What is racism?

Racism3Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, commented that with the sad recent deaths of unarmed blacks in Ferguson, Chicago and Staten Island at the hands of police, the word “racism” has been tossed around like a salad bar. Every talk show rumbled on about it with little attempt to define it.  Odd since racism is such an important and emotionally loaded word.

Racism appears difficult to exactly define, since every source consulted reveals various differences and nuances.  A feature that seems common to most ‘official’ definitions invokes discrimination or prejudice, often based on stereotyping, aimed at a race or other identifiable group, and usually with a motive to gain power or control over the group.  While untidy, this definition seems one with which most people would generally agree.  The problem for me is in the application.  The Rev. Al Sharpton has no such problem, apparently, since he sprinkles every public pronouncement very liberally with the word.  He sees racism virtually everywhere he looks.  And his confidante, Barack Obama, seems to share his beliefs, though is somewhat more inhibited with his public judgments.

So, what about the three aforementioned incidents and racism?  Our president and the reverend have both proclaimed all to be examples of discrimination intentionally wrought by white cops on black citizens.  But what is the discrimination?  Are the white cops really making assumptions about blacks in general, and then predisposed to shooting or choking them to death?  I don’t know the answer to this question, but would suggest that neither does Obama or his friend Al.

Could the three incidents cited above be explained not by racism, a desire to dominate a sector of the population, but rather be explained by facts?  Much more crime of all types is committed by blacks per capita in the US than by any other race.  By far, more violent crime is fomented by blacks on blacks than by whites on blacks (which is actually exceedingly rare).  There is no doubt that black neighborhoods tend to be much more violent than equally impoverished white neighborhoods (but can poverty really be an excuse for violence?)  Given all this, are cops not to be more careful in patrolling a black neighborRacism4hood?  They would be idiots if they weren’t.  So could it be that most cops, white or black, invoke assumptions (dare I say prejudice?) about crime and likelihood of crime, in neighborhoods they enter?  Throw into this scenario the fact that more blacks are raised in fatherless families, cannot benefit from such a relationship, and is it any wonder why black youths may have less respect for law enforcement or other authority figures?

The more our nation mulls over the recent highly unfortunate events, the more it will conclude that these events were not so much, or at all, racially motivated but motivated by grim realities…realities that black America needs to formally recognize, and remedy.


Leaking consumer information…

Consumer information 3 Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, recently commented that ever since Edward Snowden pilfered secret documents from the NSA and subsequently leaked same, the media has been consumed with the reality that consumer information about us is being sold to companies and we don’t even know. Duh,..

Anyone who does even a slight amount of online research or buying knows that suddenly following making an online purchase, advertisements mysteriously appear in our e-mail box or as google adwords.  So, connecting the dots, there is a huge data mining operation through data brokers whose sole purpose in life is to characterize us as mountain climbers, couch potatoes, cyclists, tennis players,  movie goers, executives, physicians, dentists, nurses, or even as gay or straight – with the ultimate goal to better target you and me for marketing products that we prefer, or might be more likely to buy.

All of this has me asking the obvious—what on earth is the big deal?  The same practices have gone on in neighborhood stores when us baby boomers were kids.  Why stock those awful pieces of candies (like those multi colored buttons stuck to strips of paper and half the time the paper was consumed as much as the candy) when most of our gang hated them.  Consequently those candies disappeared, and the long strings of red licorice appeared, which we eagerly devoured and the grocer stocked them.

Tell me, how all this electronic information is any different, aside from being a little more accurate as it applies to the individual?  Why is the sConsumer informationame information, now e-information, considered nefarious, destructive or injurious to us?  Why are we so unnerved by it when it has been happening on a smaller scale all our lives?  It could even be argued that the information gathering is beneficial to us by making it easier to browse for products and services, and even to price compare.

Sometimes I am befuddled by the group ignorance and hysteria in a well-educated, thinking society. Maybe, maybe it’s NOT!


Demise of healthcare as we have known it…

Demise of healthcare 6Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire stressed that there is a deadly struggle underway in medicine today.  This is not overly dramatic language used to make a point or attack a process.  Medicine as we know it is dying, and the agony will be experienced by all the stakeholders:  providers, patients and insurance companies.  Increasingly, providers are being employed.  Independent medical practices are now dwarfed in number by those practices that are owned by a hospital or hospital system.  The same is happening to specialty practices, though at a somewhat slower rate.  Due to the stressors of running a practice (keeping up with Obamacare regulations, complying with myriad insurance treatment policies and guidelines, and challenges of simply making a profit, many specialists are lining up for acquisition by both horizontal and vertical systems.

Those specialists resisting this transition are encountering intimidation by Medicare in the form of RAC audits and OIG investigations and listing in all the media of the infamous Medicare Pay List.  For the patient, this reorganization of health systems means confusion, industrialization of service delivery and briefer, more superficial and unsatisfying office evaluations, punctuated by ‘scientific’ sterile treatment protocols and loss of the personalized touch.  For both patient and provider, the art of medicine is fading.

