Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We just returned from a visit to our Nation's Capitol Washington D. C.  There, this past weekend we attended our oldest son's graduation from medical school at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, the US military medical school.  Our son who graduated previously from West Point, is now promoted to Captain in the US Army and will do internship at Trippler Army Medical Center in Honolulu.  After that he will do residency and then deployment where the Army needs his services.  We were so impressed with the wonderful ceremony at the Constitution Hall in DC where the graduation took place.  The over 100 new physicians will go into the armed services:  Army, Air Force and Navy to serve our country.  We all pledged allegiance to the flag and then, at the end of the graduation, recited the Hippocratic Oath again. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

About me

My name is Brian Shiozawa.  I am the Republican candidate for the Utah State Senate District 8.

First, a little about me:  I graduated from Stanford University, did medical school at the Univ. of Washington  and residency at the Univ. of Utah.  I am Board certified in Emergency Medicine.  I have practiced for over twenty years at the St Marks Hospital. I am on the board of Directors of Emergency Physicians Integrated Care, a physician company which staffs ten Emergency Departments on the Wasatch Front.  I am the current President of the Utah Medical Association.

I am married to a wonderful spouse, Joye.  She is a homemaker, mom and a realtor.  We have four great children who are nearly grown up and embarking on college and their careers.  Our youngest son is in Japan serving an LDS Mission.  We have one beautiful grandson.

We are long time residents of Cottonwood Heights.  All of our children attended the local public schools.  I am deeply interested in good education.  Education is vital to launch our children on careers and to college. NO matter whether you home school, charter school or attend public schools, successful education means strong parent involvement.  We need strong,  accountable classes that will keep us competitive in this nation and world. 

I deeply committed to health care reform.  We face increasing, unsustainable health care costs.  Insurance is unaffordable.  With the pending repeal of the current Federal Healthcare Act, we in Utah will need to develop our own long term, competitive, affordable health care. 

We need to reform the huge Medicaid program.  It is too expensive and inefficient. We need smarter utilization and better access for patients.

We need medical liability reform.  Defensive medicine is driving up the costs of our health care to the highest in the world and without any better results.

We have real problems and I have real solutions.

I promise to represent our good people and  communities honestly and responsibly.  I will be guided by my faith, my family and by the principles of this great country.  My door will always be open to you.  I will listen to you.  

My name is Brian Shiozawa and I seek your vote.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Miracles and Tragedies

I witnessed a miracle last week.  At about 1030 AM, a 64-year-old female patient had the abrupt onset of slurred speech and left sided weakness and sagged to the floor.  Her husband immediately called the ambulance and the patient was transported to the Emergency Department. The field diagnosis was a stroke in evolution. Our ED team quickly confirmed the ominous signs of a stroke and started the protocols within minutes of arrival: Head CT, neurology consult and then, thrombolysis emergently.  After the infusion of the medicine, the patient’s headache improved, her speech was clear and coherent, her facial droop gone and she could move her left arm and leg almost normally.  The patient sustained this clinical return to her normal state and a few days later walked out of the hospital.  The family was overjoyed and grateful and all of the staff justifiably was pleased and gratified.  Medical care worked:  Smiles and high fives all around.

Last week, I witnessed a tragedy.  A 40-year-old female was brought into the Emergency Department, unable to walk.  An admitted, long-term IV drug abuser, she had developed a severe left leg infection for several months.  She never saw her physician and by the time she was treated in the ED, she had a huge left leg wound that had literally destroyed the soft tissue and eroded into the underlying tibia. The patient got immediate IV antibiotics, an ED orthopedic consult.  She was admitted and will have a probable amputation of the lower leg.  She will never be normal again and will not walk out of the hospital.  Medical care worked again and the patient’s life was saved.  The family was grateful but appalled at the outcome.

Every day, we as physicians are the unique witnesses and participants in the most important part of people’s lives:  their health care.  No one else can do what we do. We see real life miracles and tragedies in our patients.  Most of the time we can remedy their injury and illnesses.  Almost all of the time we can comfort them. Sometimes they are angry and yell at us; many times they are frustrated with their lives.  But, they always need us.

Susan Evans Mc Cloud wrote:

I would be my brother’s keeper
I would learn the healer’s art
To the wounded and the weary,
I would show a gentle heart

Recently, I met with a recently retired fellow physician, who is now doing the medical directorship of a large government health program.  A superb clinician and individual, he for decades had treated his patients with compassion and care.  Now, he was embarking on a new career:  administering to thousands of patients needs but in a new and different role.  He also remarked how as he stepped away from his practice how impressed he was with the wonderful, unique opportunity he had been given to treat patients and be part of their lives.  He gave me some wise advice: to savor and cherish the moments we have now and everyday, in our various medical practices.