• 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 […]

  • Protecting against COVID’s Aerosol Threat

    Scientific American October 1, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    How can we make our schools, office buildings and homes safer? This feels like a lopsided fight. In one corner, we have scientists, epidemiologists, infectious-disease physicians, clinicians, engineers—many different experts in the medical community, that is—arguing that the spread of COVID-19 by aerosols (that is, tiny droplets that can remain airborne long enough to travel significantly farther than […]

  • My cancer might be back—and I wonder if unnecessary radiation caused it in the first place

    Fortune September 22, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    I was a 23-year-old investment banker, working ludicrous hours in New York and training for marathons on the side, when cancer first entered my life. In the three decades since, the disease has been perhaps not a constant companion, but certainly a ride-along. I did not always hear it; it was not always speaking loudly. […]

  • Everything we know—and don’t know—about human-to-animal COVID transmission

    Fortune September 4, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    We think we know about the initial transmission of the coronavirus; it occurred at a live animal market in Wuhan, China, most likely from a bat to a person. In the time since, our attention has been understandably focused on the global human toll of this brutal disease, which already has reached a total of more […]

  • COVID-19 Can Wreck Your Heart, Even if You Haven’t Had Any Symptoms

    Scientific American August 31, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    A growing body of research is raising concerns about the cardiac consequences of the coronavirus Beyond its scientific backing, the notion that a COVID-19 patient might wind up with long-term lung scarring or breathing issues has the ring of truth. After all, we hear the stories, right? The virus can leave survivors explaining how they […]

  • ‘Instant Coffee’ COVID-19 Tests Could Be the Answer to Reopening the U.S.

    Scientific American August 21, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    Cheap and quick, they could move us toward normalcy before a vaccine is widely available With the economy tanking, unemployment skyrocketing, schools slamming their doors and the Big Ten and PAC-12 conferences canceling fall football, America is a country looking for an answer to COVID-19 yesterday. And one might be available—if you can handle instant […]