Category: Health & Medicine

let’s stop asking doctors to text while driving

The New England Journal of Medicine shares this perspective about how to help doctors stop burning out — suggesting that the electronic medical record (EMR) and the ever-increasing clerical workload are to blame for burning out doctors: Increasing clerical burden...

/ April 11, 2018

overselling the value of fistula surgery

Note: I’ll be traveling a lot the next three weeks, so posts will be sporadic. Thanks for your understanding! You’ve probably heard about the problem of obstetric fistula — the holes in between women’s pelvic organs that cause incontinence, pain,...

/ March 21, 2018

there are reasons why poor people eat what they eat

Those of us interested in public health and nutrition have heard a lot in the past few years about “food deserts” — places where it’s hard to get fresh and healthy food. It turns out that while poor people may...

/ March 2, 2018

when sex hurts

This essay from Joy Pedrow Skarka about pain and sex says some things that need to be heard: After our wedding, riding the elevator up to our hotel room, I looked into my groom’s eyes and saw excitement. We had...

/ February 28, 2018

preventing child deaths in America

America Magazine asked me to write a short piece about America’s shameful discrepancies in child deaths. It wasn’t easy to squeeze 3 very different causes of death into 750 words, but I did my best. It was interesting  (for me,...

/ February 26, 2018

experts shooting themselves in the foot with conflicts of interest

Skepticism of medical authorities is, at least in terms of vaccine refusal, becoming worse and worse. I think this is a bad thing, and have previously commended Ari Schulman’s essay on the politics of medical denialism to help understand why this...

/ February 22, 2018

questioning brain death

This devastating story about Jahi McMath, a young woman who suffered a terrible complication of surgery (and might not have had she received closer attention) is worth reading in and of itself, but the questions it raises about the commonly...

/ February 15, 2018

EMRs are designed for billing, not for retaining information

The dirty secret of all electronic medical records (EMRs) is this: they are not primarily designed to help doctors record, review, or share information about their patients. No, they are primarily designed to capture the data necessary to submit bills to...

/ February 12, 2018

follow the money, asthma prevention edition

The Washington Post explains why prevention gets shafted when it comes to treating chronic diseases like asthma: Both [major teaching hospitals in Baltimore] receive massive tax breaks in return for providing “community benefit,” a poorly defined federal requirement that they...

/ February 9, 2018

what about Christian healthcare sharing ministries?

I get asked fairly frequently for my opinion about Christian healthcare sharing ministries. I’ve not had very many patients who use them, so I don’t have a lot of experience from the provider side. However, my wife and I used...

/ October 17, 2017