Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

Unintended Consequences Of Cutting Mental Health Services In Iowa

mental hospitalI took this picture a couple of years ago during a trip to Iowa. This is the old Clarinda Asylum for the Insane. The name was changed for obvious reasons a long time ago to the Clarinda Treatment Complex. I grew up in Iowa, so let me tell you a few things about my home state. Among other things, Iowans grow corn, raise hogs, and sometimes elect people to the Iowa State House who need a little schooling about mental illness and the needs of the mentally ill.

Iowa currently has four state hospitals for the mentally ill. Now that number is being cut down to three. Iowa State Legislators, who have no clue about what they’re doing, ordered the head of the Department of Human Services, Charles Krogmeier, to shut down one of the state’s mental hospitals. The Clarinda facility and three other hospitals were put on the chopping block. Krogmeier didn’t want to shut down any of the hospitals. He said that the move wouldn’t save money or improve patient care, but the politicians gave him no choice. Mr. Krogmeier suggested the elimination of the Mount Pleasant Mental Health Institute. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »