My dad is a locally famed and sincere career politician. All my life I have seen him value public service over personal wealth.  As a young lawyer, he worked in Washington DC for the Department of Justice during the civil rights movement, and he often shares stories of his tour of duty in 1960’s Alabama. After that service, he came back to West Virginia where he has been elected to ...

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For all the media’s (and candidates’) attention to candidate health over the course of this presidential campaign, we seem to be spending precious little time in the presidential debates discussing the candidates’ actual health plans. Those on the left have “diagnosed” Mr. Trump as unhinged and mentally unstable, calling attention to a narcissistic personality consistent with a DSM diagnosis, though in violation of the “Goldwater Rule.” They have further raised the 
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For me, the saddest part of the 2016 presidential election is not that we have two of the most disliked presidential candidates in history but that so little attention is being paid to health care. You may have noticed that health care rarely comes up in campaign speeches or in debates, and when it does it’s often scripted empty promises. Donald Trump has a plan entitled “Healthcare Reform to Make America ...

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There is lots to love about American health care. We have some of the best clinicians in the world, as evidenced by the huge number of people who come to the U.S. from other countries when they are sick. Yet the American people are less satisfied with their health care system than are citizens of the majority of other developed countries. Why do people in the land of the Mayo Clinic ...

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Helping our patients make better health decisions can be a challenge. Whether we aim to get them out of bed in the hospital or off of the couch at home, factors contributing to follow-through may be complicated, and the best strategies to facilitate the right choices are seldom clear. As providers, we would hope that a long and healthy life would serve as the most powerful incentive for behavior change, but ...

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The school year is back in session, and our student health center is busy.  As a college health doctor, I have been able to watch the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) among this population. Since its passage, more of our students are now insured, but many unique challenges still persist for this population. Young adults have historically demonstrated high rates of un-insurance. An estimated 30 percent of those 19 ...

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The British National Health Service (NHS) was born in 1948, based on legislation passed that year mandating free high-quality health care for all paid by taxes. In contrast, the U.S. started Medicare in 1966 to provide health care to the elderly and the State Children's Insurance Program (SCHIP) in 1993 to fund health care for children whose parents were unable to afford it. Health care in the UK is still ...

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Many of us harbor an archaic view of what health care is, so let me offer a little history. During the past century, it's changed from Healthcare 1.0 to 2.0, and now it's Healthcare 3.0. In the early twentieth century, Healthcare 1.0 was a service, though it amounted more to personal contact than effective medicine. At best, medications and procedures were hit-and-miss, so doctors relied heavily on their relationship with their ...

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Medical students are told two things: The first is that we are the future generation of health care. We are the ones who have the potential to make a difference, and we will lead the revolution. The second is that our current spot in the medical hierarchy is definitively at the bottom of the totem pole, where we are too powerless and inexperienced to have any tangible impact. How can both be ...

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This is my 12th year as a physician in the United States. I was born in London, grew up in Berkshire, and decided to become a doctor when I was a teenager. I remember being asked what I thought about the National Health Service (or NHS, the UK’s government-run health system) during my medical school interview. That question is almost a rite of passage for anyone applying to medical school in ...

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