What If My Sore Neck is Meningitis?

The Challenge of Cutting Down on Excessive Medical Tests

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 know that the U.S. healthcare system is the most expensive in the world, even though it underperforms many of its less expensive counterparts. What fewer of us know is how much of the cost is due to unnecessary medical testing. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute has found that “excess tests” are costing the U.S. healthcare system $200 billion a year, roughly …

The Worst Kind of Super

How Can We Fight the Rise of Deadly Superbugs?

In 2004, an outbreak of MRSA decimated my college rugby team. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus–also called MRSA (pronounced MER-sa)–sent every infected player to the hospital for treatment, every uniform and piece …