Posts in Category: pseudomedicine

review of Dr. Hashmi, DuPage Medical Group, Illinois (i.e. healthcare experience in the god damn USA)

This is the healthcare experience in the god damn USA, working for a fortune 50 company…

Wastin’ yer resources…

Note: I’m kind of out of it in this video. Where I said “a note to see a doctor” I meant to say “a note from the doctor excusing me from work.”

Note also: Being able to call and get an appointment with a different doctor is not something you can normally do in an HMO, but in this case I am exploiting a loophole: My regular primary care doctor is on vacation, so in that case, I’m allowed to make appointments with different doctors who happen to have openings in their schedules.

My story of going to see two different doctors on the same day, wasting time, money, resources, and energy, just to be excused from going to work sick. copay: $20 x 2 = $40. Gas – ~ quarter tank = $40 wasted medical billing of my insurance company =?? $150? $200? Who knows. At the end of the day, we’re all paying for this shit. The American insurance industry runs a far more lucrative racket than the mafia, and kills many more people in the process. Living (and dying) in the USA.

medical waste
medical bureaucracy
patient care
American health care
health insurance sucks
Health Care (Industry)
patient interface

Bruce Lipton – The Biology of Perception

It was suggested to me that I should check out “The Biology of Perception” by Bruce Lipton, so I did…

A few seconds into “The Biology of Perception” I got a bad vibe, so I looked up Lipton via my trusted sources such as, and they tell me that he’s a complete fraud. I agree.

If you go to his web site on the front page he has embedded this youtube video:!

In this video he skims over the mechanism via which perception controls cells, and as he explains this mechanism, it just, doesn’t make any sense at all, although it is convenient to have a succinct summary video so I don’t have to trudge through the two and a half hours of ‘biology of perception.’ The reasoning he uses, the deductive logic that he uses, none of it holds any water at all. He’s got cells in different dishes that are turning into different kinds of cells, which uh, you know, isn’t extraordinary at all, but somehow this leads to revolutionary and powerful insight. Okay, let’s hear some details about what’s so special about these cells in this dish, but I’m guessing that it never actually gets any more detailed than this.

“As you change your mind, as you change your belief, you change your biology.”

Obviously, this is true, to a point. There’s all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff that goes on with cellular biology and genetics and , and obviously we don’t understand it all. The language which we use to express ideas should accurately reflect what we do and don’t understand. Not what we fantasize to be true. That’s the difference between a fraud, and a scientist. A fraud speaks in vague language that promises you the moon, a fraud takes true statements out context and turns them into lies, and that’s what Lipton does. This is horrendously dangerous and is a disservice to humanity, because it teaches people a language of reasoning that is completely devoid of skepticism.

If Bruce Lipton sold electric batteries to consumers, he would be the Energizer Bunny. I think that consumers understand, when they see the Energizer Bunny, that this Bunny is a metaphor. Consumers understand that the Energizer battery doesn’t literally last forever, it does have limits. I’m not so sure that consumers can sort metaphor from scientific reality in Lipton’s song and dance, especially considering that there apparently is no scientific reality in his work to start with. And that’s fine. I’ve got nothing against feel-good religions. Meditation? I’m all for it. Mind-body connection. Groovy dude. Can it cure cancer? Most of the time probably not, but in just the right conditions, maybe. If I had cancer, I would sure give it a try. Can it prevent cancer in the first place? Now that’s more likely.

But keep science out of it. Science is a set of methods and reasoning and deduction and science is pretty damn useful, within certain limits. When you go ahead and you hijack science, as Lipton does, in order to prove scientifically that your religion is true and valid, well, you know, that creates a problem, because to accomplish this, you have to break science in the process, so then we’ve got this lump of science sitting on the table, this mangled mess of science, and it’s broken, smoke coming off of it, funny smell, and the next time we use it to solve something like global warming or curing cancer or finding better fuel efficiency or whatever, we can’t, because you broke it, and so now we’ve got to send it in to get it fixed, and we’ve got to pay shipping, and wait 6 weeks while it gets fixed, and it never quite works the same afterwards.

If one day, we get science to the point where science can figure out just under exactly what conditions meditation can cure cancer, and exactly how it happens, or exactly the different ways in which one’s state of mind impacts one’s epigenome, and how we can and can’t control that, well then, don’t worry Bruce, we will give you a phone call, and at that point, you can start to call your religion science, at least part of it, but until that point, please, leave science alone. I know you think you’re trying to advance science, but you’re not. instead, you’re retarding science, profoundly.

I’m shamelessly cribbing from Asimov’s introduction to Randi’s book _Flim Flam_ when I say this, but when we have people like Lipton who come on the scene and tell the general public that there is no limit to the POWER of some pseudo-scientifc phenomenon, then it just, it just makes it that much more difficult for the public to differentiate fact from fiction, it makes it that much more difficult for the public to correlate cause and effect, it makes it that much more difficult for the public to take reality seriously. And, we’ve got some very serious issues to contend with in reality, and the added complacency that someone like Lipton adds to the mix, with his promises of easy power and new science, might be just the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It’s hard enough for good public policy to get the funding and attention it needs, without people being led to believe that if push comes to shove we can all just solve problems with a little meditation.

I mean, why should I worry if the tobacco companies are selling cancer-causing chemicals, when according to Bruce Lipton, cancer might just only be a question of one’s state of mind anyway. You see what I’m saying. By promising power without limit, or at least promising power with substantially less limit than we know today, which is what Lipton is promising, then you know, he makes it that much more difficult for people to take the limits of reality seriously… You know, those limits of reality that are going to cause a few billion people to die because as a global society we have ignored those limits for so long and it’s only a matter of a few short years before our global systems collapse into a heap.

