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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

Is there evidence that sugary drinks cause worse hangovers? Does green snot mean there’s an infection? We’re answering more of your weird medical questions. Well, to be fair, Dr. Sydnee is answering your medical queries about sticky lip germs, C.diff, and the hot debate about that thing on your back.

Well, people are eating dirt. Real expensive dirt, too. That’s where we’re at. There’s a multi-level marketing company that sells people dirt to eat. We’re doing a Sawbones about it, and it turns out that we actually think it’s a really cool and good idea! Eating pricey dirt goo, we mean.

… No, no, it’s terrible. It’s all terrible.

If you’ve seen a new smoothie shop or “Nutrition Club” open up in your area, take note: It may not be a smoothie store at all. This week on Sawbones, we explore the history of Herbalife and why this multi-level marketing weight loss company is opening smoothie shops with no smoothies for sale.

CW: Discussion of dieting and weight loss

Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers

We’ve got a real mystery for you on Sawbones this week: Havana Syndrome. It’s either a secret beam being blasted at American diplomats . . . or a mass psychogenic illness . . . or a complete fabrication. Or anything in between?

Yep, it’s a weird one. Hang in there.

In the 1950s, Thalidomide was rolled out very quickly and what followed was a tragic story that highlighted perils of greed and hidden agendas. This week on Sawbones, Dr. Sydnee and Justin attempt to untangle this murky narrative, and highlight the doctor who heroically kept this disaster from claiming many more lives.

Justin takes over Sawbones researching duties from Dr. Sydnee this week as he begins profiling the unsung heroes of business: Brands. In this inaugural attempt, he’ll present the story of Vicks and how the company’s VapoRub took over the world. Also: The puzzling truth about NyQuil’s name.

How well do we understand viruses? We were fighting them before we could even see them. Fast forward to today, Dr. Sydnee explains how all of this relates to what we know now about the Delta variant.

To donate to the Immunization Action Coalition: immunize.org

Sawbones is finally doing the Balto episode! What happens when a remote town in Alaska has a diphtheria breakout, but their entire anti-toxin supply is expired? Call up Balto and the pack of hero dogs and mushers to make the harrowing journey.

Naloxone is known as the “life-saving drug,” since it can bring someone back from an opiate overdose. Dr. Sydnee goes through the history of this hero drug, how it works, and the recent struggle of keeping it accessible in some communities.

Check out the Free Naloxone Day Fundraiser: Bit.ly/SawbonesNaloxone

It’s time to answer more of your medical queries, like what is Texidor’s Twinge, when does the sunscreen clock start, and yeast infections: why?

We recorded this episode live on the Joco Cruise 2020, where Dr. Sydnee dissects the medicine mentioned in the songs of Jimmy Buffett. What is recommend for “Island Fever”? What should Mr. Buffett be concerned about when eating that “Cheeseburger in Paradise”? And do the lyrics of “Frenchmen for the Night” mean he may have Jumping Frenchmen of Maine?

Workplace burnout is commonplace in the 21st century, but it’s a fairly recent idea. It’s especially insidious among physicians, who are taught that any fatigue is a sign of weakness. Dr. Sydnee shares her personal experience with exhaustion and what might be done to address this problem in the United States.