Hey Reddit. Dr. Dan back again, still churning out a massive amount of healthcare for the poorest of the poor in East Timor at Bairo Pite Clinic (http://bairofoundation.org). I'm the old Iowan Doctor seeing 200 patients a day in East Timor for free. And I've even got some time for a pick-up basketball game from time to time. I am teaming up with a young Iowan medical student and one from Wake Forest this morning (5 AM in Dili). We would love to talk to you some more about many things including the critical, burgeoning malnutrition situation.

We did this a few months ago, and our old thread is here: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/3e41ez/im_a_70yo_doctor_from_iowa_who_hasnt_taken_a/

Proof: http://imgur.com/edxCcUJ

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153629087226339&set=a.133035901338.118570.716271338&type=3&theater

Comments: 211 • Responses: 87  • Date: 

jacksonbleicher26 karma

what is a practical solution to reduce malnutrition in timor? more food more money less mouths to feed better government/distribution?

drdanmurphy50 karma

One of the key elements is improved water quality and hygiene however all that you mention are important. But underlying almost everything is dealing with women's position in society. The men eat first, take all the meat, and the women and children get the scraps.

jacksonbleicher10 karma

so great. is there a simple solution to improve water quality? and is there progress empowering women?

is there any thing that fat rich americans can do to help in a meaningful way?

drdanmurphy22 karma

Water should be not only free of pathogens but also easily accessible...to the extent that you can create that situation, health will improve dramatically. Resources are key to this, as well as for many other programs

Women are beginning to realize that they too have rights. This is a huge step forward. Awareness counts for a lot. We currently have a women's health program founded by Sidalia, an amazing Timorese woman that is starting to expand this awareness throughout Dili and into the countryside

The Americans (and those around the world) can donate resources or volunteer. Both are beautiful things to do. Check us out here for more information: bairofoundation.org.

jacksonbleicher21 karma

what is the state of diagnostic imaging at bairo pite clinic? what specifically could be done to kick it up a notch? do they need equipment? personnel? training program?

the american college of radiology has an international outreach program. they may be able to provide a connection.

drdanmurphy24 karma

Please send a digital X-ray machine (and a radiographer) immediately. Make sure you include a maintenance contract. We have some imaging services available through a local clinic, but our images are not always of the quality one would typically expect at a large medical center in the developed world. There is only one CT scanner in the entire country, and the technology is from the 90s. All of those things would be helpful in expanding our diagnostic imaging

drwritersbloc19 karma

Dr. Dan how do I survive pathophysiology? Test next Thursday.

drdanmurphy35 karma

Review the entire the entire mechanism of the Na pump. Be able to describe what is seen on a peripheral blood smear. Those two things will carry you a long way

whiskyart13 karma

Huge amount of respect for what you're doing Dr. Dan.
Any plans to turn this into some sort of movement so it will be a continuous, progressive and collective effort instead?

drdanmurphy9 karma

That is the general idea. We already have links with training community midwives and Cuban trained Timorese doctors around the country.

This country could become an example for others to learn from. My son says however that even more important than doing something for the massive poverty that we face is drawing attention to the rape of the environment that will ruin us all (especially here in TL).

ailemad13 karma

With the high birth rate coupled with the challenge of maternal malnutrition, what are your midwifery staff doing to encourage healthy pregnancies and healthy babies? How does education play into the prenatal care?

drdanmurphy21 karma

We screen every prenatal woman for HIV, malaria, anemia, Syphilis, and Hep B. We try to vaccinate for rubella prior to the pregnancy. Everyone gets iron and folic acid and we educate on diet and other issues during prenatal visits. In general, we haven't had children born with signs of malnutrition. This becomes an issue at the time of weaning, when they switch from breast milk to a strictly starch diet.

elefante257 karma

How well do women do with breast feeding? I know it can be an issue in countries with high rates of malnutrition as it can affect mom's output. What are womens' attitudes toward breast feeding?

