Tag Archives: medical decision making

Russell Wilson’s Recovery Water: Miracle Cure or Magical Thinking?

Russell Wilson took a hard hit to the head in the NFC Championship game last year against the Green Bay Packers. His team, the Seattle Seahawks, won the game, but would Wilson, the team’s star quarterback, recover in time for … Continue reading

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Would This Picture Help You Shop for a Doctor?

Attention all you design and #nudge fans. Here is a graphic from ProPublica that attempts to help people choose a physician. Do you think it works? What would you do to improve it?

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Has Mammography Created an Epidemic of Pseudo-Survivorship?

Karen Vogt’s breast cancer journey began like many others, with her breasts painfully squeezed into a mammography machine. At age 52, it was far from her first mammogram, but this scan would be the most consequential by far. It revealed … Continue reading

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Your New Liver Is Only a Learjet Away: Part 3 of 3

As I have described in two earlier posts, here and here, the transplant system in the US suffers from terrible geographic disparities. People needing liver transplants in Northern California wait more than six years on average for an organ to … Continue reading

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Your New Liver Is Only a Learjet Away: Part 1 of 3

The forty million dollar Gulfstream jet landed at Memphis International airport in the early morning hours, its schedule hastily arranged earlier that day from Northern California, where the flight originated. Waiting on the tarmac was Dr. James Eason, head of … Continue reading

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An Eye for an Eye, a Cataract for…$4000?!

California is in the middle of an historic drought, with the government setting limits on how long people can sing in the shower. Farmers in the state may soon need to cut back on planting or production, as ground water … Continue reading

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The Question Isn’t Whether We Are Overdiagnosing Cancer, But How Much

Medical experts now agree that as a result of aggressive screening programs, we have an epidemic of cancer overdiagnosis in the United States. With mammograms finding tiny cancers and PSA tests discovering unpalpable prostate cancers, we are now unearthing some … Continue reading

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If You Look for Cancer, You’ll Find It

What would you like first: the good news or the bad news? Let me start with the bad. Life expectancy among patients in the U.S. with thyroid cancer lags behind that in Korea. In fact, the vast majority of patients … Continue reading

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Millions To Be Made On…Generic Drugs?

It is well accepted among health economics wonks that the lion’s share of pharmaceutical company profits come when these companies hold exclusive rights to their products. Once their blockbuster pills go “generic,” competitors enter the marketplace and profits plummet. Consider … Continue reading

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The Hidden Psychology of Antibiotic Prescribing

Experts in decision psychology and behavioral economics have conclusively shown that humans, those silly creatures, are not always rational decision makers. They let unconscious forces influence their thinking, and not always for the better. But of course, doctors aren’t human. … Continue reading

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