From the category archives:


The Holiday’s often add stress.

Stress is part of life, but how we deal with it varies wildly. Some of us meditate. Some of us drink – or jog, or work harder, or eat junk food. Some of us take our stress out on our families or co-workers.

Since stress is always going to be part of our lives, we all need to find our own best tools for dealing with it.

Some have found healthy techniques: like going to the gym, talking with friends, doing yoga or meditation – or avoiding stressful situations. Some go fly fishing, or play basketball, or take long walks.

Relying heavily on alcohol, junk food, or medications is not a good long term strategy for success. Look in the mirror, and ask yourself this question: “Am I dealing with my stress in a healthy and sustainable way?” If not, then it’s time for a change. It might not be an easy topic to bring up with your doctor, but do it anyway. Remember, life is much too important to be taken too seriously.

This is the Doctor with your Stress Management Report.


For the next minute I want you to stop slumping, slouching, sprawling, drooping, leaning, flopping, hanging, and hunching.It turns out that our moms were right when they told us to stand up straight, or to sit up like proper civilized beings.

We thought they were just picking on us, but in fact good posture has an impact on our overall health. It affects our joints, spines, muscles, and the way our systems work together.

Just think for a moment how you feel if you’ve been slouching on a couch all evening, or typing all day in the wrong chair.

Good posture isn’t hard to achieve. Our bodies aren’t really straight. There are natural curves at the neck, the upper back and lower back. Good posture is simply arranging yourself so that you maintain those natural curves, whether standing or sitting. Just be conscious of your body, and listen to Mom.

And for goodness sake take off your hat at the dinner table.


health-careQ: I recently lost my health insurance benefits and now have to buy my own coverage. I can barely afford even the cheapest policy out there.

Any ideas?

A: Okay, first of all, this website is “Your ER Doc” not “Your Insurance Agent,” and certainly not “Your Congressman” but I’ll take a stab at it. You have to have insurance in case something catastrophic happens, so I favor a relatively inexpensive PPO plan with a very high deductible. This will deal with large bills that could result from hospitalizations, surgeries, etc. Under ordinary circumstances however, most healthy people will not get close to their deductible. This means that you now have to avoid getting sick or hurt as much as possible to save costs. It is absolutely imperative that you take full responsibility for your health. First read my top 10 list, “How to Stay out of the ER,” and also follow the following rules below.
Here’s how many cigarettes you can smoke per day: 0.
Here’s how many alcoholic beverages you can have per day: 1.
Here’s your new diet plan (which by the way I completely stole): Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
Here’s your list of high impact sports you can participate in: Chess.
Here’s how much faster than the speed limit you may drive: 0.
Here’s how much exercise you need: 30 minutes aerobic every other day.

I’m sorry this is restrictive my friend, but at least it’s cheap.


bike-in-trash-canIf you have been cycling a lot, and notice that your penis has been going completely numb, here is my medical recommendation:  Throw your bicycle into a dumpster.


I admit I’m not a huge fan of elective cosmetic surgery when patients say “I’m just having a little work done.” I know we’re in a youth obsessed culture and normal aging is considered the enemy, but I think the cost and risk of surgery is too much for many situations.

Quite a few years back, a male patient presented to an ER in very serious condition after an elective face lift. He had developed post-operative swelling and it became so severe, that it occluded his airway. He ended up starved of oxygen and suffered permanent, disabling brain damage as a result. I know that cosmetic surgical procedures are improved, and safer now, but you really need to be sure that even a small risk is justified.

I have recently learned of a new facelift procedure known as “Energy facelift” which is apparently less invasive. It can be performed under local anesthesia, and the surgeon uses a laser to “shrink tissue.” This does sound better than the complete facelift, but I’ve got a better idea–Let’s all reset our beauty standards. Here’s what we do: First, throw out all your fashion magazines and clothing catalogues. Next, get a coffee table book of famous circus freaks. You might also consider an atlas of bad skin diseases. Finally, don’t watch any TV shows that feature attractive people. Andy Rooney is fine, and you may safely watch Larry King. Just make sure he’s not interviewing Cameron Diaz or Brad Pitt.

After a few weeks of this, I guarantee we will all feel very attractive, and isn’t that the whole point after all?