Episode 92: Doug McGuff, MD


Description: Host Brad Kearns talks to Doug McGuff about how to save yourself from the beast that is the modern medical care system. Doug is an emergency room physician in South Carolina, so he wages a front-line battle with the daily challenges of emergency care, including challenging regulations, guidelines and the stupidity of the American humans requiring a trip to the ER.

As the co-author of The Primal Prescription, Doug authored the section called “Save Yourself,” where he detailed a comprehensive plan of attack entailing living healthily (so you don’t need medical care in the first place), and navigating the system effectively when you do need medical care. A big key to your success is to find a go-to primary care physician with whom to develop a long term relationship—someone whose expertise you can rely on when you are thrust into a medical scene chock full of specialists.

Doug covers topics like false positives from elective screenings, how many unhealthy folks develop a mentality of “dependence and helplessness,” and how prescription drugs deliver therapeutic effects and side effects. We must carefully assess whether enduring the side effects are worth receiving the therapeutic effect. And hey, maybe lifestyle change can deliver similar results to prescription drugs, but without adverse side effects?

The show ends with some fun as Doug details his “12 Ways to Avoid the Black Swan.” Inspired by his years in the ER, he lists a bunch of things to do, or not do, to stay away from the ER. Don’t miss the last part of the show, it will definitely make you laugh, and it could save your life!

This episode is brought to you by Harry’s. Go to harrys.com today and receive $5 off your first purchase by using the promo code PRIMAL at checkout.

Show Notes:

  • What’s it like to be an ER doctor while writing a book? [01:00]
  • How to benefit from the best medical science has to offer, despite the system that houses it [08:00]
  • How to choose your best primary care physician [09:20]
  • The upside of cash-only practitioners [14:00]
  • The importance of researching your physician before you choose him/her [15:51]
  • If you’re already a healthy person, what kind of general care physician should you choose? [17:00]
  • Why you should avoid specialist hopping [24:30]
  • Why medical tests are contextual and how elective procedures can sometimes do more harm than good [27:00]
  • How physicians are pressured to do things that aren’t supported by medical literature [33:00]
  • No drug has only one single effect in the body: weighing therapeutics effects against side effects [35:00]
  • 12 Ways to Avoid the Black Swan [43:10]
  • Drive the biggest and/or up to date vehicle you can afford to drive [44:00]
  • The dangers of ATVs [47:00]
  • Why you should think twice about riding your bike on public roads [48:00]
  • What does EMTALA mean and how does it affect the kind of care doctors are obligated to give? [01:02:00]

Selected Links from the Episode:
The Primal Prescription
Dr. Doug McGuff
Body by Science

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One thought on “Episode 92: Doug McGuff, MD

  1. Linda

    I have read both of Dr. McGuff’s books and my husband and I have implemented the principles he shares. We’ve chosen a new doctor and use his fitness principles. I have visited his Seneca gym facility and he’s a great communicator and person.


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