Healey on Health is a collection of thoughtful, well-written weekly newspaper columns by a small-town family physician.
Dr. Gregory J. Healey has practiced nearly 40 years in Ontario, Canada, and upstate New York, and each column, printed in the St. Lawrence Plaindealer between 2013-2015, addresses a subject of interest to his community.
Healey’s goal is to educate, advise, and give his readers a smile, and he consistently succeeds. In an authoritative but entertaining voice, he writes about the topics you’d expect, such as the causes, diagnostic tests and treatments for headache, backaches, hypertension and concussion. He also uses his pulpit to address domestic violence, health insurance reform, and the power of love to promote healing and longevity. Many topics are tied to the calendar: heart health during the week of February 14, the history and role of nurses during Nurses Week, and so on.
While he freely acknowledges that medical experts give conflicting advice on many issues, he’s unequivocal about some topics: “for heaven’s sake, stop smoking! This is ridiculous!” Treat sugar like a drug, he writes; give children recommended immunizations; and stay out of the sun!
A Table of Contents is notably omitted (although an index helps readers locate topics of interest), chapter headings are sometimes mere labels (“Your Cholesterol,” “Thanksgiving”) and without artwork or design elements, the pages look dull. But in each column, Healey grabs readers with a catchy introduction, often about a patient or a childhood memory, and expounds eloquently before ending with a bit of humor or a return to what he wrote in the intro.
While the columns were surely a bright spot in the St. Lawrence Plaindealer, they get a little dry when read back to back. But there’s enough fact, humor, and the doctor’s appealing manner to hold the reader’s attention in this engaging and informative offering.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.