Category Archives: Medical Decision Making

How To Tell Someone That She Is Dying

Elizabeth’s breast cancer had already spread to her bones and was now invading lymph nodes in her right armpit, causing painful swelling that kept her up at night. Today, however, as she walked into her oncologist’s office, Elizabeth felt like … Continue reading

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Don’t Cry for Me, Doctor Tina?

Okay, worst blog post title of the year. But just trying to grab your attention and point you towards a nice USA Today article on doctors and emotional intelligence. “Tamir Mosharrafa, a plastic surgeon in Phoenix, recalls the 20-something woman … Continue reading

Posted in Medical Decision Making

If Costs Are Unknown, Can Doctors Still Talk About Them?

I have been writing a bit lately on the need for healthcare providers to talk with their patients about healthcare costs, if for no other reason than to enable patients to determine whether they can afford to pay for the healthcare that … Continue reading

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Unnecessary Mastectomies Following Breast Cancer Diagnoses?

I spoke the other day to Melissa Dahl, a writer for New York Magazine. She wrote a really nice piece on what medical professionals call “contralateral prophylactic mastectomy” – when a woman with breast cancer chooses not only to remove … Continue reading

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Orthopedic Surgeons Get “F” Grade On Knowing Cost Of The Devices They Implant

A new study asks Orthopedic surgeons to guess the price of the devices they implant – “the amount your institution currently pays the vendor for the implant.” Despite a lenient grading system, in which the researchers counted as correct any … Continue reading

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Want narcotics just ask for them?

A very disturbing new study was just published, in which physicians viewed a video of a patient with back pain asking for OxyContin. Twenty percent of docs said they would prescribe that med under that circumstance: …Too often, doctors prescribe … Continue reading

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A Simple Nudge That Will Improve Medical Care for People with Diabetes

When patients with diabetes come to the doctor’s office, it is important for their clinicians to take a look at their feet. Many, if not most, foot amputations among people with diabetes would be prevented with this simple exam, an … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Medical Decision Making | Tagged ,

Discussing Financial Toxicity in Oncology Settings

The American Society of Clinical Oncology is one of the leading specialty organizations for physicians who take care of patients with cancer. A reporter from ASCO just wrote a nice piece, in which she questioned me to go into more … Continue reading

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More Discussion about Discussing Out-Of-Pocket Costs

In the wake of my recent New York Times op-ed, and other writing about patient out-of-pocket costs, I was interviewed by Tammy Worth, a writer at Renal and Urology News. She did a great job of exploring this controversial topic. … Continue reading

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Getting Good Cancer Care by Asking the Right Questions

Not long ago, I spoke with a freelance journalist, Charlotte Huff, who put together a really nice article in Cancer Today, describing how cancer patients can get more engaged in their care. I thought I would share a bit of that … Continue reading

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