drdanmurphy12 karma

Breast feeding is almost universal, however many people don't realize exactly how important it is for the child and for reasons which may not be relevant, they might stop breast feeding. We encourage it at every chance we get

OnStilts9 karma

How do you get food, lodging, clothing and afford travel and anything else while essentially volunteering and not collecting a salary for so many years?

drdanmurphy26 karma

I had some savings and for the last 8 years, I've been living off social security. Plus, if all you do is work and then come home and eat vegetables and rice, you don't have many expenses.

rrestingonlaurels9 karma

Hi Dr. Dan! I've recently been accepted into medical school and am actually traveling to Timor Leste in July. Out of curiousity, how did you end up in Dili? Also, any words of advice to a traveling (future) medical professional, and in particular, one traveling to Timor?

drdanmurphy24 karma

Having been a convicted felon for refusing to participate in the Vietnam war, I found myself gravitating towards places that are struggling for self-determination. Nowhere in the world has suffered to the extent of the Timorese people. Where else to come?

When you come to Timor, first stop should be Bairo Pite Clinic. I can give you lots of connections on places to visit in East Timor that would be inspirational and valuable for you.

geckofishy8 karma

Are you still a criminal in the US ?

drdanmurphy22 karma

I still wear the badge of being a convicted felon in the US. To some, this is anathema. To others, it is heroic. President General Ford offered us amnesty to all of us convicted under selective service non-compliance. Many of us refused to accept any amnesty and instead stated that the government should be the one asking for amnesty.

I'm also blacklisted in Indonesia by the way. If I were to go, I'd be imprisoned on arrival and sent to Cipinang.

Farts4sale8 karma

If you could fix 1 thing about western medicine what would it be?

drdanmurphy8 karma

Universal access would be a beautiful way to start being more effective

carlos17987 karma

Have you ever had regrets of spend your hole lives in helping each other?

drdanmurphy26 karma

Sometimes I feel like my life is passing me by and I haven't had the whole experience. But on the other hand, who can claim to have spent their entire professional time exercising compassion for those in need.

magnifiq7 karma

Do you guys play any basketball over there?

drdanmurphy39 karma

Might be a stretch of the word saying basketball, but we go out on the court and have a lot of fun. It is a good chance for me to look for some assists and play defense, which I'm not really used to. Last Sunday, I blocked two shots from a girl who was nearly 5'2" playing for her first time. She lets it fly from the hip. Caught her from about three feet out. Didn't feel great, but I did it twice anyway.

ailemad7 karma

What is the current social and political attitude towards family planning, and what are the family planning services that are made available by your clinic and by government health programs?

drdanmurphy8 karma

Although we are a majority Catholic country, that doesn't pose a significant contra-indication to spacing. We at the clinic push for a 3 year interval between children and many women can access this, however it needs to be more widely available. This will be crucial for a country like Timor to manage their growth (>5 babies/mom currently) at a more manageable level.

ailemad4 karma

Thank you for your reply and for the work that you are doing. When you say that there is a clinical push for a 3 year interval between children, is that being supported by the availability of contraceptives?

drdanmurphy5 karma

Yes. Except it isn't widely available enough. To get to some rural villages is a huge undertaking so many women still have no way to control their reproductivity. At the clinic, all women receive some counselling on family planning.

slyandwise6 karma

I can imagine there are decent days and really emotionally challenging ones. My question is, what serves as your motivation? What encourages you to overlook those really bad days and continue moving forward with compassion?

drdanmurphy8 karma

I can tell you that working in a place like this you can't dwell too much on any event. Something new comes up every ten minutes that will require your complete focus and attention. When something bad happens, I just keep telling myself...compassion, compassion, compassion. The old Bhuddish mantra. I try to keep my head clear so that I can be objective about whatever is next to walk through the door. There are certainly many tough moments at BPC, but there are many more uplifting ones.

cynicaldr6 karma

How much TB is there in Timor Leste? How are you able to diagnose it?

