health

When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2008, at the age of 24, all I wanted to know was whether I would be all right. It was the first time I had ever heard about the condition, and many people around me simply believed that I had been cursed.

Even though my parents sought medical help, the psychiatrist who diagnosed me did not give any information about the illness, the side effects of the medication prescribed for me, or the manic and depressive bouts that I could expect.

Episiotomy, a once-routine surgical incision made in a woman's vaginal opening during childbirth to speed the baby's passage, has been officially discouraged for at least a decade by the leading association of obstetrician-gynecologists in the United States.

Nonetheless, despite evidence that the procedure is only rarely necessary, and in some cases leads to serious pain and injuries to the mother, it is still being performed at much higher than recommended rates by certain doctors and in certain hospitals.

There's something that really bothers Stanford psychiatry professor Keith Humphreys. When he thinks of all the years he has spent training the next generation of psychiatrists, the enormous investment in medical school and residency, he wants those doctors to devote that education to taking care of people with serious mental illness.

Tori Zivkovic / KUOW

People sometimes take unlikely paths to get where they're going. This is the story of an unlikely scholar.


Surgery can make anyone anxious, but it is especially hard for young children. Kids going into surgery may be separated from their parents for the first time in a frightening new environment, and they may not understand what's happening.

Where a hospital is located and who owns it make a big difference in how many of its doctors take meals, consulting and promotional payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies, a ProPublica analysis shows.

A higher percentage of doctors affiliated with hospitals in the South have received such payments than doctors in other regions of the country, our analysis found. And a greater share of doctors at for-profit hospitals have taken them than at nonprofit and government facilities.

Flickr Photo/Agnieszka (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/8Ton8p

Miscarriage: you probably know what the word means, and given that one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage, you likely know someone who’s gone through one.

But for Angela Garbes, it’s a highly problematic term.


Bullying and cyberbullying are major risk factors for teen suicide. And both the bullies and their victims are at risk.

That's according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that urges pediatricians and family doctors to routinely screen teenagers for suicide risks.

The latest episode of the podcast Invisibilia explores the idea that personality — something a lot of us think of as immutable — can change over time.

When Greg Burel tells people he's in charge of some secret government warehouses, he often gets asked if they're like the one at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the Ark of the Covenant gets packed away in a crate and hidden forever.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt from the latest episode of the Invisibilia podcast and program, which is broadcast on participating public radio stations. This story contains language that some may find offensive.

Researchers have identified a substance in muscles that helps explain the connection between a fit body and a sharp mind.

When muscles work, they release a protein that appears to generate new cells and connections in a part of the brain that is critical to memory, a team reports Thursday in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Rob Ketcherside (CC-BY-NC-ND) http://bit.ly/28QrplE

It’s been a rough week for Seattle-area hospitals. First, Virginia Mason’s accreditation is on the line. Meanwhile, a Skagit hospital lost a court fight related to abortion. And Northwest Hospital is facing a class action suit over charity care. 

Here's a breakdown of what's happening at each hospital.

When Zika started spreading through Latin America earlier this year, a number of governments issued advisories recommending that women put off getting pregnant because the virus can cause severe birth defects. At the same time these countries kept in place strict laws that would prevent a woman from getting an abortion if she were already pregnant.

Kim Malcolm talks with Dr. Leah Concannon about how concussions affect kids differently than adults and why so many concussions in kids go undiagnosed and unreported to health care providers. Concannon is a sports and spine physician at UW Medicine.

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