John Henning Schumann

StudioTulsa Guest Host and Host of Medical Matters

John Henning Schumann, M.D., is an internal medicine physician and writer (http://glasshospital.com). He has contributed to Slate, The Atlantic, Marketplace, and National Public Radio’s health blog, Shots.

Schumann serves as guest host for Studio Tulsa on health-related themes and is also host of Medical Matters on KWGS, an occasional series about health care and the human condition.

He was appointed Interim President of the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa in January 2015. You can find him on twitter @GlassHospital.

Ways to Connect

For years, Mrs. Sutton came to see me in the office every three months. Visiting the doctor quarterly was "the right thing to do," she told me, given the fact that she had both diabetes and high blood pressure.

She always set the agenda at our visits. She brought lists of questions and requests that followed the recommendations of her fellow churchgoers and the health materials she had read.

For this fourth and final episode in our limited series of Medical Matters shows for Fall 2015, we speak with Dr. Angelo Volandes of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He's also also the author of a popular new guidebook, which he tells us about.

For Episode # 3 of 4 in our current series of Medical Matters shows, we feature an in-depth discussion with Dr. Damon Tweedy, an African American psychiatrist at Duke University. Dr.

If you follow health news, by now you may have heard about a federally funded study that was stopped early because of impressive evidence that aggressively lowering blood pressure saves lives.

Medical Matters continues with Show # 2 of our current four-episode limited series.

How did the rapid rise of OxyContin addiction in the 1990s lead quite directly to today's widespread crisis of heroin usage in Middle America? This week, we explore that question in a fascinating discussion with journalist Sam Quniones about his new book, "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic."

Medical Matters has returned! The popular "program about health care and the human condition" -- created here at Public Radio Tulsa by host John Schumann and editor/producer Scott Gregory -- began a four-episode limited series on Thursday, September 10th.

Beware the mention of natural causes, as in my mother's obituary:

"Norita Wyse Berman, a writer, stockbroker and artist ... died at home Friday of natural causes. She was 60."

Sixty-year-olds don't die of natural causes anymore. The truth was too hard to admit.

Fifteen years on, I'm ashamed of my family's shame. Those attending her funeral and paying shiva calls knew the truth anyway. People talk.

Famed doctor and medical educator William Osler once said, "A physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient."

What, I wonder, does that say about us doctors who treat our own kids?

This past winter, my daughter got the flu. She was miserable: daily fevers, achiness, sore throat, stuffy head and nausea with a total loss of appetite.

We didn't run a flu test on her, which you can do with a quick nasal swab at a doctor's office. Since my wife and I are both docs, we were comfortable that her symptoms fit the diagnosis.

Oscar buzz surrounds Julianne Moore for her role as Alice Howland in the film Still Alice. Howland is a linguistics professor who develops early-onset Alzheimer's, a cruel irony for a character who makes her living with her brain.

Howland's awareness of her fate makes her decline all the more painful to watch.

Often, though, patients and their doctors can be slow to recognize dementia, which most often progresses gradually.

The holidays are here, bringing joy and, for some, wistful feelings.

Doctors are no different. Even for a profession that prides itself on scientific proof, the long nights of December afford ample opportunity for reflection and even doubt.

As we take stock of what we've accomplished and where we've failed to measure up, I find my scowling mask of medical skepticism falling away. I have to admit that there is so much wonder and mystery that science and medicine still can't explain.

Maybe you've heard about the slow food movement. Maybe you're a devotee.

The idea is that cooking, nutrition and eating should be intentional, mindful and substantive. Avoid fast food and highly processed grub. For the slow food set, the process is as important as the product.

Now I'm seeing a medical version of slow food. The concept is bubbling up in response to industrialized, hypertechnological and often unnecessary medical care that drives up costs and leaves both doctors and patients frazzled.

For lovers of books and literature everywhere, it's fairly common to encounter a favorite author who's also a doctor: Arthur Conan Doyle, William Carlos Williams, Walker Percy, Anton Chekov, Robin Cook, Abraham Verghese, Oliver Sacks, Michael Crichton, et al.

Back in 2003 I was a junior doctor working at a Chicago teaching hospital.

As one of the newer docs, my daily appointment schedule had lots of openings. Pretty much any assignment nobody else wanted came my way.

One morning the nurse who managed our clinic told me that my first patient for the afternoon may have been exposed to a deadly virus while he was traveling in Asia.

