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Dartmouth Medicine Summer 2005

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

In the Summer 2005 issue of Dartmouth Medicine, read about:

Could it be that finding cancer earlier doesn't save lives?: Yes, says a group of outcomes researchers at Dartmouth. They've been asking (and researching answers to) provocative questions like that for more than a decade—being widely quoted and getting papers published in top journals, but also attracting criticism for their contrarian positions. See here.

Dollars and sense: Administrators at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center knew it made sense to share data about outcomes with the public. But they've gone further than most places, becoming one of the first medical centers in the country to post charges for services on the Web. See here.

When celebrities talk . . .: When Katie Couric urges patients to get screened for colon cancer, or Rosie O'Donnell promotes mammograms, are their messages persuasive? And, even more important, should patients heed them? The answers to those two questions, according to a recent Dartmouth study are "yes." And "no" (or at least "not without a lot of thought"). See here.

Academic medicine meets Madison Avenue: A Dartmouth research group analyzed 122 advertisements for leading academic medical centers and concluded that too many of them use emotional appeals or fail to disclose risks as well as benefits of medical services. The team acknowledged the serious financial pressures facing such centers, but urged sensitivity to "the conflict of interest between public health and making money." See here.

Research that's not in vein: A better understanding of angiogenesis—the process by which the body grows new blood vessels—holds promise for treating a broad range of diseases. A collaborative, fun-loving angiogenesis research group at Dartmouth hopes to capitalize on that promise. See here.

Taking a swat at malaria: "Malaria has become resistant to every drug that has been targeted to it," says Dartmouth biochemist Bernard Trumpower. But his lab may have found a way to make a drug that will stand up to the mosquito-borne parasite. It will be three to five years before the finding is ready for clinical use, but the early lab work is showing promise. See here.

When Janie comes marching home: Women in the military are experiencing combat duty in unprecedented numbers in Afghanistan and Iraq. That means that they, like some men returning from wartime service, are susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The largest individual psychotherapy trial ever conducted on PTSD, and the first VA study to focus exclusively on female GIs and PTSD, is now under way at Dartmouth. See here.

Just exactly what is a "hospitalist"?: The director of Dartmouth's hospitalist program admits that even he didn't know what one was when he was in training (and he graduated from medical school in 1994). But he's now a strong proponent of one of the newest specialties. See here.

To pursue any of these stories, contact the Dartmouth Medical School/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Media Relations Office at 603-653-1969 or MedNews@Dartmouth.edu.

Dana Cook Grossman
Editor

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