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
Incarceration has been linked to infectious diseases, mental illness, cancer, and violence. But new research suggests it can extend some people’s lifespans. Bapu investigates the paradox of prison time.
Behavioral economists say “regret lotteries” are powerful motivational tools. When Philadelphia tried one in 2021, the results were disappointing. Bapu looks at how incentives can backfire — and what we can learn from failures.
When COVID hit, telemedicine use in the U.S. exploded. But how are we using it now? Bapu Jena explores the consequences of this evolving technology.
After the Supreme Court’s abortion decision, doctors in some states are concerned that delivering treatment could put them in legal jeopardy. Bapu Jena looks at how the practice of “defensive medicine” can compromise patient care.
Medical tests can save lives. So how do doctors decide who gets tested, and when?
When researchers analyzed which day of the week most F.D.A. drug-safety alerts are released — and what it means for public health — they were stunned. So, what can we do about the “Friday Effect?”
A small number of patients with multiple, chronic conditions use a lot of resources. Dr. Jeffrey Brenner found a way to identify and treat them. Could it reduce health care spending too?
When a hospital closes in a rural area, it’s a big deal. But are all patients affected equally? We look at new research on the unexpected outcomes of traveling farther for care.
Promising drugs keep failing in trials. Allegations of fraud have cast a shadow over the field. An expert explains why Alzheimer’s treatments have been so hard to find — and why one clue may lie in the Andes Mountains.
Beyond the immediate casualties, school shootings have costs — for survivors, and for the rest of us.
Hospitals compete for prime spots on the U.S. News rankings — but could those lists be doing more harm than good?
Our cognitive health can change as we get older. So, does leaving the workforce make problems like memory loss and difficulty focusing worse? We investigate the research, and Bapu asks: is it time for his dad to retire?
Chronic fatigue syndrome looks remarkably similar to Long Covid, but has been ignored by the medical community. Could patients finally get some answers to their debilitating illness?
Learning requires practice — and if you visit a teaching hospital in July, there’s a good chance your doctor hasn’t had much of it. So, will your care suffer? The dean of a medical school, an economist, and a hospital administrator help Bapu Jena find out.
Can you diagnose cancer too early? Do in-flight medical emergencies vary by location? We asked you to send Bapu your questions, and this week he tries to answer them. We’d love to get to the bottom of even more topics. Send your voice memos to email@example.com
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.
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