Thank you to Villarosa for this compelling article, bringing so many of the strands of the current epidemic together and placing them in the context of the history you — and I — have lived through. You are a role model for all of us who bear the moral obligation to bring this history forward. Diane Curtis, Amherst, Mass.
This is a crucial, remarkable and brilliant work of reporting and social analysis. I remember Villarosa’s groundbreaking articles on black men and women and H.I.V. on the front page of The Times years ago, and her commitment and knowledge make her the most important voice for understanding the real nature of the American racial divide. No one reading this piece could ever claim that we have “survived the plague,” not if the “we” means ALL Americans. Blistering! Sarah Schulman, New York
The Diagnosis column featured a woman, thought to be suffering from anxiety, who had an adrenaline-producing tumor in her adrenal gland.
Lisa Sanders’s pheochromocytoma case study made me weep. It is so typical of what I and millions of others have experienced with delayed diagnoses. This woman’s life was upended for years, she was damaged by internalizing anxiety as part of her self-image and she was put on a powerful drug that she didn’t need — all because she was not given a simple adrenaline test early on. If doctors would routinely cast a wider diagnostic net up front, billions of wasted dollars could be saved. Has anyone done an economic analysis of the staggering cost to insurers, patients and the government that flow from the medical profession’s clinging to the old saw about looking for horses and not zebras?
A new paradigm should be installed in medical schools encouraging the trainees to stop with the self-satisfied assurance to themselves that x, y or z is…