David Scales, Salon.com

David Scales


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  • Unknown
  • Salon.com
  • Undark Magazine
  • Columbia Journalism Review
  • WBUR
  • Aeon Magazine

Past articles by David:

Long Covid is pitting patients against doctors. That’s a problem

Health care professionals must act swiftly to ensure frustrated patients don’t fall victim to misinformation → Read More

A Guided Tour of Human Blood: Past, Present, and Future

In her book “Nine Pints,” the British journalist Rose George wrestles with the social, moral, political, and economic dilemmas that surround blood. → Read More

What I’ve learned reporting about Lyme Disease, a contested illness

As Jeff Wheelwright began researching his book about Gulf War Syndrome, he planned to speak to suffering veterans and medical experts who were skeptical those ailments were real. But the first veteran Wheelwright interviewed flipped the script. “What is the goal of your book?” the man asked. “Does it lean more toward the veterans’ side […] → Read More

Lyme Disease, Climate Change, and Science (or the Lack of It)

In a new book, an investigative reporter tries, with mixed success, to make sense of a perplexing disorder that divides doctors into two parallel universes. → Read More

French Lessons: Combating Mistrust and Misinformation on Lyme Disease

France's fact-based approach to teaching the public about Lyme disease has backfired. What lessons can be drawn for this and other public health campaigns? → Read More

7 Things I Learned While Reporting On Lyme And Other Tick-Borne Diseases

Dr. David Scales offers lessons learned from his months of reporting. → Read More

Many Seek Care At Boston 'Tick-Borne Impairment' Clinic That Tries To Avoid Taking Sides On Lyme

Instead of focusing on the most contentious Lyme disease questions -- diagnostic labels, long-term antibiotics -- Spaulding Hospital's Dean Center sidesteps the controversy and focuses on treating patients’ symptoms. → Read More

What We Can Learn From The French About Fighting Lyme Disease

France is the first country to release a national plan to fight Lyme disease -- though it has far fewer cases than the U.S. -- and Dr. David Scales looks at its efforts to improve prevention, tracking and care. → Read More

Our Dogs Can Get Lyme Vaccines And We (Still) Can't. When Might We?

New vaccines or antibodies against Lyme disease in humans won't be available for several years at best, but at least there are projects underway, including clinical trials that began this year. → Read More

Science Shortfall: Why Don't We Know How Best To Fight Ticks And Lyme Disease?

Good science takes strong funding, and researchers just don't have the money to do the high-quality studies needed to answer some of the most important ecological questions even as ticks and their infections spread. → Read More

As Ticks And Lyme Disease Spread, Prevention Efforts Limited To 'Shoestring'

As ticks and the illnesses they carry continue to spread, even the most heroic efforts to educate the public are clearly not enough to stem tick-borne diseases. → Read More

More Ticks Than Ever This Year? Unclear, But Already Enough For Abundance Of Caution

As Massachusetts residents share anecdotal reports of bigger-than-usual tick infestations, experts say it's too early to tell whether this is a bumper year for ticks -- but every year is a bad year for Lyme disease. → Read More

Doctors have become less empathetic, but is it their fault?

‘I don’t like to take medications,’ Hernando (not his real name) told me when I recommended a strong dose of ibuprofen for the pain in his thumb during an even busier day than usual in the primary care clinic where I work. I’m not his regular doct... → Read More

Lost In Translation: How Foreign-Speaking Patients Suffer Without Medical Interpreters

I wonder if our hospitals are really set up to support high-quality of care for people with low English-speaking ability? → Read More

When It’s OK To See A Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant — And When It’s Not

In one study, the patients who saw nurse practitioners in an outpatient clinic said they were more satisfied compared to those seeing physicians. → Read More

Opinion: Do You Really Want Your Trainee Doctor ‘Pimped,’ Hazed And Exhausted?

Studies published this week raise serious questions and concerns about the well-being of medical students and doctors in training, amounting to one of the loudest challenges yet to the longstanding medical training culture of "no pain, no gain." Do you really want the trainee doctor treating you to be hazed and exhausted? → Read More

Opinion: Spurred By Crisis, Long-Awaited Fix To Mass. Opioid Database Promised By Spring

Against the backdrop of the opioid addiction crisis, Massachusetts officials are promising a fix to a longstanding problem: The state's 5,500 medical residents to not have direct access to the database that lets them check a patient's opioid history. → Read More

Mapping Antibiotic Resistance: Know The Germs In Your Neighborhood

An online map called ResistanceOpen is tracking resistant bacteria. The goal is to shed light on how much resistant bacteria is in your area and which antibiotics those bacteria are resistant to. → Read More

Deep? Or Pseudo-Profound B.S.? Psychologists Explore Why Some Can’t Tell

BS is everywhere, from political speeches to infomercials, but only now are psychologists trying to study it empirically, exploring why some people fall for "pseudo-profound bulls---" (like randomly generated Deepak Chopra-type tweets) and others don't. → Read More

More On ‘Sundowning,’ And The Agitation That Can Grip Seniors After Dark

Our post last week on "sundowning" generated an outpouring of stories from patients, caregivers and people working in hospitals. → Read More