drdanmurphy8 karma

No clinic in SE Asia sees as many cases of tuberculosis as Bairo Pite. We eat, sleep, drink, and breathe mycobacterium tuberculosis. As I said that, I had to clear my throat a little bit. We check sputums for AFBs and have a PCR machine as well.

aliceclaires6 karma

Hi Dan, I'm a junior doctor from Australia and very inspired by your work. Following International Women's day earlier this week (I saw the post from the clinic's Facebook page, great of the clinic to raise awareness). I wondered if you could comment on the state of women's equality in TL, particularly with regards to education and healthcare. And also to what degree the clinic is involved with advocacy for women's rights in TL? Thanks! Alice

drdanmurphy6 karma

Awareness of women's rights is increasing quite rapidly, but we have started at an extremely low level. Our clinic plays a crucial role in advocating for women throughout the country. We feel that empowering women is the key for Timor advancing and avoiding becoming a failed state.

McGuinessBoulevard6 karma

How do the locals feel about western medicine? Is There much resistance?

drdanmurphy12 karma

People appreciate anyone and everything trying to help their condition. However, they usually cover their bases by also seeking a cure through traditional medicine.

cynicaldr5 karma

What about the role the white saviour complex plays in this environment?

drdanmurphy13 karma

White, tall, American, older, speaking their language. It makes the placebo effect much more powerful.

cynicaldr3 karma

So if all of the rich Americans gave you $1 million dollars tomorrow, what do you think it should be spent on?

drdanmurphy14 karma

The worlds greatest needs are addressing the gross inequity in income distribution throughout the world and also protecting our environment and switching from the use of non-renewable resources. We have become super consumers and that is going to bury us in our own garbage.

__Sanctuary__5 karma

Thank you much for your time:

Dr. Dan, you respectfully change a lot of lives every day.

My question is, have any of your patients changed your life, and how? :)

drdanmurphy6 karma

Every day. I am trying to become an expert in compassion. I have also become a compulsive practitioner of caring and reducing the suffering of everyone within my reach. I see examples of this in my patients and their family members every day. I simply try and emulate them.

ailemad5 karma

As the country continues to develop its economy and healthcare system, how are the healthcare needs of the population changing? Are you seeing a shift in your resources from one area to another?

drdanmurphy4 karma

We are seeing an increase in things like diabetes and hypertension, even obesity occasionally, but basically 50% of the population has very little access to any of the health care system. We are working on expanding health care access as well as massive efforts in the areas of tuberculosis and HIV

elefante255 karma

How is HIV handled in East Timor? I know that it can be tricky to test for it in low resource areas because it can be difficult to then provide the expensive antiretroviral therapy needed. Are the efforts to decrease transmission mostly focused on prevention?

drdanmurphy4 karma

Worldwide, there is great support and funding available for both HIV prevention and treatment. Having said that, we don't have very extensive testing. Secondly, by the time someone has an opportunistic infection, we don't have the resources to adequately diagnose or treat it. The problem in Timor isn't huge, but the cases we do have could be treated better.

scruffbeard5 karma

Can you fix the constant PVCs ive beeing dealing with for 10+ years?

drdanmurphy8 karma

Cut back on the caffeine and keep your exercising going strong.

scruffbeard4 karma

Probably right, but thanks. Very admirable what you are doing sir. Ever need help let me know.

drdanmurphy3 karma

Thanks for your support!

MrsMalkhasyan4 karma

I am an American and know of a young man from a village in Armenia who is in need of medical assistance.

I have been searching for an agency that might help him, but most orgs I have found only help kids or specific illnesses (i.e. Diabetes)

Do you know of alternate places/agencies/etc that I may contact to try to get him help?

drdanmurphy6 karma

It depends on the problem, but MSF (Medicine Sans Frontiers) has a presence throughout most of the world. There are also some hospitals in Israel who are reaching out to people on every continent. We've had one child who got open-heart surgery there and was treated very well.