For insurance companies, their fate is clear.  While trying hard to participate in this ‘new medicine,’ and be a meaningful ‘partner’ in the future, the end is in sight.Demise of healthcare 5  As insurances merge and larger companies are created, it will be easier, in another decade or so, for the government to overcome the few monopolizing entities that will still exist, and finally a single payor, managed care, federally administered system will evolve.

The process will be heralded by economists for its efficiency, and no health care will be provided without a basis in scientific “proof” – proof that many times doesn’t exist – proof that is true today, and wrong next year.  The transformation of complex, unique patients into so many homogenized widgets will be complete.

Thank you Mr. Obama!

Sacking of Mosul…

Afghanistan Mosul 6Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire, commented that the recent Al Qaeda sacking of Mosul, highlights once again the incredible shortsightedness and lack of geopolitical savvy of the Obama administration.  Just as in Afghanistan, Obama made the decision, after years of our armed forces blood, sweat and tears in Iraq, that the U.S. would pull out entirely with NOT ONE AIRBASE in the expansive and totally empty desert. NOT ONE.  The strategic stupidity of this man is amazing.

With a major easily protected base in the wasteland of both these countries, the Taliban, Al Qaeda and any other extreme right wing orgs would be stopped in their tracks by remote controlled drones, occasional targeted F-15 strikes, Blackhawk and JSOC operations.  Now there is no staging area for any of this.

Afghanistan Mosul

Even George Bush never thought that Iraq or Afghanistan could stand totally alone as a democracy in the sand, while surrounded by Sharia guided freak heads.  With proper planning of an Iraqi airbase, even the nuclear dance in Iran would be far simpler to monitor and control.  Poof.  Gone.  Yet ANOTHER hair brain decision by our President.


Afghanistan Mosul 7







Jane’s interview with Hillary…

Jane Pauley Inter 5Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire commented, “The American political system is probably one of the most brutal in the world,” Jane Pauley’s interview of Hilary Rodham Clinton June12, 2014. Experienced Liberal Jane…said nothing. No questions about “hey, what did you think of Adolf’s, or maybe Saddam’s, or how about Assad’s?”
Are you kidding me?
And she is potentially running for president?
And Jane Pauley is still doing interviews.
Has the world gone nuts?

Republican party…

Republican party 3Dr. Michael J. O’Connell, PainCare, New Hampshire commented that the Republican party in its latest puny attempt to rebrand its image, one that embraces and supports women, is clearly an effort to draw more female voters as mid term elections approach.  This simple minded window dressing concept will not work because it will not be viewed as real change.

Obama was all about “change you can believe in,” and we have seen where that got us…Iran headed toward a nuclear weapon aided by the most recent (non) treaty, Syria pretending to forfeit their gas weaponry yet slaughtering their populace by myriad means, fantastically runaway domestic spending, withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq with no American air bases, China flexing its might with all our American dollars, Libya a bastion for terrorists (yep our Embassy was a victim of ‘random violence,’ for sure), North Korea with now multiple nukes, and ‘Obamacare the Abomination.’  Yep, that’s not the type of change the GOP wants or needs.

Republicans must start reflecting the changing mores of society, this is not to say abandon leadership, but finally stop denying the inevitable.  Crazy pious right wingers need to be eschewed.  Moderate conservatives and centrist liberals need to be embraced.  Social liberalism needs to find its way to the core of the GOP.  It’s time to recognize the rights of gays, lesbians and transsexuals.  They are what they are and a few interventions is not going to convert them.  Abortion should be outright accepted during the first trimester and highly discouraged thereafter.  Jeez, do the idiotic ultraconservatives truly think it’s a good thing to bring unwanted babies into this ever burgeoning world?  Republicans could rule for decades and bring fiscal responsibility back to America, if they would finally abandon these two prominent pieces of their platform.

Disintegration of a presidency…


It must be a bitter pill for Liberals to witness the disintegration of a presidency, particularly a very liberal one.  The list of campaign promises that Obama has failed to score on is indeed impressive.  In fact he has succeeded at…well, nothing.  In my modest opinion, it didn’t have to happen.

I trace the last five years to what transpired during his first year…the underhanded passage of Obamacare.  If he and the Senate Democrats had slowly put together well conceived legislation that was reasonable and fiscally feasible, and passed this law with bipartisan support, he would have had his gigantic healthcare “reform.”  Instead he and his liberal friends permanently angered so many Republicans that the contempt has colored nearly every legislative decision ever since.

It seems important to remind folks, who typically have very short memories, how Obamacare went down, since network news, and certainly the NPR Nightly News Hour would never do the favor.  Scott Brown’s election to fill the Senate vacancy created by the death of Ted Kennedy, created a Senate that was not filibuster proof.  The House had already produced its own version of Obamacare, but the Senate preferred to create its own, but this would take time, so much time as to allow Brown to be sworn in.  Well the Senate, and the President, could allow that, and the Senate quickly approved the House version it didn’t like before Brown came on board, voila, filibuster proof.  Even though entirely legal, the way in which the Affordable Care Act (ACA) gained passage had done its damage.  And for this reason, the remaining three years of Obama’s term will not go well.  So much for his legacy as the first black president of the US.  Not a particularly positive way to celebrate diversity.


