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Happy Thanksgiving from Scope

thanksgiving cookies

We’re taking a break for the holiday, and we’ll resume publishing on Monday. Enjoy your day!

Photo by distoplandreamgirl

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for week of Nov. 16

The five most-read stories this week on Scope were:

My last promises to her: Advocate for lung cancer awareness and live life to the fullest: In the latest installment of our patient-penned Inspire series, a California man talks about becoming a patient advocate after a lung-cancer diagnosis.

Stanford anesthesiologist explores consciousness – and unconsciousness: Anesthesiologist Divya Chander, MD, PhD, is one of a leading group of neuroscientists and anesthesiologists who are using high-tech monitoring equipment in the operating room to explore the nature of consciousness. She discusses her work in this Q&A.

Learning the pelvic exam with Project Prepare: In this piece, part of the SMS Unplugged series, Hamsika Chandrasekar discusses how a group of patient/educators is teaching medical students the art of performing a delicate exam.

Tackling the stigma of lung cancer – and showing the real faces of the disease: After learning that the first question typically asked of lung cancer patients is “Did you smoke?” Janet Freeman-Daily set out to help change public perception of her disease.

Big data approach identifies new stent drug that could help prevent heart attacks: By using a “big data” computational approach, learning about the genetic pathways involved in coronary artery disease, then testing the new theories on mice models in the lab, researchers at Stanford and Columbia were able to pinpoint a potential new treatment for patients who need stents.

And still going strong – the most popular post from the past:

What are the consequences of sleep deprivation?: Brandon Peters, MD, an adjunct clinical faculty member at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, explains how lack of sleep can negatively affect a person’s well-being in this Huffington Post piece.

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for week of Nov. 9

Grand Roundup: Top posts for week of Nov. 9

The five most-read stories this week on Scope were:

Cheating jet lag: Stanford researchers develop method to treat sleep disturbances: A team of Stanford researchers, led by neurobiologist Jamie Zeitzer, PhD, has developed a technique that helps people shift their sleep cycles by flashing light briefly at their eyes while they sleep. The method could someday be helpful to jet-lagged travelers, as well as shift workers and teenagers who have a hard time getting up at the right time.

Dreaming vs. doing: How my definition of compassion changed during medical school: In the latest installment of the SMS-Unplugged series, medical student Jennifer DeCoste-Lopez discusses her views on caring for patients and comments that she hopes that what “remains and grows stronger throughout my career is the passion for being present with the patient in front of me…”

Stanford scientist Lucy Shapiro: “It never occurred to me to question the things I wanted to do”: Stanford developmental biologist Lucy Shapiro, PhD, was recently awarded the 2014 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize for her achievements in science. She discussed the award, her work, and work-life balance in this Q&A.

Being bilingual “provides the brain built-in exercise”: Research published this week in the journal Brain and Language shows that being bilingual makes the brain more efficient at processing information.

Examining the role of exercise in managing and preventing diabetes: In this Q&A, Baldeep Singh, MD, a clinical professor at Stanford who focuses on chronic disease management, discussed the importance of regular physical activity for patients diagnosed with diabetes and those working to limit their risk of developing the disease.

And still going strong – the most popular post from the past:

What are the consequences of sleep deprivation?: Brandon Peters, MD, an adjunct clinical faculty member at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, explains how lack of sleep can negatively affect a person’s well-being in this Huffington Post piece.

Patient Care, Pediatrics, Stanford News

Eightysomething “neonatology superhero” still at it

Eightysomething "neonatology superhero" still at it

archive Sunshine pic

Several years ago, as I’ve recalled here before, I was assigned a story for Stanford Medicine magazine on the evolution and importance of children’s hospitals – and there was one interview I was particularly excited to score. It was with neonatologist Philip Sunshine, MD, a physician I wanted to talk with in part because of how long he had been here and how much he knew about children’s hospitals and the field of pediatrics, and in part because he had what I considered one of the most amazing last names for a doctor ever. (Dr. Sunshine? How cool is that?)

Fast forward to earlier this week, when I came across a Healthier, Happier Lives blog post noting that Sunshine has been caring for preemies for more than five decades now. Has been – as in, still is! At the age of 84, he’s still at it, as I learned from the piece:

Sunshine started at Stanford in the 1950s, back when the Stanford University School of Medicine was located in San Francisco. What this gentle giant has accomplished since then not only forms a narrative of modern-day neonatal care, but also provides a legacy for modern medicine to follow.

