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Paul Levy
Worked at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lived in Little Rock, AR
1,385 followers|7,914,210 views
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Paul Levy

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In the "people's republic of Massachusetts," the Pioneer Institute often gets a bad rap as a conservative think tank.  The Democratic establishment does its best to ignore it, but I have found the Institute to do good work an...
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Paul Levy

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Sorry to stay clinical, when your issues are larger. But I guess I'm now in my dotage. It was what I was about.

My son-in-law, a bull-strong, ever-healthy man of 50, had sudden pain in his right lower abdomen, accompanied by fever, leukocytosis (20,000/mm3), but no vomiting. Over the next 5 (count 'em, 1,2,3,4,5) days he was tested, probed, scanned, cultured, sent home, and brought back to see his doctor for another blood count. Nobody (but this archaic ol' physician did a physical examination. He had what we used to call a positive chandelier sign when I pushed on McBurney's point fore and aft (per rectal). (He hit the ceiling.)

Back to his P.M.D. Referred post-haste to a g.i. guy who took out his appendix with a laparoscope. Golly! He stayed sick! Antibiotics in hospital x 8-9 days didn't help! Two weeks after his initial procedure ("abscesses take time to be seen"), a pelvic ultrasound showed a softball sized pelvic mass with central loculations.

The mass was needled, drained, lavaged, and the area again examined laparoscopically. Fever, weakness, malaise persisted x 3+ weeks, slowly improving with home-delivered antibiotics given per PICC line.

This man is a stockbroker. His slow recovery cost him and his firm lots of dough, to say nothing of potential clients lost or discouraged.

Add to that the costs of readmission, hospitalization, reoperation, imaging studies, O.R. and I.C.U time, blah, blah, blah. This all occurred at one of the city's most prominent medical centers.

Medicine has First, Second, Third and Fourth principles.
1. Talk to the Patient. And be humble enough to listen.
2. A physical examination is a GOOD thing. Takes 5 minutes! It can be helpful.
3. Principles of care haven't changed much since Hippocrates' time, or perhaps since the days of early man:
Clean out the crud! To clean it one has to see it. To see it, one needs exposure!
Is there any difference between 3 one cm incisions and one 3 cm incision?
4. Abrogation of any of the first
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Paul Levy

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What is it about these doctors that causes them to publicly endorse the product of a medical device company? Are they so moved by its efficacy that they feel highly motivated to spread the word? Or is there some relationship between them and the company that provides the impetus for such statements?
Why aren't health care journalists on top of every single such case of possible conflict of interest in their community?
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Michael Krivich's profile photoPeter Kennedy's profile photo
 
Quick Reminder. Paid or not, the public doesn't ask. These are testimonials, like those for Testosterone and other goop to remove belly fat. I'll say no more on this, except that readers don't know controlled trials from chopped liver, and care less, apparently. Whose fault is this? A single source of support is proof of Barney Google's flat, 6-pack belly.

Alas, this is part of our Culture now; the young lady you picture perhaps never understood the early science, or is doing what her friends or parents taught her to help pay the rent. It's for a good cause after all!

Is this different from free 0.69 cent pens of old? That answer is above my pay grade, and my security clearance, and even yours.

Upset? Angry? Call your Congressman and Senators. If they dig around long enough in the Payoff's bin, they'll find what you're looking for, the unsung bill that began it all. Unhappily, those wise men had no idea of consequences or sequellae. And have no interest in fixing it. If only we could go back and start ov...

Fixing it? If you figure out how, give me a call: 626-281-0406.

I'm great at jousting windmills, & slaying giants with my slingshot! Alas. I gave my guns away decades ago to my father, an early 20th century English-born poet who got so despairing of our Culture, he starved himself to death.

He was not alone, The great grandson of James Bowie hooked his big toe around the family flintlock, and flexed it.

Islands of excellence, my dear writing pal, are, in the final analysis, just that. The "Fix" is in, like a massive circus tent-a wild west show with 300,000.000 players, all trying to keep up and protect themselves at the same time.

I wish we could show by example. I tried to do that for 30 years. I was good at it! Ebullient, flag-carrying, willing to go to the Lion's den and trade sweat and curses.

My legacy? Grandkids, love shared and passed on as best I could. I'm a picture hanging in the Executive Conference room at St. Vincent Med Center.

The
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Paul Levy

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The kind of corruption presented to us in this case is not so much a question of personal corruption.  It is a case of an organization so driven by its perceived business interests that it has lost touch with its underlying purpose and community service obligation.  It may also be a case of a senior administration that has allowed itself to be misled by self-serving clinicians whose view of appropriate standards of care may have been influenced by personal gain.  But ultimately, the fiduciary responsibility for meeting community standards of care lies with the U of Illinois Board of Trustees, and the view from here is that they are failing in that role. 
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Why is it different, or worse, than what we have watched evolve over the past 30 years, at least in Cancer research? The lines began to blur when Private Enterprise, which operates by an entirely different, but perhaps equally valid set of standards, began to inevitably and necessarily replace a single source (governmental) "research support & regulatory agency, the NIH. Sales of drugs, and profit margins replaced sterner taskmasters. At the same time, the academic centers, to which you have been understandably wedded, ran out of patients to treat as more Oncologists were released to the world.

They had, after all, been trained by the Protocol. Who better to carry out the process reliably and with ongoing integrity.
Then Oops!! U of I got caught counting cards.

You have commented in past about "marginal" associations and influences among Professors in your (and once my..) hallowed institution.

Despite your keen and fervent belief that such behavior among the hallowed icons of academia is unconscionable, I would protest that in the end, we are men and women trying to survive the uncertainties of research in an increasingly complex, threatening world. This is our culture: our primal sins are revisited. They need not be reinvented.

The first quote that comes to mind is: "Who would have thought that the old man had so much blood in him."
(I'm sorry again. I'm on Medrol for my back, and I think it's made me nuts!)
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Paul Levy

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It is instructive for all to watch a current scuffle in Saskatchewan:
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Paul Levy

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A request to my readers.
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Thanks . . . and I hope all goes well.

Paul
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 #UW
 

Is anyone watching this at the University of Washington?
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Mor---WHAT?????? A Morcellator???? How'd you like to have that branded onto your forehead? A red "M" instead of an "A". Love it!!!!! Sounds like something Mr. Kellogg would have done, if he was bright enough!!! 130 years ago! pk
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Paul Levy

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The fiduciary responsibilities of presidents, provosts, vice presidents, deans, chief executive officers, and those who report to them should preclude a paid relationship with an outside entity in related and relevant areas.
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THAT'S easy! Amen, brother. But stay tuned. Didn't mean to do it: Mebbe the Devil made me do it.But I dooed it! Sorry in advance if it demands deflection. pk
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Excellent piece on dangers of not understanding complexity science by Bruce Ramshaw.
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People
In his circles
1,584 people
Have him in circles
1,385 people
Sujith G's profile photo
Costa Adriano Ngunza Nonox's profile photo
謝勝榮's profile photo
Jabulani Son's profile photo
Jennifer Shine Dyer's profile photo
Aleksandre Abeslamidze's profile photo
Manny Oliverez's profile photo
Blaine Warkentine's profile photo
Jerry Berger's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Author, speaker, corporate advisor
Employment
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
    President and CEO, 2002 - 2011
  • Harvard Medical School
    Exec. Dean for Admininstration, 1998 - 2002
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Adjunct Professor, 1992 - 1998
  • MA Water Resources Authority
    Executive Director, 1987 - 1992
  • MA Dept. of Public Utilities
    Chairman, 1983 - 1987
  • Economics & Technology, Inc.
    Senior Consultant, 1981 - 1983
  • Arkansas Dept. of Energy
    Director, 1979 - 1981
  • MA Dept. of Public Utiliities
    Commissioner and Chairman, 1978 - 1979
  • MA Energy Policy Office
    Deputy Director, 1974 - 1978
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Little Rock, AR - Boston, MA - New York, NY - Oceanside, NY
Story
Tagline
Advocate for patient-driven care, eliminating preventable harm, transparency of clinical outcomes, and front-line driven process improvement.
Introduction
Advocate for patient-driven care, eliminating preventable harm, transparency of clinical outcomes, and front-line driven process improvement.
Education
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Economics & City Planning, 1968 - 1974
Basic Information
Gender
Male