Kid, you might just have a future as a surgeon.
February 28, 2013 Want to be a better surgeon? Get your game face on. A study finds that surgical residents who played video games for an hour a day performed better at simulated keyhole surgeries than colleagues who refrained.
February 28, 2013 The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is making it easier for more nontraditional students to become doctors. Applicants don't have to have taken the standard admissions test or a full slate of premed classes to be considered. The school's leadership hopes the move will foster greater diversity.
February 27, 2013 After vocal GOP opposition to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, three prominent Republican governors recently signed-on to one key element of the law. NPR Political Junkie Ken Rudin and NPR health policy correspondent Julie Rovner explain on the shifting politics of health care.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/173069963/173069954" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
It's unlikely that July patients are paying for residents' inexperience with their lives.
February 26, 2013 Conventional wisdom holds that summertime — when medical students graduate and become first-time doctors — is the most dangerous time to check into a hospital. But a recent study of surgeries at 1,700 hospitals suggests the fear of newbie docs is overblown.
"Only the hand can tell where it's tender, where the patient winces." â Abraham Verghese
James Duncan Davidson/TED
February 26, 2013 Modern medicine is in danger of losing a powerful, old-fashioned tool: human touch. Physician and writer Abraham Verghese describes our strange new world where patients are data points. He calls for a return to the traditional physical exam.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/173002916/173003442" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Distraction is a well-known safety issue in the OR, but there's been very little research on whether smartphones are contributing to the problem.
February 26, 2013 Is the operating room staff Facebooking when they should be monitoring vital signs? The nurse anestheticists say that's a potential patient safety problem.
Rates for female applicants could be up to 40 percent higher under Genworth Financial's new pricing policy.
February 26, 2013 Rates for female applicants could be up to 40 percent higher under the new pricing policy from Genworth Financial, the country's largest long-term care insurer. The company says women account for two out of every three dollars spent on claims.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad speaks during a panel discussion at the National Governors Association 2013 Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
February 25, 2013 Since the governors last met in July, some have shifted their views on the federal health care law. A few Republicans have even changed their minds about the potential benefits of the president's plan to expand Medicaid.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/172894112/172905423" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
February 22, 2013 This year's flu shot looks like it's unusually poor at protecting the elderly. The flu vaccine's only about 27 percent effective overall for those ages 65 and older and just 9 percent effective against the flu strain causing the most illness, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Melissa Block talks to Rob Stein.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/172722879/172722860" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Plan B is one of two emergency contraceptives available in the U.S.
February 21, 2013 Emergency contraceptives like Plan B and ella are effective at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex. Claims that the pills are tantamount to abortion, however, aren't supported by science, say researchers. The only way the drugs work is by stopping a woman's body from ovulating.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/172595689/172631873" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Waiting may be hard, but it's worth it.
February 21, 2013 Pressure on doctors and hospitals to reduce the rate of early elective deliveries appears to be working. A detailed look at hospitals across the country finds births before 39 weeks are on the decline.
Scans shouldn't be ordered routinely for kids with minor head injuries, new advice to doctors says.
February 21, 2013 A broad array of medical groups has agreed on an expanded list of things doctors shouldn't do. The idea is to curb unnecessary, wasteful and often harmful care, the sponsors say.
February 21, 2013 Florida Governor Rick Scott announced late Wednesday that he will expand Medicaid to an estimated 900,000 residents. The move is a surprise because the governor has previously been a vocal critic of President Obama's health care overhaul.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/172558988/172566429" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, long a foe of the administration's health overhaul, reversed course and agree to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid in the state.
J Pat Carter/AP
February 20, 2013 Florida's expansion of Medicaid will provide health insurance coverage to more than a million people. Florida will also become the seventh state headed by a Republican to agree to take the federal offer to provide Medicaid to all state residents with incomes up to about $15,000 a year.
Colonoscopy copay? Zero.
February 20, 2013 Essential benefit requirements apply mainly to individual and small group plans. The federal requirements also affect benefits provided to people newly eligible for Medicaid coverage. Now, for instance, we know that insurers won't be allowed to can't charge consumers a copay for a screening colonoscopy, even if a polyp is removed.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor