Christin Giordano is a first-year student at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. But six years ago as an undergraduate, she says she grappled with her decision on whether to go down that path.

“I had this dream of what a physician was and it was someone who spent time with their patients, diagnosed them appropriately, took care of them, established a relationship with them”, said Giordano. “But as I shadowed physicians in college I saw that was not the practice reality for many of them.”

As State officials consider whether to sign-on to the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid we’ll take a closer look at how expanding health coverage for the poor would impact Florida.  While lawmakers consider what expanding Medicaid will cost the state, analysis from Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute finds Florida could extend coverage to about one million Floridians and actually save an estimated $100 million annually.  Plus, when it comes to providing health insurance for children, Florida is making strides in expanding access to care, but despite some progress, the state still ranks 48th in the nation.  

Hurricane Evacuation Fatal For Some, Study Finds

Nov 27, 2012

More and more nursing homes are evacuating residents to prepare for incoming hurricanes. It's a trend that started after Hurricane Katrina, when at least 35 elderly New Orleans residents drowned in their nursing home. But a recent study shows that for some populations evacuation has serious consequences.

Before Hurricane Gustav made landfall in 2008 in Louisiana, 119 nursing facilities evacuated residents. Compared to Hurricane Katrina, that's 4 times as many facilities.

Prescription Drug Deaths Decline in Florida

Oct 25, 2012

According to a report released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, prescription drug overdoses have fallen in the state. The biggest decline was associated with deaths related to the widely abused prescription drug oxycodone.

Last year, oxycodone deaths dropped by nearly 18%, while overall prescription-drug overdoses fell by a little more than 6%.

Florida officials say it's a direct result of the state's actions to crackdown on pill mills. But despite the decline in deaths related to painkillers, overall drug-related deaths increased last year.

News-Press columnist Melanie Payne is best known for her role as the paper’s consumer watchdog investigating unscrupulous business practices and the latest scams, but she’s also a breast cancer survivor.  Payne’s personal battle with cancer serves as a guide for women on everything from diagnosis to remission.