Last Word

As Race ‘Equity’ Advances in Healthcare, Signs of a Chilling Effect on Dissent

The national movement to eradicate what activists call systemic racism and white privilege from medicine and healthcare has few public critics in the medical profession. A possible reason: Skeptics who have questioned these efforts have been subject to harsh Twitter campaigns, professional demotions and other blowback. A podcast of the Journal of the American Medical Association caused a furor...

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Building an immune system for the planet could prevent the next pandemic

OPINION: We need a global information network that spans borders so we can spot — and stop — new pathogens before they threaten world health In 2002, when I was working at the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we noticed something unusual: In China, the price of garlic — which is viewed as a cure-all by many Asian cultures — had...

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9/11 survivors’ exposure to toxic dust and the chronic health conditions that followed offer lessons that are still too often unheeded

Toxic dust hung in the air around ground zero for more than three months following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Anthony Correia/Getty Images ~~~~~~ The 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York resulted in the loss of 2,753 people in the Twin Towers and surrounding area. After the attack, more than 100,000 responders and recovery workers from every U.S. state – along with some...

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Tackling the growing problem of overmedication

Polypharmacy — taking five or more meds at a time — leads to side effects, unnecessary hospitalizations and premature deaths. Researchers and pharmacists are seeking solutions to this serious public health problem that disproportionately affects older adults. When my grandmother Carol Mitchell was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2010 at the age of 72, she was prescribed a drug called...

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Doctors’ Dilemma: Replacing Colorblindness to Favor Minority Care

Doctors are questioning the concept of colorblindness in patient care as a racist holdover that benefits white people. And some openly acknowledge that prioritizing non-whites for medical care to compensate for historical wrongs may result in a greater loss of life. But increasingly they say that society must take this route as a matter of medical ethics. The colorblind standard, which says that...

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Foods of abuse? Nutritionists consider food addiction

From the earliest days of their evolution, guts and brains have been the best of friends. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Guts prepare nourishment for delivery to the brain. And brains guide the behaviors needed to fill the gut with raw materials. Even today, the primitive need to serve the gut’s hunger remains implanted in the human brain’s blueprint for directing behavior. But...

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