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Dartmouth Medicine Summer 2010

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

In the Summer 2010 issue of Dartmouth Medicine, read about:

Atlas mugged?: With criticism from both medicine and the media washing up on the shores of the renowned Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, two of the experts behind the high-profile research on geographic variations in health care address some of the criticisms that have been made about their work. See page 48.

Is the "July effect" real?: With July 1 just around the corner, thousands of medical school graduates nationwide are preparing to start their residencies. What does that mean for patients at teaching hospitals? A much-rumored phenomenon remains a puzzle, but a recent study by Dartmouth researchers has shed new light on the question of whether the "July effect" is real or not. See page 7.

Subliminal movie messages: Against the backdrop of a national effort to reduce childhood obesity, a Dartmouth researcher has been attracting widespread media attention for a study showing that the majority of the name-brand foods and beverages that appear in blockbuster movies (largely as a result of paid product placements) run long on sugar, salt, and fat and short on nutrition. See page 5.

Assaulting Alzheimer's: A Dartmouth biochemistry lab has reported that removing a specific gene from mice with the devastating cognitive disease reduces plaque in the animals' brains and improves their memory. See page 3.

Out of the shadows: Shadowing nurses as they go about their work has proven to be an eye-opener for medical students. The elective, established six years ago, is both popular and successful. See page 13.

Clarion call: Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim has announced the formation of the Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science. Kim has called the Center a "clarion call" to other institutions to help solve what he says is today "the real rocket science . . . in health care"-the conundrum of how best to deliver effective, appropriate care at a cost the nation can afford. See page 9.

Going rogue: A Dartmouth pharmacology lab has identified a snippet of RNA that may play a role in lung cancer; they hope that modifying the "rogue" molecule may help inhibit the growth of the disease. See page 8.

Back in form: The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Spine Center has shown considerable success with a 14-day program of physical training and education for patients who've tried every other remedy-from medication to surgery-to treat chronic back pain. See page 14.

Dr. Nice Guy: Gastroenterologist Brian Lacy does research on intractable disorders of the digestive tract (thanks to Dartmouth having one of only a handful of comprehensive gastrointestinal motility labs in the nation), cares for patients who come from near and far, and is a bona fide "nice guy" to boot. See page 54.

Better medicine through engineering: A Dartmouth gastroenterologist and his wife-an environmental engineer-have created a computer model to help Crohn's disease patients and their doctors predict with more precision what the best treatment option is for an individual's particular situation. See page 12.

To pursue any of these stories, contact David Corriveau, media relations manager for Dartmouth Medical School, at 603-653-0771 or David.A.Corriveau@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