A Brief Overview of Suboxone, by Michael O’Connell, MD, MHA

Pill BottlesSuboxone, the trade name for sublingual buprenorphine, is used for the treatment of opioid addiction and also off label for chronic pain. Unlike methadone, a commonly used treatment for opioid addiction, Suboxone generally provides no noticeable high or state of sedation. As such, Suboxone treatment may prove to be more appropriate than methadone, as it provides far less potential for misuse. Health care professionals in many countries have noted a lower rate of relapses in patients treated with Suboxone. Some have even gone so far as to dub it a “miracle pill.” While not exactly miraculous, it is extremely useful in combination with group counseling.

Derived from the opium poppy plant, Suboxone reacts with the k-opioid receptors within that portion of the brain that is directly involved with pain, consciousness, and addiction potential. Suboxone was initially used in 1980 as an injectable analgesic, but was later discovered to possess properties that aided in withdrawal of patients from potent opioids.

In addition to its use in treating opioid addiction, Suboxone can also be prescribed “off label” for moderate to severe chronic pain. Cancer patients as well as individuals who suffer from neuropathic or musculoskeletal pain, especially those who are highly tolerant and dependent on potent opioids, may benefit greatly from this drug. Many physicians choose this medication over others due to its high safety profile, long shelf life, and often surprisingly good analgesic qualities.

About the Author:

Dr. Michael J. O’Connell of Barrington, New Hampshire, has forged a distinguished career spanning over three decades, as entrepreneur, physician, businessman, philanthropist and healthcare consultant. As former owner, administrator and CEO of a 225+ employee multi-specialty medical practice, Dr. O’Connell has dedicated his entire professional life to helping patients with family medicine and especially those experiencing chronic pain and all aspects of addiction.

Salmon Falls Family Healthcare is Presenting Sponsor…

Salmon Falls Family Healthcare of Somersworth is thrilled to be the Presenting Sponsor of the 1st Annual St. Mary Academy 5K Run/Walk in Dover, to be held on Saturday, April 13th at 9:00 am.

As St. Mary Academy’s mission states, it is “a Catholic faith community dedicated to the education and growth of children in an atmosphere of peace, justice, and love.” The Academy is celebrating its centennial with events such as the 5K run/walk, and an Alumni Gala and Auction, which offers a year of free tuition to one lucky winner, and more offerings.

Salmon Falls Family Healthcare strives to promote a healthy lifestyle for its patients and the community. The healthcare providers educate families about preventive care, smart food choices, and exercise habits, so sponsoring an event like this that encourages physical activity was a natural fit. Claire Menard, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Salmon Falls, takes it one step further by promoting 5210 Healthy NH, a program that fights childhood obesity, with her patients and with the schools in surrounding communities. “I am thrilled that SFFH is sponsoring the 5K race/walk for St Mary Academy! The event encourages community participation in a fun, fitness activity and this corresponds nicely with our 5210, healthy lifestyle’s campaign. On a personal note, I am very happy to support an event at the school my children attended.”

Salmon Falls has just re-located to 7 Works Way in Somersworth, right in front of the Works Family Health & Fitness Center. Learn more at SalmonFallsMD.com.

The SMA 5K Run/Walk will begin and end at St. Mary Academy, located at 222 Central Avenue in Dover, NH. The certified race course will lead participants through Historic Dover and the Dover Community Trail. There will be chip timing, and tech t-shirts will be available for the first 125 registrants. Registration is only $20, or $25 on the day of the event. Sign up at: https://milleniumreg.com/sma-5k.

Cable News and 60 Minutes…

If you happened to tune into network or cable news or 60 Minutes recently, you have heard some very bad reporting about compounding pharmacies; a mix of fact and total fiction. Purchasers of NECC products were not motivated by greed or access to cheaper products, which 60 Minutes was blatantly trying to imply. Purchasers were (and still are) avidly seeking preservative free steroid product because it is safe. Period. Preservative damages nerves.

The pharmaceutical industry (as opposed to compounders) do not manufacture preservative free product, since, by the nature of their business, may store their drugs for long periods of time and must have preservative in the steroid. The thousands of pain centers and hospitals across the country that purchase steroid from compounding pharmacies, cannot place a neurotoxic preservative onto fragile spinal nerve roots. So now you know the truth. 60 Minutes has lost my respect for their totally inadequate and biased reported. Just like all the other media, they sell time for advertising dollars, sensationalism to the forefront, and the facts be damned. NECC should be crucified for their negligence, but other compounding pharmacies should not be painted with the same brush.

By the way, if you REALLY are interested in investigating medical related deaths, Google up “hospital medical errors” or “deaths, pharmaceutical companies.” You will be blown away.