Reframe Health Lab combines communications and behaviour change
with patient and care provider engagement

Being the CBC’s official Olympic doctor has twists and turns!

I’ve been in Sochi for 10 days now, bit of a blur. Problems big and small. Been mostly seeing insomnia, colds, coughs, jet lag, falls, and twisted ankles. Here’s a few of the highlights!

Cheap medicine

Somebody sent for an arm fracture. Assessed, x-rayed, treated, slabbed. Cost? $60. MRI? $100. Although I have a slight unfounded fear that my MRI machine and would be the Chernobyl model.


I have some drugs here that I give out. When I run short, I call a amiable Russian doctor guy who texts me back and we meet at security. We spend a lot of time at security. When I need something urgently I write a prescription on a post-it note and then photocopy a picture of the drug from the internet and send the patient down to the Broadcast Centre Pharmacy to fill it in. Usually works. The stuff on the left is Russian Robitussin, looks brutal but tastes like honey. The Buckleys ad campaign hasn’t got here yet. That’s ventolin in the middle and some prednisone on the right.


Pain and Benzos

Clearly there are times that narcotics and benzos can help my patients. Especially the pain pills. These are the only two classes of drugs that are not in the Russian pharmacy … and have to come directly from the doctor. Apparently it is very hard to get. I have to admit I like this. I’d be curious how this really works. It seems in my inner city practice in Toronto, for every person I help, I make the next person worse… and two more are taking what I prescribe and re-selling it on the street. I find it very hard to tell whom is which.!

Small world

Had to go up to the mountain cluster to remove stitches in the chest of a man post Basal cell carcinoma removal. He sent me a nice note after saying he was a big fan of our video 23.5 Hours and he was going to Make His Days Harder from now on.

Seeing the dentist

I was in a Russian dentist office which seems very hi-tech and efficient. Everybody dressed in white seeing my poor comrade with an infection in his root canal. Needs x-ray, draining, and filler. Seems all the latest gear. 6500 rubles ($200). I had my teeth cleaned last week and the dentist looked in on me for $240. No xrays. I just lied about how often I flossed.

Security is big
See to the right for my twice daily pat down. Interestingly, and by mistake, I have twice smuggled in scissors. I made a big deal of suturing in the van on the street so I wouldn’t have a weapon detected and then forgot I had put into my bag and went through the next morning.. No Problem. I keep trying to get the woman to pat me down but she avoids me.


Related Posts