Presentation Topics

Medicine in art  (New)

This richly illustrated presentation traces the portrayal of disease from 30,000 years ago, through ancient civilizations, the glory of the Renaissance and the realities of the modern age. Second only to observation at the bedside, art served as education for physicians until the age of technology. It still provides instruction, inspiration, comfort and a sense of beauty to the practitioner as well as to the afflicted..

Fasting: healthy, holy, hazard or hoax? New

Deliberate avoidance of food is a uniquely human trait that has been known since ancient times. Properly managed, fasting has health benefits but it also has some serious side effects. Learn how to take advantage of a trend that is widely – and sometimes unwisely – practiced in the modern era.

COVID-19 and Spanish flu

Nearly a century has separated two of the most deadly pandemics in modern history. Both have murky origins and unusual ability to spread globally but vastly different outcomes among the young and old. The decades that separates them are filled with astonishing medical advances but COVID-19 continues to challenge scientists with the twists and turns of a complex murder mystery.          

Life and health in the Stone Age

Health Secrets of the Stone Age

Our body chemistry is a couple of million years old and it is not compatible with the modern diet of refined grains, high sugar and salt intake and minimal physical activity. All of the so-called diseases of aging are actually lifestyle diseases.

Being a kid in the Stone Age

A pregnant woman in the Stone Age was healthier than a modern woman and her child benefited as a result. In spite of the hazards of infections that have been under control in the Western world for many decades, children who were born tens of thousands of years ago would become strong, healthy adults. None would suffer from the chronic diseases of modern life. Learn about how they were born, raised and nurtured in a primitive world.

The Way We Were – and Still Are

There are reasons why we have eyebrows, toenails, underarm hair and appendixes. Learning why is an interesting experience.

Back to the Future

Our Stone Age ancestors were healthier than most Americans. We only have to learn what worked for them in order to live to grow older free from disease. There are living examples of the Stone Age lifestyle that we can use as role models.

What life was really like in the Stone Age. Not so bad.

Human existence during the Stone Age was hardly a bed of roses but it allowed mankind to become the dominant species on the planet. Creature comforts are relative and prehistoric people were probably happy in their circumstances. In fact, there are valuable lessons for us in the Stone Age lifestyle.

What the Paleo Diet is all about

Humans have followed the Paleo diet for more than two million years but the media discovered it only recently. Is it possible to re-create our ancestral diet in a modern world? Are the health benefits of the Paleo Diet real? Learn how to sort out facts from fiction.

A Stone Age Makeover.

Americans were healthier a century ago. They became ill and died because many lacked basic sanitation and the era of vaccines and antibiotics had not yet arrived. You can make over your health by taking a few simple steps. Expect changes in your shape, your skin, your bones, your brain and your energy level.

Restoring a squandered legacy

Considering the remarkable medical advances of the past century, human life expectancy should be steadily increasing. Instead, we are burdened by diseases that didn’t exist at the dawn of the Agricultural Revolution. This presentation describes a blueprint to reverse the epidemics of obesity, diabetes and other causes of premature mortality.

The evolutionary constraint

The Discordance Hypothesis explains why people in Western societies suffer from several chronic non-infectious diseases that include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and various forms of dementia. Making minor lifestyle changes can avoid inevitable Draconian initiatives that loom on the horizon.

Learning from the past, living for the future

Modern organized medicine fails to address the root causes of the major chronic diseases because it employs superb tactics but flawed strategy. Classic misconceptions have provided us with the illusion of good health.

Making our bodies work better

Regain your youthful memory          

Some of life’s most embarrassing moments happen when we can’t remember a name and it gets worse as we get older. Less embarrassing but perhaps as frustrating is forgetting where we parked our car at Costco, or returning home from the grocery store only to realize that we forgot an important item. How to regain your youthful memory is designed to help seniors minimize these challenges using memory techniques that are thousands of years old

Fasting: healthy, holy, hazard or hoax? New

Deliberate avoidance of food is a uniquely human trait that has been known since ancient times. Properly managed, fasting has health benefits but it also has some serious side effects. Learn how to take advantage of a trend that is widely – and sometimes unwisely – practiced in the modern era.

