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Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine on Smash Notes

Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine podcast.

July 23, 2020

Join Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin McElroy for a tour of all the dumb, bad, gross, weird and wrong ways we've tried to fix people.



Episodes with Smash Notes

As any proud West Virginian knows, the history of mining in the United States is tied tightly to the history of the labor movement. This was partially to address something known as coal worker’s pneumoconiosis, also known as black lung disease. Though unions may have won the battle for recognition, the war against this disease continues to this day.

You might have heard about the COVID variants that have some people worried, and how effective the current vaccine will be against them. But not to worry, we’ve got the sweet sweet data from the Lancet, and some good news regarding the (specifically Pfizer) vaccine. And if you haven’t gotten a vaccine yet, maybe a car or lotto ticket will motivate you. Or a gun?

Last week, we talked about if eating papaya seeds could rid your body of parasites (spoiler: it can’t). But being concerned about having parasites is not new. We continue the conversation by looking into the phenomenon of Ekbom’s syndrome, or delusional parasitosis, a difficult disorder to both manage and treat.

TikTok is where the kids are getting all their information on new new wellness trends, so Dr Sydnee decided to check one that’s been popping up a lot: eating Papaya seeds. The main claim is that the seeds awesomely force parasitic worms out of your body – worms you didn’t even know you had! But is there a SEED of truth in these claims?

Test your medical history knowledge from this past year’s episodes in the Super Secret Sawbones Quiz of Interesting Information to Inform and Enlighten and Entertain and Impress Your Friends 2021!

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Sad Trombone by Benboncan: https://freesound.org/people/Benboncan/

For MaxFunDrive 2021, Sawbones is talking about gross medicine of a different sort. In the United States (and New Zealand) we see a lot of those commercials for prescription medicines with jaunty names and a full minute disclaimer at the end. How they came to be the norm here is a complicated history of bad medicine and the shifting of credence among doctors, patients, and pharmaceutical companies.

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Along with Dr. Sydnee’s amazing videos, TikTok is also a host to an interesting wellness trend: chlorophyll. The green pigment that helps plants turn sunlight into food and oxygen has also been thought to boost your immune system and help with body odor. But chlorophyll as a health food is an idea that dates back to 1930, and spoilers ... it's just as effective now as it was then.

About a year ago, Sawbones discussed what herd immunity was not. In this episode, we look at how we’ll get there, and what role vaccine verification will play. How has it impacted public health historically, and what can we anticipate in the near future?

A somewhat invasive plant with white flowers named after John the Baptist has been used for centuries as a kind of cure all. Dr. Sydnee will lead you through a history of its many applications, what it’s used for today, and explain what exactly is a wort.

When the Nintendo Wii was released, it also came with a warning about potential injuries, to yourself and to others. But are video games good or bad for your health? Justin takes the lead to educate, entertain and delight about both the medical harm and medical good that video games can do.

Have you ever noticed an old house house that has blue glass windows? It's pretty, sure, but it's also supposed to provide healing energy. You can thank a man who really liked growing, farming, and . . . colors for this bizarre but beautiful notion. We've got his story (and how his legacy endures) on this week's Sawbones.

It's been around a year since COVID-19 began to reshape America. On this week's episode of Sawbones, we look back at the past 12 months and examine what we've learned and what we've lost. We'll also take a look at the current state of vaccine rollouts and answer some of your questions.