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Archive for March 2017

Live in a rural area? Can you find a doctor when you need one?

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The vascular surgeon who removed my gangrenous gall bladder last month received his early medical training in Lahore, Pakistan. He’s been a member of the medical community in my rural valley for more than three decades.

eimyxgertMy primary-care physician for the past 20 years received his medical training in Taiwan. My urologist for a decade was an Iranian-American. The surgeon who removed a subcutaneous growth from my right elbow is a Pakistani-American. So is the internist who treated a pulmonary issue. He’s been here more than two decades.

Those who live in rural areas likely know, or have, doctors with surnames they might think uncommon. Yet all my foreign-born physicians are American citizens with deep ties to the community in which I live. They’ve taken good care of me.

But why have these wonderful doctors settled here, in rural America?

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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

March 28, 2017 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Unnamed sources? Journalists should teach readers why they were used

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On Thursday, four journalists for CNN reported:

The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, US officials told CNN.

CATEGORY: JournalismInformation. Indicates. Associates. Communicated. Suspected. Operatives. Possibly. Coordinate. Information. US officials.

Huh? Could this lede be any more vague? This lede is all may have — which leaves open the possibility of may not have.

The story, reported by Pamela Brown, Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto, and Shimon Prokupecz, contains unnamed sources in 10 of the story’s 18 paragraphs. The FBI director is named, but only in reference to stories reported earlier. White House spokesman Sean Spicer and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov are named, but only in chiding the findings of the story. Two paragraphs near the end of the story contain no sources and appear to be the conclusions of the reporters.

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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

March 23, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

If Congress decides to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure, keep tabs on who gets it

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The grades are in. The nation’s infrastructure is close to failing.

The 2017 report card of the American Society of Civil Engineers, posted today, gives the infrastructure on which America depends for commerce, defense, recreation, flight, food, water, waste — almost everything — an overall grade of D+.

From the ASCE report:

aging-infrastructureThe 2017 grades range from a B for Rail to a D- for Transit, illustrating the clear impact of investment – or lack thereof – on the grades. Three categories – Parks, Solid Waste, and Transit – received a decline in grade this year, while seven – Hazardous Waste, Inland Waterways, Levees, Ports, Rail, Schools, and Wastewater – saw slight improvements. Six categories’ grades remain unchanged from 2013 – Aviation, Bridges, Dams, Drinking Water, Energy, and Roads.

The areas of infrastructure that improved benefited from vocal leadership, thoughtful policymaking, and investments that garnered results.

Scholars & Rogues has long considered addressing the nation’s infrastructure needs essential for the nation’s economic, cultural, resource, and domestic security (see here, here, here, and here). But it’s a topic that until recently has not received the attention its badly needed remediation demands. The ASCE report demands close inspection by citizens and politicians alike — followed by “thoughtful policymaking.”

President Donald wants to spend at least one trillion dollars on infrastructure repairs. First and foremost, that’s not enough: The 2017 ASCE report recommends two trillion dollars over 10 years to fix most of what’s flawed. Then, of course, there’s the need to budget for continuing maintenance of a regenerated infrastructure.

Questions abound beyond defining the desperate need for action most Americans now recognize.

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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

March 9, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized