June 6 - 10, 2011

Should a Medical Education Be Free? (Letter to the Editor)
The New York Times
Despite Drs. Peter B. Bach and Robert Kocher’s premise that huge medical school debts “are why so many doctors shun primary care,” I think that this is open for debate. I interact with medical students nearly every day, and while this proposal may affect the choice of some of them as to what specialty to pursue, I think the deeper issues in medical practice are a larger part of what drives medical students away from primary care: increasing bureaucracy, lack of autonomy, increased demands on time and a medical culture that values documentation of everything, no matter how inconsequential, over actual patient care. (Michael O. Meyers, Chapel Hill, N.C. The writer is an associate professor of surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology, University of North Carolina School of Medicine.)

Burn Victim Pays It Forward
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
Burn survivor Kim Anderson was treated by the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center a little more than a year ago. He’s decided it’s time to give back and raise awareness about the institution that saved his life. ...Anderson is hosting “Healing with a Feeling; A Night of Burnin’ Love” and all proceeds from the benefit will go towards the purchase of sun protected clothing for burn victims.

Building with hope
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
...Interest also is being piqued now that construction has gotten under way for a UNC physicians building in the Waterstone development just south of Oakdale Village, Sprouse said. The medical building is the first phase of a UNC satellite hospital in Waterstone. "With the UNC hospital opening up there . . . it will be a very attractive spot" to have a business at Oakdale Village to serve the influx of hospital employees, Sprouse said.

Scientists Find Temperature, Rainfall Can Predict Cholera
Voice of America
Scientists studying temperature and rainfall patterns in areas that later had cholera outbreaks say small increases in warmth and wetness are followed by a surge in cholera cases a few months later. ..."What these authors from the International Vaccine Institute in [South] Korea, as well as the University of North Carolina, and the Ministry of Health in Zanzibar in Tanzania have shown," says cholera expert Peter Hotez, "is that a one degree increase in temperature can ultimately result in a two-fold increase in the number of cholera cases."

Stem Cells May Heal Broken Bones
Ivanhoe Newswire
Each year, approximately 7.9 million bone fractures occur in the United States alone, costing an estimated $70 billion. Of these, 10 to 20 percent fail to heal. However, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have discovered through an animal study that transplantation of adult stem cells enriched with a bone-regenerating hormone can help mend bone fractures that are not healing properly.

Apps for doctors getting popular
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...About 250 U.S. hospitals, including five in South Carolina, use AirStrip OB technology, which got clearance from the Food and Drug Administration in 2006. ...In the Triangle, N.C. Women's Hospital at UNC Health Care and Rex Healthcare don't use AirStrip OB because they have residents and supervising obstetricians in the hospital at all times, said Dr. Robert Strauss, director of labor and delivery for UNC Hospitals.

Identifying Source of Deadly E. Coli Remains a Challenge
Voice of America
..."Can you tell me what you ate for dinner on May 30?" asks David Weber, professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He says people often do not remember everything they ate over the past week. And even if they do, they may not know all the ingredients, or where they came from. For example, he says, a tomato condiment called salsa was one of the suspects in a 2008 Salmonella outbreak in the United States.

FDA Warns Against Use of High-Dose Simvastatin
Medpage Today
Cam Patterson, MD, a cardiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, noted that most patients who are taking simvastatin are not taking the 80-mg dose. "However," he added in an email, "this will further restrict the use of simvastatin to patients with milder lipid disorders and will provide more incentive for physicians to prescribe potent statins like Crestor [rosuvastatin] and Lipitor [atorvastatin]."

When a miscarriage isn't a fluke
...Some clotting disorders, such as factor V Leiden and antiphospholipid antibodies, can put women at a higher risk for pregnancy loss. For a list, see Clot Connect, run by Dr. Stephan Moll, a hematologist at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Artists can design cows in N.C. Children's Hospital fundraiser
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...With some imagination, the parade of cows is likely to bring global followers to the Triangle, said Patti Thorp, a member of the hospital's board of visitors and wife of UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp. "CowParade is an opportunity for artists to participate in an internationally recognized art display," Thorp said.

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