I’ve been on a two month hiatus from writing but I’m back. Of course, I’ve still been filling the airwaves with medical shenanigans every Sunday morning on Healthy Matters (which you can hear at wccoradio.com at 7:30 Central Time). In fact, last Sunday was the first show of our 11th year broadcasting Hennepin Healthcare‘s brand of accessible, accurate, and hopefully lighthearted medical information. To all of you who listen to the show, THANK YOU!
We started 2019 by talking about Physical Therapy and what it can do for you and your painful and sore bodies. It turns out that Hennepin (my health system) has probably Minnesota’s most technologically-advanced Physical Therapy gym. That’s me in the zero-gravity harness which helps people with stroke, traumatic brain injury, or other injuries safely learn to walk again. The PT department also has a dizzying (pun intended) range of services.
Women’s prenatal, post-partum, and incontinence issues
Mobility issues, including canes, walkers, and wheelchairs
Pediatric physical therapy
And much more!
But more than machines and technology, the Physical Therapy department at Hennepin has awesome people. So to launch our 11th year, I invited two of them to help listeners navigate Physical Therapy (I’ll call it PT from now on). Joining me in studio were two Doctors of Physical Therapy, Beth Stegora and Kelly Rettman.
In this post, I’ll summarize a couple topics that we covered on the show, like how physical therapy can help people with rotator cuff injuries, knee injuries, and even women with incontinence. Read on for just a few words to get you thinking.
You just gotta learn about this woman. Her name is Charlene Barron and she sounds like an incredible woman. I also never got the chance to meet her, but I learned of her just this past week and if you were listening to the Healthy Matters radio broadcast on WCCO last Sunday, you heard about her as well.
Charlene died of a traumatic brain injury while doing something she loved – riding her bike on a training ride. She was also a runner and a triathlete, and a lover of dogs. I love that dog-lover part! Charlene was just 10o yards from the Boston Marathon finish line when the bomb went off. She has completed dozens of marathons, 30 Birke XC ski races, and 9 Ironman triathlons. And at age 60, she competed in the World Championship Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.
To honor her, Charlene’s family has teamed up with the TBI program at HCMC (my healthcare organization) in a really cool event. It is Charlene’s Dog Run, and it is a fun event for you (and your dog!) and is open to anybody who wants to get involved in TBI research and make a difference. You don’t have to bring your dog, but you sure can if you want to!
Dr. Uzma Samadani is a neurosurgeon and colleague of mine at HCMC. She does incredible research on TBI and the proceeds of this event go to the TBI research program at HCMC. Dr. Samadani called in to the radio broadcast to tell us about Charlene and the Dog Run. Click the link at the bottom of this post to get the podcast and listen to my brief conversation with Dr. Samadani.
TBI and related links
On the show, I promised to put some links to sites you may wish to visit. Here they are:
The HCMC news article about Charlene and the Dog Run. I recommend you start with this link to read more.
Podcast of the Healthy Matters broadcast (Healthy Matters show #449, August 13, 2017). Listen to the first 5-10 minutes to hear my discussion with Dr. Samadani. We talk about Charlene, brain injury research, and an interesting bit about neck strengthening as a protective measure for TBI.
The plaque in this photo above was a gift from a medical student and hangs on my wall right above my desk. It is a saying reportedly from Michelangelo that I use in teaching medical students and residents fairly often.
I even gave a speech to some graduating medical students called “I am still learning.” I don’t even think Michelangelo actually said this at age 87 but the sentiment still resonates. This post is about learning medicine.
This past week I’ve really been going back to school. I’m now back from several days in San Diego at the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine conference. ACP is my professional organization, and our annual conference brings many thousands of us together to learn about the latest in medical science, pick up tips for our practice from some of the country’s top experts, and re-connect with colleagues from around the world.
In the next several posts, I am going to highlight for you some of what I learned at the ACP conference in San Diego. Look for short posts in the coming weeks about:
Clostridium difficile infection
Menopause and depression
Pain control and opiates
Restless legs syndrome
Blood pressure in older adults
Weight loss and exercise
I’ll try to keep these future posts really short and helpful.
This Sunday morning, September 4, at 7:30, Denny Long and I will take to the veranda at the WCCO Radio booth at the Minnesota State Fair. It will be our 16th time doing a show live from beneath the shadow of the Giant Slide and sandwiched between Sweet Martha’s cookies and the Ye Olde Mill. But more significantly, it will be the 400th Healthy Matters radio broadcast.
That’s right. Since our first broadcast in January 2009, we have done 399 one-hour shows and I tell you what – we’re going to keep doing it until we get the hang of it! The 400th attempt will be on Sunday which just so happens to be one of our popular State Fair shows.
So consider this your invitation to join Denny and me on Sunday morning! Last week we had a pretty good crowd at the radio booth around the corner of Underwood and Carnes, and that was only for the 399th show, small potatoes compared to the awesome-ness of the 400th show.
Love this Tweet from my awesome friends at HCMC (hint – hit the play button on the picture):
So come to the fair on Sunday, Minnesota (and Wisconsin, and Iowa, and North Dakota, and South Dakota, or where ever you are from . . . last week we had a wonderful woman from San Diego . . .). If you ask a medical question live on the air, I just may have a special gift for you, one never knows . . . !
As life-changing and memorable as it will be to be in the audience for the 400th show on Sunday, there is LOTS more to do at the Fair. Here’s a recap of some cool activities related to medicine. Continue reading “Our 400th radio show!”→
There’s big news from HCMC this week. Many know that HCMC is the largest provider of TBI care in the state of Minnesota. But many don’t know that we are also a major research institution and in no area is this more true than TBI.
But I don’t have to go to the national media, I just have to walk down the hall to talk with people who are quite literally the country’s leading researchers. So I dropped by the laboratory of Dr. Uzma Samadani (<–click for her bio) here at HCMC. She’s super cool even when I gave her only 10 minutes notice before showing up in her office! Check out the short video clip above – and be sure to listen to the end to hear Dr. Samadani’s important advice about protecting kids from concussion/TBI. For a more in-depth perspective from Dr. Samadani, click on the TedMed video below (it’s only 6 minutes long).
Every 8 seconds someone has a traumatic brain injury. But you may be surprised to learn that doctors really don’t have great answers to the most basic questions like:
Do I have a brain injury? How bad is it? Where is it in my brain?
That is what the researchers hope to answer.
Shakira’s hips? Huh? Rather than have me try to explain it – watch this brief talk by Dr. Samadani herself. It is fascinating.
So Dr. Samadani and her team are doing research based on the knowledge that you can actually track the movements of a patient’s eyes to help answer these questions. As it is now, doctors wave their finger in front of a patient like we have been doing for centuries. The researchers are hoping to change that by studying all sorts of ways to diagnose brain injury – using blood tests, eye tracking, and imaging (x-rays and pictures and the like) . The eye tracking technology in particular could be game-changing in the way we diagnose and treat brain injury. For more on eye tracking, click here.
I am convinced that some day the research being done right here at Hennepin County Medical Center and the University of Minnesota will change the lives of millions of people.