Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Doctors in Haiti / Tribute to Michel

I still think about Eduardo, a ten year old boy who I met in Mexico. He was malnourished and walking the steets barefoot looking for food in trash cans. You can read about it in your local paper and see it on TV but unless you experience it first hand, you will never know the meaning of "third world". I have been given the rare gift of knowing how bad it can be and how easy it is for one person to make a difference. Occasionally when one of my patients complains about having to wait an extra day to get an MRI, I think about the poverty stricken clinics where boys like Eduardo had no food or medicine. The sight of todlers begging in the streets make our NYC homeless seems lucky by comparison.

Haitian born Michel Dodard M.D. was my friend and mentor when I was a resident in training. He went on to become chairman of Family Practice at the University of Miami and started clinics in Haiti. Every year he would lead a group of medical students and residents to Haiti so they could receive the gift that I received. He is probabaly in his clinic now trying to make the most of an impossible stuation. My thoughts are prayers are with Michel and doctor all over the world who risk their lives to help those less fortunate.

Video about doctors without borders

How to donate to Doctors Without Borders

American Red Cross set up a donation system where users can text "Haiti to 90999" to make a $10 donation.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Welcome to Medicare Visit

Did you know you may be entitled to a comprehensive preventative health visit under Medicare. To qualify you must have the visit within 12 months of medicare enrollment. Best of all, there is no deductible. You may be responsible for the standard visit copay.

The visit will include review of medical conditions, screening questions related to safety and depression, end of life care discussion and recommendations for screening test including an EKG. There may also be recommendations for bone density, gyn consult, mammogram and screening for aortic aneurysm and colon cancer.

If you want to take advantage of this service, make sure you tell your provider that you want a "Welcome to Medicare Visit" when you make an appointment. Make sure you bring a list of your medication and vaccination history.

Check the Medicare Website for more information