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

Leana S. Wen, M.D., is an attending emergency physician and Director of Patient-Centered Care Research at George Washington University. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed bookWhen Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests. For more information, visit her blog The Doctor is Listening, check out her website or follow her on twitter @DrLeanaWen.

Are Medical Checklists Bad for Your Health?

Leana Wen | September 15, 2014
Checklists are routine in other professions to standardize management, and we know they can prevent hospital infections and surgical error. But can there be a downside to checklist medical care? Consider these two examples...

Goldilocks Medical Care: Not Too Little, Not Too Much

Leana Wen | October 17, 2013
What can you do to ensure that you obtain just the right amount of care? It isn't easy — if it were, then we wouldn't have the Goldilocks problem: Is it too little? Too much? Here are five suggestions that may help...

Choosing Hospitals Wisely (Is There Such a Thing?)

Leana Wen | July 11, 2013
Here’s a thought experiment presented a recent conference on healthcare consumer (ah hem, patient) advocacy. Let’s say that you’re told you need surgery of your knee. It’s an elective surgery to repair a torn knee ligament, the ACL. Your insurance covers part, but not all, of the cost. How do you choose which hospital to go to?

Traditional Research Leaves Out a Critical Stakeholder: Patients

Leana Wen | June 13, 2013
What’s wrong with the following picture? Two medical researchers at a major academic center collaborate to study disease X. They come up with the research question, design the project, obtain grants, and collect data. Their results are published in a scientific journal and presented at several medical conferences. Based on this first study, the researchers start another cycle of idea generation, data generation, and publication.

5 Steps to Building a Great Partnership with Your Doctor

Leana Wen | January 24, 2013
The last time you went to your doctor, did you feel like he listened to you? Or did you feel ignored and left with more questions than answers?

From Doctor-Centered to Patient-Centered Care

Leana Wen | October 29, 2012
As a medical student, I held the medical world in great awe. All that changed the day my mother became a patient and I began to see firsthand not only how difficult it is to navigate the healthcare system, but also how scary and unwelcoming the hospital can be.

My Mother's End-of-Life Discussion That Changed How She Died

Leana Wen | August 21, 2012
I am a physician. The hardest thing I've ever had to do was to end my mother's life. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 47. After a seven-year battle that involved multiple surgeries and countless rounds of chemotherapy, she decided that she had fought long enough.

Why I Write: A Doctor's Tribute to Her Mother

Leana Wen | July 23, 2012
My mother, Sandy Ying Zhang, is my role model and my inspiration for what I do every day. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in her forties, and fought it courageously for seven years until she passed away in 2010.