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Monday, July 07, 2014

TB testing

My daughter needs a Tuberculosis test for a job. This is therefore an experiment in comparative health care system functioning Italy vs USA. Now in Italy she (OK her mother) was able to make an appointment quickly and then get a tetanus booster. Considerable waiting in the doctor's office (even with the amazing efficiency of Anna the amazing office managers who handles all bureaucracy for two MDs. Charge 0.00. This requires going to Gianfranco Rondoni the one doctor "Medico di Base" who can provide free ambulatory care or prescribe free amulatory care. He also prescribed a TB test as requested. Then in a TB testing clinic (private I think her mother took her) she was told that the TB test was unreliable because of the tetanus booster, so the refused to do it. No US MD (of three asked) has any idea what they were talking about. There is free TB testing available at the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Dennis Avenue Clinic . However they do a new fancy test and the employer asked for an old style PPD test. From an abundance of caution, we went to Fast Track Urgent Care at 10540 Connecticut Ave Kensington, MD 20895 where we got a PPD in about five minutes. No line. Fast courteous care. $45.00 . During the brief wait (and the few seconds to stick the tines in). I was entertained or rather appalled by CNN health. CNN was talking about Deer Antler dietary supplements and considering the claim that they speed recovery from injury and increase "energy". I thought it was an infomercial until Dr Sanjay Gupta appeared. The sound was set to near zero to not irritate the patients (or customers ?) but I heard him say in a very polite tone to some quack that the claims are viewed with great skepticism because they seem too good to be true. i think it is here (search the page for Gupta). I had some trouble googling [health deer antlers gupta] as there was more than one relevant hit (including one to an unreadalbe xml) This was in marked contrast to the angry tone he used to claim that Sicko by Michael Moore contained factual errors in a surprise fact check before an interview. I remind my reader(s) that the only part of the fact check which alleged an error of fact was CNN's false claim about a true assertion in Sicko. Aside from that the fierce tone was used to present the other side of a debate as if the fact that a case for pro could be made implied errors in the case presented by Moore. In itself a disgraceful episode, but one which is made infinitely more shocking by the velvet glove treatment of peopel hawking dietary supplements. I recall that Barack Obama seriously considered nominating Dr Sanjay Gupta surgeon general. Now I must include a disclaimer. I saw and (barely) heard a man identified as Dr Sanjay Gupta on CNN. I can't be 100% sure it is the same Sanjay Gupta who attacked Moore and was considered a credible Surgeon General. It might be a different Dr Sanjay Gupta for the rubes. The point is that I am not sure I can judge the effect of 7 years of aging since the last time I saw video of Dr Sanjay Gupta. The Dr Sanjay Gupta I just saw looked more than 7 years older than the one who slandered Moore (reckless disregard for the truth -- not actionable because CNN conceded the point). I think I saw a prematurely aged withered hack, but I may have seen a withered hack who works for the same employer as the younger aggressive act I saw 7 years ago. I realize that this complaint will not be compreshensible to any of my few readers who are young, but we old timers remember that, long long ago, CNN was a serious news network.

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