Dr. Drew Pinsky and a few other doctors have voiced their concerns about what they see with their clinically trained eyes. They have asked questions and prompted reflection aimed at ensuring that the next President has been fully vetted. In healthcare environments, we encourage all staff to SpeakUP if they see something that just isn't right and we train them on situational awareness strategies. This helps us ensure patient and environmental safety.
So, Dr. Pinsky speaks up and voices his concerns; based on his observations of Hillary Clinton and potential symptoms she has exhibited, in addition to the report released by her physician. The next week, CNN cancels his TV show, because it seems some in the media would prefer to hide their head in the sand.
Would we expect our healthcare professions to do this in healthcare environments? Or even on the street if they saw someone exhibiting signs of a stroke, choking, or other serious condition? Taking it one step further.... use of telehealth is exploding around the country and world and this means patients are not always standing in front of the doctor. But, physicians can still use their training and experience to identify symptoms from observing and listening to a patient -- just as they can if they were standing in front of us.
We have military professionals critique defensive strategies, we have environmental experts critique air and water public policy. We also have political consultants critique what and how a candidate says anything; and perhaps the underlying meaning. But, we can't have physicians bring up their concerns for what they see in a presidential candidate's health? I say, yes we can, and we have an obligation to hear them out and as voters ask the right questions. Remember, these physicians are voters, too!
Why do I write this? Because I worked with Dr. Pinsky between 1990 and 1995 at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, California. The psychiatric/chemical dependency hospital has been around since 1905 and when we were there, we received referrals from other physicians and hospitals when they had nothing more to offer the most complex of patients. I was responsible for daily operations, including safety, risk and medical staff credentialing.
My personal and professional observation is that Dr. Pinsky cared deeply for his work and his patients. He extended his care to the radio back in the 1990's to educate teens and young adults on behaviors that impact health on the show Love Line. We both saw the issues that came into the hospital and he attempted to slow the flow of hospitalizations by educating young people. We were both young, and he was an ideal candidate to have serious conversations with those who had questions.
Not long ago, Dr. Pinsky gave up over an hour of his time for an interview. He is now quite the celebrity, but he took time out of his schedule to help my daughter with a science project on body image of teen girls. I knew his years on Love Line and working at LEH had given him some insight, so I recommended him to my 13 year old daughter as the ideal "expert" for her project.
I've always said if anyone in my family needed treatment for chemical dependency, I would call Dr. Pinsky. He isn't just a TV doc, he is a competent and professional physician with the training to observe behaviors and identify warning signs and symptoms. Let's listen to the good, the bad and the ugly. Our national safety depends on it!