By Rod Moser, PA, PhD
It’s New Years Eve and I am working at the clinic. It was unbelievable busy, but now the crowds have gone and I am finishing up some charts. Most of the people that I saw today were genuinely ill but some were just getting refills since their current insurance ran out today.
Usually, this is the time where people post New Year’s Resolutions, but I missed that window. Besides, a large percentage of people who make resolutions tend to break them. Instead of resolutions, I thought I would post my medical wishes for the New Year.
If I had just Ten Wishes for 2013, I wish….
- That we all have a mild influenza season this year, especially to those who do not “believe in the flu vaccine” and chose not to get it. Vaccines have saved more lives than just about any medical intervention.
- That no person will be prescribed an antibiotic in 2013 unless they absolutely need it for a bacterial infection. The practice of soliciting and/or prescribing antibiotics for viral infections must end.
- That any person who does get an appropriately-prescribed antibiotic will take them until the end of the prescription; not stopping them early or share them with someone else
- All people will have some sort of health insurance this year, or at least find a clinic or medical provider that charges a reasonable fee. For those who do not have insurance, I recommend that they put a few dollars away every week and create their own medical savings account.
- That all people who are out of work, will find a job and that job will provide some insurance benefits.
- That all people will get their required, age-related cancer screenings: colon, breast, prostate, skin, etc.
- That all people, especially medical providers, will carefully wash their hands, and not just when someone is watching them. More diseases are transmitted from unwashed hands than just about any source.
- That all smokers will finally read the side of the cigarette pack and STOP SMOKING
- That all adult, alcohol-users, will drink responsibly and never, never, never drive if impaired. This goes for recreational drug users as well.
- That all people with chronic health conditions will work on controlling them so they will live a longer and healthier life.
More and more, people are looking to the federal government to rescue them from their own behaviors, providing cheap or free health insurance or vouchers for good food. The state and federal governments will heavily tax cigarettes but that does not keep people from smoking. More and more states are legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, but that does not keep it out of the hands of those who don’t really need it or are too young to control it. We regulate the sale and distribution of alcohol, too, but that does not prevent someone from getting behind the wheel when they are impaired or for someone at the mini-mart to sell booze to a minor. Just about every Dr. Oz show promotes some type of miracle weight loss diet or exercise plan, yet Americans continue to add on the weight. Unfortunately, some of those caustic darts hit close to home.
Someone once said that good health is the slowest form of dying. Yes, we are all dying, but it is our adverse health behaviors that are speeding up the clock. Extending life through good nutrition, regular exercise, and controlling our killing behaviors is not new information. We all know what we need to do. We do not need medical providers or the federal government to tell us. We just need to listen and do something about it.
In 2013, I just wish that we would start taking care of ourselves.
End of sermon.