Freakonomics, M.D.

By Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher

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Category: Science

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Subscribers: 1816
Reviews: 5


 Aug 27, 2022
They definitely push a certain political perspective but here I am still listening because it provides value to my life so I can't rate it any lower than 4/5. I like how many of my prior assumptions about healthcare have been disproven.


 Jun 4, 2022


 May 29, 2022

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 Jan 8, 2022
Meandering, repetitive and heavily influenced by CTR, podcast tries too hard to push social justice issues.


 Sep 14, 2021

Description

Each week, physician and economist Dr. Bapu Jena will dig into a fascinating study at the intersection of economics and healthcare. He takes on questions like: Why do kids with summer birthdays get the flu more often? Can surviving a hurricane help you live longer? What do heart surgery and grocery-store pricing have in common?

Episode Date
Why Don’t We Have a Cure for Alzheimer’s? (Ep. 49 Update)
00:32:41

Promising drugs keep failing in trials. Allegations of fraud have cast a shadow over the field. An expert explains why Alzheimer’s treatments have been so hard to find — and why one clue may lie in the Andes Mountains.

Nov 25, 2022
62. Dr. Ashish Jha Anticipated a Pandemic. He Didn’t Think It Would Look Like This.
00:28:53

Bapu talks to White House Covid Czar Dr. Ashish Jha about becoming a household name, studying pandemics, and the frustrations of politics. Also, when will he be out of a job?

Nov 18, 2022
61. Should You Bother Getting a Colonoscopy?
00:33:28

Colonoscopy is strongly recommended for Americans over 45. But a new study suggests its benefits have been overstated. Should we change how we screen for colorectal cancer?

Nov 11, 2022
60. The Doctor Is Out. The Physician Assistant Is In.
00:30:38

Chances are, at some point you’ll be treated by a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant instead of a doctor. Will your care suffer? 

Nov 04, 2022
59. The Most Valuable Resource in Medicine
00:27:34

Time is precious. How can doctors and patients make the best use of it — especially when there isn’t much left? 

Oct 28, 2022
58. How Important Is Breastfeeding, Really?
00:31:35

Can a clever new study shed light on one of parenting’s most elusive and contentious questions? 

Oct 21, 2022
57. Doctors Know They Prescribe Too Many Antibiotics. Why Don’t They Stop?
00:27:53

Antibiotics save lives. But what happens when we use them too much? Bapu looks at how changing physician behavior could help prevent a major public health disaster.

Oct 14, 2022
56. Could Prison Be Good for Your Health?
00:28:43

Incarceration has been linked to infectious diseases, mental illness, cancer, and violence. But new research suggests it can extend some people’s lifespans. Bapu investigates the paradox of prison time.

Oct 07, 2022
55. This Vaccine Lottery Seemed Like a Great Idea. Why Didn’t it Work?
00:29:55

Behavioral economists say “regret lotteries” are powerful motivational tools. When Philadelphia tried one in 2021, the results were disappointing. Bapu looks at how incentives can backfire — and what we can learn from failures.

Sep 30, 2022
54. Will You Ever Go Back to Your Doctor’s Office?
00:32:21

When COVID hit, telemedicine use in the U.S. exploded. But how are we using it now? Bapu Jena explores the consequences of this evolving technology.

Sep 23, 2022
53. Why Do Doctors Have to Play Defense?
00:28:44

After the Supreme Court’s abortion decision, doctors in some states are concerned that delivering treatment could put them in legal jeopardy. Bapu Jena looks at how the practice of “defensive medicine” can compromise patient care. 

Sep 16, 2022
52. Who Gets a Heart Disease Test?
00:31:43

Medical tests can save lives. So how do doctors decide who gets tested, and when?

Sep 09, 2022
Why Fridays May Be Dangerous for Your Health (Ep. 9 Replay)
00:20:16

When researchers analyzed which day of the week most F.D.A. drug-safety alerts are released — and what it means for public health — they were stunned. So, what can we do about the “Friday Effect?”

Sep 02, 2022
51. What Can We Do About the Hardest Patients?
00:28:42

A small number of patients with multiple, chronic conditions use a lot of resources. Dr. Jeffrey Brenner found a way to identify and treat them. Could it reduce health care spending too?

Aug 26, 2022
50. What Happens When a Hospital Closes?
00:27:46

When a hospital closes in a rural area, it’s a big deal. But are all patients affected equally? We look at new research on the unexpected outcomes of traveling farther for care.

Aug 19, 2022
49. Why Don’t We Have a Cure for Alzheimer’s?
00:30:36

Promising drugs keep failing in trials. Allegations of fraud have cast a shadow over the field. An expert explains why Alzheimer’s treatments have been so hard to find — and why one clue may lie in the Andes Mountains.

Aug 12, 2022
48. The Hidden Consequences of School Shootings
00:27:18

Beyond the immediate casualties, school shootings have costs — for survivors, and for the rest of us.

Aug 05, 2022
47. Should We Trust Hospital Rankings?
00:31:54

Hospitals compete for prime spots on the U.S. News rankings — but could those lists be doing more harm than good? 

Jul 29, 2022
How Does Retirement Affect Your Brain? (Ep. 17 Replay)
00:24:49

Our cognitive health can change as we get older. So, does leaving the workforce make problems like memory loss and difficulty focusing worse? We investigate the research, and Bapu asks: is it time for his dad to retire?

Jul 22, 2022
46. Could Long Covid Help Treat Other Chronic Illnesses?
00:32:26

Chronic fatigue syndrome looks remarkably similar to Long Covid, but has been ignored by the medical community. Could patients finally get some answers to their debilitating illness?

Jul 15, 2022
45. Why Is July a Bad Month to Visit the Hospital?
00:29:28

Learning requires practice — and if you visit a teaching hospital in July, there’s a good chance your doctor hasn’t had much of it. So, will your care suffer? The dean of a medical school, an economist, and a hospital administrator help Bapu Jena find out.

Jul 08, 2022
44. Office Hours with Bapu
00:35:28

Can you diagnose cancer too early? Do in-flight medical emergencies vary by location? We asked you to send Bapu your questions, and this week he tries to answer them. We’d love to get to the bottom of even more topics. Send your voice memos to bapu@freakonomics.com

Jul 01, 2022
43. The Comedian-Ophthalmologist Will See You Now
00:35:40

Dr. Will Flanary, a.k.a Dr. Glaucomflecken, has always been a comedy fan. During the pandemic, he found an audience. But should doctors be funny with their patients? Bapu Jena asks when laughter is — and isn’t — the best medicine.

Jun 24, 2022
42. Your Doctor Has to Go Home. Now What?
00:29:28

When a doctor’s shift ends, or a physician retires, are patients left in the lurch? Bapu Jena looks at the challenge of managing medical transitions. 

Jun 17, 2022
41. Is Rainy Day Joint Pain All in Your Head?
00:31:14

You’ve heard that the weather can make your joints hurt. Maybe you’ve even felt it yourself. But, is it true? Bapu Jena looks at why we think we know certain things in medicine, even when the data don’t agree.

Jun 10, 2022
40. How Will We Handle the Heat?
00:26:27

The world is warmer than ever, and getting hotter. Bapu Jena looks at how heat affects our bodies and our behavior — and how we might adapt to rising temperatures.

Jun 03, 2022
A Shave, a Haircut, and a Blood Pressure Test (Ep. 6 Update)
00:29:46

For Black men, the barbershop is a neighborhood hub. It could also be a place for them to get medical care. Plus: What happens to patients when affirmative action ends?

May 27, 2022
38. Pfizer’s CEO on the Big Gamble That Brought Us the COVID Vaccine
00:34:18

Bapu Jena talks with Albert Bourla about his unusual path to the top, developing a life-saving vaccine in record time, and the second-hardest decision he made along the way.

May 20, 2022
37. Can Fear Be Good Medicine?
00:27:41

Fear is a popular tool in public health campaigns. But is it an effective one? Bapu Jena discusses new research on whether we can — and should — scare people into being healthier.

