February 19, 2023
Editor, First Opinion
Another busy week in First Opinion-land, with authors tackling the demise of the X-waiver, brain changes linked to long Covid, ChatGPT-assisted diagnosis, and more. If you have an idea for First Opinion, or an essay, please send it to me at first.opinion@statnews.com.

The X-waiver for buprenorphine prescribing is gone. It’s time to spread the word

A new law eliminating the X-waiver for prescribing buprenorphine for opioid use disorder won't do much good if no one knows about it.

By Beth S. Linas and Benjamin P. Linas

The haunting brain science of long Covid

Brain scans, autopsies, and other sources of evidence are revealing how Covid-19 can affect the brain and cause long Covid.

By E. Wesley Ely

ChatGPT-assisted diagnosis: Is the future suddenly here?

For online diagnosis, ChatGPT outperformed Google search and symptom checkers, and came close to diagnoses from real physicians.

By Ruth Hailu and Andrew Beam and Ateev Mehrotra

A health care worker walks in a hospital basement being used as a bomb shelter in Brovary, Ukraine
AP Photo/Felipe Dana

In Turkey, Ukraine, and beyond, the necessity of trauma care

More doctors need to be trained to deal with the immediate and aftereffects of trauma — their patients and their own.

By MarkAlain Déry

Improving patient safety shouldn’t be a financial calculation

Hospitals should work to improve patient safety because it is the right thing to do, not because it makes sense financially.

By Michael L. Millenson

5 ways to address the shortage of health care workers

Higher education can help reverse the shortage of health care workers by partnering with the government, business, and nonprofit sectors.

By James Herbert

Anesthesia gases used during surgery are contributors to climate change.

How you can inspire your clinicians to reduce health-care-generated climate change

Asking a health care provider simple questions can make them more aware of, and do something about, how health care affects climate change.

By Matthew J. Meyer

Another pharma industry flip-flop: Claims about the IRA’s effect on small-molecule versus biologic drugs

Claims that the Inflation Reduction Act will disadvantage small-molecule drugs vs. biologics are misleading and not supported by the facts.

By David Mitchell

STAT+ | Beyond Medicare and Social Security: Cutting Medicaid after the pandemic would be political madness

Proposals to cut Medicaid should be off the table because of the essential care it allows more than 90 million Americans to access.

By Arielle Kane


How ‘empathetic engagement’ can increase access to mental health care

Some people seeking mental health care can find it in community-based organizations staffed by people with empathetic engagement.

By Mini Kahlon

How to save three-quarters of a trillion dollars in health care costs

A new report shows how Congress can reduce health care costs by more than $767 billion over the next 10 years.

By Kim Keck

More around STAT
Check out more exclusive coverage with a STAT+ subscription
Read premium in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis with all of our STAT+ articles.

Enjoying First Opinion? Tell us about your experience
Continue reading the latest health & science news with the STAT app
Download on the App Store or get it on Google Play
STAT, 1 Exchange Place, Boston, MA
©2023, All Rights Reserved.