Being a Doctor Is Hard. It’s Harder for Women.

Happy medical residents are all alike. Every unhappy resident would take a long time to count. It’s no secret that medical training is grueling: long hours, little sleep, rigid hierarchies, steep [...]

How Prejudice Can Harm Your Health

Long before the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King declared health inequity the most shocking and inhumane form of injustice, W.E.B. Du Bois wrote that “the Negro death rate and sickness are largely [...]

We’re Bad At Death. Can We Talk?

Her last conversation should not have been with me. I’d just arrived for the night shift in the I.C.U. when her breathing quickened. I didn’t know much about the patient, and the little I did [...]

Bad Hospital Design is Making Us Sicker

As a medical resident working 30-hour shifts, I quickly came to cherish those rare moments when I could duck out of the bustling and brightly lit hospital corridors and lay my head on a pillow. [...]

Giving New Doctors the Tools They Need

They say if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I wonder, then, why my toolbox often seems so inadequate for fixing my patients. I open one recent afternoon in clinic with a [...]

Helping Patients Make the Right Decisions

“But what would a stroke feel like?” my patient asked. I didn’t quite know how to answer. I again explained that we could give him a blood thinner, which would lower his risk of having a stroke [...]

Letting Patients Tell Their Stories

Friday night in the emergency department is about what you’d think. It starts off slow: a middle-aged man with a middling pneumonia; an older nursing home resident with a urinary tract infection [...]

Let Patients Read Their Medical Records

Sometimes, before I interview new patients, while I’m waiting for them to be transported from the emergency department to the medical floor, I play a game. I look through their lab tests. I [...]

What Can We Do About the Science Communication Crisis?

We have almost no data on how specific print, television, or Internet stories influence public perception of scientific issues—and it’s crucial to find out In the 2004 Academy Award-winning [...]