance had picked her up.

After locating the ambulance drivers again, we found out she was a local nursing home patient and the ambulance driver informed us the transfer to the hospital had been authorized by one of our local physicians so the patient could have her remaining leg amputated.

The problem was the patient was 99 years old. She was totally blind, totally deaf,...

June 29, 2015

One of the largest problems in medicine in the U.S. today is super specialization. It is great to have a physician who knows so much about one little area of care. If that happens to be the area of expertise you need, it can be valuable to the point of lifesaving. Unfortunately the care becomes so fragmented the overall care of the patient becomes quite poor.

This is somewhat evidenced by the fact that in spite of all our new diagnostic modalities the status of healthcare in the United States has fallen to 37th in the world. This parallels what has happened to our country in education where we now rank 37th in the world. We now rank behind many of the third world countries in numerous measurements of health care. We rank behind Puerto R...

June 15, 2015

When I was in medical school in the late sixties, the veteran’s hospital would always start to fill up when fall came around and the temperatures were dropping.

Why does this happen? Maybe people are sicker this time of year, and some of that is true of course, but the following paragraph written by Sabrina Tavernise in the New York Times on March 22, 2015 about a person in Hennepin County, located in Minnesota, pretty much explains partly what is happening.

MINNEAPOLIS — Jerome Pate, a homeless alcoholic, went to the emergency room when he was cold. He went when he needed a safe place to sleep. He went when he was hungry, or drunk, or suicidal.

“I’d go sometimes just to have a place to be,” he said.

Mr. Pate made 17 emergency room visits...

June 1, 2015

The recent rules of Obamacare seem to force the burden of the American healthcare system on the shoulders of the providers. Currently according to cnsnews.com, over 214,000 physicians are opting out of the plans of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

As I explained in a previous blog, I could not be seen in an urgent care center that had not signed on with our government to take Medicare patients. In fact, they could not see me even if I paid cash. If this is the case also with private practitioners, what the government would be accomplishing is to gradually let the elderly of our society die out in a quiet, un-noticeable fashion, thus getting rid of the segment of society that consumes the majority of Medicare dollars. Once again they are n...

May 18, 2015

During a hospitalization several months ago a lab tech came around to draw my blood at about three or four in the morning. When I asked her what the draw was for, she replied that it is their routine. I asked if this routine was carried out on all the people on the floor. She replied affirmatively.

Do all of you notice the signs placed nearly everywhere in our hospitals? Please be quiet so our patients can get their necessary rest. What a joke. They think our family is bothering us more visiting during visiting hours than they are bothering us doing procedures whenever it is convenient for them.

Back to the lab tech. I said, “So if the person down the hall came in with a broken leg they are also getting their blood drawn at this ungodly...

Let’s look ahead in time. Why, with the new technology, is the life expectancy remaining essentially the same? Why with the United States leading the entire world in health care costs, are we now ranked 38th.

Part of this is due to the severe compartmentalization of medical care. Specialists have lost the ability to treat even little things outside of their specialty. Within the past hour I called a nephrology office. I have pyelonephritis. This is an infection of the kidney. The office said they do not handle infections. They could however give me an appointment in another 21 days.

Several months ago I was discharged from a heart hospital in Plano, Texas following an ablation procedure of the heart. I needed to go home on some medicatio...

April 20, 2015

My last blog was about using bacteriophages to treat multi-drug resistant bacteria or superbugs. Phage therapy has been around since the turn of the 20th century. Phage therapy uses genetically engineered viruses to attack specific strains of bacteria. The phage (the name means to eat) was used right at the turn of the century successfully to treat some infections that were progressing towards being fatal. Initially much of this work was not adequately documented and American Researchers in the 1930s and 1940s thought more studies needed to be done. Much of the work was continued in Russia and today there is a successful Phage Therapy Center located in the Republic of Georgia.

Work which should probably have continued on in the United S...

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DR. Rick Redalen

The Maverick Doctor


Rick Redalen MD, the Maverick Doctor, is a retired American physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist.  Redalen practiced medicine for nearly thirty years across United States.  His medical career focused on family medicine both in a traditional medical practice and emergency room settings.  After retiring as a physician, Redalen began to focus on founding companies to improve the quality of patient care and information.  Exit Care was the first of these companies and provided standardized hospital discharge paperwork that was written in plain English instead of technical terms.  Redalen founded Quest Global Benefits to help businesses and individuals navigate the changing health insurance market resulting from the Affordable Care Act.


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