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Dartmouth Medicine Spring 2006

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

In the Spring 2006 issue of Dartmouth Medicine, read about:

From bed curtains to curtain walls: An architecture critic assesses a major, four-year expansion project at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center-though it's a facility about which he can't really be dispassionate, he admits. "I wonder," he writes, how many other architecture critics "try to write about buildings within which they've cried in front of strangers." See page 28.

Candid conversations: A Dartmouth cardiologist has done something very unusual, bringing together all the players in the development of medical devices for candid discussions at an annual retreat. From researchers to regulators, bankers to manufacturers, he's inviting everyone into the same room-and working out some of the wrinkles in the system. See page 10.

A complicated question: It's the complications of diabetes-blindness, circulatory problems, renal damage-that make the disease a killer. Experience has shown that diabetics who control their blood sugar usually, but not always, do better. Now, a Dartmouth team is trying to tease out what differentiates diabetics who suffer serious complications from those who don't. See page 4.

Chasing cholera: The world has been in the grip of a little-publicized cholera pandemic since 1961, according to the World Health Organization, yet finding an effective vaccine has so far eluded medical science. But a recent paper in Nature by a Dartmouth microbiologist suggests a promising new line of attack. See page 3.

All that glitters . . .: California was the first state selected by the nationally known Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care team for detailed city-by-city analysis. They identified wide variations in the cost and outcomes of care from one end of the Golden State to the other. See page 6.

On the home front: Combat doesn't just hurt soldiers on the field of battle. Young veterans who are stateside exhibited definite psychological effects when the action picked up in Iraq, according to a study by two Dartmouth researchers. See page 5.

Heart of the matter: In the past 20 years, there have been many (costly) innovations in the care of heart attack patients. Have these advances proven their worth? "Maybe" concluded a Dartmouth study; survival is up overall, but outcomes are worse in regions where more is spent. See page 7.

Counting doctors: A researcher at Dartmouth is countering the conventional wisdom that the nation's aging population calls for more doctors. Regions with lower physician-to-patient ratios actually showed better outcomes for elderly patients, he found. See page 8.

Making a mark on policy: Busy medical students usually get no further in affecting health-care policy than marking a ballot in the voting booth. But an active committee at Dartmouth Medical School is changing that-in the hope of changing the future of health care. See page 13.

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



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