Mon12222014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Local doctor diagnoses state of U.S. health care

If you want the inside scoop on what's wrong with our current medical system, local author Saul William Seidman, M.D., FACS, is scheduled to share his opinion at Main Street Cafe & Books 6:30-8 p.m. June 14.

Seidman, a retired neurosurgeon, will present evidence from his new book, "Inevitable Incompetence: Soaring Medical Costs, Dangerous Medical Care" (Universal, 2007), a lambasting of the current trend toward health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and socialized medicine.

The doctor knows what he is talking about - his book is based on 25 years' experience as a neurosurgeon, primarily at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. He completed his neurosurgery residency at Yale University.

Seidman's wife, Grace, had a long-term bad experience with Kaiser Permanente, resulting in a successful lawsuit. Her dealings with the hospital provided Seidman with a foundation for the book.

He does more than complain about current trends. Seidman offers suggestions for reversing the prevailing tides and gives tips on improving the chances of receiving good medical care.

About the direction of medicine, Seidman wrote: "We have two choices. We can follow the delusion of 'universal health care' or we can accept a market approach to health care. Putting patients in charge of their medical care is a market approach. It guarantees competence, at least."

Seidman continued: "The corruption of medical care is the result of interference by nonphysicians in the process of patient care. … Bureaucrats now dictate policy. ... I was fortunate to practice neurosurgery in the golden age of medicine. ... Patients had the choice of whom they would trust."

Seidman said that administrators and bureaucrats - so-called medicrats - consume 30 percent of medical expenditures. "Inevitable Incompetence" offers a blistering invective of bureaucrats.

In the book, Seidman said that the most challenging problem with modern medicine is the lack of slow, careful diagnoses. The art and science of clinical diagnoses suffer from the availability of expensive diagnostic tests - doctors tend to order tests rather than take 30 minutes to talk with the patient, record a thorough history and listen to what the patient has to say.

"Today's HMO doctors are expected to limit each visit to six minutes," he wrote.

When Seidman was practicing medicine, he went to the waiting room himself to escort patients to the examination room to observe their gait, an important neurological function. He then spent up to 45 minutes listening to their explanations of what was wrong.

He blames "patient churning" - the policy of getting patients in and out as quickly as possible - for the decline in medical care.

Noting that neurosurgeons are not being adequately replaced - he claims a 33 percent drop in applications - Seidman laments the impersonal nature of current medical practice. He and his colleagues knew each other and spent time together, discussing medicine and getting to know each other's strengths and weaknesses. Within an HMO, he writes, doctors often are unaware of the competency of doctors to whom they refer patients, care is fragmented and a doctor does not take responsibility for a patient's total care.

A section of the book offers suggestions for checking up on your doctor: how to find out if a specialist is board certified, how to evaluate your doctor's skill level, how to find out if your doctor has been involved in disciplinary actions and how to determine the questions a doctor should ask the patient.

"Inevitable Incompetence" is available at Main Street Cafe & Books, 134 Main St., Los Altos. Seidman will sign books at the event. For more information, call 948-8040.

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