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Dartmouth Medicine Spring 2007

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

In the Spring 2007 issue of Dartmouth Medicine, read about:

All over the map: Geographic variations in the delivery of health care have been well documented by Dartmouth researchers. Their findings now suggest that a third of the nation's expenditures on health care may be wasted. Yet if the waste is wrung from the system, there may be enough money to fix its problems. Policy-makers are beginning to pay attention to that possibility. See page 26.

Can cinnamon help people with diabetes?: The disappointing finding in a recent clinical trial at Dartmouth was "no." There are two twists to the outcome, however-that the study was published even though its finding was negative, and that the first author was a Dartmouth undergraduate who conceived of the study as his final project for a class that's taught by a Medical School faculty member. See page 5.

A philosopher-plastic surgeon: Dartmouth's Dr. Joe Rosen is nationally noted for his work in polytrauma-a growing concern for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan-as well as for pushing the technological and philosophical envelope in other aspects of medicine. See page 54.

When Jane comes marching home . . . with PTSD: A study believed to be the first randomized, controlled trial of military women with post-traumatic stress disorder determined that a treatment called prolonged exposure therapy is both more effective than standard cognitive therapy and very readily applicable in real-world practice settings. See page 5.

Making medicine more rewarding for patients and physicians: A member of the Dartmouth faculty who is a leading figure in the field of medical practice improvement shares his ideas about a promising concept known as "micropractice." It's catching on with physicians nationwide. See page 62.

When weather affects health care: A recent study of the treatment choices made by New Hampshire women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer showed that not only the distance the women lived from the nearest radiation therapy center, but even the time of year they were diagnosed, affected whether they chose to have a total mastectomy or a breast-sparing lumpectomy. See page 6.

Surgery without any incision: The surgical world is poised to move beyond "band-aid" laparoscopic surgery to natural orifice surgery-operations performed via the mouth or another natural opening. A member of the Dartmouth faculty is involved in developing the technology. See page 11.

Mighty mouse flies again:An endocrinologist who thought he was looking into glucose uptake mechanisms in mice suddenly found his work making the pages of Sports Illustrated and stimulating a debate about the potential for "gene doping" to enhance athletic performance. See page 7.

A surprising finding: A Dartmouth research group was surprised to find unusually high levels of a central nervous system protein in basal breast cancer cells. It turns out they may have identified a new biomarker for an especially deadly form of breast cancer. See page 3.

To pursue any of these stories, contact the Dartmouth Medical School/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Media Relations Office at 603-653-1913 or Jason.Aldous@Hitchcock.org.

Dana Cook Grossman

Editor

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Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterWhite River Junction VAMCNorris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth College