I enjoy reading about health, health care, and various health concerns. Part of it is the scientist in me, and another part is likely motivated by the fact that I am self-insured. I don't have any good answers as to how to fix our nation's health care, so I enjoy reading about the ideas of other folks.
From Atul Gawande, one of my favorite medical writers, comes an article about how the highest cost patients in the system are likely the ones getting poor care. ER visits and surgeries drive up health care costs, and solid primary care coupled with intensive work from social workers and nurses can help reduce those two expensive line-items. By working with a patient to ensure that the patients take their medicine, live in a safe environment, and make it in for regular check-ups, it is possible to lower health care costs. Gawande profiles a few different areas who are doing small-scale trials of this method.
Fecal transplants have the potential to help patients who struggle with antibiotic resistant colon infection by a bacteria called C. difficile (often called C. diff). I've read about this before and am happy to see it reported in the mainstream. It's worth a look-see; just do yourself a favor and don't read the comments from people. A lot of them don't know much about microbio and consequently aren't quite on the right track.
Anyway, just two of the better science-y articles I've read recently. Both non-school related, thankfully! As always, school is keeping me busy and a little over-stressed. I'm working hard to take some me time this term, and a little extra curricular reading is part of that prescription.