health care

Almost two decades ago, Dr. Lars Aanning sat on the witness stand in a medical malpractice trial and faced a dilemma.

The South Dakota surgeon had been called to vouch for the expertise of one of his partners whose patient had suffered a stroke and permanent disability after an operation. The problem was that Aanning had, in his own mind, questioned his colleague's skill. His partner's patients had suffered injuries related to his procedures. But Aanning understood why his partner's attorney had called him as a witness: Doctors don't squeal on doctors.


It may seem counterintuitive – but a military medic or corpsman, trained to save lives in combat and provide health care at home, does not qualify for most civilian medical jobs.

What’s worse – many veterans are at a competitive disadvantage when seeking admittance into nursing colleges.


So in 2013, the federal government funded pilot programs at nine universities to create curriculums so veterans, medics and corpsmen can earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Privately insured people with cancer were diagnosed earlier and lived longer than those who were uninsured or were covered by Medicaid, according to two recent studies.

It has been four months since WLRN launched Pricecheck, an online guide to bring clarity to health care costs in Florida. Along with our partners WUSF in Tampa and Health News Florida and with input from our audience, we created a searchable database of prices of common health care procedures and supplies aiming to answer a single question: "How much does it cost?"

Sorry, kids. Your pediatrician will probably give you the flu vaccine in the form of a shot this year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said Tuesday that it doesn't recommend using the flu vaccine that comes as a nasal spray. That's because the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at its performance last year and concluded it wasn't up to snuff.

It really hit Terry White eight years ago when he was at the mall with his wife. He was out of breath every few minutes and had to sit down. "My wife told me I had to get to the gym and lose weight," he says.

He had dieted most of his life. "I've probably lost 1,000 pounds over the years," says White, a realtor in North Myrtle Beach, N.C. But he put most of it back on.

  Transparency is the new buzzword in health care with consumer demand fueling changes to state laws and giving birth to websites that publish prices for medical procedures.

WUSF partnered with WLRN in Miami to launch their own database called PriceCheck. But we're not the only game in town.

Treatment for life-threatening allergic reactions is about to get a little cheaper.

Mylan, the maker of the EpiPen, said Monday that it will launch a generic version of the device for half the price of the brand-name product.

The EpiPen, an injectable drug that reverses severe allergic reactions, just got a little cheaper for some consumers.

The device's manufacturer, Mylan NV, announced Thursday that it will offer coupons worth as much as $300 off a two-pack.

It came as a surprise this June when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended against using the nasal flu vaccine for the 2016-2017 flu season, citing a lack of evidence that it works.

Michal Kranz/WLRN

Everyone knows that being in the great outdoors is good for you, but could nature be prescribed just like medicine? Absolutely, say some doctors in South Florida. One study is doing just that to find out how time spent in nature affects patients.

Barbara Licari, a retiree living in Broward County, says she frequently takes walks in her local park with her grandchildren. She says she feels better after even a short nature stroll.


“It’s preferable to medications,” she said.

Florida Department of Health

The Zika virus is likely being transmitted by mosquitoes in a one-square-mile area just north of downtown Miami, the Florida Department of Health said Friday.

Several times a month, Jessica Wen, a pediatrician specializing in liver diseases, has a teenager show up at her clinic at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with an unexpected diagnosis: hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C virus, or HCV, is the most common bloodborne infection in the U.S. and a leading cause of liver failure and cancer. Injection drug use is a common risk factor, as is receiving a blood transfusion before 1992. But some of the teens Wen sees picked up the illness another way: at birth, from their mothers.

Scientists have tried all sorts of strategies for stopping the blacklegged tick, the carrier of Lyme disease, from biting us.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that affects an estimated 300,000 people in the United States each year, primarily in the Northeast and upper Midwest.

It's summertime, and to Sandra Gompf, that means 'amoeba season'. 

Seven years ago, her 10-year old son Philip went swimming in a lake in Auburndale. About a week later, he died from a brain-eating amoeba that lives in freshwater and enters the body when water is forced up the nose.

Both of Philip's parents are doctors. And since their son's death, they've been educating the public -- including posting a series of billboards along Interstate 4 through August. Sandra Gompf recently spoke with WUSF News about her son, and the awareness campaign.