Now I know we love our bacon, but to many this may seem a bit ‘out of this world’.  Knee jerk resistance aside,  it has been known for some time that organs from other animals can supplement the human supply of transplantable organs that are in short supply, but differences in biology are less the issue than differences in the immune system of pigs and humans, which would cause rejection
A breed of new pigs has been developed that lacks the antigens that would prevent organ rejection, using the new CRISPR technology.  Read more about CRISPR and how it will revolutionize the next steps in organ transplantation, as well as a myriad of other aspects of medical care.  Below is what I said in our Fall 2015 newsletter:

“Biology continues to demonstrate evolutionary progress with impressive results accruing in incremental steps, but there are also revolutionary changes taking place, and these are going to have world-changing impact.  I want to be the first to tell you about CRISPR … of the revolutionary techniques about to transform biology and the treatment of human disease.

CRISPR is a shorthand term describing a newly discovered method of gene editing, the ability to alter the genetic code so easily that it can be used by an advanced high school student to create new genes in living organisms.  CRISPR is a technique so revolutionary it has allowed the most highly skilled researchers at Harvard Medical School to edit 60 genes at one time in pigs, clearing out genetic impediments to organ transplant & paving that way for pigs to grown organs that can be readily transplanted into human beings without causing rejection.
Any genetic transformation that you can think of can be done with relative ease, using CRISPR.   And the possibilities of ‘dialing in’ the genes that you want, or the ones you want to remove, holds great promise, but also ethical concerns about the power to create new life forms more easily than ever before.  ”



Remaining independent is everyone’s desire, but sometimes we are on the edge of being able to manage.  Having a system for monitoring a loved one at home is critical to making sure they are safe, is there are questions of potentials falls or unexpected health issues.

For this reason, we recommend home monitoring devices that can notify family or caregivers that someone has fallen or is in need of assistance.

The following companies offer monthly services that can provide the reassurance:

Look at these websites:






I love a bargain, and when it comes to prescription medications I hate seeing all of the rip offs they go on.   There is a conspiracy to prevent patients from getting accurate information on the cash price of medications, but I just found a good place to get a rough idea of the cost of medications, and that is on a website the provides prescription drug prices for Canadian pharmacies.

Look for your preferred medication on

There you can find out what the cash cost is of many medication, both brand and generic, to have an idea of the general cost you should pay at a discount pharmacy like Costco or Wal-Mart.   With this information you can be better informed about what to expect a medication should cost.   You can also consider buying your medications at these pharmacies, which have been approved by the staff at



Being called a Quack is one of the worst things you can say about a physician, and although I’ve never been called one (that I know of!), I’ve certainly followed some of the scientific fashions-of-the-day and treated patients with medications we subsequently determined were unhelpful if not downright dangerous.

But that is child’s play compared to a whole host of nostrums, treatments, and theories that have been perpetrated over the years on unwitting patients, and in the new book

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything

you will read the fascinating history of mercury, arsenic, cocaine, heroin, and rectal smoke…to name but a few treatments that have come and gone over the years, or if they remain, were misused and misunderstood.

As always, this type of history provides a great perspective on the present.  What is fashion and what is science?  It can be hard to tell, but we have to remain vigilant and skeptical.  As Don Coffey, my great professor said, “The mind is like a parachute….it only works when it’s open.”


No….a Veloped is not a dinosaur, but rather a hard-scrabble walker for the most active seniors.   Trionic carries the most comprehensive catalogue of walkers and assistive devices for people with limited mobility.

Not only are these walkers and rollators sharp looking, they are designed to be functional and tough.

Take a look at their extensive offerings.   Today’s engineers are making a different in people’s lives and here is a good resource for those in need


Would you like some insights into how to manage your low back pain with home exercise and stretching?  Check out this special even on the Radio with John Blilie, a personal health coach and activity/exercise trainer.  Listen to John and others as they have a discussion about low back pain .  You’ll find some helpful insights…and this ia all based on the radio hour they performed this past December 13th (see below)

Listen >>>>>HERE<<<<<


On Wednesday December 13th 

There is a great opportunity for you as JCC members to talk live with three specialists on lower back health.