Sunshine is the discoverer of a rare and deadly metabolic disorder, a member of the team that first implemented mechanical ventilation at Stanford, and originator of a scoring system for selecting infants needing assisted ventilation. He has authored several groundbreaking research papers and has received countless awards, including the prestigious Virginia Apgar Award in Perinatal Pediatrics from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The list of his accomplishments continues — all very deep, all very scientific and all very lifesaving.

Burned out from glory? Nope. This pioneer is still excited to come to work — even on days he isn’t on duty — to check in on his patients in the Packard Intermediate Care Nursery and keep in touch with colleagues.

Oh, and as for my interview with Sunshine back in 2006: He was knowledgeable, helpful (he plucked an out-of-print book on a Canadian hospital from his bookshelf and let me take and read it for background), easy to talk to, and clearly a kind man. Just what you would expect with someone in his line of work. Or with that last name.

Previously: A pioneer of modern-day neonatology and Neonatologist celebrates 50 years of preemie care
Photo courtesy of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for week of Nov. 2

The five most-read stories this week on Scope were:

Memory of everyday events may be compromised by sleep apnea: New research published in the Journal of Neuroscience offers more evidence that sleep apnea can cause difficulty in sufferers remembering where they left their keys and other daily events.

Cheating jet lag: Stanford researchers develop method to treat sleep disturbances: A team of Stanford researchers, led by neurobiologist Jamie Zeitzer, PhD, have developed a technique that helps people shift their sleep cycles by flashing light briefly at their eyes while they sleep. The method could someday be helpful to jet-lagged travelers, as well as shift workers and teenagers who have a hard time getting up at the right time.

The book that made me go to medical school – and other good reads: In response to young readers’ inquiries about which books they should be reading to prepare for a potential future in medicine, second-year medical student Natalia Birgisson offered some suggestions.

Rituals of the body – honoring the loss of bodily wholeness in medicine: As part of Scope’s SMS Unplugged series, MD/PhD student Amrapali Maitra discusses her experience observing an amputation and suggests the initiation of rituals to “help physicians recover the awe and the empathy toward bodies we care for.”

Some headway on chronic fatigue syndrome: Brain abnormalities pinpointed: Stanford researchers conducted an imaging study and discovered distinct differences in the brains of healthy people and those with chronic fatigue syndrome, a disorder that was once written off as a psychiatric phenomenon because no one could figure out what else might be behind it.

And still going strong – the most popular post from the past:

What are the consequences of sleep deprivation?: Brandon Peters, MD, an adjunct clinical faculty member at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, explains how lack of sleep can negatively affect a person’s well-being in this Huffington Post piece.

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for week of Oct. 26

The five most-read stories this week on Scope were:

Some headway on chronic fatigue syndrome: Brain abnormalities pinpointed: Stanford researchers conducted an imaging study and discovered distinct differences in the brains of healthy people and those with chronic fatigue syndrome, a disorder that was once written off as a psychiatric phenomenon because no one could figure out what else might be behind it.

The book that made me go to medical school – and other good reads: In response to young readers’ inquiries about which books they should be reading to prepare for a potential future in medicine, second-year medical student Natalia Birgisson offered some suggestions.

“Stop skipping dessert:” A Stanford neurosurgeon and cancer patient discusses facing terminal illness: Paul Kalanithi, MD, a chief resident in neurological surgery at Stanford, was diagnosed at age 36 with stage IV lung cancer. In this Q&A, he talks about his experiences and about the importance of end-of-life decisions.

“It’s tough feeling like you’re always in a position to be judged” and other thoughts on medical school: In this post, part of the SMS Unplugged series, medical student Moises Gallegos discusses the intense feeling of scrutiny that comes with medical school and applying for medical residency.

My descent into madness – a conversation with author Susannah Cahalan: In a recent 1:2:1 podcast and Stanford Medicine magazine piece, Paul Costello, the medical school’s chief communications officer, talked with New York Times-bestselling author Susannah Cahalan on her personal experience with mental illness.

And still going strong – the most popular post from the past:

What are the consequences of sleep deprivation?: Brandon Peters, MD, an adjunct clinical faculty member at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, explains how lack of sleep can negatively affect a person’s well-being in this Huffington Post piece.

