FHC #62: Diving deep into 3 urgent threats facing U.S. healthcare

This Fixing Healthcare podcast series, “Diving Deep,” probes into some of healthcare’s most complex topics and deep-seated problems.

On today’s episode, hosts Dr. Robert Pearl and Jeremy Corr discuss the three biggest threats facing U.S. healthcare:

  • Untamed inflation
  • The nurse shortage
  • A burnout / moral injury crisis

These threats will require urgent and radical action. In addition, the hosts discuss another pressing topic: The threat of Covid-19. How dangerous is the virus today?

For more information on these topics, check out Dr. Pearl’s latest healthcare columns on Forbes and LinkedIn. For listeners interested in show notes, here’s a time-stamped discussion guide:


[00:59] Cohost Dr. Pearl had an eye-opening Covid-19 conversation with his ophthalmologist recently. What was discussed?

[01:48] Who should get a second Covid-19 vaccine booster?

[02:41] What are the most common Covid-19 questions Dr. Pearl hears?

[05:40] How likely are people to die from Omicron?

[07:44] Why are Covid-19 cases going way up but deaths aren’t?

[11:22] How much should people worry about “Long Covid”?

[15:12] Should people wait for the Omicron-specific booster coming this fall (or sooner)?

[18:38] Is it safe to have a social life now?


[21:40] Dr. Pearl’s recent article “These 3 healthcare threats will do more damage than Covid-19” went viral. Why?

[24:56] What’s causing the most concern in healthcare right now?

[28:03] What’s concerning about inflation in healthcare?

[30:41] How does the nursing shortage affect patient care?

[31:48] What can be done to keep patients safe amid this shortage?

[33:43] With cost and quality under siege, is there any hope for respite?

[34:49] How will we unclog surgical backlogs in hospitals?

[35:13] What about physician burnout?

[36:34] Why are doctors dissatisfied and what can be done about it?

[38:08] What happens when these three forces collide at the same time?

[40:22] What does Dr. Pearl recommend as an “urgent and radical” solution?

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Dr. Robert Pearl is the author of a book about medicine’s invisible yet highly influential physician culture. Check out “Uncaring: How Physician Culture Is Killing Doctors & Patients.” All profits from the book go to Doctors Without Borders.

Fixing Healthcare is a co-production of Dr. Robert Pearl and Jeremy Corr. Subscribe to the show via Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you find podcasts. Join the conversation or suggest a guest by following the show on Twitter and LinkedIn.