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Jessie Wright-Mendoza

Jessie Wright-Mendoza

Jessie Wright-Mendoza is a radio and digital reporter based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has aired on NPR’s All Things Considered, WHYY’s The Pulse, and West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Inside Appalachia and on podcasts including Unfictional and Modern Notion. She previously produced podcasts for The Week and Popular Mechanics. You can follow her work at www.jessiewright-mendoza.com.
A nurse helping an elderly patient

How Second Wave Feminism Almost Killed Nursing

An expert wonders if the waning number of women interested in nursing was the unintended consequence of the women’s rights movement of the 1970’s.
diseases cures

The (Unproven, Deadly) Common Cure for Schizophrenia

Insulin coma and deep sleep therapies were used for years on patients with mental illness, even though there was never any evidence they worked.
union soldiers disability

The Invisible Struggles of the Civil War’s Veterans

Many Civil War veterans like Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain came out of combat with injuries and lasting disabilities that no one could see.
breastfeeding eighteenth century

When Breastfeeding Was a Civic Duty

Think people are judgmental of mothers now? In the 18th- and 19th-centuries, mothers who bottle-fed their babies were blamed for many of society's ills.
mesmerism

The Mystical Practice That Preceded Medical Anesthesia

For a brief period of time in the 19th century, doctors used "mesmerism" for pain-free surgery.
black lung coal mining

The Militant Miners Who Exposed the Horrors of Black Lung

This grassroots movement brought occupational health to American labor, paving the way for the creation of OSHA.
African American life insurance

How Insurance Companies Used Bad Science to Discriminate

In 1881, Prudential announced that insurance policies held by black adults would be worth one-third less than the same plans held by whites.
North Korean healthcare poster

North Korea’s Anti-American Propaganda Improved Public Health

During the Korean War, North Korea suffered widespread epidemics of typhus and smallpox. The Communist party blamed U.S. germ warfare.
Ignaz Semmelweis

The Man Who Invented Modern Infection Control

He's hailed as the "father of infection control" and the "savior of mothers," but the truth about Ignaz Semmelweis is more complicated than that.