Bone – anything but boring

Bone is a remarkable substance. It is a living thing, constantly dissolving and rebuilding itself from before birth to the moment of death, capable of healing itself. It is a factory for blood cells and immune factors and helps to regulate heartbeat and brain activity. It has contributed to art, agriculture, medicine and industry.

Sleep, Light and Health

Humans evolved without artificial lighting and we are still subject to the day-night and seasonal rhythms to which we have adapted. Diseases and conditions that never affected our Stone Age ancestors are now common thanks to Thomas Edison.

Immunization: the Good, the Bad, the Future.

Vaccines have been around for centuries and they are responsible for the eradication of several deadly diseases. They are not entirely benign, however. Immunization is no longer only for children. There are at least two adult vaccines that can save your life.

Probiotics and prebiotics. The care and feeding of germs that keep us healthy.

            Beneficial bacteria populate the outside and inside of our bodies, improve our immunity, lower cholesterol and provide energy. Learn how to safeguard this critical resource.

Body fat; everything that jiggles is not the same.

It’s location, location, location. Fat behaves differently depending on its location in the body and it’s not the same for men and women. Find new insights into weight loss, the genetics of weight gain and why baby fat is dangerous.

Antioxidants 101.

Antioxidants are critical for survival but which ones do you need? Modern medicine is learning much about some of the oldest nutrients in the universe. We’ll sort out the confusing names and ridiculous claims.

The first paleo food: breastmilk

For hundreds of thousands of years human infants’ diet for their first several months consisted only of mother’s milk. It is more than nourishment; it is a major source of immune substances including live cells that persist in the infant for years, perhaps for a lifetime. Unlike cow’s milk formula it changes every single day of an infant’s life.

Avoid the annoyances of aging

Eighty is the new sixty but in order to enjoy it it helps to know how to avoid the inconveniences of growing older. Some of the challenges of the elderly are not due to aging but are signs of illnesses for which there is valuable intervention.

A unique look at medical history

 Medical miracles since you were a kid

In the year 1940 the world stood on the threshold of many if not most of the astounding advances in the field of medicine. Since then three generations of physicians and scientists have performed surgery on infants still in the womb, restored vision and hearing to the blind and deaf, eliminated through drugs and vaccines diseases that killed tens of millions of children every year and made organ transplants routine. Join us as we describe these and many other medical marvels that were once in the realm of science fiction.

Medicine’s Greatest Controversies: from Hippocrates to cholesterol.

Science is ever in turmoil. New discoveries, new tools and new thinkers have upended established dogma for millennia. Yesterday’s heretics become today’s heroes and tomorrow’s has-beens. We’ll examine some of the great arguments in medicine, learn how they were resolved and predict what may lie in store.

A Day in the Life of a Renaissance Physician

A historical period that has been described as the making of modern man was also the making of modern medicine. This presentation provides an overview of the Renaissance with particular emphasis on medical practices of the day and how they influenced today’s physicians.

A day in the life of a California Gold Rush physician.

It began with a nugget no larger than a thumbnail but it transformed the United States. Physician-adventurers followed the gold, bringing old ideas as well as newly-emerging medical discoveries. It was a unique period in history that tested a physician’s skills and stamina.

A Day in the Life of a Physician in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt had some unusual characteristics beyond pyramids and mummies. Diseases of the era are depicted in temple artwork and Egyptian physicians were respected for their knowledge in the ancient world.

Tuberculosis, a colorful history of the white plague

Tuberculosis has been a leading cause of death for millennia. Its victims included famous artists, writers, actors, composers and politicians. Learn what made it so devastating and why the medical community is worried about its resurgence.

Diseases of the Bible

Numerous diseases and medical conditions are mentioned in the Bible but these accounts were written long before the rise of medical science. This presentation seeks to identify them and to place them in a modern perspective. A study of these diseases adds to our understanding of life in the biblical era.

Medical diseases that changed the course of history

The fate of empires sometimes rested on life forms invisible to the naked eye. If not for a virus, the United States would be but a fraction of its current size; but for another virus it could match the size of China. Diseases aided the rise of Islam, Nazism and Communism.

The antibiotic crisis: how we got here

Only three generations of humans have lived during the antibiotic era. This presentation describes how antibiotics were discovered, how they work, why they are becoming less effective and how we can protect ourselves from antibiotic-resistant microorganisms.

How wars changed the world of medicine

Since the time of the pharaohs of Egypt and right up to the present day, tragedy on the battlefield has inspired dramatic changes in medical practice. From cautery to cataracts, innovative discoveries during wartime have benefitted the general public.

A History of crucifixion

Crucifixion is mankind’s most degrading form of punishment but it is not unique to the time of Christ. It was used in ancient Persia and it survives in some parts of the world today.

Wine in the time of Jesus

The origin of wine dates back more than ten millennia and the industry was well developed at the time of the New Testament. You will gain new insights into biblical references to wine, going back to the Great Flood.

Medical wit and whimsy

 A short history of the bellybutton

Not everyone has a bellybutton and it wasn’t just Adam and Eve who lacked that vital structure. It represents a lifeline before birth, a structure that saves babies’ lives afterwards, becomes a handy convenience for the surgeon and inspired a famous variant of Italian pasta.

Eating Ethnoid

Ethnic restaurants seldom serve the kind of food that comprises the menu of the original country. Learn what foods they really eat in the old country and how to make wise choices when dining out.

Health benefits of wine and chocolate.

Wine and chocolate are derived from plants and thus contain nutrients that have specific health benefits. Not all forms of these pleasurable foods are healthy, however. Learn which claims are legitimate and how to select the healthiest forms of wine and chocolate.

Everything you ever wanted to know about chocolate: from the Mayas to Godiva.

Chocolate is reported to have health benefits but how much is hype and how much is real? It affects brain cells and fat cells and there is a reason why the Aztecs called it “The gift of the gods.”

Serendipities that affect your life and your health.

Accidents happen but the outcome is not always bad. Scientific breakthroughs from the Big Bang theory to cataract surgery, from penicillin to post-it notes, from vaccines to Viagra, have come from efforts directed to a different objective. Simple mistakes have led to miraculous discoveries, several of which affect each of us every day of our lives.

Avoiding modern diseases

 Diabetes – A Growth Industry

The media are becoming crowded with commercials about diabetes-related products and services. Type 2 diabetes was almost unknown less than a century ago but it threatens our economy as well as the lifespan of the youngest generation.

Avoiding Diabetes

Experts in the management of type 2 diabetes refer to it as an exercise-deficiency disease, which is only a mild exaggeration. It is 100 percent avoidable but once established it is not curable. With the proper steps it’s possible to slow the onset of complications and persons with prediabetes can avoid them altogether.

Ten Ways to Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Most forms of age-related dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, can be avoided or delayed by following a prudent lifestyle. Ten simple measures will preserve brain function and even improve it.

Shingles: a better vaccine is here

            Shingles, whose medical name is herpes zoster, is occurring more often as our population ages. For most victims it’s uncomfortable but for many it results in pain that can last for years, sometimes results in blindness and is associated with stroke and heart attack. A much more effective vaccine that was released in December, 2017 is nearly twice as effective as the previous one. Learn how it begins, who is at risk and how we can avoid it.

Health Screening Tests

We can avoid several major diseases if we take advantage of the screening procedures that are commonly available.

Ten steps to avoid cancer.

Cancer is a leading cause of death in Americans, second only to heart disease. Most cancers are lifestyle-related, not age-related and they are therefore avoidable. These ten steps are simple and will add to overall good health.

How to avoid Baby Boomer blindness

It is possible to avoid or postpone the major causes of impaired vision that are usually blamed on aging. Learn how to avoid the leading cause of blindness.

