Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Flame Broiled Doctor Debuts

The podcast has arrived, with a new name and a new look for the blog!

Find it here.

Hello, and welcome to the first installment of the Flame Broiled Doctor podcast series. I am Dr. Frank Warsh, the Flame Broiled Doctor, and I invite you to join me for what I hope will be an informative, fun, and above all, listener-driven podcast on all things related to medicine, health, and health care. Yes, I want to hear from you, the audience, on whatever topic interests you. Leave a comment on my website at, or contact me on Twitter @drwarsh.

Who am I, and why do I call myself "The Flame Broiled Doctor"? Well, after 15 years in the trenches of medicine, primarily as a family doc, but also toiling in the ER, and having my feet in Public Health and inner-city medicine, I walked away from active practice after repeat bouts of severe burnout. Yes, I was professionally burned to a crisp and lived to tell the tale.

So what is this podcast, and what do I mean by listener-driven? After 15 years, I've gathered a lot of knowledge, a lot of stories, and a lot of opinions about medicine, health care, and public policy in general.

Unfortunately, most of what you see or read about health care and medicine - whether it's segments on the evening news, articles in mainstream magazines, or stuff that "everybody just knows" - most of it is crap.

Sometimes it's just misinterpretation or over-interpretation of a minor scientific finding. Here I have sympathy for journalists that are trying to meet deadlines or make a scientific discovery relevant. Let's say you click a link to a website with a headline like, "Science says three beers a day improves your sex life." Before you start popping a cold one at each meal, you might want to find out what in God's name that "science" really said. Journalists, even the best ones, might not be able to interpret the original research paper...which was more likely investigating the link between underage drinking and the risk of getting chlamydia from unprotected sex.

Other times what's in the media is poorly-disguised ideology. If you see a story or website on health care, and see the terms "socialism", "free market", or "freedom" pop up over and over, or read something that seems over-the-top like "the system is on the brink of imploding" or "health costs will bankrupt the country", take what you read with a grain of salt.

And of course, sometimes a piece on the evening news is just a glorified sales pitch for exotic foods, FitBits, or gym memberships.

So I'd like to help you - and this is for anybody, not just health care professionals - sort the important stuff from the background noise, and see through any BS. Leave a comment at my website,, or tweet @drwarsh with your questions, and I'll do my damnedest to get you a straight answer. Medicine, health care systems, burnout, my funniest's all fair game.

The only exception I ask is that you please, please avoid questions that matter to your personal medical care. Not that I don't want to help, it's just unethical and illegal for me to do so. If you're wondering if you need an MRI for your bad back, or whether you should take that pill you've read about, that's between you and your health care provider. Likewise, I can decode the evidence around urinary catheters (and God knows I can sympathize if you're told you need one), but only you and your health care team can decide if it's the best health fix for what ails you.

I'll happily give personalized advice, however, on a good drink recommendation. Nothing goes better with a great doctor's story than a single-malt scotch or sipping tequila, and I'm willing to share my thoughts on spirits anytime.

So welcome aboard the no-nonsense podcast on all things health and medical. I am Dr. Frank Warsh, the Flame-Broiled Doctor. I look forward to hearing from you, and thanks for listening!

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