Today, I argued with my grader over the results of my clinical test. He claimed I had an open contact so I demonstrated that though the contact was lighter than what would be considered ideal, there was resistance to floss and he told me that I was manipulating the floss because I am apparently a floss wizard. Bummer about that 6% drop of my grade for a class worth 11 credits where legitimate garbage passed.

But I got to do it in this shirt so who really won here

Doc Talk: Dr. Schmidt Responds to Ebola in NYC and What You Can Do

You can’t avoid it – NYC is buzzing since Dr. Craig Spencer of Columbia University tested positive for Ebola after returning from volunteering in Africa with Doctors without Borders.

Personally, I’m sorry to hear of the high price he’s paying for spending his time trying to help fight an epidemic. I’m positive Dr. Spencer is an incredibly committed and responsible physician. 

Now…it’s easy to panic, but there’s a lot of misinformation flying around. We have some quick facts below when it comes to the virus but here’s the deal.

Ebola and the flu have a lot of similar symptoms. Mayor De Blasio has been sharing on his social media the best way to protect yourself and fellow New Yorkers is by getting your flu shot. The flu is a deadly virus and claims 30,000 lives a year in the US alone.

This allows our medical professionals to focus on fighting Ebola. Below I have some fast facts about Ebola – the best thing to do though is to stay calm and get your flu shot.

For more information: visit the NYC Department of Health

Ebola only spreads via bodily fluids.
It’s survives in wet and warm. The virus lives in vomit, diarrhea, blood, and sweat.

Ebola patients cannot infect others before they are sick themselves.
No one has been documented to spread the virus before showing symptoms such as a high fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Dr. Spencer did not have a fever until Thursday morning when he promptly notified proper authorities.

In fact, people in the early stages of Ebola infection often test negative for the virus, because there’s not very much in their blood. While the virus is found in sweat and might make you wary of public transport, what’s mean by that is that it’s found in the very profuse sweat of very ill patients and unlikely to be in the normal perspiration of an otherwise asymptomatic person.

Ebola does not spread through casual contact.
The people most at risk of Ebola are caregivers and health care workers, who are physically touching Ebola patients at their sickest. In 40 years of studying Ebola outbreaks, no one has seen a mystery case.

This means, people are infected by direct contact – not casual contact on buses, trains, or in the street.

Ebola doesn’t spread through the air.
Unlike measles or tuberculosis, Ebola virus is not airborne. Also, Ebola virus is killed on contact with bleach or alcohol.

Stay healthy!
Here at Pager, we’re committed to the safety of our patients, nurses, and doctors. We’re establishing proper protocols on our end. However, the biggest threat to New Yorkers is the flu – not Ebola. 

Dr. Jasper Schmidt is a Pager doctor who specializes in emergency medicine and has over 11 years of experience.

Watch: "Into the Arctic" Filmmakers Greg and Shaun MacGillivray on "DocTalk"

The latest from IMAX legend Greg MacGillivray opened in museums and theaters this week. Titled To the Arctic, this large format 3D documentary looks to be another spectacular treat from the guy who gave us such widely seen films as To Fly! and Oscar nominees The Living Sea and Dolphins.

This time MacGillivray is working again with The Living Sea narrator Meryl Streep and collaborating with his son, Shaun MacGillivray, who was previously a producer on his dad’s 2008 film Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk. Documentary Channel got to talk with father and son for an episode of DocTalk, and you can now watch their segment in the video above.

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I’m always surprised by the kinds of people who tell me they never get a flu shot. Often it’s big burly men, policemen, construction workers, and often after an extended protest about how they “never” get sick—there’s a confession about how they’re actually terrified of needles. 

Then we start to talk about the misinformation surrounding the flu vaccine. I always get the rebuttal about how the flu shot can actually give you the flu. The vaccine Pager uses contains no whole virus that scientifically could possibly infect you. However, it does contain the isolated proteins your body will recognize to trigger an immune response that will serve to protect you against the actual flu.

I also meet pregnant mothers who are concerned the vaccine may contain mercury. Regardless of the controversy about thiomersal or mercury for children or adults, the vaccine used at Pager contains no mercury derivatives. 

