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Dartmouth Medicine Summer 2001

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

Inside the Summer 2001 issue of Dartmouth Medicine, (to request a printed copy, call 603-653-0772 or e-mail DMS.Publications@Dartmouth.EDU), read about:

A research collaborative that has saved more than 600 lives: In 1987, the cardiac surgeons at five northern New England medical centers joined forces in an effort to reduce their mortality rates for heart bypass patients. The voluntary, collaborative research initiative now encompasses nine centers that have bypass mortality rates as low as anywhere in the country. More than 600 lives have been saved as a result. See page 26.

Encouraging angiogenesis: Dartmouth's new chief of cardiology has brought with him from Boston a major angiogenesis research program. Dr. Michael Simons's work involves a naturally occurring growth factor that helps new blood vessels grow--offering hope for so-called "no-option patients," whose coronary or peripheral vascular disease is so advanced that they are not eligible for standard forms of angioplasty or bypass surgery. See page 6.

Medical "classrooms" that are nowhere near a medical school: Dartmouth Medical School has long been in the forefront of a nationwide trend toward community-based teaching. Here are some insights into what medical students learn from working with private practitioners sprinkled across northern New England's hills and valleys--and what the practitioners (not to mention patients) gain in return. See page 35.

The return of the leech: It may be an ugly, slimy creature, but the medicinal leech is not just an artifact of medieval times. Surgeons at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center are using the blood-sucking creatures to promote venous drainage in grafted tissues. See page 10.

It's elementary, my dear Watson!: When Dartmouth medical students volunteered to teach health to elementary school students, the intended result was for the future doctors to learn teaching skills that would ultimately benefit their patients. But there was an unintended side effect, too: a recent study shows that children taught by medical students made bigger gains in health knowledge than did those in a control group. See page 14.

The conundrum of opium: The latest street-drug-of-choice, the painkiller OxyContin, has recently put opioids in the public eye. An anesthesiologist on the Dartmouth faculty shares some facts about the history of opioids--their power to treat pain as well as their potential for abuse--and about current promising research into new applications for opioid analgesics. See page 21.

Bursting bubbles: A former astronaut, now a member of the Dartmouth faculty, Dr. Jay Buckey has joined forces with a local engineering design firm to measure microbubbles of gas in human tissues in an effort to develop systems that could prevent decompression sickness in both deep-sea divers and space-walking astronauts. See page 8.

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

Or feel free to give me a call; my direct line is (603) 650-4058.

Dana Cook Grossman,
Editor

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