Now Is the Time for California to Think Big, Again

Will the State Use This Moment to Be Ambitious—Or Shrink Back Into Its Old Habit of Budget Cuts?

Coronavirus is forcing Californians to isolate themselves. But it has brought us together in one big way: by fusing all of our biggest problems into one colossal crisis.

That crisis could be our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the state—if we can ignore the conventional wisdom that this is a time to shelter our ambitions in place.

For Californians, COVID-19 is a crisis of crises. It merges together a collection of failures that most of us consider separately—housing, energy, poverty, prisons, courts, schools, climate, health care, immigration, pensions, taxes and budgets, and …

How Cesarean Births Became a ‘Global Epidemic’

Reliance on New Obstetric Technology and Lawsuit-Averse Doctors Made Traditional Birth Seem More Risky Than C-Sections

Almost one in three births in the United States today is by cesarean section—a dramatic change from a century ago when physicians avoided the surgery whenever possible. Doctors remained so …

The Women Who Built Mayo Clinic

After a Tornado Wrecked a Minnesota Town, Franciscan Nuns and Physicians, Anesthesiologists and Social Workers Helped Create a Pathbreaking Medical Center

Several years ago, a few colleagues and I discovered a well-kept secret about Mayo Clinic, where we all worked.

We had decided to create a Jeopardy game for Women’s History Month …

The California Corporate Giant You Never Heard Of

Mysterious McKesson, a Massive Health Care Conglomerate, Keeps a Low Profile in the Heart of San Francisco

California is so big that you don’t need to be a mouse to hide here. You can be a giant elephant, and still escape notice.

Californians have little sense of some …

How Hospital Rooms Went from Airy Temples to “Inhuman” Machines

Architecture Used to Pamper Patients. Then Designers Began Prizing Efficiency.

In the March 1942 issue of the journal Modern Hospital, Charles F. Neergaard, a prominent New York City hospital design consultant, published a layout for a hospital inpatient department that …

To End Infectious Disease, We Must Cure Our Societal Ills

Wars, Politics, and the Anti-Vaccine Movement Plague Global Efforts to Stop Epidemics

It once was stated that “man’s weakness is not achieving victories, but in taking advantage of them.” Indeed, this is the case for global infection control. Throughout history we have …