Fox News / Dr. Damon Raskin Can anyone help Amanda Bynes? Bizarre behavior gets even more bizarre April 10, 2013

Can anyone help Amanda Bynes? Bizarre behavior gets even more bizarre

Things are not looking that great for Amanda Bynes.

The actress was recently escorted from a gymnastics class in New York City because staffers were afraid she may harm herself or others, The Post reports.

Bynes apparently broke down crying after she did a cartwheel and her wig fell off. This after wandering around the mats, mumbling to herself. All while wearing fishnets and what The Post described as some kind of lingerie leotard.

During the past month, the “Hairspray” star has posted multiple pictures of herself in everything from blonde wigs to blue lipstick, and made a barrage of perplexing comments via Twitter such as “I want Drake to murder my vagina” and “it doesn’t matter what you think about yourself. All that matters is what your lover thinks of you.”

Last year, Bynes was booted from a spinning class at swanky West Hollywood gym Equinox for her questionable behavior, which involved wandering around the room taking off her top and applying makeup in the middle of the class.

She denied being plagued by personal problems and later insisted that she was “doing amazing.”

Others are not so sure.

“We see a cascade of distressing behaviors. I doubt she feels in control of all this. The question then is what’s happening below the surface,” said mental illness specialist Dr. John Sharp, who does not treat Bynes.



Read More
Monsters & Critics / Dr. Akash Biaja, Jill Miller High Heel Hell: Experts talk prevention and cure for the deformed foot April 3, 2013

High Heel Hell: Experts talk prevention and cure for the deformed foot

For centuries, the Stiletto was the favored weapon of assassins wanting to dispatch enemies quickly with a mere thrust to the heart.

Today, women are inflicting almost equally painful damage to their feet, calves and back with “mile-high” stiletto heels.

Just ask actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who became the poster girl for Manolo Blahniks during her successful 6-year run on “Sex and the City.”

It was previously reported that after years of wearing very high heels every day, her feet are permanently damaged. She regrets the harm done to her feet, but admits she saw it coming.

Pain management physician Akash Bajaj, M.D., knows a thing or two about the damage done by stilettos. He treats women every day who struggle with the pain caused by Christian Louboutins and similar weapons of fashion. And over the last few years, he’s seen the problem grow worse in proportion to the ever elevating heels of women’s fashionable shoes.


Read More
Monsters and Critics / Dr. Damon Raskin Not your mama’s MRSA: Why the new ‘superbug’ should freak you out a little March 12, 2013

March 12, 2013

Not your mama’s MRSA: Why the new ‘superbug’ should freak you out a little

Just like in those 1950′s horror classics, The superbug has returned with a vengeance!

But in the real world, the superbug is a real bacteria called C.R.E. (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) and is among the world-wide “superbugs” that are resistant to almost all antibiotics, have high mortality rates, and can spread their resistance to other bacteria.

This threat is not limited to the USA. The UK is on high alert as well. Two months ago Dame Davies warned British legislators that antibiotic resistance should be added to the UK’s national risk register. The register was set up in 2008 to advise the public and businesses on national emergencies that the UK could face in the next five years.

As bacterial infections evolve into ‘superbugs’ like MRSA, which are resistant to existing drugs, more must be done discover new antibiotics. Only a few antibiotics have been discovered in the last few decades.

“Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don’t act now any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics, And routine operations like hip replacements or organ transplants could be deadly because of the risk of infection,” Davies told UK reporters as she published her report on infectious disease.

These superbugs cause infections of the bloodstream, urinary tract, and bowel. Particularly vulnerable are those who are already hospitalized, as well as the elderly. No surprisingly, the superbugs are the biggest threat to patient safety in the hospital and nothing seems to be slowing their spread.

Pacific Palisades internist, Dr. Damon Raskin, a specialist in geriatric medicine speaks to the ways we contract these hard-to-kill bugs, along with causes and preparedness we need to take.

In treating his older patients, Dr. Raskin, thinks about this danger daily.  “I see many elderly patients succumb to infections, and we need to do more to protect the frail and elderly, especially in light of these newer resistant bugs. One thing we can all do is wash our hands more frequently. Although an easy measure, it is often forgotten and can make a big difference in whether an infection is passed on or not. Also, if you have a family member in a nursing home or assisted living, check to see that they are highly rated by Medicare. Facilities receive regular inspections on items such as cleanliness and hygiene and these can be important markers for the quality of the facility. If at all possible, try to get a private room for your loved one to reduce chances of sharing germs.”

Dr. Raskin adds, “Also patients need to be proactive about not always requesting antibiotics from doctors for their minor colds and sore throats. Fewer antibiotics around will help resistance trends. Finally, if you are going to have an elective procedure in the hospital, try to schedule it for the summer after flu season. This might help reduce hospital infections.”

Original Article

Dr. Damon Raskin

Read More
Daily Inter Lake / SignatureMD New model for medicine Physician happy with concierge practice after four years February 18, 2013

February 18, 2013

New model for medicine Physician happy with concierge practice after four years

Dr. Doug Pitman takes calls from patients anytime and doesn’t mind consulting while on skis at Whitefish Mountain Resort. He even stops by their homes for consultations.

“I’m on call all the time,” he said. “When you know your patients as well as I know my group, you can really do a lot on the cellphone. But then again, I can see them instantly or later that day if I’m up skiing.”