Schlinke164 karma

You do really inspiring work Dr. Dan. I'm actually studying to go into the medical profession myself. With that being said, any predictions for March Madness or the Finals? Think Golden State can be beat? Or do you not really get a chance to keep up with it being as busy as you are? (Also, sorry if this was already asked but I got excited) I'll go read the other questions now, might comment again with more.

drdanmurphy6 karma

March Madness is filled with many unknowns. Teams have been pretty inconsistent. Anyone could make the final 4. Of course, being from Iowa, I strongly favor Iowa, Iowa State, and my real favorite UNI. In the NBA, given there are no catastrophic injuries, I don't see anyone matching up with Golden State.

Zip_Zop_Zoobity_Bop2 karma

I love the work you do but I'm still sore over that close win over my Salukis last week.

drdanmurphy2 karma

I have to hand it to UNI. They're playing above their ability over and over again. Somehow their coach gets them to do the right things.

geckofishy4 karma

What does a typical day entail for you?

drdanmurphy17 karma

I wake up and lift every morning at 6 AM. Then we round on our 50 inpatients starting at 8 AM starting in the maternity ward, then heading through the 2 wards dedicated to tuberculosis, and end by seeing our malnutrition unit. I follow this by seeing ~200 outpatients. Then I go home, eat some rice and local vegetables, put on a good movie and fade into the sunset.

PhilD904 karma

Hi Dan, congratulations on the unbelievable work that you have done, truly inspiring. What I would like to know, is who do you think would win in a 7 game series between the 2016 GS Warriors and the 95/96 Bulls?

drdanmurphy3 karma

Without a doubt, Warriors. Even the vaunted Bulls defense can't match what GS comes at you with. I would challenge ANYONE one on one to slow down Curry

Hbleicher3 karma

How is mental illness treated in Timor? Are there problems with addictions?

drdanmurphy12 karma

Very few facilities in Timor address mental health. We see these problems at the clinic on a daily basis with many patients being treated for depression and anxiety successfully for many years. We have some medications and counseling, but in general, mental health is treated at the village level in a very primitive way. Much stigma and inadequate care for these sick people. Much to be done unfortunately.

Hbleicher3 karma

Do the people tend to self medicate their depression and anxiety?

drdanmurphy5 karma

Yeah, we have home brew that is quite popular. It can vary every time -- different strengths and different tastes. We think about PTSD, and when we have access to medication we use that, but mostly it's being supportive and being accessible to people who are not feeling as well as they would like

drdanmurphy5 karma

Fortunately, most people are too poor to afford drugs at this point. But as our economy grows, we worry that they will become more accessible.

Hbleicher4 karma

Are English speaking therapists any help or is the language barrier a problem

drdanmurphy6 karma

Actually, if you could learn 50 words of the local language, you'd be quite effective. Facial expressions are also very effective in showing a caring attitude. We also have excellent interpreters to help us. So the language barrier is there but is not so much of a problem

truthaboutcs3 karma

What do you think about the movie Predator?

drdanmurphy3 karma

Haven't seen it. Sorry. But in general I'm on the side of the prey.

spicypepperoni3 karma

Do you like seafood?

drdanmurphy8 karma

I'm philosophically a vegetarian but fish also fits my fancy.

vegegator3 karma

What would be the most helpful action by those of us overseas to begin to help alleviate poverty in East Timor?

drdanmurphy6 karma

Be informed. Then, take action, which can be anything from resources to volunteerism to raising awareness. Even political action at times is very helpful

vegegator4 karma

It's hard to find accurate timely information about current issues in East Timor, any suggestions?

drdanmurphy3 karma

If only Donald Trump would mention East Timor, but so far no luck. But try ETAN

EastBeast20163 karma

How hard is travel from the US to the countries you work in?

drdanmurphy7 karma

It's expensive and it's clear across the world. Being blacklisted at one of the main access airports doesn't help (Denpasar, Bali). It's quite a long flight, but it is quite accessible. It's definitely worth the effort, though, to visit, because it's a beautiful tropical environment that hasn't yet been spoiled. In fact, the SCUBA diving here is like nowhere else.