How the computer affects your health and your brain

We can hardly remember a world without computers. The benefits have been enormous but unforeseen consequences are emerging. Our brains and our behavior are literally changing in the span of a single generation. Learn how to avoid the physical and the mental consequences of use and overuse of computers.

Liver Lore.

It’s three pounds of mystery, an indispensable, multitalented organ. The liver has been the subject of mythology, chicanery (remember Carter’s Little Liver Pills?), disease and discovery. Humans have used animal liver as food, sometimes with disastrous results. What do terms like lily-livered and jaundiced eye really mean? And what’s a gallbladder for?

Gluten intolerance and celiac disease

The world’s reliance on cereal grains has brought with it diseases that were unknown to our distant ancestors. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are poorly understood but they have a profound effect on the health of millions of persons.

Stop the bleed, a lifesaving program

Severe bleeding can extinguish a life within four minutes or less but by training a cadre of civilian responders it is possible to save the lives of an estimated 20,000 Americans every year.

Shingles, an avoidable risk

Herpes zoster, known as shingles, affects nearly half of seniors at some time in their lives but it can be avoided by one simple step, a vaccine that promises to end this disabling and sometimes fatal disease.

The politics and financial challenges of medicine

 Hidden Crises, Creative Cures: Addressing the healthcare meltdown.

The growing epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes threaten the fiscal solvency not only of the healthcare industry but of the nation. Politicians fail to address the root causes and actuaries are oblivious to changing disease patterns.

The community impact of CPR training.

Learn how cardiopulmonary resuscitation has developed over the past century, how recent advances have dramatically increased survival from sudden cardiac arrest and how ordinary citizens can help to prevent nearly a half-million deaths per year.

Disaster scenarios and your health

Natural or man-made disasters are inevitable but unpredictable. You may have to provide your own shelter, water, food and medical care when public systems are overwhelmed. A few simple steps today could prevent catastrophe tomorrow.

The nation’s health: turning points

Events that occurred more than 10,000 years ago affect our health today. Six major man-made epidemics threaten human survival. With creativity, will and resolve we can eliminate these as surely as we eliminated the Black Death of medieval times.

Beyond healing: the doctor as teacher

Physicians are healers; doctors are teachers. The appalling lack of awareness among the lay public of the prime movers of poor health should be countered by the medical profession but it is not. The solution lies in the transformation of general as well as medical education.


 Emerging Infectious Diseases: Travel Guidelines

Exotic travel sometimes results in exotic diseases. Almost all can be avoided with careful planning.

Plagues and pandemics

Infectious diseases have always been a part of human existence but man has manipulated his environment to allow new patterns of disease to emerge. We no longer fear The Black Death or smallpox but terrorism has brought them to our attention. Can these terrible plagues return? Should we worry about Ebola, Zika and anthrax? Learn the real story of influenza, how to ensure safe travel to exotic places and how to avoid the nastiest germs.

Improving lifestyle

 Non-Cardiac Benefits of Exercise

The advantages of regular physical activity go far beyond maintaining a healthy weight and a strong cardiopulmonary system. There are reasons why the human body is designed for more exercise in a day than most people perform in a week.

It’s never too late to get more out of life.

There are inspiring stories about the oldest of the elderly, a group known as super centenarians. Longevity is only partly related to genetics and sheer luck. Several unique population groups provide insight into successful aging.

Ancient and modern humans and the myths of longevity

Reaching the tenth decade of life was not unknown in ancient Greece and throughout history. Examples of lucid, productive artists, writers and philosophers show that longevity without senility is an attainable goal.

Ten Health Myths Exposed

Muscle does not turn into fat, you can’t get the flu from the flu vaccine and several other myth-reversals can take the stress out of your life.

Vitamins: the ABCs

Some vitamins are oversold but many Americans, especially seniors, have serious but not obvious vitamin deficiencies. Learn how to find the best sources of these important nutrients.