May 13, 2022
36. Bad News — It’s Your Surgeon’s Birthday
00:32:23

Distractions are everywhere — including in the operating room. So, what happens if a surgeon loses focus? A tap dancer, a health researcher, and a surgeon help Bapu Jena find out.

May 06, 2022
35. Are More Expensive Hospitals Better?
00:28:19

For lots of things, price is an indicator of quality. But what about in health care? Bapu Jena gets some clues from Steve Levitt’s wine tasting experiment, and looks at why shopping for health care is so hard.

Apr 29, 2022
34. Should We Have to Pay for Our Sins?
00:26:21

Taxes on alcohol and tobacco promise to make people healthier and raise public funds. But can they backfire? Bapu Jena looks at the complicated economics of sin taxes.

Apr 22, 2022
33. What Do a Full Moon, the Super Bowl, and Tax Day Have in Common?
00:27:18

Tax deadlines can stress us out. But do they also influence our conscious — and subconscious — behavior? Bapu Jena looks at why, with our health, timing is often everything. 

Apr 15, 2022
From Against the Rules with Michael Lewis: Six Levels Down
00:09:56

We’re sharing a special preview of the new season of Against the Rules from Pushkin Industries. In this clip, bestselling author Michael Lewis explores the idea that, in any big company, the person who can actually solve a problem is often buried six levels deep in the organization. You can hear more episodes of Against the Rules at podcasts.pushkin.fm/atrmd.

Apr 12, 2022
32. What is a Good Death — and Why Do So Few of Us Get One?
00:23:18

When it comes to end-of-life medical care, getting it right can be hard — even for doctors.  Bapu Jena discusses surprising research on how we can live better - and maybe longer - before we die. 

Apr 08, 2022
31. Should You Trust Angelina Jolie or Your Doctor?
00:26:58

Celebrities influence the clothes we wear and the books we read. Do they also affect our health decisions? Bapu Jena looks at what happens when people take medical advice from movie stars. 

Apr 01, 2022
30. How Do We Know if Alcohol Is Bad for Us?
00:30:31

Getting solid answers in medicine can be hard — especially when the normal tools are off-limits. Dr. Bapu Jena discusses a research method that’s helping to solve some of science’s most challenging questions. 

Mar 25, 2022
29. How to Save a Stranger’s Heart
00:32:13

Cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death globally. What if it doesn’t have to be that way? Bapu Jena walks us through some solutions that can help save lives — and explores why change in medicine can be hard. 

Mar 18, 2022
28. Is Daylight Saving Time Hazardous to Your Health?
00:24:59

Changing the clocks has been linked to car accidents and heart attacks. This week, Bapu Jena sheds some light on the damage we might be doing by springing forward and falling back. 

Mar 11, 2022
27. What Can Bin Laden Teach Us About Medicine?
00:28:52

When trust in doctors or the healthcare system is lost, it’s really hard to get back. Bapu Jena explores the ripple effects of a C.I.A. operation to catch Osama bin Laden on medical distrust in Pakistan — and its parallels to distrust in the U.S.

Mar 04, 2022
26. When is a ‘High-Risk’ Pregnancy a Good Thing?
00:32:34

 Giving birth in the United States can be dangerous for both moms and their kids. Sometimes, that's because of too little medical care — and sometimes, it’s the opposite. 

Feb 25, 2022
25. Would You Rather See a Computer or a Doctor?
00:32:24

Well, which is better at predicting your risk of having a heart attack? Bapu Jena explores the promise — and perils — of artificial intelligence in medicine.

Feb 18, 2022
24. How Can You Choose the Best Doctor?
00:34:00

We often select doctors based on their reputations or on misconceptions about what really matters. But research shows that doctors’ experience and where they trained can significantly impact patient care. 

Feb 11, 2022
23. Is the Placebo Effect for Real?
00:36:18

 In Latin, the word “placebo” means “I shall please.” In the medical world, placebos mean something … well, a little different. Bapu Jena walks us through the thorny world of placebo research and the implications the placebo effect can have for patients.

