From 1981 – 1998, I practiced and taught internal medicine at the LA County + USC Medical Center, directing the Cancer and AIDS Pain Service for nine of those years. Since leaving the clinical practice of internal medicine in 1998, I have researched and written about medical topics. See my curriculum vitae. While practicing, my research concerned the optimal use of morphine and other opioid pain medications for patients with cancer and AIDS. Grand Bargains is my fifth published book. The previous four books were the following:
• Euthanasia Is Not The Answer—A Hospice Physician’s View, grew out of my experiences caring for more than 2,000 terminally ill cancer and AIDS patients.
• The Right Medicine—How To Make Health Care Work Today, began my interest in health care reform.
• Money Driven Medicine—Tests and Treatments That Don’t Work detailed over 70 medical tests and treatments for which my systematic analyses showed no medical benefit, between 70,000 – 100,000 deaths per year in complications, and a cost of over $1 trillion per year.
• Whistleblower Doctor—The Politics and Economics of Pain and Dying was a memoir of my 25 career in clinical medicine, which ended in 1998 when I was fired from Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. The firing was retaliation for blowing the whistle on poor pain control for terminally ill patients and for challenging the Medicaid payment system which overpays for hospitalization and underpays for outpatient care, including home hospice care.
Grand Bargains grew out of the financial system meltdown and its relationship to health. It focuses on the interrelationships between health care reform, economic security, and environmental sustainability. Optimum health requires an integrated solution to fixing all three.
In-between writing books, I have researched and reviewed the evidence-basis (or lack of it) of high-tech expensive treatments of medical illnesses. My study of the nutritional and lifestyle statistical database of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial and databases from the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization has led to an interactive Health Enhancement App. This app allows you to input your dietary intake, your exercise level, your use of tobacco, and current body mass index (BMI) to receive predictions of your future BMI and risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Cronometer, a nutrition app, also uses my statistical method of predicting future BMI.
My study of medicine and experiences over 30 years with patient care has affected my own lifestyle practices. I eat a vegan diet, bike about 50 miles per week, and meditate for 30 minutes daily. To reduce my carbon footprint to below the world average carbon footprint, I
• sold my car in 1994 and never bought another one,
• grow some of my food in a community garden plot,
• shop for organic food at farmers’ markets,
• use a parabolic solar cooker when possible, and
• dry laundry with my solar dryer,