Minerals: Are You Getting What You Need?

The modern diet is not always adequate in its content of minerals, some of which are needed in only tiny amounts. Find out which ones you are most likely to lack.

Aging Gracefully in Okinawa

Okinawa has the largest percentage of centenarians on the planet and it has nothing to do with their genes, or luck. Their diet is not as hard to imitate as it might seem.

Diet, dieting and food

Taming the keto diet                   NEW

Although the ketogenic diet, which severely restricts the intake of carbohydrates, originated centuries ago it found usefulness in the treatment of recurrent seizures in the early 1920s. The epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes led to renewed interest but it is poorly understood even by health professionals. This presentation clearly defines the diet, describes the best candidates for it, offers guidelines for its proper implementation and discusses the easily avoided pitfalls and complications that so many persons needlessly endure.

How to Read Food Labels

Learn what the numbers mean and which ones you can ignore. Knowing the meaning of certain code words can lead to better health.

What have we done to food?

A visitor from the Stone Age would recognize almost no food item in a supermarket. GMO, irradiated food, organic vegetables and high-fructose corn syrup are only the beginning. Factory farming, hormones, pesticides, sugar aliases and immortal Twinkies (now resurrected) are but a few of the factors that have challenged our nutritional blueprint.

Some Fats Wear White Hats

Not all dietary fats are harmful. Some are critical to our survival. Most of us have reversed our fat priorities.

Supermarket Suicide and Restaurant Roulette

Shopping at the local food market and dining out offer opportunities that are either beneficial or disastrous. Learning the differences can add years to your life.

The True Mediterranean Diet

Your local pizza parlor serves dishes that don’t come close to the true Mediterranean diet. Learn why the dwellers of the Mediterranean area are among the world’s healthiest and how you can follow their example.

How to lose weight after 40

Most Americans are overweight and more than one third are obese. Heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and other chronic, debilitating diseases are the result. It is possible to develop a simple yet effective strategy for losing weight in order to become leaner, livelier and longer-lived.

The great grain trade-off

Cereal grains provide most of the food energy of the world but the human metabolism is poorly suited to them. Dependence on grain products leaves individuals subject to several diseases and nations vulnerable to famine.

All about eggs: the good, the bad and the truly fascinating.

Almost everyone eats eggs but hardly anyone has experienced any but supermarket chicken eggs. Learn about the true anatomy of eggs, why wild bird eggs vary in color and shape, surprising nutrients, whether raw eggs are nutritious and other interesting facts. You’ll never look at an egg the same way again.

All about salt

Salt is a critical nutrient whose availability we take for granted; it has not always been so. It has a colorful history that includes politics and art, heroes and villains. Even the American Revolution and the Civil War were influenced by salt. It has shaped literature and language, and even the course of our roads and highways.

Make it a gainless holiday season

From the Thanksgiving feast to Super bowl Sunday, celebratory feasting has added inches to the American waistline. Some simple strategies can break that annual cycle.

Health Screening Tests

We can avoid several major diseases if we take advantage of the screening procedures that are commonly available.

Osteoporosis: Calcium Is Not the Answer

Osteoporosis is not an inevitable consequence of aging and taking calcium will not postpone its onset. Learn the single most important thing that you can do to maintain a healthy skeleton.

The community impact of CPR training.

Learn how cardiopulmonary resuscitation has developed over the past century, how recent advances have dramatically increased survival from sudden cardiac arrest and how ordinary citizens can help to prevent nearly a half-million deaths per year.


Junipero Serra – Saint or slaver

Saint Junipero Serra’s life is not without controversy and the missions that he founded had a profound influence on California history. Learn what he was really like and why he has become the focus of debate.

Great women of aviation

Some of aviation’s greatest accomplishments, and often the first, were produced by women, some of whom set records that are thought to be held by men.

Outstanding women in medicine: twelve inspiring stories

Since ancient Egypt, women have challenged the dominance of men in medicine. Their courage, initiative and leadership have yielded some of the most important advances in medical science.