• The Problem of ‘Long Haul’ COVID

    Scientific American December 29, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    It was just a couple of months into the pandemic when patients in online support groups began describing the phenomenon. In some emergency departments, they said, their complaints were largely being dismissed—or at the very least diminished—by health care professionals. The patients felt they were not being heard, or perhaps even were outright disbelieved. The […]

  • New COVID studies bring some holiday cheer for pregnant women

    Fortune December 23, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    At first, Kate Elden’s choices when the coronavirus pandemic beganmade her stand out. She wore heavy personal protective equipment to work at a veterinary clinic, despite the worries of some of her colleagues that she would scare off clients. She decided against enrolling her toddler in preschool. And after a while, she decided to place […]

  • With COVID raging, why are we even still playing college basketball?

    Fortune December 14, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    It was public, shocking, and very real. In a game against rival Florida State on Saturday, the University of Florida basketball star Keyontae Johnson, just 21, collapsed facedown on the court, unconscious. He was removed by paramedics and taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, where he was reported to be in critical, but stable condition. His Gators teammates, […]

  • Like drowning in slow motion’: Life on the ground at one of America’s hardest-hit COVID-19 hospitals

    Fortune December 1, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    He was young, polite, and nondescript. Even though he said he felt fine, he looked as though he had just finished running sprints. The symptoms were there: a cough, a low-grade fever, shortness of breath. His oxygen levels were low enough that his doctor admitted him. And thus did Oscar join the ranks of patients […]

  • An Emerging Tool for COVID Times: The Portable MRI

    Scientific American November 12, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    Bedside imaging holds vast potential as a diagnostic tool, especially during the pandemic Among other things, the pandemic of 2020 has emphatically reinforced the need for both patients and their doctors to get reliable medical results quickly. The advent of rapid antigen testing for COVID-19, for example, is changing the way we think about how we approach […]

  • A blueprint for whoever wins the presidential election to fix America’s health care mess

    Fortune November 4, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    As you may have surmised by now, the private health insurance industry in the U.S. didn’t accumulate its massive wealth by running deficits. It is a business designed to turn profit and please shareholders. But with COVID-19 ripping through our country and the 2020 presidential election still undecided, this may be a perfect time to […]

  • COVID’s Other Toll: Unnecessary Tests and Huge Hospital Bills

    Scientific American October 24, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    It highlights one of the biggest problems in American health care In a physician chat group recently, a doctor who treats hospitalized patients made a recommendation to our group of 38,000 members that left me startled and alarmed. She shared her protocol for all COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital: every one of them gets […]

  • When Will Football Stadiums Look Normal Again?

    Scientific American October 21, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    Professional and college teams alike need to get fans back in the stands in droves—as long as they can keep everyone safe It has been a roller-coaster year for sports, and we’re nowhere near done. In recent weeks, the advent of rapid testing for COVID-19 appears to have led several college conferences, the Big Ten and Pac-12 among them, […]

  • Why was the leader of the free world given an experimental therapy?

    Miami Herald October 5, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    In the craziness that is 2020, we’ve perhaps become accustomed to seeing things that either surprise or dismay us. But as a physician, it’s still hard for me not to be shocked that the President of the United States was administered an experimental drug therapy on Friday. According to White House reports, Donald Trump has […]

  • Can CBD Cure What Ails You?

    Scientific American October 3, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    Proponents say yes, but scientific studies on the effectiveness of this chemical derived from cannabis are a mixed bag When a shop selling cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in marijuana, opened near the place where I get coffee in my Southern California neighborhood, I was of two minds. Actually, for several weeks I was of […]