Would you be happy to get medical advice from a Physician associate as opposed to a fully trained Doctor?

Would you be happy to get medical advice from a Physician associate as opposed to a fully trained Doctor?

Would you be happy to get medical advice from a Physician associate as opposed to a fully trained Doctor?

In an idle moment this morning I found myself skimming through the BBC News’s website’s section on health. The BBC it seems have closed down is more generic health section. Does anyone know why?

Anyhow my beady eyes spotted the following article entitled “NHS plans rapid expansion of ‘doctor’s assistant’ jobs”. Now my first reaction was – “How many job titles does a healthcare system need?” as ‘doctor’s assistant’ is a new one for me.

In fact it turns out that the name ‘doctor’s assistant’ may come as a surprise to the NHS as well because they call it on their website “Physician associate”. They also mention it was previously called physician assistants.

Now in that context I have heard of them but don’t live in an area where they operate so have never spotted one in the flesh. According to the NHS Career’s website “Physician associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. They are trained to perform a number of roles including:

taking medical histories
performing examinations
diagnosing illnesses
analysing test results
developing management plans.
They work under the direct supervision of a doctor.”

Furthermore they are normally science graduates and them undergo two years training.

My initial thought was that this job function may well prove to be a “good thing” given the long waiting times to actually see a doctor. But on further reflection it occurred to me that the job could be seem as have trained doctors on the cheap.

As I say I’m in two minds so I thought I would through the discussion over to our readers. My question is simple (perhaps too simple). Would you be happy to get medical advice from a Physician associate as opposed to a fully trained Doctor?

I’ve set up up a poll below for you to share you view. But please do feel free to add any thing else to the comments section below on the subject of this any any other healthcare reform!

Addison’s Disease and Adrenal Insufficiency Awareness – Help us raise awareness of Addison’s Disease and Adrenal Insufficiency by sharing Donnee Spencer’s brilliant awareness butterfly!

Over the last few months we have been sharing Donnee Spencer’s brilliant healthcare awareness raising images. It would be brilliant if you would consider liking her page on Facebook.

Today we would like to showcase her Addison’s Disease and Adrenal Insufficiency Awareness butterfly. You can find out about other people’s experiences with the condition here.

Please feel free to like and share this image a widely as possible.

Many thanks in advance!

Adrenal Insufficiency - Addison's Disease Awareness

Adrenal Insufficiency – Addison’s Disease Awareness

Healthcare Heroes Pt 1 – Are EMS dispatchers or ambulance call center operators underappreciated?

Calling 911

Calling 911

For a few months now I have been planning a series of post called “Healthcare Heroes”. My aim is to highlight people who are vital in the whole medical process but seem (to me at least) to not get the credit they deserve.

This series hopes to rectify that error and pay tribute to these unsung groups.

The first one has been on my mind for sometime now but it was reading this article that made it come to the fore. The article by Robert Evans and Jeff Hewitt is entitled “5 Terrible Things I Learned Working as a 911 Dispatcher” and you can read it here. So today I’d like to pay tribute to all those 911 dispatchers, ambulance call center operators, emergency service operators or EMS dispatchers. Different countries call these heroes and heroines different things!

Between you and me the article title is a bit sensationalist but the content is well worth reading as it is an interesting

EMS Dispatcher

EMS Dispatcher

take from an American perspective.

So what is it that these call handlers actually do? Wikipedia puts it rather well. “Dispatchers are communications personnel responsible for receiving and transmitting pure and reliable messages, tracking vehicles and equipment, and recording other important information. A number of organizations, including police and fire departments, emergency medical services, taxicab providers, trucking companies, railroads, and public utility companies, use dispatchers to relay information and coordinate their operations. Essentially, the dispatcher is the “conductor” of the force, and is responsible for the direction of all units within it”

So my question to you is “Are EMS dispatchers or ambulance call center operators underappreciated?”

I thought we could run a small poll to see what you think!

Finally it would be great if you could use the comment boxes below to share your experiences of calling emergency services. Good or bad! If you are yourself a dispatcher it would be great to hear from you as well. If you could share how you become a dispatcher that would be great.

Many thanks in advance!

Please note The EMS dispatcher is from
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

and the 911 image is from
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

” Cam Finds his Voice” – Watch this inspiring documentary about a blind boy whose music career is taking off.

Cam Dawson

Cam Dawson

Things will always change really and one of the biggest things that can change in your life is yourself.


In 2013 Cam Dawson left his home for a new life in Auckland… a terrifying and exciting move for a boy who is blind. Now 14, Cam’s music career is taking off as he finds both his confidence and his voice.


With thanks to Roundhead Studios

“How does one go about writing a song? Cam Dawson was surprised to find out he could sing. Now that he has, he’s finding his voice, and asking a lot of questions… What do the words mean to me? How should it sound? How do I portray feeling?

‘The idea is to have an impact on me, and also mean something to the people who are going to listen to it.’

Although it’s early days, now that he’s discovered his voice he’s keen to see how far he can expand on this gift.

So are we Cam.

We can’t wait to see where this next chapter of your life leads. If you like this piece of extra content, check out Cam’s MiniDoc and watch his full Documentary.”

September is Pain Awareness Month #goyellow #PainAwarenessMonth

Pain Awareness Month

Pain Awareness Month

As you may know September is Pain Awareness Month. We want to highlight what is happening in Wisconsin because it givers a great example of how to act globally. Also we want to show our support for the “Go Yellow” social media awareness campaign.

