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

Medical Mysteries: A daughter’s pregnancy and a life-or-death decision

A California teenager’s splitting headaches, violent nausea and sudden bizarre behavior were erroneously brushed off as temporary signs of pregnancy.

January 20, 2024

Medical Mysteries: He lived for over 7 years with searing facial pain

A professor spent more than seven years bouncing among specialists who disagreed about the reason for his debilitating facial pain and how to treat it.

December 16, 2023

Medical Mysteries: Dizzy and off-balance, she searched for the cause

Slowly and insidiously, a New York real estate broker developed balance, urinary and memory problems. For years, various doctors performed many tests but overlooked the reversible cause.

November 25, 2023

Medical Mysteries: Were wedding jitters making her sick?

A young woman’s stubborn weight gain and sudden severe anxiety were attributed to pre-wedding stress by her doctors. The cause was far more dangerous.

October 7, 2023

Medical Mysteries: He’s lucky his Iceland vacation ended in a hospital

A vacationing former CIA analyst had already spent seven years consulting specialists who ruled out 50 diseases but were unable to make a diagnosis.

September 9, 2023

Medical Mysteries: Why did a teen collapse mid-jump on a trampoline?

After a teenager collapsed at a Maryland trampoline park, paramedics worried he'd had a heart attack, which is rare in children. The cause was more unusual.

August 12, 2023

Medical Mysteries: A surgeon’s ominous pain and a question of grilled meat

A retired surgeon suddenly developed violent abdominal pain. After losing 21 pounds, he discovered the unexpected cause that was hiding in plain sight.

July 8, 2023

Medical Mysteries: Why was her sleep so frighteningly out of whack?

For years her sleep was so disrupted she would suddenly drop off in the middle of working or even driving but have insomnia at night. Meds didn't seem to help.

June 10, 2023

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