Dr. Kathleen Handal, MD


After spending 30 years in emergency medicine, Kathleen A. Handal, MD ( aka Doc Handal, Dr. K) believes that a good dose of medical common sense is what’s needed to keep people healthy and safe. “Too often, the people who lack basic knowledge of their bodies come to the emergency department when they are in crisis from problems that should have been addressed sooner. As medical educators we can change this by providing correct medical information, starting at a young age,” says Handal.

Her website, DocHandal.com, with weekly blogs, serves as a base for her many consumer education endeavors. Handal is a frequent host and co-host on talk-radio health shows. Her iTunes channel - DocHandal Speaks! Listen Up-promotes medical common sense through free podcasts. She is an expert for Sharecare, Dr. Oz’s health information website. She has also appeared on CNN and the Today Show. Her 'Medical Emergencies in the Workplace' video won a bronze medal in the International Cindy Competition and was a Telly Award finalist. She has co-authored a series of ECG textbooks for Delmar Publishing.

Along with providing information on her books and videos, her web site offers articles and quizzes for adults and children that are aimed at fine-tuning their medical commons sense. “Acting on and living in sync with our bodies can result in so many benefits throughout life. Ideally, we incorporate health knowledge about our changing bodies as we age so by adulthood we have a solid foundation of information and keen medical common sense.”

As part of her dedication to public education, she wrote, directed and produced "Trauma Run", a nationally distributed video for children in grades K2-6. The video, produced in Spanish and English, teaches children how to respond to a medical emergency when no adults are available. “We staged a bike accident in the desert outside of Phoenix. To help alleviate children’s fears about riding in an ambulance and being seen by a doctor in an emergency room, we attached a small camera to our young patient’s head so the kids viewing the program could see it from the perspective of the patient,” says Handal.

Handal's first book, "The American Red Cross First Aid & Safety Handbook", (Little, Brown & Co. 1992) was written for the lay audience. The launch for this book included a multi-media publicity tour of ten major cities. “It was a great experience. I was able to talk to a lot of people about the value of learning first aid,” says Handal.

Her latest endeavor is the launch of Doc Handal Guides, an affordable series of medical books on topics written for laypersons. The first book in the series focuses on her emergency medicine expertise. “Doc’s First Aid Guide” (translated to Spanish and French) outlines the steps a person should take in a variety of emergency situations. E-versions and print are available through Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords. The French version, written with Dr. Nicolas Dufeu, Anesthesia and Reanimation Medicine, Director of Ambulatory Surgery, Hospital North Marseille is also available.

“Your ER Survival Guide” was written to help consumers gain optimal care during an emergency room visit. “I think it is important for people to understand what’s going on behind the scenes in a busy emergency room. This book helps you ask the right questions at the right time,” says Handal.