Plus, I meet invincible young adults, like myself, who do not fear the consequences of the flu. Last year, 60% of the deaths were people from 25 to 64 in age. It makes me think about how the flu kills more people in the United States every year than HIV or prostate cancer. 

One of the reasons the flu is able to kill so many people (over 35,000 last season) is that many healthy adults don’t realize they have the flu. Up to 30% of people with the flu don’t actually show symptoms and they end up spreading the virus to other people for whom consequences include mortality. 

In the end, I believe the need to vaccinate against the flu is incredibly important and an increase in awareness of the consequences of the flu. There’s a focus right now on Ebola and EVD-68 but both of those have collectively caused zero deaths in the US unlike the flu.

So please, if not for yourself—get vaccinated to help stop the spread.  We promise to make your vaccination a great experience. 

Dr. Jasper Schmidt is a Pager doctor who specializes in emergency medicine and has over 11 years of experience. 

Watch: Joseph Garner Discusses "Craigslist Joe" on DocTalk

Hitting DVD tomorrow is the new documentary Craigslist Joe, a first-person film of the sort I label “life-experiment doc.” Like Morgan Spurlock with Super Size Me or non-director Jeb Berrier in Bag It, it involves a guy who temporarily changes his life in order to prove a point related to an issue. But for filmmaker Joseph Garner (an associate producer for the Hangover movies), the issue doesn’t appear as simple as the dangers of fast food or plastic bags and bottles.

Instead, inspired by the depressed economy and increased usage of social media, he decided to document his attempt to travel the country entirely supported by what and who he could find on Craigslist without depending on any money or friends of his own.

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Incredible new trailer for The Overnighters!


From my experience working as an ER doctor, I know most patients who come to the emergency room for care—don’t actually have emergencies. There’s a difference between something wrong versus an emergency that needs an immediate response. 

You’re not feeling well and while there’s an issue – it might not constitute as an emergency. The ER will not respond to you as an emergency and your case with other non-emergent cases will have protracted wait times while the heart attacks and strokes are managed first. 

It’s why I believe Pager is such a great ER alternative for multiple reasons:

1. No competition. When you make a request, you’re not competing against an emergency room full of patients. Our doctors are able to focus on you and your care.

2. Better follow up. Our doctors will follow up with you. Few cases in the ER ever receive follow up care – so any additional questions or issues you have won’t be addressed unless you return or see your own doctor.

3. Quality care. Going to the ER does not mean you receive better care. Besides the fact the ER is a rather chaotic scene, most ER doctors don’t have a lot of time to spend with patients. Our doctors are given a time luxury to make sure they can properly address your needs.

4. Affordability. Pager gives you access to ER level physicians at a fraction of the cost.

5. Sheer convenience. Pager allows you to access urgent medical care without upending your entire day.

In the end, you deserve quality care and in cases of non-emergent issues, Pager is clearly the winning choice. 

Dr. Kimberly Henderson is a Pager doctor who specializes in emergency medicine and has over 10 years of experience. 

Watch: Malik Bendjelloul and Rodriguez Discuss "Searching for Sugar Man" on DocTalk

Searching for Sugar Man is one of the most crowd-pleasing and critic-pleasing documentaries of the year, and it’s currently doing quite well in limited release. Above is Documentary Channel's DocTalk segment presenting the film, which was recognized by both the jury and the audience at Sundance, where it premiered back in January. In the video, director Malik Bendjelloul calls the doc’s story, focused on obscure folk singer Rodriguez, a fairy tale.

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Watch this suprising NY Times short doc about a man who discovered the secret to happiness: beach rollerblading.

Meet Dr. Boxer—Pager’s Chief Medical Officer and His Belief in Our Mission

When I applied to medical school, I was a member of a family with 29 physicians. You could say caring for the sick is in my DNA. My father was a “general practitioner,” now known as a specialist in family medicine. He was like Dr. Marcus Welby (the famous TV doctor of the late 1960s), and made house calls every other night. As his son, I observed the dedicated compassion, but also the limited capacity due to the era. When it was my turn to enter medicine, I chose a surgical specialty. However, I never did forget the tremendous appreciation shown by the patients or the deep satisfaction seen in my father.

I have been practicing medicine, creating national health policy, and championing new technological advances to improve access to healthcare for 35 years. I helped create the clinical portion of telemedicine and I continue to advocate for technology and the remarkable opportunity it has to increase access to care. However, I’ve learned people do not evolve as fast the technology around them. Patients appreciate and will use various new techniques to improve access but a significant percentage of the population still desire a person-to-person interaction with a doctor visit. 

It was in my roots to support face-to-face medical consults and my experience to support innovative technology. This is why I was attracted to a young startup with exceptional technology and a mission to provide healthcare personally to patients in their home. It was of no surprise that in the spring of 2014, I joined the Pager team.

Pager offers the best of all worlds. The quality of the physicians—all Board certified primary care doctors and trained in house calls—can provide patients with the most up-to-date healthcare everyone deserves.  The technology for providing access is state-of-the-art and include:

  • Transparency of Cost
  • Identification for Security
  • Easy Method of Payment
  • Allows for Rapid Communication
  • Extreme Convenience

In addition, for those who are infirm and living alone or even with another, or two working parents who leave their child with a care giver, or finally an adult whose parents live in another location – Pager gives the peace of mind to have a physician there for a love one, and that is worth a great deal.

The mission for Pager is to deliver a rapid, personal, and convenient response to urgent, yet non-emergency issues or chronic conditions. If groceries and services can be delivered to your home, certainly health care can too. Plus, the cost of health care has been skyrocketing. Health insurance has been out of control – deductibles and co-pays have been rising rapidly. Thus, if a person with a minor illness goes to an emergency room, a doctor’s office, or an urgent care center, the cost can be disproportionate with the treatment. Pager offers a face-to-face consult for a fraction of that cost and with far greater convenience. A rapid personal consultation commonly reduces the symptoms and increases the speed of recovery, thus making an illness much more tolerably, and possibly reducing a possible spread to family members while allowing a speedy return to work or play.

My experience has bridged the span of modern medicine: from my father providing house calls to hospital-only care, and now technologically advance house calls. It is “Back to the Future” for me here. The historical desire of patients to have convenient, personal care has returned with a 2014 edge: speed, convenience, quality, and technology. The future is here: Pager is here.

Dr. Richard Boxer is Pager’s Chief Medical Officer and has over 35 years of experience within the medical world.

Watch: David France Discusses "How to Survive a Plague" on DocTalk

Here’s our DocTalk segment featuring filmmaker David France setting up and discussing the story of How to Survive a Plague, one of the must-see documentaries of this year. As I keep writing, this chronicle of the crusade for AIDS treatment is also the most moving film of the year. It’s currently playing on seven screens, including those in Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, L.A. and NYC, and it starts in Dallas, Houston and Miami this Friday.

I encourage you to see it if you can; it hasn’t taken in a whole lot at the box office yet, and that’s a shame. I know it’s often a sad film, but it’s more often an uplifting one. Hopefully the video above will influence you to check it out. You should also read my own in depth interview with France and producer Howard Gertler here.


A thrilling new doc about the fearless ‘Evel Knievel of Dance,’ Elizabeth Streb

Watch: Emmett Malloy Discusses "Big Easy Express" on DocTalk. The Film is Now Available Globally From iTunes

Regular Documentary Channel viewers should be familiar with the concert tour doc Festival Express, a 2003 production that presents the 1970 cross-Canada train travels of Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Band and Delaney & Bonnie & Friends (if not, it’s airing on July 15 and is available for free streaming in the Doc Channel Screening Room). And if you’re a fan of that film, you should also enjoy Big Easy Express, a similar doc which director Emmett Malloy admits was heavily influenced by the earlier work.

He says so in the DocTalk segment above, the video for which arrives online with perfect timing now that Big Easy Express has debuted exclusively on iTunes as the first feature film distributed globally through the service (for purchase and rental) ahead of any other platform. The doc also just finished a strong festival rush, opening the Maui Film Festival on June 13 and screening this past weekend at both the Los Angeles Film Festival and Silverdocs, the latter as the closing night selection. It hits DVD and Blu-ray in a month.

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