Sandra G. Boodman

Washington, D.C.

Medical reporter and creator of the monthly Medical Mysteries column

Education: Brandeis University, A.B. with honors in American studies

Sandra G. Boodman joined The Washington Post as a temporary secretary to the Style editor in 1975. From 1977 to 2008 she was a staff writer on the Metro and National desks, covering, among other things, Virginia politics, the religious right, the early years of the AIDS epidemic and substandard doctors. She also served as deputy editor of the Health Section. She created The Post's Medical Mysteries column in 2007 and has been a regular contributor to Kaiser Health News since its inception in 2008.
Latest from Sandra G. Boodman

Despite treatment for deadly blood clots, his health was going downhill

The devotee of rugged back country skiing would spend the next 16 months trying to discover why he had grown so weak.

May 13, 2023

The cause of a young runner’s intense leg pain wasn’t what it seemed

A frightening aborted run led to the discovery that previous surgeries had missed the root of the problem.

April 1, 2023

Loud music was blamed for hearing loss in her 40s. It wasn’t the cause.

Her 18-month quest for a cure involved an allergist, an endocrinologist and two additional ENTS, the second of whom found the underlying and treatable reason for the problem.

March 18, 2023

She thought anxiety and drinking made her ill. The truth was scarier.

Doctors saw a new mother with anxiety and an alcohol problem. A middle-of-the-night trip to the ER showed that the wrong assumptions had been shaping her care.

February 18, 2023

For decades, she endured brief blackouts. Then a scary one hit her.

A diagnosis uncovered the potentially deadly reason for the fainting spells and led to major surgery from which the conservation biologist continues to recover.

January 14, 2023

Her crippling digestive problems were caused by a ‘zebra’ malady

A primary care doctor’s commitment and the patient’s own tenacity helped ferret out the cause of the zebra, medical slang for a rare ailment.

December 17, 2022

This teenager would sleep for alarming 20-hour stretches

The condition drastically alters her personality and temporarily shuts down her life. The diagnosis brought relief but also uncertainty.

November 19, 2022

His seizure sparked terrifying fall that uncovered long-sought answer

The biggest change since surgery has been the absence of fear, which had come to dominate the business executive’s life.

October 15, 2022

‘This is really weird. Who wakes up and their hand doesn’t work?’

As he underwent nerve surgery to solve the strange ailment, his doctors had to jettison their plans when they found something unexpected.

September 3, 2022

A tenacious student uncovered the root of an onslaught of broken bones

He spent several weeks digging into his medical records and scrolling through scientific websites before hitting pay dirt.

July 9, 2022