My job would be to dress up in a medical hazmat suit, examine him and figure out whether he should be quarantined.

Stigma from illness keeps sufferers in the dark, where they’re ashamed to give voice to their afflictions out of fear and embarrassment. Dr. Anne Hallward, a psychiatrist in Maine, is giving voice to those living in the shadows and talks to host John Henning Schumann about her work.

Gary Schwitzer of HealthNewsReview.org reviews the week's health news, and medical humanist Alice Dreger shares a meditation on using data to guide her own health care.

On this edition of Medical Matters, Dr. John La Puma, also known as “Chef MD”, shares how it is that what we eat has such a huge impact on our physical and emotional well-being. Chef MD short videos are seen on PBS and "REFUEL," a nutrition guide aimed specifically at men, is Dr. La Puma's latest book. 

NPR

Host John Schumann speaks with Elisabeth Rosenthal of the New York Times, author of Paying Till It Hurts, a series on health care costs in the New York Times. Gary Schwitzer of HealthNewsReview.org reviews the week's health news, and Shara Yurkiewicz reads her viral essay Post Operative Check.

Executions in this country often draw controversy. But when the headlines about them include words like botched or bungled, the debate about capital punishment enters new territory.

Host John Schumann speaks with Rishi Manchanda, author of the TED Book "The Upstream Doctors," regarding new ideas in medical education and so-called 'social determinants of health.' Gary Schwitzer of HealthNewsReview.org reviews the week's health news, and essayist Margaret McCartney from Glasgow teaches us to be wary of 'over-screening' in medical care.

 

Host John Schumann speaks with Leslie Kernisan, a geriatrician in San Francisco and author of the "GeriTech" blog. Gary Schwitzer of HealthNewsReview.org reviews the week's health news, and we hear an essay from Janet Pearson about the experience of enrolling her husband in Medicare.

 

Host John Schumann speaks with Daniel Siegel, a UCLA psychiatrist and author of the best-selling new book "Brainstorm." Gary Schwitzer of HealthNewsReview.org reviews the week's health news, and we present an essay by Harvard Medical Student Shara Yurkiewicz entitled "Being Sorry."

This program aired on February 27 and 28 on Public Radio 89.5 KWGS.

 

    

Host John Schumann speaks with Sherry Glied, a health economist who served as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services from 2010-2012. Gary Schwitzer of HealthNewsReview.org reviews the week's health news, and we hear a reflection from Janet Pearson on the term "nanny state."

This program aired on February 20 and 21 on Public Radio 89.5 KWGS.

 

I pulled back the curtain, ready to meet the next patient on my hospital rounds.

"Why are you standing there?" she asked me. "Come, have a seat, let's talk."

Lenore could have been my grandmother. She was 77 years old, and all of 93 pounds. What she lacked in girth, she more than made up for in chutzpah. She was one of the patients from intern year who I'll never forget.

December is supposed to be the time of year filled with family gatherings and holiday good cheer. For medical residents, quite the opposite is true.

There are no school breaks during residency. Being a medical resident is a real job, and a stressful one at that. Residents work long shifts, even with caps that max out at 16 hours for the newbies and up to 28 hours for those beyond the first year.

A 40-something patient I'll call Ted has a list of conditions that would have tongue-tied Carl Sagan. Even though I see Ted in my clinic every month, he still winds up visiting the emergency room 20 times per year.

Yes, 20.

Before he became my patient, he went even more frequently. So, the current situation, bad as it may be, represents halting progress.

Debate is raging about Obamacare, and not just in Washington. Out here in Oklahoma we're grappling with implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Patients. Employers. Hospitals. Doctors. Insurers. All of us.

Here then are one doctor's predictions about what we will see in the short and medium term for what I see as the unfolding Obamacare era — the biggest domestic health expansion since the enactment of Medicare in 1965.

I became a doctor to help people.

When I was a medical student, I held the naive and idealistic belief that if I just did good work, the business side of things would somehow take care of itself.

How wrong I was.

Now I'm an internist taking care of all comers age 18 and up. Some days I find myself facing patients and feeling more like a harried airline clerk than a real doctor.

Don't get me wrong - I applaud the right of people to spend their money as they want - on entertainment, or medical tests, or medical tests as entertainment.

There should be six core competencies, fundamental attributes that all doctors should share, right?

The Carny

Jul 2, 2013

Chico was tearful. His freedom was gone - the carnival was the only life that he had known.

When you're a doctor, there's higher pressure to practice what you preach.  

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