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

Rick Redalen, MD. 1969
 

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April 6, 2015

My wife during a recent hospitalization had a recurrence of the same problem. Blood loss. After numerous doctors and numerous transfusions it has been pretty much the same M.O., replace the blood and send her home.

Does it matter where she is bleeding from if you can fix it so easily with a couple units of blood? It does to the patient. When we have holes in our gas tank none of us would think twice about just filling the car up more often. We would try to find the hole and fix it.

People’s blood levels go down because they are either losing blood, destroying blood or not making blood. This is not rocket science. So why not find out what the problem is? One reason for this is fractionated medical care. The last physician to see my wife p...

March 23, 2015

The following blog is information reported from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With all the talk of measles in the news today the following are facts I think all Americans should know about why we vaccinate and immunize our children and ourselves.

What would happen if we stopped vaccinations?

Before the middle of the last century, diseases like whooping cough, polio, measles, Haemophilus influenzae, and rubella struck hundreds of thousands of infants, children and adults in the U.S. Thousands died every year from them. As vaccines were developed and became widely used, rates of these diseases declined until today most of them are nearly gone from our country.  

  • Nearly everyone in the U.S. got measles befor...

March 9, 2015

The following blog “The Cost of Cancer” is almost entirely based on a 60 Minute special produced by CBS and aired on October 5, 2014.  Lesley Stahl was the correspondent on this CBS special and Richard Bonin was the producer. The person being interviewed was Dr. Leonard Saltz of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute.

Cancer touches nearly every family in this country and about one American in three will be diagnosed with this in their lives. The anxiety caused by a cancer diagnosis is added to when families find out the astronomical cost of medications to keep them alive. The catastrophic costs of medical care with a diagnosis such as this are one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy in the United States.

Dr. Saltz says that the...

February 23, 2015

The following is a sentence out of previous blog.

It is becoming harder and harder to find a primary care physician to care for you. These physicians have been called general practitioners, family practitioners, and medical practitioners.  All of these specialists are generalists. They care for the whole patient. In spite of taking responsibility for the care of the whole patient, they are among the lowest paid of all specialties in medicine. Why is this?

The reasons for the above are simple economics. A physician may finish his residency training today with several hundred thousand dollars of debt. If you like medicine in general why would you choose a residency like family practice if you know you are going to finish your residency hea...

February 9, 2015

The way physicians fight over privileges, wouldn’t you think there is this huge shortage of patients? Aren’t there really enough patients to go around? That doctor’s kid should not really have to go without a new sled this Christmas just because he didn’t have enough patients to see today should he?

What is the big deal on physicians fighting over patients? That is actually what these turf wars are all about you know. Do any of you honestly think that Dr. Jones down the street actually cares if Dr. Bill a couple blocks over can read an EKG well enough to save your life or change your treatment for the better? If he really did, Dr. Jones would always be rushing over to read Dr. Bill’s EKGs to make sure Dr. Bill’s patients got the same le...

January 26, 2015

It is becoming harder and harder to find a primary care physician to care for you. These physicians have been called general practitioners, family practitioners, and medical practitioners.  All of these specialists are generalists. They care for the whole patient. In spite of taking responsibility for the care of the whole patient, they are among the lowest paid of all specialties in medicine. Why is this?

For as long as I can remember there have been disagreements among physicians resulting in “turf” wars. It is easy to see why this occurs but difficult to understand. Each specialty wants to set boundaries that physicians not in their specialty should follow. Does that mean the cardiologist knows more than the emergency department phys...

January 12, 2015

Today it is not uncommon to hear, “Who is a physician I should go to? I am having pain in my abdomen and it is not really in the pelvic area but a little higher.”

Who do we go to? Today in the era of the super specialist it is easy to pick a physician when you know what is wrong with you and you know who to pick. A patient can literally go to a half dozen different physicians, all of who can tell you what is not wrong with you if “what is not wrong with you” happens to be in their specialty. Unfortunately; if it is not, you pick another physician and move on.

What is the problem with specialties? In 1975, one of my family practice residents at the University of Minnesota late on a Friday night came to me and told me one of his patients w...

December 29, 2014

Polypharmacy is the use of multiple medications by a patient. There is no clear definition of polypharmacy. Often it is the overuse of medications and is more common in the elderly.

The problems which come from the use of multiple medications include increased incidence of adverse drug reactions, increased drug interactions and medication side effects which affect qualities of life such as cognition and mobility. Due to the lack of information technology in the U.S. there is more frequently than not a lack of communication between individual physicians’ offices. This is true not only of physicians in separate and unrelated practices but also among large patient group physicians. It is not at all uncommon to register and fill out all the...

December 15, 2014

Why are we so concerned about a relatively insignificant viral infection such as Ebola? I guess the main concern comes from our American newspapers. They seem to thrive only on the fear they can pass on through the press. It seems as if much of the hysteria surrounding Ebola at this point in time is very much similar to the hysteria we saw surrounding HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infections and AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

When that epidemic first began in the United States initially HIV carriers were thought to be highly contagious. As time has gone on we have found HIV to be relatively benign as a contagion.  HIV is certainly not benign when you consider the end result of this disease without treatment. The Ebola...

December 1, 2014

Much of the following information is edited, paraphrased and taken from The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide (updated November 2003). The sarcasm attached is complements of me, Rick R. Redalen, M.D.

Many people face the dilemma of not knowing when to be able to use an expired medication.

The expiration date on a drug does stand for something. A law was passed in 1979 that requires drug manufacturers to stamp an expiration date on their products. This is the date at which the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of the drug.

Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military. With a large and expensive stockpile of drugs,...

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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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