Staff Articles & Interviews

Dr. Spiesel’s articles

Columns printed in the on-line magazine Slate. Press the "Ctrl" key as you click on the link to access the column.

  • A Shot in the Dark (March 15, 2005), Topic: Problems in the durability of protection produced by chickenpox vaccine and their economic and medical implications.
  • Blame Canada (May 10, 2005), Topic: Issues in drug regulation by a national agency examining a medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • The Doctor is In (June 3, 2005), Topics: Statin benefits and risks; mortality and body mass index; Mexican counterfeit drugs; teen judgment about sexual risks; cost-benefit analysis of meningococcal vaccines; honey and burn treatment.
  • Your Health This Month (July 1, 2005). Topics: History of thimerosal in vaccines; safety of dental amalgam; immunological tolerance to insulin-producing cells; avian influenza chemoprophylaxis; episiotomy; use of old medical methods.
  • Your Health This Month (July 29, 2005), Topics: Travel immunizations; computerized medical records; cost-effectiveness of soap distribution; breast-feeding and myopia.
  • Your Health This Month (September 2, 2005), Topics: Step cell developments, cryptosporidium and lymphocytic choriomeningitis; quantifying illicit drug use by water analysis; reversal of Canadian ban on ADHD drug; rabies risk in travel; avian influenza research.
  • Sick City (September 6, 2005), Topic: Expected medical problems in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Your Health This Month (October 3, 2005), Topics: Additional benefits of statins; influenza vaccine and the elderly; new drug delivery systems for insulin; medical problems in Louisiana; unusual bubonic plague episode.
  • Your Health This Month (November 1, 2005), Topics: Toilet training observations and advice; the natural history and treatment of pediculosis; developing world interventions to prevent aflatoxin poisoning; genetic reassortment in influenza; antibacterial soap and antibiotic resistance.
  • Your Health This Month (December 1, 2005), Topics: Severe peanut allergies; the ecology of dust mites; breast feeding and maternal diabetes; an industrial accident in China.
  • Your Health This Month (January 2, 2006), Topics: Pacifiers and SIDS; human papilloma varus vaccine; new medical treatment for renal stones; acid blockers and Clostridium difficile infections.
  • Your Health This Month (January 31, 2006), Topics: Side effects of orlistat; bubble baths and urinary tract infections; research on cough medicine effectiveness; and influenza epidemic resulting from a laboratory accident.
  • Should you Stop Taking Calcium? (February 1, 2006), Topic: Studies on the efficacy of calcium supplementation.
  • Your Health This Month (February 28, 2006), Topics: Low-fat diets and cancer prevention; chills and upper respiratory infections; parasite treatments to redirect the immune response; nutritional supplements and benign prostatic hypertrophy treatment.
  • Tales from the Nursery (March 27, 2006), Topic: Immunobiology of human lactation.
  • Your Health This Month (April 4, 2006), Topics: Antibiotics and asthma; maternal choice and caesarian deliveries; avian influenza vaccine problems; malaria medications and travel.
  • Deprive Yourself (April 6, 2996), Topic: Calorie deprivation and longevity.
  • All Smoke (April 24, 2006), Topic: Politics and science in an FDA statement about medical marijuana.
  • Your Health This Month (May 2, 2006), Topics: Wireless capsule endoscopy; breast cancer risk and hormone replacement therapy; antibiotics and rhinosinusitis; music as analgesia.
  • Jolly Rogers (May 15, 2006), Topic: Health quality and the social gradient in the US and England.
  • The Vioxx War (May 23, 2006), Topic: Journalistic conflicts in reporting about medication problems.
  • Your Health This Month (June 6, 2006), Topics: Summer hazards; gene polymorphisms and sexual desire; the politics of federal care recommendations for women; the reliability of sponsored medication studies; the putative risk of excess tomalley consumption.
  • Why we’re fatter (July 13, 2006), Topic: Multiple factors contribution to the epidemic of obesity.
  • Your Health This Month (July 25, 2006), Topics: Coffee and a reduced risk for diabetes; anemia prevention in developing world obstetrical care; evaluation of acupuncture; lightning risks and cell phones; cardiovascular risk and depression.
  • Your Health This Month (September 4, 2006), Topics: Potential problems with soy-based foods; postpartum depression in fathers; new treatments for recurrent urinary tract infections; problems with metered dose inhalers.
  • Killer T-Cells (September 11, 2006), Topic: Autologous T-cells to treat cancer.
  • Your Health This Month (October 6, 2006), Topics: Competing risks in daily aspirin use; cardiomyopathy in young athletes; beef production practices and enteropathic E. Coli.
  • Your Health This Month (October 31, 2006), Topics: Spiral CT scans for lung cancer detection; misoprostol to prevent post partum hemorrhage; tooth-whiteners; after-hour physician calls; diminishing immunization pain for children.
  • Your Health This Month (December 5, 2006), Topics: Blocking breast cancer development; resveratrol and life span extension; melanoma in long-distance runners; Fifth Disease and anemia in the developing world.
  • The Skinny on Kids’ Diets (December 19, 2006), Topic: The Clara Davis research on food self-selection by children.
  • Your Health This Month (January 9, 2007), Topics: Prion protein-free cattle; adjuvants for influenza vaccine; intestinal bacteria and weight gain; treatment of hand dystonia.
  • Cure for Colic? (January 30, 2007), Topic: Probiotics and colic treatment.
  • Your Health This Month (February 13, 2007), Topics: The social psychology of intimacy; HIV virus transmission barriers; immunotherapy and seasonal allergies; fetal DNA analysis; food odor and longevity.
  • Your Health This Month (February 27, 2007), Topics: Treatment to prevent myopia progression; hormone replacement therapy; genetics of autism.
  • Your Health This Month (March 13, 2007), Topics: Excess weight and puberty onset; risks of cold medicines; complications in cancer survivors.
  • Elizabeth Edwards’ Cancer (March 23, 2007), Topic: Biology of metastatic breast cancer.
  • Your Health This Month (April 3, 2007), Topics: Circadian rhythm effects in rheumatoid arthritis, CLOCK gene disruption and behavior; propellant in metered dose inhalers; potential dangers in diarrhea treatment.
  • Your Health This Month (February 27, 2007), Topics: Gene variants and obesity; politics of medication decisions; chloramines, swimming pools, and asthma.
  • Your Health This Week (May 3, 2007), Topics: Breast feeding and obesity; menstruation and endometrial cancer; averting schizophrenia.
  • Your Health This Week (May 22, 2007), Topics: Radioimmunotherapy treatment for cancer; annual bisphosphonate treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis.
  • The Get-Out-of-Bed-Free Card (May 25, 2007), Topics: Sleep problems in children – effects on parents; managing the problem.
  • Your Health This Week (June 5, 2007), Topics: Travel and epidemics; food fortification to prevent stroke; coffee and gout.
  • Beware of Diet (July 4, 2007), Topic: The long term failure of dieting.
  • Your Health This Week (July 10, 2007), Topics: Swedish snuff and tobacco harm reduction; malnutrition and immune deficiency; stress incontinence treatment.
  • Family (March 17, 2014), “I’m a Pediatrician. Should I Treat All Kids, or Just the Vaccinated Ones?”

Dr. Spiesel’s NPR interviews

National NPR segments, broadcast as part of the daily show, Day to Day. The segments can also heard on the NPR website (http// or via the individual links, below).



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