Podcast: Are doctors choosing the best treatment for heart attacks?

July 14, 2015, 10 a.m.

When someone has a heart attack, the patient is immediately rushed to the emergency room. At that point, the doctor has to make a choice: either treat the patient with clot-busting drugs or perform invasive surgery.

But how do doctors decide which procedure is best? Do they rely on what's worked in the past, or do they choose based on the individual patient? How do these decisions influence patient outcomes?

Janet Currie, the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and chair of the Department of Economics, decided to investigate these questions with colleagues at Columbia University and Hunter College, and the National Bureau of Economic Research recently published their working paper. She discusses the findings on this episode of WooCast, the Wilson School's podcast series.

Currie, who is director of Princeton's Center for Health and Wellbeing, is a panelist at the upcoming Princeton-Fung Global Forum, "Modern Plagues: Lesson Learned from the Ebola Crisis." Register now.