Hollywood actor Bob Odenkirk, famous for his roles in "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul," admitted last week that he regrets not trusting medical advice he received from a "cranky conservative" physician.
While filming the final season of "Better Call Saul" two years ago, Odenkirk collapsed on the set after suffering a heart attack. Last year, Odenkirk revealed that his heart had stopped and he required CPR and defibrillation to save his life.
Now, Odenkirk believes his brush with death could have been avoided — if only he had listened to his politically conservative doctor.
Speaking on the "Don't Ask Tig" podcast, Odenkirk explained that his doctor of two decades — a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles — told him several years before the heart attack that he needed to begin medication to treat plaque buildup in his arteries.
"My doctor was a conservative. He got crankier and crankier the older he got. When I was 50, I went in, he was a heart doctor, Cedar[s]-Sinai, and he had signs up all around his office at this point [saying] 'We do not accept Obamacare,' and I f***ing hated this side of him that I only learned over time," Odenkirk explained. "I'd been with him for 20 years, and he said, 'You need to start taking statins right now.' And I said, 'Well, I don't know. I don't have heart disease in my family.' He goes, 'Just take 'em.'"
But he didn't listen to that physician, whom Odendirk described as a "cranky conservative jackass." Instead, he sought a second opinion from a doctor who advised him that he did not need statin medication.
"And [then] I had a heart attack. And I think the first doctor was right," Odenkirk admitted.
The moral of the story for Odenkirk? Separate the art from the artist.
"The cranky conservative jackass was right because he was a goddamn good doctor," the actor said.
According to Odenkirk, a doctor's "political point of view doesn't have anything to do with his ability to judge your health," and that is how we should evaluate medical professionals: not on their personal views, but on their abilities and reputation as a doctor.
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