Unfortunately, Bruce Lipton is benefiting from the timeless truth that the most effective lies are those which have some truth at their core.

DuPage Medical Group MyChart kind of sucks

RE: mychart kind of sucks
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Patient Customer Service Request Message List

Elliot R Smith

1/9/2013  3:03 AM CST


Thanks for the reply… Ummm… your reply was not helpful? In your reply you suggested:

“If you are looking for a quicker response you may click the ‘Send a message to your doctor’s office’ link on the home page. The message will be routed through the clinical staff to get a timely and accurate response regarding your patient information.

Hello? That’s what I did! It didn’t work! That’s what I stated in my e-mail to you! I e-mailed you to complain that it didn’t work! Hello? Yes my message was routed through to the clinical staff. No I did not get a timely response. Yes, I did eventually get a response.. No, the response I got was not accurate. To be accurate, they would have had to respond to the request in my initial inquiry. They did not do this in their response. You see, my inquiry had a question, and their response did not have an answer to that question. By the time I finally got the response, it was moot, since by then, I had long since given up on this silly mychart thing and I had called them over the phone and taken care of it that way.

So, to summarize. My complaint is: Mychart sucks, it’s broken. And to summarize further, your response to my complaint was: not helpful, and showed that you really don’t understand my complaint and/or you don’t take it seriously.

Okay then. Sorry to be a jerk about this, but I pay for this insane inept bureaucracy, and I’d like for it to work better than it does. I think there’s a limit to just how cordial of a response you can expect from your customers when they have this experience that their time and money is being wasted like this.

Let me use an analogy to help illustrate this… if you took your car to the shop to get it serviced, and then you sent an e-mail via the shop’s web site to the shop with a question or concern or some instructions… and the shop’s web site specifically promised a response within 72 hours… and then you didn’t get a response to your e-mail until a week later, and the response didn’t even address or acknowledge the concern or question or instruction that was in your original e-mail… that would be a little frustrating maybe.

It’s absolutely no different if you drop off your car, and they handed you a business card, and you get home, and you call the number on the business card, and it’s disconnected! So you have to go all the way back to the shop, and you talk to the customer service person there (that’s you!) and you complain that you tried to call the number, and it was disconnected, and so she does pretty much exactly what you did in your response, which is that she responds by handing you an identical business card, and she says exactly what you said ‘for a fast and accurate result, next time call the number on this business card.’ And so the customer would be like… what? Are you high? I just explained to you… that number doesn’t work! It’s disconnected!

But oh well, at the end of the day it’s just a car and customers can take their business elsewhere if they don’t like the service.

But see, you’re not providing vehicle repair service here, are you?. You’re providing health care. The service you provide impacts the health and lives of people more than any other service. What you’re doing is kind of important. And many people can’t just change to a different service provider because of all the bureaucracy and HMO rules… And even if they do, are they going to get any better service at the next provider? Or is this about as good as it gets in American health care? You need to do better. You need to get it right. The first time. Every time.

your customer,
-Elliot Smith

—– Message —–
From: Vicki J
Sent: 1/4/2013 3:07 PM CST
To: Elliot R Smith
Subject: RE: mychart kind of sucks

Hello Elliot,

Effective November, 2012, most test results are automatically released to MyChart within 3-7 days of receipt. The reason for the delay is to allow the provider time to review the results and speak with the patient before the release, if needed. If your results have not been released to your MyChart within 7 days of your test, or if you have unreleased tests from prior to November 2012, you will need to contact the physicians office to inquire about it. They will be able to let you know the status and also answer any questions you may have, and, in most cases, can release the results.

If you are looking for a quicker response you may click the ‘Send a message to your doctor’s office’ link on the home page. The message will be routed through the clinical staff to get a timely and accurate response regarding your patient information.

Thank You,
MyChart Customer Service

—– Message —–
Sent: 1/4/2013 2:44 PM CST
To: Patient Customer Service Request Mailing List
Subject: mychart kind of sucks

Topic: Compliment

uhh… I sent an e-mail.. and haven’t gotten a response yet 4 and a half days later… granted some of those days were holidays, but still…

I called the nurse on the phone, and to my surprise she had results that aren’t in mychart yet…

So why would I use mychart? Unless I don’t want to get information and I don’t want a response to my inquiries… then I guess I would use mychart. But that’s usually not what patients wants. Usually they want information. And usually they want a response when they send in an inquiry. It’s too bad that mychart doesn’t provide this… because if it did, we could all save the time and hassle and confusion and frustration and cost… the COST… of playing phone tag with each other and trying to communicate over the phone when communicating over the phone tends to be difficult and inefficient… I mean… I dunno what mychart costs you… I’m sure it has to cost some amount of money to have this system… so… I’m sure it costs you money…. but does it save you any money? No.. It would save you money and it would save me money if it would allow me to communicate with my doctor’s office without having to bother them over the phone… It would save us money if I could get test results over mychart in a timely fashion. But it doesn’t do any of this. So, it costs you money, and ultimately it costs your patients money since you get your money from your patients, and it costs you goodwill because it doesn’t work how it’s supposed to work… It’s a nice idea, but if this is as good as you can get it to work, you should probably not have it. Just a thought. Just thought I’d give you some feedback. Who knows, probably no one will even get this message.


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