Health & Medicine

My Doctor Told Me the Cost of the Appointment . . . Give or Take $200!

Peter A. Ubel— I had a persistent skin condition, and my dermatologist thought I should see someone with more experience caring for that kind of lesion. So, I went to a new dermatologist—I will call her Dr. Freezeitoff. At the front desk, the clerk reminded me that Dr. Freezeitoff wasn’t

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Nature’s Remedies: The Environmental Impact of Chinese Medicine in the Global Medical Marketplace

Tamara Venit Shelton— Nearly three years ago, on January 18, 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the World Health Organization and presented a traditional bronze statue used to identify acupuncture points on the human body. The gift was part of the Chinese government’s ongoing campaign to promote Traditional Chinese Medicine,

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The Health Care Debate and the Perils of Medicine for Profit

Frank M. Snowden— Health care is key in the forthcoming US election, with polls indicating that the American people regard the issue—in tandem with the economy—as their top priority. Voters are seriously anxious about current provisions of care and worried about possible further efforts to undermine Obama’s Affordable Care Act. In

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What Got Antivaxxers to Vax in New York City

Richard Robb— In fall 2018, measles returned to New York City. It was hardly surprising, given the alarmingly widespread resistance to vaccination. According to a recent survey, 2% of Americans believe vaccines are unsafe and ineffective and another 6% believe the side effects of vaccination outweigh the benefits. Many antivaxxers maintain

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Remembering (and Forgetting) Epidemics

Kevin Siena— Every year my undergraduates are surprised to learn that 50-100 million people died a century ago during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918–20. We can probably thank the stunning success of twentieth-century biomedicine for this particular episode of historical amnesia. Generations of North Americans raised in relative security

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What Happened to Mescaline?

Mike Jay— In the current psychedelic renaissance, the original psychedelic is conspicuous by its absence. Amid all the buzz around LSD, psilocybin, DMT, ketamine and MDMA, and their potential for psychotherapy and mental well-being, mescaline rarely rates a mention. Yet the term ‘psychedelic’ was coined, in 1954, in response to

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Political Tribalism: The Art of Divide and Rule

Michelle Baddeley— How did Donald Trump manage to become president? If we look to psychology for an explanation, we can understand Trump as the populist leader of a modern-day tribe of voters. These voters define themselves according to a specific set of attitudes. On social media, they have a level

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Embracing Neurodiversity

Jason Tougaw— The concept of neurodiversity—the idea that every brain is a little different, some more than others—could transform neuroscience education and public perceptions about the brain. The concept is socially and politically valuable. And it’s intellectually honest. In his book Neuro-Tribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of

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We Are Not Our Parents’ Parent

Jody Gastfriend— I often refer to my 89-year-old mother as the Energizer Bunny.  She’s always on the go and is good at recharging her reservoir of energy. While her walking is limited, my mom still drives and enjoys running errands. On a recent trip to the supermarket, my mother encountered

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Ep. 62 – Caring for Aging Parents

A practical guide to caring for your aging parents and loved ones. Jody Gastfriend, author of My Parent’s Keeper: The Guilt, Grief, Guesswork, and Unexpected Gifts of Caregiving and Michael Hoak discuss the challenges and gifts of caregiving.   Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | Soundcloud