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Dartmouth Medicine Summer 2003

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

Inside the Summer 2003 issue of Dartmouth Medicine (to request a printed copy, call 603-653-0772 or e-mail dartmed@Dartmouth.edu), read about:

An inside look at "morbidity and mortality" conferences: Ever since the early 1900s, doctors have puzzled over especially complex cases in sessions known as "morbidity and mortality," or "M&M," conferences. They're open and honest discussions about what went right--and wrong--in the management of a case, so that doctors and doctors-in-training can truly learn from each other. Here's an inside look at what makes that sort of learning so powerful. See page 32.

The conundrum of teen suicide: A Dartmouth medical student had assumed that reaching out to troubled adolescents would be a good way to help combat the problem of teen suicide. Not so, she discovered, when she started work on a project in memory of a friend who took her own life. See page 17.

Helping patients communicate with their doctors: Managed care has constrained the amount of time doctors can spend with their patients. But instead of complaining, a Dartmouth faculty member has done something constructive. He's developed a Web-based tool that helps patients to more efficiently communicate their symptoms and other health-related information to their doctors. See page 12.

Are patients getting screened for the right things?: Not according to a recent Dartmouth study, which showed that the rate of screening among men over 50 was much higher for prostate cancer than for colon cancer--even though all the evidence points to the latter as being more effective. See page 14.

A baby aspirin a day could keep cancer away: A recent study by a Dartmouth epidemiologist shows that taking a daily baby aspirin may reduce the incidence of adenomas, which can lead to colorectal cancer. See page 10.

A look at TB in the age of SARS: Today's quarantining of SARS patients recalls an earlier era, when Americans suffering from a common and often-fatal respiratory illness--tuberculosis--were isolated from society. A serene mountainside retreat served for most of the 20th century as New Hampshire's TB sanatorium. See page 42.

Tackling a classic catch-22: People "dually diagnosed" with both mental illness and a substance-abuse disorder historically faced daunting problems. They'd get kicked out of substance programs because of their mental illness, and out of mental-health programs because of their substance problems. A Dartmouth psychiatrist has gained a national reputation for challenging that system. See page 66.

Why it's important to embrace the new residency work-hour rules: A member of the Dartmouth faculty explains why DHMC is heeding both the spirit and the letter of new national work-hour rules for residents-- but that there are some associated logistical, financial, and historical challenges. See page 29.

If you'd like to pursue any of these stories, you can contact:

  • Hali Wickner, communications director for Dartmouth Medical School, at 603/650-1520.
  • Deborah Kimbell, media relations manager for DHMC, at 603/653-1913.

Or feel free to give me a call; my direct line is 603/653-0770.

Dana Cook Grossman
Editor

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