EastBeast20163 karma

My other question was were you involved with the Ebola crisis in West Africa in any way, or was that not the region you were in?

drdanmurphy3 karma

I was not in West Africa during this time. I did spend some time in Southern Africa in my earlier years but never quite made it up past the equator.

elefante253 karma

The East Timorese government has outlined efforts to invest in healthcare infrastructure in its strategic plans - have you seen any effects of these investments?

drdanmurphy3 karma

Facilities have been upgraded and there has been a significant investment in training healthcare providers with the help of Cuba. These workers are now disbursed throughout the country. However, traditional practices are hard to break. What seems to be missing is a solid network within the communities that puts into effect any policies or deals with deficiencies. Therefore, life for the 75% of the population who lives in rural villages is much like it was 1,000 years ago.

elefante253 karma

That's interesting - do you think more satellite clinics would be helpful rather than large hubs of healthcare resources? What would be your path to a solution?

drdanmurphy3 karma

Empowering local people to deal with their own problems which they have the capacity to address is the key to changing the dynamic at the village level. Top down approaches rarely make a significant difference.

elefante253 karma

to that effect - are village or territory-specific community health workers being trained by the hospital/government/BPC?

drdanmurphy5 karma

We have been training village women to elect a local woman to come to the clinic and train for 3 months and perform at least 100 deliveries. This has been one of our most successful programs and we have professionally trained midwifes now helping women in pregnancy all over the country.

breakouttheoreos3 karma

Hello? It's me

drdanmurphy8 karma

I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to come to Timor-Leste and meet us at the clinic

inailedyoursister3 karma

Any way to clone Larry Bird with a good back and return him to the Celtics?

drdanmurphy2 karma

We can always dream. The game has changed though and I'm not sure our old heroes would make the cut today. We should also clone the 96 bulls and pit them against GS today to answer PhilD90's question

BlondieMenace3 karma

Hello! I'm a Brazilian woman, and I've always wanted to volunteer abroad. I'm well educated, but I don't have a college degree. Should I look into volunteer opportunities in Timor Leste, or would that do more harm than good, aka, take away opportunities for the locals?

drdanmurphy5 karma

There is a huge need for teaching Portuguese. It is the national language but most are not fluent. There is also need for teaching computer skills, reading, and communication. If you have these skills, I'm sure you would be quite helpful here.

Chungaze3 karma

Hey Doc, my brother is over there working with you now, and he's really excited about his time there!

My question is, what has been your biggest challenge while working abroad? Supplies? Facilities? Finding competent help?

drdanmurphy5 karma

Being able to influence the well-being of a large portion of the population would be an admirable goal but is an extreme challenge.

megflann3 karma

Hi Dr. Dan, thanks so much for doing this AMA and for all your work! I am currently a medical student at Iowa planning to go into general surgery. I have been involved with global health work throughout school and plan to continue working in global surgery throughout my career. I have a couple questions: -What are some ways you have seen NGOs/foundations work well with and not so well with communities? What sets successful projects apart? -Have you seen changes or advancements in surgery in low resource settings throughout your years of work?

drdanmurphy3 karma

I think successful organizations are those that commit to a long term presence within a community and those that remain flexible. Bairo Pite Clinic has attempted to evolve with the needs of the Timorese people and has been here for 17 years now, remaining functional through some years of horrendous violence and misfortune. Some NGOs have a narrower focus and do it very well, so I would say there are many ways to succeed. Commitment is key. The same is true for surgery and we have recently seen a greater commitment to surgery in Timor from Australia and Timorese surgeons trained in PNG. We still have a long way to go, but this is hopefully a good start. Go Hawks!

slyandwise3 karma

Is the government doing anything to support/hinder you from what you've been doing this whole time? By the way, thank you for fighting for humanity.

drdanmurphy3 karma

We work closely with the Ministry of Health in dealing with the scourge of malnutrition and tuberculosis in this country. Believe me, there is enough to go around and every little bit helps. Our midwives also work closely with the national hospital to ensure safe delivery of the 100+ babies delivered here each month and ensure all mothers receive ante-natal care.

magnifiq3 karma

Are there any bizarre cases you've seen that stand out in your mind?

drdanmurphy3 karma

One time I was called to maternity because of a baby being born with 2 heads. This was in Mozambique. I went to see what the deal was, and it turns out they were actually Siamese twins, with bodies conjoined and 2 heads sticking out. They were way premature, lower than 20 weeks gestation, so unfortunately they had no chance at survival. It was a very memorable case.

