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Author Archive: Peter Ubel

About Peter Ubel

09/01/2014

Is [Your Favorite Politician Here] Narcissistic Enough to Be a Good President?

I expect we all agree that the presidency is not a job for a shrinking violet.  We acknowledge that a president without self-confidence would be a disaster in the making.  But just how confident do we want our president to … Continue reading

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08/29/2014

Influencing Young Minds

I really like teaching Duke undergraduates. They are an ambitious and intelligent group. But sometimes their ambition and intelligence get in the way of creative thinking, especially in regards to careers. They all want to remain high achievers, so they … Continue reading

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08/28/2014

Is It Irrational For Carmelo Anthony To Take So Many Three Pointers?

A jab to the right, then Carmelo steps back behind the three-point line and launches a shot. It clanks off the back of the rim. How likely is he to be the next person on his team to attempt a … Continue reading

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08/27/2014

Emotional Adaptation and Desire

I’ve done a fair amount of research on how people emotionally adapt to life circumstances. My research is mainly in the context of illness and disability, where people bounce back from adversity more than expected. But people can also emotionally … Continue reading

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08/26/2014

Will Lowering The Price Of Genetic Testing Raise The Cost Of Medical Care?

The first time scientists sequenced a person’s entire genome, it took more than a decade and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Currently, such sequencing takes less than twenty-four hours and costs less than $5,000: To put that into perspective, … Continue reading

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07/15/2014

Hello, From Michigan!

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07/11/2014

How To Tell Someone That She Is Dying

Elizabeth’s breast cancer had already spread to her bones and was now invading lymph nodes in her right armpit, causing painful swelling that kept her up at night. Today, however, as she walked into her oncologist’s office, Elizabeth felt like … Continue reading

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07/07/2014

Don’t Cry for Me, Doctor Tina?

Okay, worst blog post title of the year. But just trying to grab your attention and point you towards a nice USA Today article on doctors and emotional intelligence. “Tamir Mosharrafa, a plastic surgeon in Phoenix, recalls the 20-something woman … Continue reading

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06/27/2014

More Cause-and-Effect Hilarity

Recently I have posted several entertaining pictures revealing the dangers of assuming that correlation implies causation. A lot of these pictures are housed on this fascinating website. Meanwhile, here’s another one I had to pass along: This can’t be coincidence, … Continue reading

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06/26/2014

Is the Nutritional Supplement Industry Feeding You Bull Balls for Breakfast?

My patient had been feeling unusually irritable lately.  Nothing had changed in his home or work life to bring on such a shift in mood.  He wasn’t taking any medicines that could cause such symptoms either, being a strappingly healthy … Continue reading

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