Healthcare Reform: We Need to Reframe the Questions

One year after passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the debate roars on, in Congress and everywhere else. And these debates often revolve around a big question, even when it is left unspoken or implied: Is health care a basic human right? In 1990 I made a quantum leap from practicing in … Continue reading

A Life Lesson Learned in Medical School, as featured in the NYT

January 28, 2011, 1:20 pm A Life Lesson Learned in Medical School By MAGGIE KOZEL, M.D. Thomas Northcut/Getty Images It was in my second year of medical school that I learned one of the most important lessons of my career: That it can be hard to distinguish truth from a perfectly good answer. Certainty was … Continue reading

Little Pharma: The Medication of U.S. Children

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that a study of prescription patterns in 2009, conducted by IMS Health, showed that 25% of children in the US were on regular medication. IMS Health is a firm that provides “marketing intelligence” to pharmaceutical companies. The firm’s job is to keep the $800 billion per year global … Continue reading

Confessions of a Worn Out Pediatrician

I used to practice pediatrics. It has been several years since I decided to leave medicine, but people still ask me about it, and I find myself offering neat explanations between gulps of coffee. Of course, the full truth is much more complicated. The full truth has as much to do with our health care … Continue reading

Finger-wagging doesn’t work for societal ills

The following is my response to the Huffington blog post: Bravo for your clarity on the preventable causes of chronic disease, and the economic toll it takes on our society. Its a good starting point. I applaud the concept of a health coach, rather than a health “provider.­” In fact I believe that should … Continue reading

Fiscal Conservatives: Just What the Doctor Ordered

Featured today on Huffington Post: The midterm elections have come and gone, and there soon will be a lot of new voices reverberating through the halls of the Capitol – which has to be great news for health care reformists.  Who better to find a saner and fiscally more responsible way to deliver health … Continue reading

The Hidden Issues of the Healthcare Debate

We need to abandon the notion that our private third-party-payer system of health care enhances our freedom or protects our income from socialistic taxes.   For starters, business people are shaping the way we deliver health care. The bottom line at the doctor’s office is that what gets paid for happens, and what doesn’t get paid … Continue reading

Primary Care Doctors Need to Redefine Their Roles

We all know that effective, affordable primary health care needs to be the bedrock of our health care system.   Primary care medicine, however,  has evolved  into a very expansive and complex undertaking. Primary care physicians need to embrace this reality and define our roles accordingly, for the sake of effectiveness, affordability, and our own sanity … Continue reading

“The Color of Atmosphere” to be released in Jan 2011 by Chelsea Green Publishing

This memoir follows my story from the early days of my career as a  young pediatrician, through the Navy’s system of universal health coverage, and on into our civilian system of managed care and third-party-payers, describing the  reverence I experienced for medical science, and my relationships with patients, but also the ever-widening gap between what … Continue reading

Privatization of VA Medical Care is a Step Backwards

VA Healthcare:  It’s the Wrong Time to Privatize In this midterm election season of making pledges to America, we should not lose sight of the pledges we have already made. We have promised as a nation to provide our disabled veterans with the best health services that modern medicine has to offer.  We need to … Continue reading