Jackedaniels3 karma

I heard you like basketball so I wanted to ask you about your favorite team, and how you feel about the Warriors?

drdanmurphy1 karma

Love em. I'm a Celtics fan though.

Blackfather6233 karma

How do you stop Steph curry?

drdanmurphy1 karma

I still think you're better off making him work like crazy to get the ball, and once he gets it...double team him and get the ball back. Hopefully you'll end up with someone like Bogut at the three point line. They're pretty smart though, but I don't see how else it could work.

nprovein3 karma

What is your opinion on DDT for Mosquito control?

drdanmurphy1 karma

We use permethrin almost exclusively. DDT is not environmentally friendly. Thins eggs, destroys species.

MeditateErrDay2 karma

How many 3 pointers can you hit in a row?

drdanmurphy2 karma

I think I have a pretty decent shot for an old man. One of our trainers, Terry Newman, was interviewed for an article by Sports Illustrated a couple of months ago. They asked him if I was ever any good, and he said he sure wouldn't leave me open. I'll take that. But I rarely shoot 3-pointers. I'm more of a layup and shoot-from-the-elbow kind of guy.

Memomo1452 karma

Lebron or Michael Jordan?

drdanmurphy3 karma

MJ. Mentally a little more disciplined. Tougher. Doesn't frustrate as easily. Although Lebron is better than he used to be, he is bigger and stronger than MJ, he isn't as tough. Also, I think MJ had more flexibility in his game.

tibberslifts2 karma

I'm currently in my third year of med school... Is there a way for me to do an elective with you for a month next year?

drdanmurphy1 karma

We welcome medical students. We have two here right now. Check out our website: bairofoundation.org and that should have all the details. Any help you can provide is much appreciated and I think you'll get quite an educational experience out of it as well. How many cases of TB have you seen at home?

utahphil2 karma

Do you think shooters like Curry are going to be the next evolution in the game?

drdanmurphy2 karma

I don't see how they can't be. There is a great ESPN article comparing how Curry is breaking the record books this year with how Babe Ruth reset the home run records. I agree entirely. Kids shooting hoops around the world started taking a lot more shots from downtown this year.

LeePen282 karma

Really look up to you sir and what you do! As a biomedical science student and an aspiring doctor,what words of advice would you give me? Thank you, Lee

drdanmurphy4 karma

Listen to people such as Paul Farmer, but also read publications such as Where There is No Doctor by David Werner. These will keep you motivated to promote great health care access throughout the world

attackchopper2 karma

Hey Dr. Dan, do you ever play basketball with patients you have had?

drdanmurphy2 karma

Only a few. The staff at the clinic are pretty good though. Chuchi, a Philipino nurse on the TB team has a great shot from the elbow. And Lucia, one of our experts in malnutrition, has been working on her reverse lay up.

ThorneStockton2 karma

Iowa vs IL just tipped off, how far do you see the Hawks making it in the NCAA tourney?

drdanmurphy1 karma

Rough loss. The Hawks really lost their edge down the stretch. I think they could make it deep, but it depends on their seed and who they match up against. They are a very match up dependent team. Should be a fun tournament for Iowans this year though yet again.

OldeHickory2 karma

Bird or Magic?

Jordan or Lebron?

drdanmurphy1 karma

Bird. I'm a Celtics fan so that one is easy. And MJ for the mental toughness. I've seen Lebron give up on the court before. Never saw that in Jordan.

farlack2 karma

How do you eat? Pay rent? Are you living poor like the rest? I.e do you have power and air conditioner or a mud hut with a mosquito net?

