Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Going to the Doctor is a Bad Game

This is another semi-cross-post from GE Adventure this one looking at the economics of going to the doctor. One of the theories we’ve been batting around is that health is a bad game. David Lee, a health economist at GE helped us understand just how bad a game the regular visit is:

As David explained, a regular doctor visit has a bad risk/reward situation: There is a low liklihood anything is wrong but good chance that if something is wrong that it’s serious. On top of this, people have a tendency to overestimate small risks and devalue the future, all leading to a situation where it’s hard to get people into a regular routine of visits.

He even offered some thoughts on solving it, mainly that you need to accurately communicate how unlikely it is for something to be wrong and “be prepared with a good explanation of how to approach the issue and the liklihood of success.” Interesting.

August 11, 2009