As a physician and behavioral scientist, my research and writing explore the quirks in human nature that influence our lives -- the mixture of rational and irrational forces that affect our health, our happiness, and the way our society functions.
ABOUT THE BOOK: The United States has the most expensive healthcare system in the world. While policy makers have argued over who is at fault for this, the system has been quietly moving toward high-deductible insurance plans that require patients to pay large amounts out of pocket before insurance kicks in. The idea behind this […]
On March 14, 1942, an American soldier with bacteria coursing through his bloodstream was treated with penicillin, a new wonder drug that saved his life. That single treatment exhausted half the nation’s supply of the drug. Two years later, as U.S. troops prepared to launch the D-Day invasion, America had more than 2 million doses of the drugready […]
Ketones are a family of chemicals made by your liver, usually out of the body’s fat, to provide energy when you need it. Right now, you’ve almost certainly got some ketones circulating in your blood. If you fast for the better part of a day, the level of ketones in your blood will rise, as […]
Admit it: you can often tell a lot about a person’s personality from their facial expressions. Someone who glowers at you, forehead contracted in a glare, is probably trying to be intimidating. But what if that person isn’t glaring at you? What if they are simply so tall that, with their head tilted down to […]
In my most recent post, I describe several psychologic and economic phenomena impeding our ability to rein in the cost of end-of-life care. In brief, people with nothing to lose, who don’t trust doctors recommending they receive hospice care, and who face few economic consequences for receiving expensive care – they aren’t likely to put the […]
Six-year old Kimmy Merrill fell into an abandoned well outside of Oswega, Pennsylvania, her cries unnoticed in the remote countryside until her mother Susan wandered within earshot of the well. Unable to save Kimmy even with the help of local firefighters, Susan pleaded for rescue workers to dig a hole parallel to the well. Desperate […]
According to a recent CDC survey, one in four cancer survivors struggle to pay their medical bills. An even higher number worry about whether they’ll be able to scrounge up the money to pay off their out-of-pocket healthcare costs. I’m quite comfortable blaming the healthcare industry, writ large, for this problem. Healthcare prices in the United […]
I am a physician and behavioral scientist. My research and writing explores the quirks in human nature that influence our lives — the mixture of rational and irrational forces that affect our health, our happiness and the way our society functions. (What fun would it be to tackle just the easy problems?) My goal is to show you, in an entertaining way, why the key to living better, healthier lives, and improving the societies we live in, is to understand human nature.
I’m also a Professor of Business, Public Policy and Medicine at Duke University. (Officially, I’m the – prepare to be impressed – Madge and Dennis T. McLawhorn University Professor of Business at Fuqua.) My research explores controversial issues about the role of values and preferences in health care decision making, from decisions at the bedside to policy decisions.