Making Rounds

Healthcare Brew’s Will Peischel on the complexity of information

From unnecessary healthcare procedures to the Google Maps algorithm, complex information forms what he considers the “Rube Goldberg” of reality.
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Will Peischel

· 3 min read

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.

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This week’s Making Rounds spotlights Will Peischel, Healthcare Brew’s newest reporter who’s also one of the team’s two Libras. Peischel has reported on topics ranging from burning human bodies to why Google Maps is his favorite social media—so naturally, he sat down to talk about the complicated and yet satisfying web of information that is journalism and life in general.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

How would you describe your job to someone who isn’t familiar with the world of healthcare journalism?

I would say that my job is to take complicated information pertaining to the industry—how we treat people’s health and lives in the United States—and simplify it for all kinds of audiences.

What’s the biggest misconception everyone has about your job?

That we’re out to *waggles fingers* get people.

What do you think everyone should know about healthcare now that you’re reporting it?

How prone healthcare providers are to implementing procedures and therapies that are, in some way, motivated by revenue. I think we all know, in a for-profit healthcare system, that’s going to occur, but I don’t think I realized how imperative it is in healthcare or how hard it is to gauge when a procedure is necessary and when one isn’t.

You’ve covered everything from Google Maps to energy companies, and now you’re doing healthcare. How do you think this wide scope has influenced your reporting or even just the way you perceive the world?

Something that has really helped me learn how to cover healthcare is covering other science subjects or things that are technically complex. This goes to the entire fundamentals of journalism, whether you’re reporting on agriculture or healthcare or Google Maps. You’re understanding this entire Rube Goldberg of reality and seeing how things are tied to each other.

There’s something very satisfying about cracking that kind of code. When you’ve realized, “Yes, I figured it out, I figured out what I want to say, I figured out what it means.” I think the through line here is this entire project of making things understandable to people.

What’s something that has surprised you most about the industries you’ve worked in so far?

I think something that’s really surprising is that no matter how big the industry is, it still feels small. Whether it’s journalism or the industries we report on, you end up running into the same people over and over again.

I’ve run into people in real life—friends of friends or random people from a bar or restaurant—who end up being spokespeople for some of the companies that we cover. I think it’s really hard to be a journalist and not be fully convinced that the world only has 500 people living in it.

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.