Another Voice

"Another Voice" is a place where POMA members can voice their opinions on a topic of their choosing. Any and all POMA members are welcome to write for this column so if you have a topic you wish to write about, submissions can be sent to [email protected]. Please write "Another Voice" in the subject line.

*The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view of the POMA. You may respond to this article with your opinion by e-mailing [email protected], or mail your response to the POMA Newsletter in care of the POMA Central Office, 1330 Eisenhower Boulevard, Harrisburg, PA 17111-2395.


New Year's Resolution

Written by: Samuel J. Garloff, DO
January 20, 2023

Decades past I spoke with a gentleman whose opinion I valued. He startled me declaring that he no longer read newspapers, listened to the news or otherwise involved himself in any discussion or activity involving local, state or national politics. Additionally, he distanced himself from anything associated with past professional or charitable associations or activities. His reasoning was simple, if anything was of such great importance, eventually everything and everyone around him would change and he would become knowledgeable. If not, why should he worry?

Recently I had occasion to remember that conversation. For background, understand that I read five, yes five newspapers. They include both conservative and liberal underpinnings. Two are local, two are national and one is from my hometown. Worse, I read two national news magazines. I don’t listen to or watch cable news. I’m not interested in biased interpretations, just news.


ProtecT What?

Written by: Samuel J. Garloff, DO
November 17, 2023

I invite you to join me today as I wander effortlessly through my preconscious. I’m simply going to explain existence. It should be easy to follow along. Life, at least as we comprehend it, is physics in action. Physics is dependent on mathematics. Take a deep breath, I can feel the heat from here. Douse your torches and put your pitchforks away. Remember, Fibonacci only recorded the presence of the Golden Spiral. He didn’t design it and utilize it. There is no need to create “CHO-CHO-CHON” to protest placards or chant “Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny” as a mantra. I am not saying that you are wrong, I’m just pointing out that you are not right!

As physicians, we like to think of ourselves as scientists. Why exactly, I don’t know. Seldom do we actually rely on our understanding of science as we treat our patients. We typically accept and use the findings of others as they research and publish them. Based on the reports of others we diagnose, prescribe medications, refer for laboratory analysis, imaging, surgery and postoperative care. We utilize a virtual cornucopia of additional ancillary services.


Hats off to HIPPA!

Written by: Samuel J. Garloff, DO
August 19, 2022

Recently, I contacted a former physician colleague about one of their patients who happens to be a friend of mine. Prior to emailing, I informed the family that I was going to do so. My concern was holistic, inquiring about both physical and mental health. Why both? Gee, I have had some experience with the latter during my previous iteration as a psychiatrist. Not long after sending my inquiry, I received an email explaining that my request was inappropriate due to HIPPA. Stunned, it took some time but I realized what a wonderful gift I’d been given. HIPPA, the answer to future dilemmas!


We're Number (Seventy) One!

Written by: Samuel J. Garloff, DO
December 16, 2022

That bastion of educational knowledge, US News & World Report, has done it again! Whoo-hoo! The rankings are out! Best colleges! Best medical schools! Best legal schools! Best party schools! Best Future Farmers of America schools! Well, ok, maybe not.

Ugh. Really? I have to laugh. Hysterically. It’s time we responded with a unified “who cares”? I have a BS from a school no one ever heard of; Mansfield State College, renamed Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, renamed Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania, and an MS from a school consistently ranked in the top 10 or 20 worldwide, The Johns Hopkins University, (Homewood Campus, thank you very much). The difference between the two is that no one has ever heard of lacrosse at Mansfield. Go Blue Jays! (Or not).

Is LECOM better than PCOM or “Fill in the Blank” COM? Is the Pennsylvania licensure requirement different? Is a graduate of a US News highly ranked school issued a license with a commonwealth approved star on it? Does your malpractice carrier reduce your premium based on your school ranking? How about residency? If you certify is your certificate worded differently depending upon where you trained?


Willie, Mickey and the Duke

Written by: Samuel J. Garloff, DO
May 20, 2022

Play ball! Baseball is back. Thank goodness. Those of you who, like me, love the game are happy that the strike ended before the season was irreparably damaged. Those of you who could “care less”, still might enjoy a little “backstory“.

One could not begin a tale of baseball past, without an obligatory mention of the Yankees. Within our association the Yankees are well represented. John Ferretti, DO, president of LECOM, is an ardent Yankees fan. Our past Executive Director, Mario Lanni is also. He also happens to be a Steelers fan. Some people refuse to suffer. Our past president, John Callahan, DO was in the Yankee farm system, leaving only because advancement would have interfered with his graduate work in chemistry. The late Bob Czwalina, DO, suited up with the best in the majors. I fondly remember discussing our (separate) encounters with Earl Weaver, “The Earl of Baltimore”.

Let’s go back to 1890. “We are the people!”, was the refrain reverberating throughout Brotherhood Park, home of the Chicago Pirates located in Chicago’s south side. “We are the people” was a phrase from the manifesto of the newly formed Players League. The manifesto also stated, “Players have been bought and sold as if they were sheep instead of American citizens. The player had to submit or get out of the profession in which he had spent many years achieving a proficiency”. The problem? Baseball’s reserve clause.

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