And keep up the good work!!

drdanmurphy2 karma

I pay thanks to American taxpayers and social security. Plus, rice and vegetables are cheap and my house is quite modest although not a mud hut. I have electricity, a terrible internet connection, and 4 ceiling fans. You adjust to the heat.

HarleyLowSpeed2 karma

Don't you hate Kanye West?

drdanmurphy1 karma

Doesn't everyone. He's not Justin Bieber, but he probably deserves a lot of wrath. If he gives some money to the clinic, I'll play his songs every day.

SilverMisfit2 karma

How did you get involved with the UN?

drdanmurphy2 karma

I was an election observer in the first multi-party elections in Mozambique, but I actually represented the world council of churches, not the UN.

Tesabella2 karma

I always miss the good AMAs. What would it take to volunteer in your area?

drdanmurphy1 karma

Send an application. bairofoundation.org. All the info you could need.

Bayarea_guy2 karma

Important question : what do you suggest to people about what you did to be Financially independent? So they can work free /serve humanity without getting paid.

drdanmurphy1 karma

First of all, you have to pretty much abhor shopping. Second, if you can finish your education without getting into debt, you haven't sold your soul. You're still free. Third, being in debt is actually a huge advantage in this world. Everything gets better with simple inflation. You haven't done a thing.

o12345o2 karma

Given your obsession for basketball, who is the greatest in your opinion? Wilt? Larry? Magic? Michael? Kobe? LeBron? Curry?

drdanmurphy1 karma

Bill Russell. And Jack Twyman for his humanitarian work and his all out hustling style of play.

mybigballs2 karma

Ever worked on the South Dakota reservations? They could use help and you'd only need to go next door to Iowa.

drdanmurphy1 karma

I haven't worked there, though I've been there. I think that would be a good alternative. The problem is, how can you work towards self-determination for the American Indians. That's a tricky one.

Book82 karma

Thanks for all you do. Do you have a favorite NBA team and if so..who and why?

drdanmurphy1 karma

I'm a Celtics fan, but I certainly enjoy the up tempo style that Golden State provides. And just when you think you've seen it all, they take it to the next level. But ever since the time of Bob Cousy and Bill Russell, I support the Shamrocks.

Deadlifted2 karma

How do you feel about Steph Curry? Where do you stand on the whole argument that he wouldn't be as good in eras where hand checking was allowed?

Also, what's the most rewarding part of the work you do?

drdanmurphy2 karma

Very few people get close enough to even hand check the guy. He's just too fast.

The most rewarding part of the work I do is that it is all in a political context that provides legitimate self-determination for an entire country.

Jackie_Treehorn992 karma

Are the Cavs gonna get their shit together or what?

drdanmurphy1 karma

I don't think they have the parts to go all the way. They can't do it this year.

brimley_diabeetus2 karma

drdanmurphy, I do 't know you and I've not heard of you until today and I am truly intrigued. My question is, why do you do it? What's your motivation? (Okay, that's 2 questions)

drdanmurphy1 karma

Guilt.
I was brought up way too strictly and am having trouble with self justification. I'm also a workaholic and I can't stand failure. So this is the perfect thing for me to do.

anormalgeek2 karma

Are there any big international charities that you recommend?

drdanmurphy1 karma

A friend of mine in Poland is an orthopedic trauma surgeon. He and his friends are putting together a first response team with the idea of going to a disaster area and get to work immediately. If you are really interested, send me an e-mail and I can put you in touch.

kostrowa2 karma

Thoughts on the Jayhawks chances of winning it all this year?

drdanmurphy1 karma

10%. They're pretty good, but a lot of teams are pretty good. To put together a string is going to be tough for anybody.

cp24eva2 karma

What is your opinion on the healthcare scene before and after the Affordable Care Act?

drdanmurphy2 karma

Improving access to healthcare can never be seen as a bad thing, but there are still problems with the US health system which desperately need fixing. I find it hard to see how politicians can argue for anything but a single payer system with access for all. I think Bernie is on to something.