After four years as a concierge physician at Whitefish Personalized Health Care, Pitman couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the risk he took after more than 30 years as a traditional family physician in Columbia Falls.

“In my mind, the concierge model is the biggest thing that’s happened to family doctors since we developed residency programs in the 1970s,” Pitman said.

Concierge doctors limit their patient base to provide personalized service and almost limitless availability to patients who pay an annual retainer.

Pitman works with a company called Signature MD to operate his practice and also now serves as the company’s acting medical director.

In that role, he serves as an information source to doctors considering concierge medicine and makes educational videos for patients and doctors for Signature MD’s

“They are the second biggest company that converts family practice and general internal medicine practices to the concierge model,” he said.

Pitman, 66, calls his concierge practice an anomaly because he works just 16 hours a week with a practice of about 100 patients. A full-time concierge physician typically maintains a patient base of 300 to 600 patients.

When he looked into the concierge model, Pitman wanted a way to continue practicing but on a smaller scale with a focus on wellness.

“I was burned out on traditional family practice as its evolved into running the numbers so you can keep your doors open,” he said. “Once I turned 62, I was free of debt and I could take a risk.”

He worked with Signature MD CEO Matt Jacobson to come up with what he calls a hybridized concierge practice where he could work part time with half-time malpractice insurance. Pitman said Signature MD’s research department performs thorough demographic studies of an area before working with a doctor to convert to the concierge model.

“Matt flew up and we did a week of basically recruiting patients,” he said.

The two came up with three different payment systems. His yearly retainer is $1,900 per patient with discounts for couples, half-time residents and a scholarship rate of $1,100.

His patients pay a retainer to Signature MD, which takes a percentage, then sends the rest to Pitman in quarterly payments. He maintains an office in the 1993 building in Whitefish but operates without employees or a billing service.

Pitman said the retainer pays for his availability and covers his overhead and salary.

“That frees me up to spend more time with patients and provide a much higher quality of care,” he said. “The last four years, I’ve gotten back to the basics of prevention and wellness.”

According to Pitman, his patients reap the benefit with his focus on their blood pressure, cholesterol levels and screenings by lowering their risk of heart disease, stroke and cancers of the breast, prostate and colon. He also makes certain they have their immunizations and see a dentist, dermatologist, ophthamologist and gynecologist, if appropriate, once a year.

“I don’t do any chronic pain management which is a big problem in family medicine,” he said. “There are chronic pain clinics. I don’t do any of that.”

His services include taking a medical history and a yearly executive physical examination. Pitman provides same-day appointments and said his contacts from 30 years practicing here get patients into specialists quickly.

If necessary, he makes house calls using his father’s old black bag from the 1950s.

“My dad was a doctor in New York on Long Island for about 35 years,” he said. “I think it was $3 for an office call, $5 for a house call and his records were all on 3X5 cards.”

Pitman’s annual executive physicals take two hours, include an hour follow-up visit and lab tests. He said Signature MD contracts with some state-of-the-art labs to assess cardiac and diabetes risk.

“The testing is sophisticated and it’s not unlike going to Mayo or Scripps and getting a very thorough examination each year,” Pitman said. “My patients look forward to it each year. They are very compliant, very interested in their own health. They have a lot to live for.”

Since becoming a concierge physician, Pitman said his biggest surprise was that patients want to talk and that getting to know patients pays off in better care. Sometimes the thing that concerns the patient the most comes out in the last 15 minutes of a two-hour exam.

“Nothing falls through the cracks because it is all about the time you spend with people,” he said. “The more time you spend with people, the more time you spend thinking about them and dictating a thoughtful physical.”

One patient, Benny Bee, the owner of six local radio stations, credits Pitman with saving his life. Bee became interested in the concierge system when he turned 65 and decided he needed regular “tune ups.”

He said he had known Pitman for years when he signed up as a concierge patient after reading his brochure. Bee liked the idea of not having to wait for two weeks to see a physician when he gets sick.

“Nowadays, it’s hard to get in to see a doctor if you’re in a hurry,” he said. “With concierge, I call to make an appointment and he says, ‘Just come on down’ or ‘I’m in your neighborhood so I’ll just stop by your house.’”

After signing up, Bee provided Pitman with the results of an executive physical he had received at the Mayo Clinic two years earlier. When he came in for the physical with Pitman, he said he was in the best shape of his life.

“I was down 20 pounds and had been exercising,” he said. “My blood work was great.”

Pitman recalled that he spent an hour going over Bee’s Mayo physical. It mentioned a test he should have had in the next three to six months but no one followed up to make sure he had it.

“I put him on my bicycle to do his wellness exam to write a prescription,” Pitman said.

He detected a problem and insisted that Bee go in for a treadmill test the next day for a heart evaluation. Three weeks later, he had triple bypass surgery to repair a main artery that was completely clogged and two others that were 70 percent clogged.

Now 68, Bee describes himself as 100 percent healthy. He remains completely sold on the personal relationship and quick access offered by concierge medicine.

He made a promotional video with Pitman and constantly recommends this model of medicine.

“If it wasn’t for me switching over to the concierge system, I probably wouldn’t be alive today,” Bee said. “Believe me it’s worth it. It pays.”

People interested in more information may visit the website


Original Article

Read More