The Village Doctor Newsletter – Week of September 24, 2021

Greetings, friends of TVD,

Fall is in the air, can you feel it? Stanford had its first home, and in person, football game over the weekend, providing some sense of normalcy and change of the seasons (go 🌲🌲’s!). And sort of normal, it will be flu shot season before you know it (next month, October), and in the spirit of prevention, you will see some pieces below on the theme of “healthy aging”, our topic for this month, September.

Speaking of flu shots, I would like to point out to those of you who are eligible for COVID “booster shots”, on August 27th the CDC changed their guidelines and are now stating that you can get your flu shot AND your COVID vaccine (or booster) at the same time (or really any time). “It’s terribly important” to get both the flu and coronavirus vaccines, said William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. “They are both very nasty respiratory viruses that can make many people very, very sick.” “It’s like protecting yourself against a bee and a wasp, both of which can sting you,” Schaffner said. “You’ve got to protect yourself against each one separately.”

I should also add that we do NOT yet have our shipment of FluBlok from Sanofi (our recommended flu shot for adults). We’re hoping to receive our shipment by mid October. We recommend you getting your flu shot during the month of October.

And lastly, and related to the changing of seasons and the passing of time, I want to share a treasure with you, especially if you are a history buff. As many of you know, I had the privilege of being the “expedition physician” for a number of Stanford Travel / Study programs. I also had the privilege of traveling with my friend and colleague, Stanford professor, Dr. Scott Pearson. In his words, he “(as) an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin, I majored in history. I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 and served in Nigeria, which strengthened my commitment to understand and improve the lives of others less fortunate. Thereafter, I realized my childhood dream of experiencing the world and studying its people.  I earned an MA in international relations at the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (1965) and PhD in economics at Harvard (1969).  I then spent my entire academic career at Stanford, teaching and carrying out research in the Food Research Institute.  My career focused on international trade and development and my retirement on the rise and fall of empires.  Since retiring, I have lectured on 120 educational travel trips, 65 of them with the Stanford Travel/Study program.

Scott is an exceptionally talented lecturer, being able to both entertain, and eductate, often with no preparation and in an unusual environment (think being stranded at a remote airstrip in Papua New Guinea where I learned all about the Polynesian diaspora as influenced by different species of rice, if I remember correctly).

Professor Pearson has taken the shutdown during the pandemic and turned it in to an academic blessing for those interested in travel and history. I strongly encourage you to browse, travel, think and adventure at his new website, History for Travelers.  It is most excellent.

In health, travel and adventure,

Eric Weiss, MD, September 27, 2021



NOTE: Our TVD Newsletter is a labor of love. If you enjoy reading this, please share widely! Was this forwarded to you by a friend? Please subscribe here.




October is think pink” with breast cancer awareness taking  position as front and center. While breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women,there is good news in that death rates have fallen by about 1% a year since 2013. This is likely for treatment advances.  Screening for breast cancer remains a vital part in the chain of early diagnosis and treatment. The current guidelines can be found here by the American Cancer SocietyRead more



In addition to abundant and easily absorbed nutritional components, antioxidants and enzymes, breast milk helps to stimulate and strengthen a baby’s immune system and seemingly more now than ever, scientists have been looking at how breastfeeding may protect babies against infections, particularly COVID-19.  In fact, as of last week, the CDC changed their guidance for pregnant and lactating women and now strongly encourages women in both of those populations to get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and likely their babies as well… Read more



Yes, summer is officially over, and children and adolescents are returning to school.  

Many of them haven’t been to school for the past year and a half, as they had to participate in remote learning from home.  Now they are returning to the classroom, and although they are excited to be out of the house and with their friends, they may experience some anxiety because of this change.

At the beginning of the pandemic, many of my patients with IBS actually felt better because their stress levels were decreased since they were home with their parents, there was a bathroom nearby, and they could easily turn off the sound and/or video during their online classesRead more


The Village Doctor’s friend Shannon Hunt-Scott was recently interviewed by Magnify Community. Click here to read the full interview featured in their August newsletter. Enjoy a snapshot below. Good job, Shannon!


Again, our TVD Newsletter is a labor of love. If you enjoy reading this, please share widely! Was this forwarded to you by a friend? Please subscribe here.


Yours, in health and resilience,

Eric and the TVD MD team…