The specialists are:

Dr David Spierer, specializing in exercise science;

John R. Blilie MS, corrective exercise specialist/ at the JCC;

Katie Berens, ATC, an athletic trainer, working for your healthy life in motion in an industrial setting, teaching workers how to avoid back injuries.

This is a great opportunity to CALL in, talk with someone who understands your commitment to  your Low Back Heath , with real solutions.

Please take the half hour time out of your busy day and  give them a call.

When? This Wednesday December 13th at 3-4pm

Where to call? 602/277/5369 on 1100 radio AM 

And see what they can share with you, for your future low back success.

Thank you.

 Comments on your experience can be sent to or



There is also a link for those who wish to listen on their computer. It is:


When patients seek my care for their health conditions, are often explain to them what I offer as their Internist.

I am a Hopkins-trained medical scientist…..that is my stock in trade.   My validation is based on a host of definitive facts and innovations that include:  organ transplant (liver, kidney, lung, heart) , anesthesia (general and local), antibiotics (penicillin, sulfa, etc…) , development of hormone therapies (thyroid, cortisol, etc….) , curing of specific cancers including (specific leukemias and lymphomas among others), resolution or curing of infections (HIV and Hepatitis C), acute heart care (stents, balloon angioplasty, valve replacement) ….the list is long

When patients are interested in alternative modes of medicine, I tell them they are welcome to try such, but this is not in my wheelhouse.  I find the treatments quaint and ineffective for the most part, but I’m not ‘against’ trying approaches that are not validated, so long as one does not forgo effective traditional treatments and so long as the treatment is not harmful or immensely costly.

This hilarious video from England demonstrates what the world might be like without effective medical science….I think we can all laugh at that.   See it  >>>>HERE<<<<


PPI medications are among the most commonly prescribed in the world, and have virtually banished ulcer disease to the dustbin of history.   Prilosec and Nexium are the ones you know best, but there are many other brands.

Recently, I have defended PPI medication long-term use against a barrage of negative press suggesting a whole host of side-effects that would descend on those who chose to continue on these medications for long-term acid suppression.

Fortunately, there are some studies being done to investigate this issue further and a recent well-done trial from Finland shows the safety of PPI medications and the lack of connection between PPI’s and dementia.

This is not the last word on the topic, but we shall take a more level-headed approach to the issue and try to maintain a semblance of balance and calm in the face of ‘sexy’ topics and criticisms.

Read more >>>>HERE<<<<


A patient writes:

My friend told me he had a TIA in his left eye, something I had not heard of.   Can you tell me more?

My response:

A TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) is a brief episode of blood loss to an area of the central nervous system, which results in transient symptoms that then resolve to baseline without injury.  This is opposed to a stroke which leaves damaged nerves and results in residual symptoms.

A TIA in the central retinal artery that supplies blood to the retina (nerve of the eye) will result in transient loss of vision in the affected eye.  Termed Amaurosis Fugax (latin translation ‘darkness fleeting’), the patient experiences complete loss of vision in the eye that is perceived  as a shade being pulled down, but symptoms can vary with a grayness or blackness that lasts for several seconds to minutes.  It resolves completely with normal vision restored.

Amaurosis is a serious condition in that it indicates the potential for future TIA events or even strokes, so an evaluation is essential to determine the cause of the event and to institute preventive measures.

If you have loss of vision in an eye, even if transient, it is an urgent issue that requires attention.  Never ignore such symptoms.   Immediately check each eye by covering the other eye and checking your vision.  Determining if the vision loss is in one eye or is affecting both eyes in the same visual field is an important distinction, so doing this test yourself at the time of symptoms is a key element in diagnosis.   Check out your vision this way and you will help in determining the diagnosis and the proper evaluation to be done.