Feb 04, 2022
22. What If TV Isn't Bad for Us?
00:33:29

We now have more access to TV, movies, and streaming entertainment than anytime in history. So what do we actually know about what all that screen time does to us? We look back at some compelling studies that show, actually, it may change us for the better.

 

Jan 28, 2022
21. Should We Pay People to Be Healthier?
00:29:19

Each year, millions of people get sick or die from diseases caused by their own unhealthy behavior. Getting people to change their bad habits – to quit smoking, eat better, or exercise – can be extremely hard. But what if we paid them? 

Jan 21, 2022
20. Do Our Politics Need a Doctor?
00:32:32

Bill Frist was a transplant surgeon before serving in the Senate, where he drove controversial legislation on embryonic stem cells and end-of-life care. Did he change politics? Or did politics change him?

Jan 14, 2022
19. Do Your Doctor’s Political Views Affect Your Care?
00:28:45

Since doctors are human, they bring their own beliefs and preferences into the examination room. But they’ve also taken an oath to act in the best interest of all patients. What happens when politics and medicine collide? 

Jan 07, 2022
18. When Is a Natural Disaster Good for Your Health?
00:27:47

A clever study tracking the survivors of Hurricane Katrina came to a bold conclusion: when it comes to your health, place is destiny. So how can the benefits of healthier places be spread to everyone?

Dec 31, 2021
17. How Does Retirement Affect Your Brain?
00:23:59

Aging carries a risk of losing our memory, focus, and ability to take care of ourselves and others. Does leaving the workforce worsen that risk? We investigate the research. And…Bapu asks: is it time for dad to retire?

Dec 24, 2021
16. An Exit Interview with N.I.H. Director Dr. Francis Collins
00:26:30

The National Institutes of Health is the backbone of health research in the U.S., and Collins has been in charge for more than a decade. Now that he’s stepping down, he ponders the arc of his history-making career, from his leadership of the Human Genome Project to the fight against Covid-19 (not to mention the absolute happiest moment of his life).

Dec 17, 2021
15. The Most “Unique, Excellent, and Promising” Episode
00:29:07

Studies by men published in scientific journals are more likely to include glowing, hyperbolic terms. Bapu talks about this “groundbreaking” research (see what we did there?) in a wide-ranging discussion with physicians and an economist about the gender gap in medicine.

Dec 10, 2021
14. Is Uber Good (or Bad) for Your Health?
00:25:35

When you need a ride to the hospital, who should you call? Bapu talks with economist David Slusky about how ridesharing services are increasingly replacing ambulances. Plus, an unexpected reason why rideshares may lead some people to unhealthy behaviors.

Dec 03, 2021
13. When Bapu Met Levitt
00:33:41

Once upon a time, Bapu Jena was a graduate student at the University of Chicago. His most interesting teacher? The economist Steve Levitt. This week on Freakonomics, M.D., a replay of a conversation between Steve and Bapu from Steve’s podcast, People I (Mostly) Admire, where they cover everything from the ethics of human-challenge trials to why Bapu decided to start his own show.

Nov 26, 2021
12. Where Do All the Bad Ideas Go?
00:34:04

Ideas are currency. This couldn't be more true in academia, where it's the job of researchers to think of questions and, hopefully, find answers. Bapu talks with economists Steve Levitt and Emily Oster about how they come up with ideas for studies, why most never make it off the ground, and what should be done with scrapped projects.

Nov 19, 2021
11. Why Do So Many Donated Kidneys End Up in the Trash?
00:24:02

Every year, thousands of people in the U.S. die while they’re waiting for a new kidney, yet thousands of available organs get thrown away. Bapu talks to a kidney doctor and an economics Nobel laureate about why this happens and how the system could improve.

Nov 12, 2021
10. The Mystery of the Man with Confusion and Back Pain
00:21:46

Hear diagnostician Gurpreet Dhaliwal try to solve the case of a patient who came to the emergency room with an unusual combination of symptoms. Plus, we discuss how difficult it is to separate the signal from the noise when treating patients, and how cognitive biases factor into doctors’ decision-making.

