Patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.

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Dear Dr. ___[my surgeon],

Andrew Robinson | March 28, 2012

I understand you are leaving [this hospital]'..By way of wishing you well, here are some thoughts that might help you in your new position

Why Can I Only Get Health Care from 9 to 5, M thru F?

Jessie Gruman | March 28, 2012

Last week, the waiting room of the out-patient cancer clinic looked like an airport lounge without the rolling suitcases. There were about 20 of us cancer survivor-types talking on our smartphones, fiddling with our iPads, reading The New York Times...What's wrong with this picture?

Guest Blog: What Can the Health Care System Learn from a Car Dealer?

Neil Mehta | March 27, 2012

I personally dread the car buying experience for many reasons but one thing that bothers me is the discontinuity. You often see the sales person several times and to some extent the character of your relationship with him/her impacts the decision to purchase the vehicle.

Getting Kids to Be Active

Conversation Continues | March 26, 2012

Getting kids to eat well and exercise can be a tough sell. Are so-called "fat-shaming" books and exhibits the answer?

How to Choose a Doctor

Harriet Hall | March 23, 2012

I get a lot of inquiries about how to find a good doctor. I don't have a good answer. I thought it might be useful to throw out some ideas that have occurred to me and hope that readers will have better ideas and will share their experiences about what has or hasn't worked.

Guest Blog: Marcus Welby, House and the Wizard of Oz

Elaine Waples | March 22, 2012

Things are different for me now. Today I belong to that group of people with serious illnesses who spend lots of time in doctors' offices, diagnostic labs, and imaging centers. I quickly discovered that I had some interesting choices about my care.

What Does it Mean if Primary Care Doctors Get the Answers Wrong About Screening Stats?

Elaine Schattner | March 22, 2012

Recently the Annals of Internal Medicine published a new report on how doctors (don't) understand cancer screening stats. This unusual paper reveals that some primary care physicians a majority of those who completed a survey don't really get the numbers on cancer incidence, 5-year survival and mortality.

Medicare Games: When Is a Stay in the Hospital Really a Stay?

Trudy Lieberman | March 21, 2012

If you or a family member is on Medicare, you would assume that if they are in the hospital their care would be covered under Medicare's Part A hospital benefit. Right? Well, not always.

What's Engagement Now? Expert Maulik Joshi Discusses Emerging Challenges

Maulik Joshi | March 21, 2012

The participation of individuals and their caregivers in hospital care has taken on increasing importance for us in all our activities as we have come to realize how central those attitudes and behaviors are to the delivery of quality care.

Participatory Medicine 2.0

Chris Gibbons | March 20, 2012

In 'Participatory Medicine: Must You Be Rich to Participate?' in the Journal of Participatory Medicine, Graedon and Graedon pose a question: Is the participatory movement leaving [the non-affluent] behind? Their article suggests that only the affluent members of our society can afford care that is participatory. Their premise appears to be built on two assumptions that should be regarded as faulty.

Guest Blog: How Information Can Help Conquer Fear

Andrew Schorr | March 19, 2012

I spent one day last week at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston...The waiting room is sizeable but quickly becomes jammed with people...Some look the picture of health. Others wear masks and are pushing IV poles'We're all there because we have a serious diagnosis and we want to see doctors who are among the best. The faces show a mixture of fear, courage and confidence.

Guest Blog: Adherence: The difference between what is, and what ought to be

Scott Gavura | March 16, 2012

One of the most interesting aspects of working as a community-based pharmacist is the insight you gain into the actual effectiveness of the different health interventions.

Teen Smoking: An Epidemic?

Inside Health Care | March 15, 2012

A new report from the U.S. surgeon general's office estimates 3,800 kids light their first cigarette every day and tobacco companies spend more than $1 million an hour marketing and promoting tobacco products.

What's Engagement Now? Expert Chris Gibbons Discusses Emerging Challenges

Chris Gibbons | March 14, 2012

I think that if people are ever going to be able to use technology to engage in their care, the technologies have to be built for them and have to be usable by them.

What Should Go in a Social History?

Vineet Arora | March 13, 2012

As I am on service, I realized that one thing that can be easily lost in the race to take care of patients with limited duty hours ' the social history.

Guest Blog: Giving the Patient Bad News

Anne Polta | March 13, 2012

The patient, a young rodeo rider from rural Ohio, lies in a hospital bed, sick and in pain. The doctor has the results of his bone marrow biopsy and the news isn't good.

Worried Sick or Worried Well

Patient Perspectives | March 9, 2012

Worry can be an all too familiar and unwelcome companion to those with illness. Here, three people with three different worrisome health care experiences describe what it's like.

Will We 'Just Say No' to Screening Tests?

Jessie Gruman | March 7, 2012

Will we - you and me and our parents and neighbors - be a significant force in quelling the tide of over-testing for the early detection of disease?

Guest Blog: The Disconnect Between Hospital Marketing and What Patients Need

Andrew Schorr | March 6, 2012

A hospital's claims of highly rated care or state-of-the-art, multimillion dollar equipment may be only part of the equation for where you seek care.

What if Your Hotel Bill Was Like a Hospital Bill?

Conversation Continues | March 6, 2012

Health care costs are notoriously opaque, often leaving patients saddled with unexpectedly high bills and making it challenging for them to understand their expenses. To make matters more complicated, doctors, nurses and other caregivers are seldom in a position to understand how their decisions impact what patients pay for care.

Hospital Games: Luring Patients to the ER

Trudy Lieberman | March 6, 2012

You may have seen the billboards or gotten a message on your smartphone: Come to our emergency room; our waits are short.

Guest Blog: A New Breed of Doctor

Anne Polta | March 5, 2012

Starting in 2015, students who aspire to become doctors will be tested on more than just their knowledge of the sciences. They'll also need to have a good understanding of psychology, sociology and biology and how these forces help shape individual health and behavior.

Is My Cancer in the Wrong Body Part?

Elaine Waples | March 2, 2012

For the past two years of chemotherapy and difficult treatment, I have struggled to suppress what feels like a petty sentiment about all the pink attention. If I just own up to it, I feel left out and I really want a parade with everyone wearing teal in support of ovarian research and care. My cancer!

Less Than 10% of People Manage Health via Mobile: A Reality Check on Remote Health Monitoring

Jane Sarasohn Kahn | March 1, 2012

With mobile health consumer market projections ranging from $7 billion to $43 billion,a casual reader might think that a plethora of health citizens are tracking their health, weight, food intake, exercise and other observations of daily living by smartphones and tablets.