Dr. Leana Wen

Dr. Leana Wen appears in the following:

Commentary: Breastfeeding Gets Personal For Public Health Advocate

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen had long worked to encourage breastfeeding. When she became a mother, she experienced just how challenging it could be.


I'm Pregnant. What Would Happen If I Couldn't Afford Health Care?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Prenatal care costs more than $10,000 on average. Dr. Leana Wen wonders what choices she would make if she didn't have health insurance to cover that, and how those choices would affect her baby.


Young People Surprised By Risky Synthetic Drugs They Considered Safe

Saturday, January 23, 2016

My 14-year-old patient grabbed my hand and told me that he was going to die.

Just seconds before, the nurse had wheeled him into the resuscitation room. His blood pressure and heart rate were more than twice the normal levels. He was pale, clammy and gasping for breath.

The nurses ...


Triage And Treatment: Untold Health Stories From Baltimore's Unrest

Monday, May 04, 2015

Over the last week, Baltimore's unrest has captured the nation's attention. Images of burning cars, the sounds of angry protesters and then peace rallies have dominated the airwaves and headlines.

As the city's health commissioner, I heard other stories. I spoke with a 62-year-old woman who had a heart attack ...


A Lifesaving Medicine That My Patient Didn't Get In Time

Friday, April 10, 2015

Every doctor and nurse in our hospital's emergency room knew Jerome. He was one of our regulars.

In his 20s, he had back problems that led him to become addicted to prescription painkillers. That habit proved too expensive, and he switched to heroin.

Jerome used to come to the ...


Why I Left The ER To Run Baltimore's Health Department

Thursday, January 15, 2015

When I was just beginning my third year as a medical student, I learned an important lesson about what matters most in health.

It was a typical summer afternoon in St. Louis, with the temperature and humidity both approaching 100. My patient was a woman in her 40s who was ...


Why The ER Doctor Asks Patients What's Happening At Home

Saturday, November 29, 2014

When people hear that I'm an emergency physician, they often ask, "What's the craziest thing you've ever seen?"

TV shows frequently show ER doctors and nurses heroically saving people on the verge of death. Then there are news reports about people abusing the health care system by seeking emergency care ...


What Should You Do If A Fly Gets Into Your Anti-Ebola Goggles?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

So you're in Ebola treatment clinic. Your body is covered head-to-toe in a plastic protective suit, a hood, goggles, gloves and rubber boots. Then, all of a sudden, your nose itches.

What should you do?

Or what happens if you need to pee? Or a fly infiltrates your goggles?

In ...


When Patients Read What Their Doctors Write

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The woman was sitting on a gurney in the emergency room, and I was facing her, typing. I had just written about her abdominal pain when she posed a question I'd never been asked before: "May I take a look at what you're writing?"

At the time, I was a ...


How to Get Better Health Care from Your Doctor

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Is diagnosis a lost art? Hear how to avoid dangerous tests, get the right diagnosis, and ask the important follow-up questions to avoid grave mistakes.

Comments [23]

Heart Of The Matter: Treating The Disease Instead Of The Person

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A 56-year-old man is having lunch with his wife at a seafood restaurant just outside Boston when he develops crushing chest pain. He refuses an ambulance, so the man's wife drives him to the ER.

What happens next says a lot about the difference that being a doctor or a ...


Doctors' Ignorance Stands In The Way Of Care For The Disabled

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Something curious was happening in the emergency room. Eight patients had come in within minutes of each other. Almost instantly, the junior resident, two interns and a medical student signed up for all of the them – except for one.

Half an hour passed, then an hour. As the senior ...


When Facts Are Scarce, ER Doctor Turns Detective To Decide On Care

Saturday, March 08, 2014

It's just past midnight on a freezing Saturday night in Washington, D.C.

In the last hour, five ambulances have arrived at the emergency room where I work. A sixth pulls up.

The paramedics wheel out a stretcher carrying a man, 73, strapped to a hard board, a precaution in case ...


When A Prescription For Pain Pills Becomes A Gateway To Addiction

Saturday, February 15, 2014

On the surface, the 39-year-old construction worker looks like any other patient with back pain. He came to the Washington, D.C., emergency room, where I work, in severe discomfort after moving heavy cinder blocks a few days before.

The pain gets worse with twisting and bending, but he has no ...


Before The Prescription, Ask About Your Doctor's Finances

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Last month, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new guidelines that could double the number of people taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The organizations receive financial support from drug companies, and many of the experts who worked on the guidelines have industry ties.

The groups' ...


When Doctors Don’t Listen

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dr. Leana Wen examines the doctor-patient relationship and argues that diagnosis, once the cornerstone of medicine, is becoming a lost art, with grave consequences. When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests, written with Joshua Kosowsky, uses real-life stories of bad diagnoses to show how active patient participation can prevent these mistakes. They offer follow-up questions patients can incorporate into every visit to the doctor’s to get the best medical care.

Comments [25]