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Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) on Friday gave an engaging speech on his health reform plan at the Association of Health Care Journalists conference in Seattle, getting in a nice laugh line when he called COBRA insurance “the only federal program named after a poisonous snake.”

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

Doctors see a lot of naked people.

It starts in medical school when they see a lot of dead naked people, and one would think that after cutting into a cadaver and examining body parts in great detail a naked body would lose a little of its allure.

Not so for Dr. Kamal F. Aboulhosn of Yakima, Wash.

William Heisel's picture

The decision by Astra Zeneca to stop the so-called JUPITER trial of its Crestor cholesterol medication last year garnered a ton of press attention. The New York Times captured the general tone of the coverage with this lead on a front-page story.

William Heisel's picture

Initiative 1000, the so-called "Death with Dignity Act," took effect in Washington state on March 5, after being approved by voters in November. And it has put hospitals in a strange position. Hospitals are considered the place where doctors and staff do everything in their power to keep a person alive. Now hospitals are being asked to allow their patients to kill themselves.

William Heisel's picture

Dr. Neil Hollander of Huntington Beach, Calif., looked to be just another doctor who had misplaced his notes in November 2003 when he agreed to settle a Medical Board of California case by taking a record keeping course.

William Heisel's picture

The catastrophic 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Italy, the recent 4.3 temblor near San Jose and a rash of small quakes in Southern California made me wonder about something I haven't thought about in quite a while: What's going on with hospital seismic safety in quake-prone California? We're already overdue for "the big one."

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

If you do a Google News search for the word "octomom," you will get more than 4,000 results on most days.

What is lost in much of the coverage of Nadya Suleman and her expanding brood is how completely expected this all should be. No one should be surprised that a woman with six kids could order up another eight more or that she could find a doctor willing to help her.

William Heisel's picture

Public hospitals have been closing at an alarming rate. Last month, the troubled Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center in Los Angeles announced it was preparing to reopen after years of quality concerns, but it has lived on the precipice for more than two decades.

William Heisel's picture

Even the most curious of Dr. Barbara Philipp's patients probably didn't notice that she had a drug problem.

That's because her patients were kids.

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine wrote in its disciplinary report that the 55-year-old Boston pediatrician wrote fake prescriptions for family members and friends just to get painkillers and sleeping pills for herself.

William Heisel's picture

Six of the world's biggest drug companies are about to be winnowed down to three. If all the mergers go through, we will have Pfizer-Wyeth, Merck-Schering-Plough and Roche-Genentech controlling more than $100 billion in drug sales every year - amounting to one seventh of all revenues for drug companies worldwide. (I wrote a story about this a couple weeks ago for the Los Angeles Times.)

William Heisel's picture

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Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States? The USC Center for Health Journalism seeks an enterprising and experienced journalism leader for our new position of “Manager of Projects.” 

 

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