Save Yourself

By Finkelstein, Jonathan | Newsweek, May 31, 2010 | Go to article overview

Save Yourself


Finkelstein, Jonathan, Newsweek


Byline: Jonathan Finkelstein

Health-care reform is only half the battle.

We've recently heard a lot about improving our health-care system, but less about improving our health--as individuals and as a nation. Although we pay the most for our health care, the U.S. has higher rates of preventable deaths from heart disease, diabetes, and stroke than almost all other industrialized nations. We have a medical-care payment system that rewards disease treatment much more than prevention.

How could doctors do better? In spite of controversy over some preventive screening (like mammograms in some age groups), we need to be clear about the proven health benefits of others. We must also better use computerized medical-record systems to remind doctors and patients to do the right things. And we need to work as a true team with nurses and other professionals to reach prevention goals.

And when we do steer patients toward proven preventive strategies, they don't always do as we suggest. The illnesses and injuries we protect against are often uncommon. Before laws discouraged it, many people never wore seat belts--and also never died in an automobile accident. Yet there is no doubt a person is at a greatly increased risk without a seat beat. Likewise, many parents recall measles as a mild illness because they've had no personal experience with the severe or fatal cases. Balancing this against often exaggerated vaccine-safety risks, they may decide not to immunize their kids. People respond to personal experience (and stories) more than statistics--we need to use both to promote prevention.

But it is lifestyle change that is of most value in disease prevention--and hardest to achieve. Occasionally, the healthy lifestyle message is easy for the doctor to explain, and for the patient to put into practice. "Wear a seat belt every time" is a clear edict that is reinforced by school teachers, public-health officials, and laws in almost all states ("click it or ticket"). It's obviously a lot harder to change more complex behaviors, like smoking. The percentage of smokers in the population has been cut in half due to the combination of public-health approaches (like warning labels on cigarettes) and new pharmacological approaches like nicotine replacement and other medicines. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Save Yourself
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.