Nurses to the Rescue!

They are the most-trusted profession in America (and with good reason). They are critical to patient outcomes (especially in primary care). Could the growing army of nurse practitioners be an answer to the doctor shortage? The data say yes but — big surprise — doctors’ associations say no.

How Many Doctors Does It Take to Start a Healthcare Revolution? (Rebroadcast)

Season 5, Episode 41 In part one (“How Many Doctors Does It Take to Start a Healthcare Revolution?”), we continue conversations from last week’s episode, (“How Do We Know What Really Works in Healthcare?”). Anupam Jena, a physician, economist, and professor at Harvard Medical School, told us about his study that shows mortality rates improve when cardiologists are […]

How Do We Know What Really Works in Healthcare? (Rebroadcast)

 Season 5, Episode 40 This week we look at healthcare. First, Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt discusses the randomized control trial, or RCT, which he calls “the very best way to learn about the world around us.” Then Amy Finkelstein, a professor of economics at MIT, talks about using RCTs to explore healthcare delivery — and the […]

What Do Hand-Washing and Financial Illiteracy Have in Common? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

Our latest podcast is called "What Do Hand-Washing and Financial Illiteracy Have in Common?" (You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, listen live via the media player above, or read the transcript below.) It explores the idea that most problems are solved by more education -- except when they're not.

You'll hear Michael Langberg, chief medical officer at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, talk about why doctors there (and elsewhere) routinely fail to wash their hands despite the evidence suggesting they must:

LANGBERG: There’s something in the human condition that somehow disconnects what is really good evidence from personal choice and habit. And I don’t know why that is. I’m not a psychiatrist; my field is internal medicine. I just have the observation. Physicians are no different.