In fact Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has proclaimed September as Pain Awareness Month. According to the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, chronic pain is the nation’s primary cause of lost workdays. It affects more people than
cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined, with over 100 million Americans suffering from it. Pain management has been a particular focus of this blog with a special interest in multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

To raise awareness of chronic pain and its treatment, Advanced Pain Management (APM), the Wisconsin chapter of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN) and the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) joined efforts to get the proclamation by the Office of the Governor . Through the proclamation, doctors with APM and representatives of ASPMN and ACPA hope to facilitate an improved quality of life for those suffering from pain and increase their access to appropriate pain management treatment.

“Pain is a costly epidemic that causes millions of Americans to suffer and millions of dollars’ worth of employee productivity to be lost,” said Dr. Yogendra Bharat, medical director of Advanced Pain Management. “Pain Awareness Month is intended to get Wisconsinites to recognize the symptoms of pain and get appropriate relief so they don’t have to miss work or other activities.”

According to Bharat, the most common type of pain is lower back pain, followed by severe headaches or migraines. It is estimated that 80 percent of Americans will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Organizations supporting the Pain Awareness Month initiative will conduct a “Go Yellow” social media campaign, encouraging the public to raise awareness during September.

Advanced Pain Management is one of the largest pain management groups in the country, with more than 30 board-certified/eligible physicians offering the most advanced techniques for pain control. Advanced Pain Management physicians operate out of more than 40 locations in Wisconsin, including metro Milwaukee, the greater Madison area, Racine, Sheboygan and Green Bay, as well as in Mankato, Minn. You can find Advanced Pain
Management online at www.apmhealth.com.

Indeed they have asked up to share the infographic below which we would ask you to pass on as well.

Pain Awareness Month

Pain Awareness Month

Improving eye contact in children diagnosed with autism – A guest post from Dr. Sonya Doherty

Dr. Sonya Doherty

Dr. Sonya Doherty

Welcome to our latest guest post from Dr. Sonya Doherty. You can read the original post on her blog here. Dr. Sonya Doherty is a licensed and board certified Naturopathic Doctor who is an active member of the CAND. Sonya Doherty completed her undergraduate training at the University of Western Ontario in a Bachelor of Science Honors Kinesiology program.

You may be interested in the results of some recent research we ran into autism and eye contact!

She writes:-
Does your child look out of the sides of their eyes?
Does your child watch their fingers while they move them in front of their eyes or tract them along surfaces?
Does your child like to watch wheels spinning?
Does your child look away from people instead of seeking eye contact?

Eye contact is a treatable and reversible symptom of autism spectrum disorder.

Impairment in visual integration has been implicated in autism spectrum disorder.  Recently I watched an incredible TED TALK called How Brains Learn to Seeby Dr. Pawan Sinha. Dr. Sinha’s research is showing that the ability to perceive information relies on motion.  Dynamic information processing may be what the brain relies on to learn to see. Motion allows that brain to process information.  The visual information, when processed properly, is then integrated or grouped together so the brain can make sense of the data.  This information is then acted on by organizing the motor steps required to take action.  To talk and to move; including making eye contact.  The eyes are the finest of the fine motor skills.  Visual motor planning relies on processing information.  If a child wants to look at you, they need the visual processing centers in the brain working so they can integrate the information and then act on it.

So, you more than likely opened this blog because someone you love is having trouble making eye contact. If it is your child, very few people can understand the despair that you feel when your child doesn’t look at you when you come home from work or when you call their name. There are very effective and safe treatments to improve eye contact. I know this because I have seen astonishing improvements in eye contact and visual processing in the thousands of children we support with biomedical treatments.  Let’s explore some of these treatments and how they work.

According to Dr. Meg Megson, autism may be a disorder linked to disruption of G proteins that control cellular signalling.  These G proteins are important for normal retinoid receptor function which allows for healthy visual processing.  So, what damages G proteins?  There is a potential role of vaccinations in G protein defects.  This may explain why 43% of parents feel vaccination played a role in their child’s autism. The topic of vaccines is a vesuvial hot button.  It is political.  It is emotional.  Let’s try for one moment to consider that children diagnosed with autism have pre-existing G protein defects that could be further damaged by a vaccination program designed for the general population.  A study of 60 children diagnosed with autism proposes that autism may be caused by inserting a G protein defect, the pertussis toxin found in the D.P.T. vaccine, into genetically at-risk children.  This defect could be further aggravated in some children when the MMR vaccine is given because the live measles virus depletes the remaining stores of vitamin A which basically “crashes” the visual processing centres.  The World Health Organization recommends that children in developing countries receive 200, 000 IU of vitamin A at the time of inoculation with MMR because vitamin A depletion is a known side effect of the MMR vaccine.  The defect, combined with vitamin A deficiency can result in immune dysregulation and metabolism of fats needed for brain development.

Vitamin A may reconnect the retinoid receptors critical for vision, sensory perception, language processing and attention.  I also believe that social development is heavily dependent on visual processing.  Our children learn by seeing our reactions.  Picking up social cues visually is very important to optimize social development. What if your child who has trouble making eye contact and avoids peers is having trouble processing visual data?  What if, they are a social being, forced to isolate themselves because their world is blurry.  When a child’s world becomes blurry, as in regressive autism, there will undoubtedly be behavioural issues that arise. Autism is a very complex disorder. The visual processing defects have massive implications on quality of life.  Repairing visual integration, not only helps your child feel better, it opens doors to language, social and cognitive development.  Eye contact is a treatable and reversible symptom of autism spectrum disorder.  The first step is using a specific form of vitamin A to repair G proteins and begin the healing needed to re-establish healthy visual processing.

Dr. Sonya Doherty, ND FMAPS(candidate)

Natural Care Clinic