Letters: Retail Health Clinics, McCain, Math Listeners responded to our commentary on retail health clinics. One listener complained about language in our story on John McCain's idea for a U.K.-style question-and-answer session with Congress. And listeners wanted answers to a math problem.
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Letters: Retail Health Clinics, McCain, Math

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Letters: Retail Health Clinics, McCain, Math

Letters: Retail Health Clinics, McCain, Math

Letters: Retail Health Clinics, McCain, Math

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  • Transcript

Listeners responded to our commentary on retail health clinics. One listener complained about language in our story on John McCain's idea for a U.K.-style question-and-answer session with Congress. And listeners wanted answers to a math problem.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Time now for your feedback.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

One essay on our show last week produced a lot of e-mail. It was physician Doug Kamerow's commentary that was skeptical about retail-based health-care clinics like the ones in some drug stores. He said they're usually staffed by nurse practitioners, not doctors. This came from Jeffrey Hazard(ph) in West Central Florida.

BLOCK: He writes: I'm a nurse practitioner myself, and I'm mildly put off that NPR chose a physician to critique advanced nursing practice. The same nurse practitioners who are working in retail clinics used to work autonomously in physicians' offices, many times while the physician was doing other important work in a hospital. The objection physicians have to nurse practitioners isn't about medicine, it is about economic control.

NORRIS: And on Friday we reported on an idea from Republican presidential hopeful John McCain. If elected, McCain says he would hold regular question-and-answer sessions with members of Congress, similar to what Great Britain's prime minister does.

Mr. ANDREW SPARROW (The Guardian): They spend all morning with butterflies in their stomach. They have to devote several hours to preparing for all sorts of questions, and they go in there and they know that it's going to be live on telly, and one silly slip can just make them look daft in the eyes of the public and their colleagues.

BLOCK: That was Andrew Sparrow, a correspondent with the Guardian newspaper. Well, in that report, we referred to this tradition as prime minister's questions period.

NORRIS: Well, transplanted Brit Nathan King(ph), who now lives in New York, wrote in with this quibble: I very much enjoyed the segment on the U.K.'s prime minister questions period, he writes, but the correct term is prime minister's question time. It is known in the U.K. as PMQs. I used to cover PMQs when I was a journalist back in the U.K., and I'd love to cover something as rhetorically colorful here.

BLOCK: Many of you have been writing to us about something we didn't tell you last week. On Thursday we reported on a new study showing that girls are just as capable as boys at math.

NORRIS: Here, here. We also told you there are two answers to this math problem: X-squared minus 15 equals zero, but many of you were upset that we never told you what the answers are.

BLOCK: So here you have it. The two possible answers to the problem X-squared minus 15 equals zero are: X equals the square root of 15 and X equals the negative square root of 15.

NORRIS: I'm sure you already knew that, right?

BLOCK: If it had been the square root of 16, maybe it would've been a little more clear.

(Soundbite of laughter)

NORRIS: Well, we look forward to your reactions, and keep us honest on our math. You can share them at NPR.org. Just click on Contact Us at the top of the page. And remember, please tell us how to pronounce your name.

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