We’re Bad at Evaluating Risk. How Doctors Can Help.



My patient and I were locked in a game of decision-making hot potato. “What would you do, Doc?” he said. We’d been discussing whether he should get screened for prostate cancer. Such questions [...]

Whatever a doctor’s political views, end-of-life care is the same



It’s no secret that we live in an era of historic political polarization. Almost daily we’re reminded of the corrosive consequences of Americans drifting apart: Polarization affects how we work, [...]

Do You Trust the Medical Profession?



Trust, in each other and in American institutions, is vital for our social and economic well-being: It allows us to work, buy, sell and vote with some reasonable expectation that our behavior [...]

You’re Sick. Whose Fault Is That?



On my pediatrics rotation in medical school, several residents told me they worked with children in part because they sometimes found themselves judging adults: Did they do drugs? Were they fat? [...]

What States Can Learn From One Another on Health Care



We know that where you live matters: There are huge disparities in health and costs across the country. The uninsured rate in Texas is six times higher than in Massachusetts. You’re four times [...]

The Unhealthy Politics of Pork: How It Increases Your Medical Costs



No industry in America spends more on lobbying than health care. In 2016, the health care industry spent half a billion dollars on lobbying, with pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and health [...]

The High Price of Failing America’s Costliest Patients



Even patients with whom I have the best rapport would probably rather not see me so often. Sometimes I readmit a patient I cared for just weeks before in the hospital. “Nice to see you again,” I [...]

GOP Medicaid Cuts Would Hurt Much More than Health Care



The program contributes to lower dropout rates, more college degrees, higher earnings, emptier jails and thriving economies. In short, the American dream. The Senate’s new health bill, the Better [...]

How Behavioral Economics Can Produce Better Health Care



Consider the following. I’m a physician at the end of more than a decade of training. I’ve dissected cadavers in anatomy lab. I’ve pored over tomes on the physiology of disease. I’ve treated [...]

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. [...]

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