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Word of Mouth

7.26.15: Sick Days, Telemedicine, & Kinder Surgeons

Fotos GOVBA via Flickr CC

Showing up for work sick is an American affliction…even for doctors. A survey reveals that 80 percent of health care providers admit to treating patients while ill. And, patients want surgeons who are technically skilled, and good communicators. But when it comes to being a good surgeon, does bedside manner really matter? Plus, diagnosis by Skype – a primer on the growing business of telemedicine.  

Listen to the full show. 

Why Doctors Don't Take Sick Days

First do no harm. And yet, a disturbing amount of health care workers go to work when they're sick: it's the affliction of American culture. Jeffery Starke is a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, and here you can read his article from the Jama Pediatrics Journal "When The Healthcare Worker Is Sick: Primum Non Nocere."

Why Doctors Don't Take Sick Days


Watching movies, making dinner, finding a date ... it can all be done online. Even going to the doctor might becoming part of this lifestyle. Abby Goodnough is a healthcare reporter for The New York Times, where we found her article "Modern Doctors' House Calls: Skype Chat And Fast Diagnosis."


Music as Medicine

Rebecca Sheir took us to Norfolk, Virginia, where you’ll find one of the only facilities in the country dedicated to unite music and medicine.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Kinder Surgeons

Wen Shen is a surgeon specializing in endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Last year he argued in Pacific Standard’s medical issue that the quest to create a kinder surgeon, though admirable, may not be very good for our health.

Kinder Surgeons

Storycorps: The Days After the Surgery

Kind-hearted or not, every good surgeon hopes their work won’t go to waste - so when Howell Graham underwent a double-lung transplant in 1990, keeping his doctors happy was on his mind.  Howell has cystic fibrosis – a genetic disease that affects the lungs.  He and his mother, Nan, remembered the days after his surgery for Storycorps.

You can listen to this story again at Storycorps.org

When I Walk

Last year we spoke with filmmaker Jason DaSilva. His film, When I Walkmade its national debut on PBS in 2014 and there will be an encore broadcast on August 10th

When I Walk

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