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

Rick Redalen, MD. 1969

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November 17, 2014

Having recently been in Colorado Springs, medicinal marijuana supply shops are having a hard time keeping up with the demand. More and more uses are being found for cannabinoids for the treatment of medical illnesses. Finally more politicians are deciding to get the education they need on these pharmaceuticals and are coming to the realization the cannabinoids are definitely helpful in a number of medical illnesses that have not been responsive to more traditional medical treatments.

It is no wonder it takes the U.S. so long to get on board with current medical care not available in our country. After all, we are ranked 37th in the world in medical care. Why would the major pharmaceutical companies want medical marijuana available in al...

November 6, 2014

How many of you seniors out there are having trouble seeing a physician if you are Medicare age? Remember the architects of our current healthcare system said we are not throwing Grandma under the bus. That may be true as they are no longer going to let grandma get near the bus. In fact they may be removing the bus stops. I read an article last week that said it was all absurd, malarkey, hogwash, Internet drivel and nonsense about Medicare age patients not being able to get into see a physician. It is, and I am paraphrasing in their words, “Myths supported only by Internet strings of anecdotal stories.”

I am a 71 year old male physician. Within the past year I went into an urgent care center with chest pain. I was turned away from the f...

October 20, 2014

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 that the overall care of the patient becomes quite poor.

This is somewhat evidenced by the fact that in spite of 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 in education.  We now rank behind many of the third world countries in many measurements of health care. We rank behi...

October 14, 2014

I was asked the other day by an elderly statesman about what tests physicians run to avoid malpractice suits. What percentage of medical costs is attributed to these tests? Having been in medicine for 46 years, I can think of no test or procedure which cuts down on the chances of a medical malpractice suit being brought. Tests and procedures are run to produce money for medical institutions and medical personnel, namely physicians who are ordering the tests. As a medical and legal expert once said to me, “The very best physician practicing the very best medicine can still have a malpractice suit brought against him and there is very little that can be done about it.”

One of the sad facts about this is that the attorneys that chase medic...

September 15, 2014

The U.S. spends 14 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on health care. Unfortunately, many Americans have no health insurance and must either pay for medical care out of their pockets or go without. This occurs despite federal and state expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars to provide health care.

We rank number 37 in the world of countries rated on percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on education and 38 in the world on healthcare. Cuba ranks above the United States in neonatal (the first 28 days of an infant's life) mortality.  Malaysia, Kenya, Malawi and Swaziland also rank ahead of us, just to name a few. Cuba spends 18.7 percent of its GDP on education compared to just over 5 percent for the US. For more info...

September 8, 2014

Let’s look ahead in time. Why, with all 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 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 medicat...

September 1, 2014

Since the late sixties, medical technology has jumped ahead by eons, the same as most technology has in recent years.

In the late sixties and early seventies we did not have mammography, ultrasound, CT’s, MRI’s, PET scans or da Vinci robotic surgical procedures. What we did have were well trained physicians that could diagnose and treat without the myriad of tests now available. It has become much easier to grab a palm pilot and order multiple tests and let the radiologist or other specialist make the diagnosis. There has been a huge attrition in diagnostic skills of the physician today. The people that are in general medicine now, the family practitioner, function at approximately the same level as a physician’s assistant or a nurse pr...

August 25, 2014

During my early years in medicine we pretty much took care of our whole patient. Our general medical knowledge allowed us to care for our patients in surgery, obstetrics, and family practice. Because of this generalized practice, more services were offered and the patient was not sent from specialist to specialist, each one taking care of some small part of the patient and each specialist submitting their own charge while knowing virtually nothing outside of their small specialty.

Because of the way medicine is now practiced in the United States very few patients know their physicians well as patients are not only shuffled from clinic to clinic but from specialist to specialist within one clinic. Often times an obstetric patient may see...

August 18, 2014

I started practice as a young family practitioner in Princeton, MN in 1969. At this time there were no residencies in Family Practice or Emergency Medicine. It was prior to the days of HMOs and practice management companies. The practice management companies probably started out with the altruistic belief they could help physicians by freeing up time to the physician in order to have more time available for seeing patients. A noble thought to be sure.

Let us move back in time a couple years. In 1972 my partner, Norm Metcalf and I stewed for at least one or two weeks trying to decide if it would be OK for us to increase our office call charges from $5 to $6. We eventually did this.

This was definitely a different time in medicine. When pa...

August 11, 2014

I am a physician who after graduating from Medical School in 1968 has watched the evolution of health care over the past four decades. I am going to try and educate you, the public, on how medicine got into the dire straits it is in. It requires an effort by all of us to address this problem with a ground swell of all people if we are going to get this straightened out and right.

Upon graduating from medical school at the University of Nebraska in 1968 the United States ranked number one in medical care. Currently we rank 38th.

How did The United States get into our current position in medical care behind the rest of the industrialized world?

In my next communications I will try to help you understand how we got here and what we need to d...

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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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