Kanadabalsam2 karma

Hey doc, would you consider studying medicine worth it? all those years studying, i'm kinda unsure if to follow that path, but at the same time i'd love to.

drdanmurphy3 karma

They have kind of taken the fun out of it in most places, but there are still a few good things to do. What I am doing now is very very special and it will be difficult to find something as meaningful in your life.

thundercatjones2 karma

what is your favourite episode of south park, the simpsons and seinfeld?

drdanmurphy1 karma

I know Seinfeld, I've heard of that. The Simpsons I've seen but not much. And I don't even know what South Park is.

semeticstallion2 karma

What's going on between East Timor, Australia, and the US right now? It has been in the news quite a bit recently.

drdanmurphy3 karma

We've got a tiny half of an island trying to fight for survival and well-being with everyone else trying to take a piece of the pie, which is basically off-shore oil. US now has a permanent Marine Corp base in Darwin, Australia. In East Timor, we have the Seabees, which are basically Navy engineers. They've helped our clinic on several occasions. Many Australians have also continued with overwhelming generosity. So we're trying to find our way among all of these special interests is a very challenging task.

diiron2 karma

I know this has nothing to do with your profession, but do you follow the NBA currently? If so, do you have a favorite NBA team? Thanks!

drdanmurphy2 karma

The Celtics are in the process of taking over the league again. Keep track.

IsThisNameTaken72 karma

I seem to recall hearing about a clinic in Uganda that started offering to insert IUDs to women who delivered there, and the women were usually glad to take it up. No extra trip, no pain from insertion (cervix already open), husband need not know. Have you considered this?

drdanmurphy1 karma

Great idea. We just need the IUDs. Do you have a stockpile? There is also a higher risk that the IUD will fall out if placed immediately post-partum.

thequizmistress2 karma

How do you think Timor would cope if zika virus were to arrive?

drdanmurphy2 karma

We here at the clinic are trying to deal with the day to day of taking care of these sick people in Timor. It's quite possible that Zika is already here, but we have not been able to do any testing for it. Obstetrics and maternity care is a huge part of what we do here at the clinic, and we will continue to do this work and take on new challenges as they come.

TheMFKC2 karma

Two questions, can the hawks make a deep run in the tournment this year? And do you any good stories about Leon Koster?

drdanmurphy1 karma

The Hawks would be quite unlikely to make a run. They seem to have lost their confidence over the past month. They haven't been able to count on any consistent offense and the other teams keep getting better and better. They may win a game or two, but I can't see them going deep. As for Leon Koster, he is a guy that has a character that automatically befriends almost anyone he comes into contact with. He has done so many good things in his life. He has helped our clinic, he has helped me in so many ways, that I am bubbling over with praise for him. He did have an incident one time when he was younger and had to do chores on the farm where a cow wouldn't go where it was supposed to go. He threw a 2x4 at it, it hit him in the head, and he killed it. Man did he have to pay for it. His father was a big guy. There was also a good party out at his house one time when his parents were out of town. I've got a lot of good stories about him.

ccvssd2 karma

Who you got winning the NBA championship this year?

drdanmurphy3 karma

The Steph Currys. Can't see anyone else coming close.

semeticstallion2 karma

When were you working with the undocumented farm workers in California? Do you speak Spanish too?

drdanmurphy3 karma

I can speak Spanish, but espanol de la calle. I also speak a couple Philipino dialects, some Arabic, I had to learn a few bantu dialects when I was in Africa and some Portuguese, and here in East Timor I speak some of 15 or so dialects.

I worked in California from 1971-1978. I marched a picket line with Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker. We had some good times out there. I went to jail in California. It was a crazy and romantic time. And Cesar Chavez...if you're in a street confrontation let's just say you want to be on his side. He was an organizer. Great guy.

madd741 karma

Hey, fellow Iowan here! Were you born in Iowa, and if so what town?

drdanmurphy2 karma

I was born in ALTON in Sioux county