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Spring 2012

Spring 2012 Cover


A Matter of Taste

Science is unraveling the biological factors that determine food preferences. Next: making people like what’s good for them.

Somber Questions

Though critics call them overprescribed, ineffective and worse, the real story on antidepressants is more complicated.

Enter Hospitalists

Becoming ubiquitous, these on-the-spot physicians provide immediate care and may cut hospital costs. The jury’s still out on quality.

Care on the Street

Homeless patients suffer multiple afflictions that most doctors never see. Innovative programs are reaching and helping them.

The Timekeepers Within

Clock genes keep circadian rhythms in sync, coordinating cells’ essential work and possibly enhancing well-timed therapies.

Homeless Health Care

Peter L. Slavin and David F. Torchiana explain how physicians have taken to the streets to help some of the most vulnerable among us.

Second Opinion

Proto readers assess drug shortages' ripple effect, explain how afterbirth is not an afterthought and describe treating trauma.

Pinpointing Pain

The use of 3-D models to track a patient’s pain has roots in a sixteenth-century sketch by a German master.

Predicting Suicide

Harvard psychology professor Matthew Nock has undertaken a large-scale study to understand why people take their own lives and find ways to assess those at risk.

Comprehension Test

Cutting through the fog of medical jargon could help patients better understand—and perhaps improve—their care.

A Premium on Gender

Insurers attribute higher premiums for women than men of the same age because of the increased cost of women’s care.

The Newborn Score

Lacking a standardized test to assess a baby’s health at birth, anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar created a simple rubric that persists more than a half century later.

Protecting Children's Hearts

A cholesterol test for 10-year-olds could show early signs of cardiovascular disease, yet critics warn that this could lead to unnecessary treatment.

Our Germs, Ourselves

The bacteria inside us may form a symbiotic relationship that not only affects metabolism, but emotions and brain development as well.

Parsimonious Care

The American College of Physicians’ new ethical guidelines has its members separating prudent cost controls from ones that may adversely affect patient care.

Failure Redefined

A mother assures doctors who tried to save her son from an incurable disease that their compassionate care was a true success.

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