/ long tail

The long-tail doctor visit that could save your life

Professional investors routinely worry about long-tail events, those scenarios which are relatively unlikely to occur but would be financially catastrophic if they did.

A wide range of instruments exists to provide downside protection against these risks, and the average portfolio manager is intimately familiar with most of them.


In their personal lives, those same investors buy economic protection for long-tail events. It's called insurance.

An insurance-selling gecko

Options provide long-tail protection to dollars in an investor's portfolio, and insurance provides long-tail protection to dollars in an investor's wallet. That includes life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, car insurance, umbrella insurance, and more.

However, when protecting their greatest asset, their health, those same investors neglect to address the long-tail risk.

Long-tail risks to your health

Like your wallet, your health faces likely, less likely, and unlikely risks.

Long-tail risks to your health include:

  • Bioterrorism
  • Infectious outbreaks
  • Political disruption
  • Natural disasters
  • Travel to underserved areas
  • Infrastructure collapse

Health insurance protects your dollars, not your health.

In a true long-tail event, when access to medical expertise and supplies are limited, dollars can no longer be traded for health.

How doctors think about long-tail risk

Doctors too are trained to think about likely, less likely, and unlikely risks. On one end of the spectrum, primary care doctors' training focuses on addressing everyday concerns and illnesses. In the middle, subspecialist training, such as cardiology or gastroenterology, focuses on less frequent problems. And on the tail, emergency medical training focuses on the identification and treatment of unlikely but potentially life-threatening diagnoses.

Ask your doctor about long-tail risks

Next time you visit your doctor, ask about how you can prepare for long-tail risks. The problem is, most doctors aren't equipped to answer.

Duration Health

We built Duration Health to fill the need for comprehensive long-tail healthcare.

We provide prescription emergency medication kits to keep you healthy when regular medical care is unavailable.

Joining Duration Health is like buying catastrophic health insurance that pays off in actual health instead of dollars.

Visit durationhealth.com to learn more.

Preparing now could save your life.

Thanks for reading.

Benjamin Jack, MD was a trader at Goldman Sachs before becoming an emergency physician.