Home - Peter Ubel

On Health,
Bioethics, and
Behavioral Economics

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.
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Sick To Debt

How Smarter Markets Lead To Better Care

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 his […]

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The Life Expectancy Of Your Favorite Presidential Candidate
Published Jan 17, 2020Featured Image For The Life Expectancy Of Your Favorite Presidential Candidate
Many of the front runners in the presidential campaign are octogenarians. President Trump, a virtual lock to be the Republican nominee, is 73 years old. Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are 78 and 77, respectively. Which raises a question: if elected, how likely are they to survive a 4-year term in office? There’s no perfect […]
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Time To Ban Kid-Friendly Flavors For E-Cigarettes
Published Jan 14, 2020Featured Image For Time To Ban Kid-Friendly Flavors For E-Cigarettes
Cinnamon. Buttered popcorn. Strawberry and banana. Yummy tastes and smells that have lingered in my TV room, after my teenage son and his friends finish vaping. E-cigarette companies like Juul are creating flavors designed to lure young customers, following a tradition established by their cigarette-manufacturing predecessors. For a while, the Trump administration appeared poised to […]
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Here’s How Tripling Prices Could Save You 40% On Your Medications
Published Jan 09, 2020Featured Image For Here’s How Tripling Prices Could Save You 40% On Your Medications
Medication prices in the US have gone from wild to insane; from expensive to outright unaffordable. But a tripling in prices could save us all a lot of money. Here’s how that would work. It’s a policy known as external reference pricing. The idea is simple. First, the US government would look at how much […]
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Show ‘Em the Money: Paying Patients to Shop for Affordable Medical Care
Published Dec 20, 2019Featured Image For Show ‘Em the Money: Paying Patients to Shop for Affordable Medical Care
After three months of physical therapy, her doctor told her that it was time to get an MRI. She had already paid off her annual deductible, meaning the imaging test would “only” cost her the $150 co-pay. An imaging center near where she worked charged $1500 for the test. Just two miles away, another facility […]
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Other Books by Peter Ubel

About Peter

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.

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