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Winter 2007


The Polypill

Someday, we might all be taking it—even if we don't really need it.

Care Across Cultures

As today’s caregivers face a rainbow of cultures, issues of race, religion and language can make or break a treatment plan.

Nature's Design

Often, biology knows best, which is why these medical innovations borrow liberally from natural properties and processes.

Reversal of Misfortune

Promising yet far from proven, this approach to treating post-traumatic stress neutralizes a memory just before it comes back to haunt you.

The Robot Surgeon

A remarkable machine lets doctors operate from across the room and quickly gets patients back on their feet. But will hospitals pay the price?

Message from the MGH

Thoughts on impersonal medicine, by Peter L. Slavin and David F. Torchiana.

Second Opinion

Readers warn against distraction, addiction, diarrhea and more.

Master of Disguise

Robert Barron, who once created masks for CIA agents, now uses his talent for a different purpose: bringing people disfigured by trauma and disease out from hiding.

Kidneys for Sale

Transplant surgeon Amy Friedman argues: Since we can't get enough organs for free, why not pay for them?

Supersize Hospitals

By widening doorways and buying bariatric equipment, hospitals are adapting to a growing populace.

Experimental Deficit

U.S. pharmaceutical companies are sending clinical trials offshore to cope with the shortfall of willing subjects at home. A look at the effects of outsourcing, for both good and ill.

Frontline Frustrations

Caring for patients is what registered nurses signed up to do, not dealing with patients’ inconsiderate families, defensive colleagues and red tape, as these nurse bloggers explain.

Calling Dr. Kildare

Medical-drama characters may have evolved from saintly to sexy, but at least one aspect of these shows has remained constant: the will to get the medicine accurate.

Hindsight is 20/20

Disgraced stem-cell scientist Woo Suk Hwang has become exhibit A in the case for tightening scrutiny of apparent medical advances.

Can You Hear Me Now?

The origins of the hearing aid began with a centerpiece (flowers optional).

A Certain Glow

A virtual map of the veins eases the job of those drawing blood.


Brain surgery unexpectedly impaired a writer/illustrator’s abilities to speak, read and write, leaving her to wonder if she would ever get her old self back.

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