Rsok

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Results Of At-Home Genetic Tests For Health Can Be Hard To Interpret

Rita Adele Steyn's mother had a double mastectomy in her 40s because she had so many lumps in her breasts. Her first cousin died of breast cancer. And Steyn's sister is going through chemotherapy for the disease now. Steyn worries she might be next.<p>"Sometimes you feel like you beat the odds. And …

Molecular Biology

What We Can Learn From Ghana's Obsession With Preschool

Every evening after dinner, Herman Agbavor and his 5-year-old son, Herbert, have a ritual. Little Herbert climbs into his dad's lap, unzips his book bag and they go over his kindergarten homework.<p>The two of them have been doing some variation of this homework routine since Herbert was 1. That's …

Teaching

America's Doctors Are Burned Out and We're Finally Taking It Seriously

But the problem is still a long way from being fixed.<p>John Garvin may be the longest-serving emergency room doctor in the country. He can’t be sure—he started practicing in Virginia in 1971, before the specialty had residency programs to keep track—but it’s fun to speculate.<p>He speaks in clipped …

Medicine

What happens when a patient says, 'Doc, help me die'

<b>(CNN) —</b> "But can't you help me die, Doc?"<p>My 54-year-old patient was alone in the intensive care unit, with no family or friends in his life. He slumped in his bed, gasping, staring up at me. Admitted with lung fibrosis and pneumonia, he had scars and infection aggressively replacing his airways, …

Empathy

An Out-Of-Network Lab, An Elaborate Urine Test And Then A Surprise Bill

After Elizabeth Moreno had back surgery in late 2015, her surgeon prescribed an opioid painkiller and a follow-up drug test that seemed routine — until the lab slapped her with a bill for $17,850.<p>A Houston lab had tested her urine sample for a constellation of legal and illicit drugs, many of which …

Health Care

Your ZIP Code Might Be As Important To Health As Your Genetic Code

When a receptionist hands out a form to fill out at a doctor's office, the questions are usually about medical issues: What's the visit for? Are you allergic to anything? Up to date on vaccines?<p>But some health organizations are now asking much more general questions: Do you have trouble paying your …

Health Care

Many Nurses Lack Knowledge Of Health Risks To Mothers After Childbirth

In recent months, mothers who nearly died in the hours and days after giving birth have repeatedly told ProPublica and NPR that their doctors and nurses were often slow to recognize the warning signs that their bodies weren't healing properly.<p>A study published Tuesday in <i>MCN: The American Journal of</i> …

Home Visits Help Parents Overcome Tough Histories, Raise Healthy Children

Seated at a kitchen table in a cramped apartment, Rosendo Gil asks the parents sitting across from him what they should do if their daughter catches a cold.<p>Blas Lopez, 29, and his fiancée, Lluvia Padilla, 28, are quick with the answer: Check her temperature and call the doctor if she has a fever …

After A Suicide, Sibling Survivors Are Often Overlooked

When Taylor Porco's brother, Jordan, died by suicide during his freshman year of college in February 2011, people told her to be strong for her parents, who were incapacitated by their grief. Hardly anyone seemed to notice that Porco, only 14 at the time, was suffering and suicidal.<p>"I was really …

A Day Camp That Teaches Kids In The U.S. About Female Genital Mutilation

It's a hot and humid day, but the kids are buzzing. As they pile out of a coach bus at a secluded retreat center surrounded by trees and open fields, one girl spins in circles and says, "No FGM, no FGM!"<p>So it's definitely not your typical camp.<p>Last Saturday, about 60 girls and boys and some parents …

Female Genital Mutilation

Having A Best Friend In Your Teenage Years Could Benefit You For Life

David Thomas and I met when we were about 5 years old. We celebrated his 26th birthday last weekend, marking roughly two decades of friendship. Once, while walking down the street, a man looked at us and said, "Ain't it Harold and Kumar!" He was almost certainly making light of our race, but …

Psychology

The Fox And The Hedgehog: The Triumphs And Perils Of Going Big

The Greek poet Archilochus wrote, "the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."<p>There are many different interpretations of this parable, but psychologist Phil Tetlock argues it's a way of understanding two cognitive styles: Foxes have different strategies for different …

In Rural Alaska, A Young Doctor Walks To His Patient's Bedside

In rural Alaska, providing health care means overcoming a lot of hurdles.<p>Fickle weather that can leave patients stranded, for one.<p>Also: complicated geography. Many Alaskan villages have no roads connecting them with hospitals or specialists, so people depend on local clinics and a cadre of devoted …

Getting Patients Hooked On An Opioid Overdose Antidote, Then Raising The Price

First came Martin Shkreli, the brash young pharmaceutical entrepreneur who raised the price for an AIDS treatment by 5,000 percent. Then, Heather …

