The Stories Doctors Tell

Physicians and Patients Stitch Together Narratives to Diagnose and Heal

The belly pain is so bad that Mrs. Alves*, a woman in her 40s, is worming uncomfortably on the ER stretcher. “I need an answer,” she says. I promise her that pain medicine is on the way. What I can’t promise her—despite countless tests and specialists’ opinions already on record—is the definitive answer. The diagnosis, the root cause of her symptoms, proves elusive. But her distress is real. And when there’s distress, there’s a story.

To be an emergency physician for nearly 30 years is be humbled again and again by …

I, the California Budget, Am Worried I Might Be Too Big | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

I, the California Budget, Am Worried I Might Be Too Big

Before We Throw More Money at Our Problems, We Need to Redesign Our Broken Systems

Do you really think that bulking me up with your billions will solve California’s post-pandemic problems?

I, the California budget, am bigger than ever right now—more than $267 billion, according to …

The Hidden Health Care Workers Keeping Hospitals Safe | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Hidden Health Care Workers Keeping Hospitals Safe

Meet the Infection Preventionists at the Front Lines of the Pandemic Battle

You’re usually still a little groggy when your pager goes off. You jolt out of bed, unsure what’s going to come next. Getting awakened for work at 2 a.m. is …

Why States Can Lead America Forward | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why States Can Lead America Forward

Pursuing Progressive Policies on the State Level Can Move the Dial on Major Issues Like Citizenship, Immigration, and Health Care

American states, conventionally seen as threats to Americans’ constitutional rights, also can be powerful forces for protecting and extending rights in ways that benefit the whole country, said panelists at …

Why Today’s Social Revolutions Include Kale, Medical Care, and Help With Rent | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Today’s Social Revolutions Include Kale, Medical Care, and Help With Rent

In the Pandemic, Community Organizations Have Returned to Their Roots in Mutual Aid and Self-Determination

When I needed to donate a box of vegetables recently, I called a nonprofit in my neighborhood in Queens, New York, that organizes low-wage immigrant workers. As we arranged the …