WBUR Staff

Rachel Zimmerman

CommonHealth Co-host, WBUR

Rachel Zimmerman worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal for 10 years, most recently at the Boston bureau covering health and medicine. She’s also written for The New York Times, the (now-defunct) Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the alternative paper, Willamette Week, in Portland, Oregon, among other publications. She is the co-author of The Doula Guide To Birth (2009), published by Bantam/Random House. In 2008, she spent the year as a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. Rachel lives in Cambridge with her two daughters.

Recent stories

Why To Exercise (During Pregnancy) Today: Ob-Gyns Say It's Best Time To Boost Health

November 25, 2015
il-young ko/Flickr

Now, the influential professional group of U.S. obstetricians and gynecologists is saying it even more forcefully: If you’re pregnant and facing no complications, you really should exercise — it’s the ideal time to improve your health, including your weight.

Study: Risk Of Hidden Cancer In Gynecologic Surgery Higher Than Previously Thought

November 19, 2015
(wikimedia commons)

Researchers at Boston Medical Center report that the risk of such undetected cancer is about 1 in 352 women.

For Depression, Computer-Assisted Therapy Offers Little Benefit, Study Finds

November 17, 2015
Lloyd Morgan/Flickr

The study “highlighted the difficulty in repeatedly logging on to computer systems when [patients] are clinically depressed,” researchers wrote.

CDC Report Tracks The IUD Renaissance

November 12, 2015
The number of women using long-acting reversible contraception has increased from 6 percent in 2006 to 11.6 percent in recent years. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The number of women using long-acting reversible contraception has almost doubled in recent years, and most of the increase is due to the growing popularity of IUDs.

Darker Days: Talk Therapy May Be More Durable Than Light Treatment For Seasonal Affective Disorder

November 10, 2015
Lloyd Morgan/Flickr

In general, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for this condition hinges on reframing the patient’s thinking about the approaching winter — away from a negative attitude about the shorter, darker, freezing, snowbound days, and toward a more positive approach, for instance: What kind of fun, frolicking things can I get out and do in the cold?

Fatal Fat Shaming? How Weight Discrimination May Lead To Premature Death

November 06, 2015
Jeff Newell, November 2014 (Courtesy)

A new analysis found that weight discrimination was associated with an increase in mortality risk of nearly 60 percent.

Health Boost: Story-Sharing Kiosk For Hospital Patients Coping With Illness Set To Launch

October 29, 2015
Patients visiting the SharingClinic can can choose from a range of story types and perspectives.  (Courtesy: Annie Brewster)

The project was born out of frustration with a medical system that no longer has the time to really listen to patients, says Dr. Annie Brewster, an MGH internist who’s been developing the kiosk.

WHO Says Processed Meat Causes Cancer, So Should We Stop Eating It Altogether?

October 26, 2015

A Harvard professor said there’s no need for everyone to suddenly become vegetarian. But, he said, he hopes the WHO announcement will spark real dietary change.

Study: Black Men With Prostate Cancer More Likely To Get Worse Care Than White Men

October 22, 2015
A new study of men 65 or older with localized prostate cancer shows that black men may receive poorer care than white men in treatment for prostate cancer. (M. Spencer Green/AP)

Compared to white men, black men with localized prostate cancer were 35 percent less likely to undergo surgery within three months of diagnosis, 45 to 48 percent more likely to require a visit to the emergency department after surgery, and 28 percent more likely to be readmitted after surgery, researchers report.

What You Should Know About The New Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines

October 20, 2015
The American Cancer Society has issued newly revised guidelines on mammography and breast cancer screening. Here a woman is screened in Los Angeles in 2010. (Damian Dovarganes/AP/File)

The new recommendations come at a time of growing awareness about the potential downside of screening and the harms of over-diagnosis.

At 45, Caught Between Mammograms

November 17, 2009

New research says most women under 50 don’t need routine mammograms. That’s confusing news to a 45-year-old woman whose recent mammogram turned up a calcification.

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