Popular Mechanics typically offers step-by-step guides for changing your oil or building a bookcase. But in a recent feature they seriously upped the instructional ante with an “Extreme How-To” – How to Perform Open Heart Surgery. The expert chosen to guide their readers through this don’t-try-this-at-home process was Medical Center cardiac and thoracic surgeons Jai Raman and Shahab Akhter who helped develop a new technique in heart surgery called the “wrap procedure.” The surgeons do a great job of explaining how the surgery has changed over the years, particularly in the materials used for repairing the heart and sternum after surgery to speed recovery and decrease scarring. “You’ve got to get comfortable putting stitches into a beating heart,” is just some of the sage advice that Raman offers in the piece.
The end of the academic year always brings a bounty of teaching honors, voted on by medical students, residents, and faculty peers. For the 2010-2011 year, more than two dozen awards were handed out by the Pritzker School of Medicine, the Biological Sciences Division, and departments of the Medical Center. For an awards roundup from both sides of campus, visit this article at the University of Chicago News Site.
The pediatric cancer patients at Comer were treated to a celebrity visit last weekend, though their parents and staff may have recognized her more by voice than by sight. Delilah, the easy listening disc jockey known for her “Love Someone” radio dedications, visited families at Comer before making 3-year-old leukemia patient Atia Lutarewych her “Brave Child of the Week.” You can listen to her segment on the visit here [mp3].
Another inspiring story of pediatric cancer was told in the Chicago Tribune this week, focusing on 6-year-old neuroblastoma patient Theofanis Yianas. After Theo’s hair fell out from chemotherapy treatment, 30 friends and family members shaved their heads in solidarity with the young boy. Theo’s doctor, professor of pediatrics Susan Cohn, comments on the importance of support in a patient’s recovery.
What did St. Vitus’ Dance – the 14th century outbreak of weeks and months-long uncontrolled dancing across Europe – have to do with mirror neurons in the brain? UChicago psychologist John Cacioppo weighs in on this fascinating phenomenon for ABC News.
An interesting plan to create “mystery shoppers” for assessing the primary care shortage in the United States was revealed in the New York Times on Sunday, then disappeared by Tuesday after doctors bristled about “snooping.” The survey, which would have been conducted by the University of Chicago National Opinion Research Center, shows how far the administration will go to collect data on the current health care system…and how stiff the medical field’s resistance can be to being measured.