OCD and Me

BY HANNAH SAMSON Until recently, scientists thought mental disorders were solely caused by environmental factors. However, modern neural-imaging technology suggests that mental illnesses are “disorders of brain circuits.” The advent of enhanced imaging techniques allows neurologists to specialize studies specifically on neural circuits and their connectivity, or the lack thereof, rather than more broadly on…

Questioning Fundamental Assumptions

BY RICHARD SKOLNIK One of the most important lessons that I have learned professionally is the importance of questioning fundamental assumptions. This lesson arose on a number of occasions, both when I worked at the World Bank and afterwards. One of the most interesting examples of this was the work we did on HIV at…

Burns in Peru: A Neglected Global Health Crisis

BY RACHEL PERLER This summer, I interned at ANIQUEM (Asociación de Ayuda al Niño Quemado), a Peruvian NGO that is working to change the national approach to burn injuries and their care. The organization was founded in 1999 by a pair of doctors from Lima with the mission to reduce the prevalence of burn accidents in…

Enduring Disorder: PTSD in Gazan Children

BY SOPHIA KECSKES “I miss the sea, I miss my friends, I miss ice cream, I miss happiness and joy. I MISS MY ORDINARY LIFE,” tweeted Farah Baker, a 16-year-old girl from Gaza who self-describes as a “modern Anne Frank.”1 With 199,000 followers, this young girl spreads awareness about the nature of her life in the…

Switzerland: Regarding Health System Reform

BY EMILY THACHER Executive Summary Twenty years ago, the Swiss health sector faced two key problems: rising inequality and rising costs. In an effort to strengthen solidarity and contain costs, the Swiss passed a major healthcare reform bill called LAMal in 1994. Inspired by the French and German systems, it established meaningful universal coverage through…

Diagnosing Lyme Disease

BY SREEJA KODALI Before 1977, Lyme, Connecticut was afflicted with an epidemic: children with skin lesions, headaches, stiff necks, myalgias, arthalgias, and fatigue. These symptoms later developed and months after the brain, heart, and muscular system were affected too. This unexplained phenomenon plagued patients until Dr. Allan Steere of Yale School of Medicine and his…