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Dartmouth Medicine Spring 2009

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

In the Spring 2009 issue of Dartmouth Medicine, read about:

Does the nation need more doctors?: "No!" says Dartmouth's Dr. David Goodman, a noted researcher on the physician workforce. His is one of the leading voices in a vigorous national debate on whether the country's medical schools should be turning out more graduates. See page 42.

Is laparoscopy always better?: A surgeon and a surgical resident teamed up on a study of colon surgery; they wanted to find out if a laparoscopic approach to elective colectomies showed benefits only when done in large academic medical centers or also in smaller hospitals. Their results showed that the minimally invasive procedure's benefits-lower complication and mortality rates and shorter hospital stays-are exhibited across a range of institutions. See page 7.

Spontaneous remission: A Dartmouth expert on preventive screenings collaborated with two Norwegian researchers to publish a paper in the Archives of Internal Medicine on "a taboo concept." They showed that more than one in five invasive breast cancers in their study population vanished without ever being treated. See page 3.

Helping schizophrenics: Dr. Alan Green, chair of psychiatry at Dartmouth since 2002, is a nationally known researcher on the mechanisms of schizophrenia. He vowed to commit his career to research at a time when he wasn't sure he'd have a career-when he was so ill he was bedridden for five years in the middle of his residency. See page 52.

Gold standard: The Dartmouth-based Northern New England Geriatric Education Center makes extensive use of standardized patients-individuals trained to simulate specific diseases and conditions. The center's 15 mock patients, who range in age from 68 to 93, recently got a standing ovation from New Hampshire caseworkers who investigate neglect and abuse of the elderly. See page 9.

A push for insight into labor: A pair of Dartmouth researchers discovered that, paradoxically, the forceful contractions of labor may be triggered by a muscle relaxant. An ob-gyn who was initally skeptical about the counterintuitive finding ended up collaborating in their study. See page 4.

A benefit of bariatric surgery: Dartmouth's Dr. John Batsis has shown for the first time that bariatric surgery appears to leave patients not just with a smaller stomach, but also with a smaller risk of suffering a cardiovascular event. See page 7.

Addition to knowledge about egg division: A Dartmouth lab may have discovered why the rate of birth defects is so much higher in older mothers-the molecular "glue" that holds dividing chromosomes together in egg cells appears to lose its cohesion over time. See page 6.

Hunting amid haystacks for clues to Parkinson's: Dartmouth neurologist Dr. Stephen Lee gathered data from an Amish lineage in Ohio to help track down the DNA signature of a familial form of Parkinson's disease-in the hope of shedding light on cases whose origins are not clear. See page 5.

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