Dr. Ethan Welch is a retired local surgeon who has written a new booked called  "Quackonomics! The Cost of Unscientific Health Care in the US." We talk to him about the critical importance of science in medicine and how Americans can better spend their health care dollars.

Our guest:

A new book explores the history of pandemics from 1900 through the current coronavirus. Dr. Rae-Ellen Kavey is a public health practitioner and Dr. Allison Kavey is a medical historian. Their book, "Viral Pandemics: From Smallpox to COVID-19," explores what we know about viral biology and how global interconnectedness has contributed to worldwide pandemics.

They join us to discuss their research. Our guests:

  • Rae-Ellen Kavey, M.D., retired pediatric cardiologist, and co-author of "Viral Pandemics: From Smallpox to COVID-19"
  • Allison Kavey, M.D., MPH, professor of history at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the CUNY Graduate Centre, and co-author of "Viral   Pandemics: From Smallpox to COVID-19"

A local woman says the staff at Highland Hospital saved her life after they recognized she had sepsis. Lynn Lubecki says she was feeling fine after a night out with friends, but then started experiencing symptoms she and her family didn't understand. Doctors at Highland recognized immediately that she had sepsis. Lubecki says without their training and expertise, she would not be alive today.

This hour, she joins us to share her story, and the medical staff who treated her help us understand the characteristics of sepsis. In studio:

  • Lynn Lubecki, early care and education strategies director at the Children’s Institute
  • Dr. Timothy Lum, M.D., chief of the Emergency Department at Highland Hospital
  • Diane Martin, registered nurse and nurse educator at Highland Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit


An article recently published in the New York Post has generated controversy. In a piece about parenting, Raquel Laneri writes that “some so-called parenting musts are just American nonsense.” She points to anthropologists who’ve conducted research about parenting around the world. Among other things, their findings show co-sleeping is the norm for the vast majority of parents across the globe. But, the article didn’t consult medical experts.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says infants should sleep separately from their parents to decrease the risk of sleep-related deaths. This hour, we’re joined by experts who share what the research says about co-sleeping and their recommendations for safe sleep for infants and babies. Our guests:

  • Dr. Elizabeth Murray, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and pediatrician at Golisano Children’s Hospital
  • Dr. Steven Schulz, M.D., medical director and pediatrician at Rochester Regional Health’s Finger Lakes Medical Associates in Geneva, and medical director for Rochester Regional Health’s Monroe County pediatric medical practices

Dr. Gina Cuyler has more than 25 years of clinical experience, and throughout her career, she says she has seen a breakdown in communication, miscommunication, or misunderstandings between patients and providers. In her new book, “Insider’s Guide to Leading Your Medical Care,” she provides information and resources aimed at helping patients advocate for their medical needs.

She joins us in studio to discuss the impact of physician burnout, electronic medical records, and the healthcare process on patients. In studio:

A new study shows the number of young adults dying from heart failure is on the rise. We're joined by a cardiologist and a dietitian who help us understand the research and treatment, as well as a young man diagnosed with a heart condition who shares his journey.  

In studio:

  • Dr. Himabindu Vidula, M.D., transplant cardiologist, and assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Yimy Queipo Rodriguez, registered dietitian at the Center for Community Health & Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Cody Crandall, heart transplant patient

Rochester is a budding hotbed for lifestyle medicine. The founder of Rochester Lifestyle Medicine says the concentration of lifestyle medicine board-certified physicians in the Greater Rochester area is far higher than anywhere else in the world. And now, doctors and patients from across the country are invited to the Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute to participate in a plant-based nutrition course.

This hour, our guests discuss how chronic diseases can be treated and prevented through nutrition, lifestyle choices, and other “low-tech” solutions, versus drugs and procedures. We also discuss local success stories. In studio:

  • Dr. Ted Barnett, M.D., founder and medical director for Rochester Lifestyle Medicine, founder and board chair of the Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute, and co-coordinator of the Rochester Area Vegan Society
  • Dr. Michael Klaper, M.D., physician, consultant, and educator
  • Dr. Rebeca Monk, M.D., nephrologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Robert Franki, communication director for the Rochester Lifestyle Medicine Institute

Can medical empathy be taught? Helping medical and nursing students understand the value of human, emotional connections is the goal of the Standardized Patient program at the University of Rochester Medical Center. It pairs patient actors with students, and charges students with empathically delivering bad news to the actors.

We discuss the program and the value of empathy in medical settings. In studio:

  • Dr. Robert Horowitz, M.D., chief and professor of palliative care in the Department of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Marta Brewer, former Standardized Patient educator at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Julie Gissin, actor in the Standardized Patient program at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Dr. Nichole Roxas, URMC graduate and now psychiatry resident at Yale
  • Brett Dahlberg, health reporter and producer for WXXI News

Experts say Lyme disease is spreading, and as we’ve learned, so has to the controversy surrounding it. Mainstream medicine rejects the idea of chronic Lyme disease, and some doctors who speak out against it are harassed or even threatened. But patients who say they have chronic Lyme disease emphasize the treatment they’ve received from “Lyme literate” doctors helps.

So what does the science say? And how can humans protect themselves and their pets from Lyme disease? Our panel discusses it. Our guests:

  • Dr. Geoffrey Weinberg, M.D., professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at URMC
  • Dr. Jackie Walker, DVM, veterinarian and Churchville Veterinary Hospital
  • Marcie Kreydt, Lyme disease patient, and Southern Tier regional director for Camp Good Days in Special Times

Physicians are reacting to President Trump’s recent decision to appoint Dr. Mehmet Oz to his Council on Sport, Fitness, and Nutrition. Many doctors and lawmakers across the country are criticizing the move, saying the celebrity doctor has promoted unscientific methods, discredited research, and “miracle” products on his program. He also faced backlash in 2012 for his episode on reparative therapy, which he claimed could turn gay people straight.

Oz tweeted that he’ll be advising the president on how to improve children’s health programs in school systems. Our guests discuss what the appointment could mean in the broad context, and the dangers of promoting pseudoscience. In studio:

  • Dr. Robert Cole, medical director for the Rochester Regional Health Primary Care and Ambulatory Specialties Institute
  • Dr. Elizabeth Murray, pediatrician at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong