Episode 65: The Last Breath

How can we medically tell whether or not someone is alive or dead? The answer is much more complicated than you’d think. In this episode, which is a live podcast I gave with Tony Breu at the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians annual meeting on October 16, […]


Episode 64: A Vicious Circle

During World War II, the US Army launched a seemingly routine experiment to find the ideal way to screen soldiers for tuberculosis. Jacob Yerushalmy, the statistician in charge of this project, would succeed at this task — and end up fundamentally changing our conception of medical diagnosis in the process. […]


Episode 63: Signals

What does it mean when different physicians disagree about a diagnosis? I am joined by Dr. Shani Herzig as we explore this issue in the second part of my series on diagnosis. We’re going to discuss the advent of signal detection theory in the middle of the 20th century as […]


Episode 62: The Sisters Blackwell

Elizabeth Blackwell — the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States — and her sister Emily Blackwell are some of the most important physicians of the 19th century, firmly establishing the role of women as physicians, starting an infirmary and hospital for poor women and children, […]