Health Policy

Pa. painkiller prescriptions drop after creation of monitoring program

Within months of launching a registry to prevent patients from receiving opioids and other potentially addictive prescription drugs from more than one doctor, Pennsylvania saw a substantial drop in the number of prescriptions for painkillers such as Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet.<p>Authorized by the …

Painkillers

New state rules are forcing opioid prescribers to confront ‘doctor shopping’

Over the objections of many doctors and their powerful advocacy groups, states are moving to force physicians to check on patients’ narcotic-purchasing habits, one of the more effective ways of curbing opioid abuse as the deadly drug epidemic continues.<p>Eighteen states have adopted comprehensive …

Obamacare Plans Don't Always Include Top Cancer Centers

Being told that you have cancer can be scary. Discovering that your health insurance plan doesn't give you access to leading cancer centers may make the diagnosis even more daunting.<p>As insurers in the plans set up under the Affordable Care Act shrink their provider networks and slash the number of …

Cancer

Drug Firms Make Millions By Sending Opioid Pills To W.Va., Report Says

Rachel Martin talks to Eric Eyre of the <i>Charleston Gazette-Mail</i> about revelations that drug wholesalers shipped hundreds of millions of opioid pills to West Virginia pharmacies over a six-year period.<p>Transcript<p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:<p>Reporters are often told to follow the money. A newspaper in West …

Empathy is an overrated skill when dispensing medical care

Over the past few decades, empathy—the ability to take on the perspective, or “feel” the emotions, of another person—has been touted as a key clinical skill, and a cornerstone of the doctor-patient relationship. Communication with and trust in the doctor hinges on this quality, research suggests, …

Empathy

What's the most common cause of death in your county?

<b>(CNN) —</b> Deaths due to heart problems tend to be highest in counties along the southern half of the Mississippi River.<p>Violent deaths tend to be common in Western counties, and deaths from mental and substance abuse disorders tend to be more common in Kentucky and West Virginia counties than …

Public Health

Millions Of People Are Having An Easier Time Paying Medical Bills

The number of people who have trouble paying their medical bills has plummeted in the past five years as more people have gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and gotten jobs as the economy has improved.<p>A report from the National Center for Health Statistics released Wednesday …

Trump Picks Seema Verma To Run Medicare And Medicaid

President-elect Donald Trump unveiled two big health care decisions Tuesday.<p>He picked Rep. Tom Price to head the Department of Health and Human Services and tapped Seema Verma, a health care consultant, to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That's the part of HHS that oversees …

From Pot To Guns To School Funding: Here's What's On The Ballot In Your State

It's time to talk about ballot measures. Or rather, those other things voters are deciding on Nov. 8.<p>This November, there are 156 measures being voted on in 35 states and the District of Columbia. California is in the lead, with a whopping 17 measures on its ballot.<p>Although these ballot measures …

No Snapchat In The Bedroom? An Online Tool To Manage Kids' Media Use

Whether your kid is 3 and obsessed with Daniel Tiger videos or 15 and spending half her conscious hours on Snapchat, you are probably somewhat conflicted about how to think about their media habits.<p>How much time? What kind of media? What should our family's rules be?<p>When the American Academy of …

Social Media

Under Health Law, Many Preventive Services For Men Are Covered, Too

A federal health list specifically guarantees some women's health coverage available without a copay or deductible, so what about men's health? And what options are available for coverage for people who travel frequently? Here are the answers to some recent questions from readers.<p><b>Why aren't there</b> …

To train doctors, Vermont school shifts to hands-on learning

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The University of Vermont College of Medicine is changing the way physicians are trained by switching exclusively to a …

Doctors Who Treat Opioid Addiction Often See Very Few Patients

Many people struggling with opioid addiction can't find a doctor to provide medication-assisted treatment, even though it's highly effective. One reason could be that doctors who are qualified to prescribe the medication typically treat just a handful of patients.<p>Researchers at the RAND Corporation …

Screening Mental Health In Kindergarten Is Way Too Late, Experts Say

<i>This story is part of our NPR Ed series on mental health and schools.</i><p>When it comes to children's brains, Rahil Briggs describes them as ... sticky.<p>"Whatever we throw, [it] sticks. That's why they can learn Spanish in six months when it takes us six years," says the New York City based child …

What Happens When A Living Kidney Donor Needs A Transplant?

Becoming a living kidney donor can be a heroic act, but it has its downsides: increased risks of health complications and occasionally, diseases that …

Pediatricians urge states to get tough on parents who don’t want to vaccinate their kids

The nation's pediatricians are pushing back against parents who resist having their children vaccinated against a broad range of dangerous diseases by calling on states to stop offering waivers to those with non-medical objections to the practice.<p>In a policy statement issued Monday, the American …

Public Health