A reader of the SFTT Blog suggested that we “take a look” at Dr. David Cifu, Senior TBI Specialist in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (“VA”) Veterans Health Administration. Found below is a short video clip of Dr. Cifu testifying at a U.S. Congressional Hearing on concussions in March, 2016.
For Veterans living with the effects of PTSD and/or TBI, I would find his testimony quite disturbing.
A biographic extract from Virginia Commonwealth University states the following about Dr. Cifu:
In his 20 years as an academic physiatrist, he has been funded on more than 30 research grants and is the principal or co-principal investigator on eight current grants. He has delivered more than 425 regional, national and international lectures, published more than 165 articles and 65 abstracts and co-authored 20 books and book chapters. He has recently co-authored the patient and family focused self-help book, “Overcoming Post-Deployment Syndrome: A Six-Step Mission to Health.”
Now, I do not claim to be anything close to being an “expert” in analyzing brain injury, but it strikes me that Dr. Cifu’s strong convictions on how to treat PTSD and TBI do not reflect the latest findings in brain-related trauma that SFTT reported last week based on new research by Dr. Perl.
In fact, with Dr. Cifu admitting to experiencing 6 concussions might – in itself – be considered a disqualifying event to hold such an important role within the VA.
While I have no reason to doubt Dr. Cifu’s integrity or sincerity, I have seen little evidence that Dr. David Cifu’s opinions on treating traumatic brain injury and PTSD have provided significant long-term benefits to Veterans to help them reclaim their lives. In fact, many of the substance abuse problems affecting Veterans can be directly attributed to the VA for prescribing opioids and other pain-killers.
While it is all good and well to hold strong opinions, if those beliefs are wrong or even incomplete, many Veterans living daily with PTSD and TBI are at risk. Does this make sense?Share