Oct 29, 2021
9. Why Fridays May Be Dangerous for Your Health
00:19:36

When researchers analyzed which day of the week most drug-safety alerts are released — and what it means for public health — they were stunned. So was Bapu Jena. He talks with them and a physician this week about the “Friday Effect,” a common problem with big repercussions for the safety of the medications.

Oct 01, 2021
8. A Playbook for Beating the Next Pandemic
00:31:27

We dig into why Covid-19 caught us so unprepared and how we can make sure we’re ready for a future public-health crisis with former FDA director Scott Gottlieb.

Sep 24, 2021
7. What Happens to Patients When Thousands of Cardiologists Leave Town?
00:31:08

This week, Bapu Jena presents some hot-off-the-presses research exploring the relationship between how many patients a doctor sees, and how well those patients do. Plus, the surprising impact of annual cardiology conferences that prompted Bapu’s first conversation with Stephen Dubner on Freakonomics Radio.

Sep 17, 2021
6. Are Barbershops the Cutting Edge of Healthcare Delivery?
00:24:17

Bapu Jena talks with a barber and a pharmacist whose study brought healthcare to Black men in Los Angeles who were getting haircuts. They discuss its impact on high blood pressure among customers — and how unconventional approaches like this could help build trust. 

Sep 10, 2021
5. How to Solve a Medical Mystery
00:19:23

A woman comes to the emergency room with back pain. She’ll leave with an unexpected diagnosis. How does her doctor figure out what’s wrong? Listen as host Bapu Jena puts master clinician Dr. Gurpreet Dhaliwal on the spot to solve a real medical mystery. Along the way, you’ll learn how doctors think and the most important questions they ask.

Sep 03, 2021
4. What Do Grocery Store Prices and Heart Surgery Have in Common?
00:16:55

Humans are hardwired to focus on the left digit in numbers. It’s why products are priced at $3.99 instead of $4.00. But does this left-digit bias also affect medical decisions? Host Bapu Jena is joined by a fellow researcher and a cardiologist to explain how left-digit bias shows up in one of the most important decisions a doctor can make, what it means for patients, and what we can do about it.

Aug 27, 2021
3. Why Are Kids With Summer Birthdays More Likely to Get the Flu?
00:18:58

After struggling to schedule a flu shot for his own toddler, host Bapu Jena went down a research rabbit hole. He discovered that the time of year kids are born has an unexpected and dramatic effect on whether they and their families end up getting the flu. Bapu explains his findings and asks a pediatrician and public health expert what could be done about it.

Aug 20, 2021
2. Do As Docs Say, Not As They Do
00:19:26

Does having more health information actually change behavior? To test this question, host Bapu Jena explores whether doctors make healthier choices than the rest of us (and he fesses up to an unhealthy habit of his own).

 

From the Freakonomics Radio Network: Exploring the hidden side of everything.

 

Aug 13, 2021
1. Covid and the “Birthday Effect”
00:18:08

Host Bapu Jena is an economist and medical doctor whose latest research measures the link between birthdays and Covid. He explains his team’s findings, explores the role that kids’ parties may have played, reveals whether politics made a difference, and convinces a Zoom magician to reveal the secrets of making virtual parties awesome.

From the Freakonomics Radio Network: Exploring the hidden side of everything.

Aug 06, 2021
Introducing “Freakonomics, M.D.”
00:03:11

How can a marathon be dangerous even if you don’t run the race? Does your doctor follow medical advice any better than you do? Just how dangerous was it to go to a birthday party at the height of the pandemic? These are the kinds of questions that intrigue Dr. Bapu Jena, a rare double threat — he’s both an M.D. and a Ph.D. economist. Each week on Freakonomics, M.D., Jena digs into fascinating research to discover the hidden side of healthcare.

Jul 21, 2021
Marathons Can Be Deadly — But Not For the Reasons You May Think
00:22:02

In this pilot episode of a new “Freakonomics of Medicine” podcast, when host Dr. Bapu Jena misses his wife’s 5K run, he sets out to study how road closures and detours on big race days affect people with medical emergencies.

Jun 10, 2021