Governor Jerry Brown

Should Jerry Brown Just Ignore His Cancer?

As California’s oldest governor, Jerry Brown has gone out of his way to demonstrate his vigorous good health, jogging around the Capitol and even challenging reporters to pull-up contests—which he …


Strawberry ice cream

How About Ice Cream Without the Tonsillectomy?

In 1981, I was 7, in love with Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl,” and so sick and sweaty and miserable that I woke myself from sleep in tears. When my mom …


Shannon Brownlee at MOCA

You Might Wanna Die Elsewhere

Shannon Brownlee, acting director of the New America Foundation Health Policy Program, began an event sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation by taking a survey of the crowd at MOCA …


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What If My Sore Neck is Meningitis?

Doctors have a term for it: “defensive medicine.” It’s when the rash on your hand leads to tests for syphilis–that sort of thing. And it’s a big problem.

Most of us …


docs_die_grave_pic

How Doctors Die

Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic …