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Doctors Are Not Prescribing the Right Kind of Drugs for the Flu

If you come down with the flu, your doctor is more likely than not to write out a prescription for the wrong type of drug.

Social Networking


Nancy Scheper-Hughes Responds to Our Profile, ‘The Organ Detective’

The chair of the doctoral program in medical anthropology at the University of California-Berkeley was written about in the July/August issue of Pacific Standard.

Quick Studies


Why Ebola Is Winning

In the fight against the latest Ebola outbreak, underfunded medical workers in West Africa are logistically outmanned.



The Decline of the Physical Exam in Modern Medicine

Doctors today are too uncomfortable with uncertainty.

From the Editor


Editor’s Letter: Your Medical Issue

Introducing the July/August 2014 Issue of Pacific Standard.

Quick Studies

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 1.22.29 PM

‘House’ Fans Are Scared of the Wrong Diseases

People who watch medical dramas like Grey’s Anatomy and House are more likely than non-watchers to be fatalistic about cancer and to underestimate the importance of chronic illnesses.

Quick Studies


How Lessons From a Brain-Infecting Fungi Could Change Medicine

A discovery raises the possibility of using a fungal enzyme to deliver drugs directly into the brain.

Quick Studies


Will the Next Pandemic Come From a Laboratory?

Two epidemiologists argue for the adoption of research methods that don’t produce dangerous new virus strains.



Medicine’s Dirty Secret: Fecal Transplants Are the Next Big Thing in Health Care

Bryn Nelson gets to the bottom of an emerging—and often shocking—therapy.

Quick Studies


Getting Nagged by Loved Ones Might Be Your Death Sentence

People who clash with their partners and children are more likely to die.

Quick Studies


How Weak Immune Systems Escort a Deadly Fungus Into the Brain

A pervasive fungus, passed along by pigeon droppings, can kill HIV patients by using a Trojan Horse strategy to invade their brains.

Quick Studies


Viruses Inspire an Innovative Cloaking Device for Medicine

Viruses are pretty damn good at evading our immune systems, so researchers co-opted their design.

Quick Studies


Bringing a Therapy Dog Into a Children’s Hospital Might Be a Terrible Idea

Despite the popularity of animal therapy in American pediatric hospitals, a new research review reveals that there’s little support for its health benefits.



Does It Matter That Teaching Hospitals Have Close Ties to Drug Companies?

Nearly every large drug maker based in the United States had at least one academic medical center official on its board, raising questions about their independence.



How Do Psychiatrists Treat Werewolves?

With psychotropic drug cocktails, of course.



Medicare’s Drug Program Needs Stronger Protections Against Fraud

A new report finds that more than half of insurance companies in Medicare’s drug program haven’t reported fraud cases to the government. The findings echo an earlier investigation that found fraud flourishing in the program.

Quick Studies


In Defense of Studying the Duck Penis

Duck penis expert Patricia Brennan offers a catalog of all the amazing things that would not exist without the pursuit of “oddball” biological research.



Personal Finance Tip: Don’t Get Sick, Injured, or Hurt in America

Why are common medical procedures so expensive in the United States?

Culture Essays


The Problem With Psychiatry, the ‘DSM,’ and the Way We Study Mental Illness

Psychiatry is under attack for not being scientific enough, but the real problem is its blindness to culture. When it comes to mental illness, we wear the disorders that come off the rack.



When Hospital Regulations Go Too Far

A survey of surgical residents found that limiting work hours not only compromises education but leads to worse care for patients.



Why Would a Medical Doctor Embrace an Unproven Treatment?

The curious case of NAET.



How Much Do Financial Interests Sway Researchers?

A new report, though focused specifically on medical journals, reminds us to maintain a healthy level of skepticism when interpreting any study’s findings.



Why Is Iran Running Out of Medicine?

Despite a medical loophole, U.S. sanctions designed to limit the country’s nuclear program are crippling hospitals.


Illustration of a bunny syringe from Robert L. Smeton's 1963 patent application

Pretty Much the Scariest Way to Give Kids Their Medicine

Bunny needles, puppy spoons, squirrel otoscopes. Here are some great, well-meaning ways to make children fear doctors AND cute fuzzy animals.


X-ray of a skull

Performance Pay Comes to the Hospital

Schools and Wall Street—and now Obamacare—use it, but does pay-for-performance make for better health care?

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Canadian Kids Have a Serious Smoking Problem

Bootleg cigarette sales could be leading Canadian teens to more serious drugs, a recent study finds.

The Hidden Psychology of the Home Ref

That old myth of home field bias isn’t a myth at all; it’s a statistical fact.

A Word of Caution to the Holiday Deal-Makers

Repeat customers—with higher return rates and real bargain-hunting prowess—can have negative effects on a company’s net earnings.

Crowdfunding Works for Science

Scientists just need to put forth some effort.

There’s More Than One Way to Be Good at Math

Mathematical ability isn’t one single skill set; there are indeed many ways to be “good at math,” research shows.

The Big One

One in two United States senators and two in five House members who left office between 1998 and 2004 became lobbyists. November/December 2014

Copyright © 2014 by Pacific Standard and The Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media, and Public Policy. All Rights Reserved.