Pediatrics, Stanford News

Trick-or-treat – (cute) baby style

Trick-or-treat - (cute) baby style

Halloween babies

It doesn’t, in my mind, get any cuter than a baby in a Halloween costume. And 15 babies in costume? Even better! Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital encouraged participants of their Movers and Shakers and Mother-Baby Mornings classes to dress up this week, and the result is enough to make even the grumpiest of ghouls smile.

Happy Halloween!

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Oct. 19

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Oct. 19

The five most-read stories this week on Scope were:

“Stop skipping dessert:” A Stanford neurosurgeon and cancer patient discusses facing terminal illness: Paul Kalanithi, MD, a chief resident in neurological surgery at Stanford, was diagnosed at age 36 with stage IV lung cancer. In this Q&A, he talks about his experiences and about the importance of end-of-life decisions.

Why “looking dumb” in medical school isn’t such a bad thing: In the latest installment of SMS Unplugged, first-year medical student Nathaniel Fleming describes how asking questions is an important part of early medical training.

“Every life is touched by suicide:” Stanford psychiatrist on the importance of prevention: Laura Roberts, MD, chair of Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, had the opportunity as editor-in-chief of the journal Academic Psychiatry to focus attention on suicide prevention. She talks about the special issue and about suicide prevention in this Q&A.

Unbroken: A chronic fatigue patient’s long road to recovery: A video and Stanford Medicine magazine story talk about research being done at Stanford on chronic fatigue syndrome and tell the story of CFS patient “Erin.”

Screening could slash number of breast cancer cases: Research published this week in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention by Stanford researchers offers intriguing evidence that genetic screening at birth could help prevent breast cancer.

And still going strong – the most popular post from the past:

What are the consequences of sleep deprivation?: Brandon Peters, MD, an adjunct clinical faculty member at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, explains how lack of sleep can negatively affect a person’s well-being in this Huffington Post piece.

Cancer, Patient Care, Stanford News, Videos

How a new Stanford program is helping transform cancer care

How a new Stanford program is helping transform cancer care

Earlier this week my colleague wrote about a new program where experienced nurses help newly diagnosed cancer patients navigate their medical care. The video above talks more about the program (“We want to take the fear away from our patients and their family,” explains oncologist Oliver Dorigo, MD, PhD) and how it fits into Stanford’s efforts to transform cancer care.

Previously: Pioneering cancer nurses guide patients through maze of care, Ironman of Stanford Women’s Cancer Center and Director of the Stanford Cancer Institute discusses advances in cancer care and research

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Week of Oct. 12

Grand Roundup: Week of Oct. 12

The five most-read stories this week on Scope were:

Walking and aging: A historical perspective: An article in The Atlantic this week offered details on recent research into how moderate to vigorous walking can improve mental acuity in aging populations.

How to keep safe while operating on Ebola patients: Two U.S. surgeons with a combined 30 years of working in developing countries have prepared and disseminated well-defined protocols for operating on any patient with the virus or at-risk of having contracting the virus. Stanford surgeon Sherry Wren, MD, and her collaborator discuss this in a San Jose Mercury News op-ed piece.

Healing hands: My experience being treated for bladder cancer: In this Inspire column, an anonymous cancer patient shares his experiences and expresses gratitude for those “whose healing hands, both literally and figuratively, reached out to help me.”

Summer’s child: Stanford researchers use season of birth to estimate cancer risk: Partnering with Lund University, researchers here are using Sweden’s national registries for birth certificates and medical records to track how factors during gestation and soon after birth – called perinatal factors – affect cancer risks.

Stanford experts offer more information about enterovirus-D68: In this Q&A, Yvonne Maldonado, MD, service chief of pediatric infectious disease at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, and Keith Van Haren, MD, a pediatric neurologist, discuss the enterovirus-D68 respiratory illness and neurologic symptoms that might be associated with it.

And still going strong – the most popular post from the past:

Researchers explain how “cooling glove” can improve exercise recovery and performance: The “cooling glove,” a device that helps people cool themselves quickly by using their hand to dissipate heat, was created more than a decade ago by Stanford biologists Dennis Grahn and Craig Heller, PhD. This video demonstrates the device and explains how it can be used to dramatically improve exercise recovery and performance.

 

Stanford Medicine Resources: