Should Jerry Brown Just Ignore His Cancer?

Governor’s Choice of Radiation Therapy Could Cause More Harm Than Doing Nothing at All

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 won. Now that he’s been diagnosed with prostate cancer and begun radiation therapy, some news outlets seem to be experiencing a bit of schadenfreude, gleefully calling the 74-year-old governor’s diagnosis a “blow to his healthy image.”

They missed the real story, which isn’t the governor’s prostate cancer but rather the fact that he has chosen to be treated at all. Given …

Cancer Doesn’t Have to Be This Deadly For African-Americans

We Don’t Know All the Causes of Health Disparities Between Blacks and Whites. But We Can Still Remedy Some Obvious Problems.

Doctors and health experts have long known that members of minority groups in the United States tend to have poorer health outcomes than white Americans. I noticed it myself while …

Will High-Caliber Doctors Practice In Low-Appeal Places?

Medical Professionals Often Avoid Places Like the San Joaquin Valley, But One Place In Kansas Might Have Some Ideas

It takes a special kind of doctor to practice in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

It’s one of the state’s sickest regions, with high rates of obesity and diabetes and an epidemic …

How About Ice Cream Without the Tonsillectomy?

We Keep Wanting More Care Without Knowing If It's Better Care

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 …

You Have the Right To Be Sick—But Not On My Patients

California’s Tolerance of Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers Is Endangering the Rest of Us

Last week in my clinic, I saw a patient with AIDS. As part of this visit, my patient was examined by a medical assistant who had a cough and sniffles. …

When We Die, Who Is Kind?

Good End-Of-Life Planning Is Crucial, But Just As Crucial Is Compassion

I am writing this piece as a middle-aged woman who recently lost her younger brother. We were “Catholic twins,” born 18 months apart in Kansas City. As kids, we fought. …