MedInfo Health Line


In the late 1990s, I wrote a weekly series of one-page articles for a Medical Information Hotline. A professional reader recorded these two minute messages. The caller was charge $1.95 per call. As medical information became essentially free on the internet, the traffic for paid information decreased and this series went out of vogue. However, I continued to keep a running record of vignettes and brief comments about the MedInfo field.

Recently, as I was cleaning up my hard disk, I came across this series and thought that many of these messages are still relevant and of interest in the Twenty-first Century. I’ve selected and updated some 15-20 of them from each year and I am in the process of having them posted to this electronic journal. Some may have more of an historical interest. Medical aspects would be somewhat dated. I will continue to add current items of interest as I observe them.

Reviewing these individual experiences will elucidate the issues that are important to us in health care. I don’t believe Americans will ever be happy with, or settle for, a system wherein the state dictates the terms of this most confidential experience with their doctor. But we must understand the various experiences we have not only with doctors, but also with hospitals, pharmacists, x-ray facilities, laboratories, HMOs, PPOs, Medicare, Medicaid, and any of the ancillary health care categories.

However, once central control has been implemented, the government never wants to concede a mistake or lose regulatory control of people’s lives, which can be very effective through a very basic need – their health. It will be nearly impossible to implement a private or market-base system in which every physician, surgicenter and hospital competes to provide the greatest healthcare service for the least possible cost. The United States is essentially the last country that can recapture a system wherein the best healthcare at the lowest possible costs can be achieved.

We hope that reading these vignettes and glimpses of the everyday happenings in healthcare of actual cases involving people, doctors, nurses and hospitals interacting with each other, will help each of us to work together to preserve our heritage.

Please feel free to critique, comment or offer suggestions to

To keep up with the dialogue of a patient-centered health plan for the United States, browse the online journal at on a regular basis.

Be sure to review the electronic journal at on a regular basis.

Be sure to sign up for Dr Meyer’s biweekly electronic letter at