science-based habits

Building Habits for Success

I have developed habits in life that have guided me through the challenges that many of us face every day. Committed to following these healthy habits to maintain and prolong my good health, I focus on my “reason”: my family and community.

In the past twenty years, I have also committed to posting blogs and speaking publicly to help improve the lives of others. It is a tremendous honor and responsibility to communicate with you. The feedback I receive reinforces my habit and commitment.

As a physician, I did the best I could to be consistent in my practice and follow a science-based approach, avoiding the pressure from the non-scientific fads of the day. I am thankful to have developed habits early in my professional career to follow a scientific approach.

Sometimes I find it difficult to constrain my feelings about what I see in the geopolitical arena, but I avoid offending or alienating anyone. In addition, I focus on being upbeat and motivating. All this leads me to today’s message. 

Damar Hamlin & Science

There was an event that occurred this month (January 2023) that has confirmed my adherence to scientific principles. A Buffalo Bills football player, Damar Hamlin, collapsed during the first quarter of a hotly contested game. After taking a blow to his chest, he suffered a cardiac arrest, also known as sudden death. Prompt action taken by trainers and a medical team (based on scientific discoveries) restored Damar’s heartbeat. Paramedics transported him to a Cincinnati trauma center.

The science-based technology did not stop there. His treatment included the most up-to-date approach which included mechanical ventilation, a medically induced coma, and lowering his body temperature to reduce the risk of sustaining injuries related to a drop in his oxygen level from his cardiac arrest.

Medical researchers painstakingly developed these treatments over many years via standard scientific methods. The scientists who developed them and the physicians, paramedics, trainers, and nurses who followed the protocol saved Damar’s life. They helped prevent the devastating consequences that happened 52 years ago to NFL player Charles Frederick Hughes who died on the football field on October 24, 1971.

I am sad about the injuries Damar sustained and glad that the public had a glimpse at the lifesaving breakthrough our scientific community can and will continue to produce.

Public Opinion & Science

What has troubled me for the past two years has been a public denigration of science. Many public figures (in sports, politics, media) without an ounce of scientific insight or education second guess science-based medical treatments. They cherry pick which treatment options to endorse or denigrate.

Practicing medicine has always been an honor, pleasure and an opportunity to live a life of continuous learning and discovery. I have great pride and admiration for the brilliant scholars of our world, and I remain disturbed by the vilification of their hard work.

Habits for Success

With that expression of my inner feelings, how do I relate this to building habits for success?

  • Stay true to yourself, and when the time is right express yourself. Suppression of feelings is unhealthy.
  • Follow science, as it will lead us in a consistent direction without hypocrisy.
  • Find your reason to get up every day: have a goal and purpose for living.
  • Family and friends help us keep our eye on a goal, encouraging the development of good habits leading to better health.

Thanks for allowing me to express myself in this unusual manner. In the event it did not motivate building better habits, you now know how I feel about science, and in the future, I will return with more concrete ideas about building habits for success.

To a long and healthy life,

David Bernstein, MD

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