Ruth L. Newhouse Associate Professor of Health Care Policy, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School; Associate Professor of Medicine and Assistant Physician in the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Will Flanary, a.k.a Dr. Glaucomflecken, has always been a comedy fan. During the pandemic, he found an audience. But should doctors be funny with their patients? Bapu Jena asks when laughter is — and isn’t — the best medicine.
When a doctor’s shift ends, or a physician retires, are patients left in the lurch? Bapu Jena looks at the challenge of managing medical transitions.
You’ve heard that the weather can make your joints hurt. Maybe you’ve even felt it yourself. But, is it true? Bapu Jena looks at why we think we know certain things in medicine, even when the data don’t agree.
The world is warmer than ever, and getting hotter. Bapu Jena looks at how heat affects our bodies and our behavior — and how we might adapt to rising temperatures.
For Black men, the barbershop is a neighborhood hub. It could also be a place for them to get medical care. Plus: What happens to patients when affirmative action ends?
Bapu Jena talks with Albert Bourla about his unusual path to the top, developing a life-saving vaccine in record time, and the second-hardest decision he made along the way.
Fear is a popular tool in public health campaigns. But is it an effective one? Bapu Jena discusses new research on whether we can — and should — scare people into being healthier.
Distractions are everywhere — including in the operating room. So, what happens if a surgeon loses focus? A tap dancer, a health researcher, and a surgeon help Bapu Jena find out.
For lots of things, price is an indicator of quality. But what about in health care? Bapu Jena gets some clues from Steve Levitt’s wine tasting experiment, and looks at why shopping for healthcare is so hard.
Taxes on alcohol and tobacco promise to make people healthier and raise public funds. But can they backfire? Bapu Jena looks at the complicated economics of sin taxes.
Tax deadlines can stress us out. But do they also influence our conscious — and subconscious — behavior? Bapu Jena looks at why, with our health, timing is often everything.
When it comes to end-of-life medical care, getting it right can be hard — even for doctors. Bapu Jena discusses surprising research on how we can live better — and maybe longer — before we die.
Celebrities influence the clothes we wear and the books we read. Do they also affect our health decisions? Bapu Jena looks at what happens when people take medical advice from movie stars.
Getting solid answers in medicine can be hard — especially when the normal tools are off-limits. Dr. Bapu Jena discusses a research method that’s helping to solve some of science’s most challenging questions.
Cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death globally. What if it doesn’t have to be that way? Bapu Jena walks us through some solutions that can help save lives — and explores why change in medicine can be hard.
Changing the clocks has been linked to car accidents and heart attacks. This week, Bapu Jena sheds some light on the damage we might be doing by springing forward and falling back.
When trust in doctors or the healthcare system is lost, it’s really hard to get back. Bapu Jena explores the ripple effects of a C.I.A. operation to catch Osama bin Laden on medical distrust in Pakistan — and its parallels to distrust in the U.S.
Giving birth in the United States can be dangerous for both moms and their kids. Sometimes, that’s because of too little medical care — and sometimes, it’s the opposite.
Well, which is better at predicting your risk of having a heart attack? Bapu Jena explores the promise — and perils — of artificial intelligence in medicine.
We often select doctors based on their reputations or on misconceptions about what really matters. But research shows that doctors’ experience and where they trained can significantly impact patient care.
In Latin, the word “placebo” means “I shall please.” In the medical world, placebos mean something … well, a little different. Bapu Jena walks us through the thorny world of placebo research and the implications the placebo effect can have for patients.
We now have more access to TV, movies, and streaming entertainment than anytime in history. So what do we actually know about what all that screen time does to us? We look back at some compelling studies that show, actually, it may change us for the better.
Each year, millions of people get sick or die from diseases caused by their own unhealthy behavior. Getting people to change their bad habits – to quit smoking, eat better, or exercise – can be extremely hard. But what if we paid them?
Bill Frist was a transplant surgeon before serving in the Senate, where he drove controversial legislation on embryonic stem cells and end-of-life care. Did he change politics? Or did politics change him?
Since doctors are human, they bring their own beliefs and preferences into the examining room. But they’ve also taken an oath to act in the best interest of all patients. What happens when politics and medicine collide?
A clever study tracking the survivors of Hurricane Katrina came to a bold conclusion: when it comes to your health, place is destiny. So how can the benefits of healthier places be spread to everyone?
Aging carries a risk of losing our memory, focus, and ability to take care of ourselves and others. Does leaving the workforce worsen that risk? We investigate the research. And…Bapu asks: is it time for dad to retire?
In this special episode of Freakonomics, M.D., host Bapu Jena looks at data from birthday parties, March Madness parties, and a Freakonomics Radio holiday party to help us all manage our risk of Covid-19 exposure.
The National Institutes of Health is the backbone of health research in the U.S., and Collins has been in charge for more than a decade. Now that he’s stepping down, he ponders the arc of his history-making career, from his leadership of the Human Genome Project to the fight against Covid-19 (not to mention the absolute happiest moment of his life).
Studies by men published in scientific journals are more likely to include glowing, hyperbolic terms. Bapu talks about this “groundbreaking” research (see what we did there?) in a wide-ranging discussion with physicians and an economist about the gender gap in medicine.
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