Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community

Fall 2010

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Stanford Medicine Newsletter is published by the communications group at Stanford University Medical Center. To subscribe to the print version, send your name and address to:



Making weight loss work

Sam Feldman cocks his head, remembering a kid he used to know. The boy was self-conscious about his weight, and as a result he lacked self-esteem. He felt different from other kids. That boy was Sam before he enrolled in the six-month, behavior-based Pediatric Weight Control Program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. To say he changed would be a vast under-statement. What the internationally recognized program offered Sam, 11, was a way to take control of his own health — something even many adults can’t manage. Starting at 48 percent above his ideal body mass index (BMI), the Palo Alto youngster has worked his way down to just 7.5 per-cent over his BMI. He says this shift was both monumental and surprisingly manageable.

Read Story »

Did you know?

You cannot tickle yourself.


Sound Bites

“It’s sort of like idling the car too high at the traffic light—you’re racing your engine when you don’t need to.”

David Spiegel, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, on overreacting to stressful situations.

San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 31

[The ruling was] “devastating to the hopes of researchers and patients who have been waiting so long for the promise of stem cell therapies.”

Irving Weissman, MD, director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, on an injunction blocking researchers from using federal funds to conduct embryonic stem cell research.

New York Times, Aug. 24

“Teens need more sleep; we already knew this. But we try and treat them like mini-adults. We cannot treat them the same way as an adult, though.”

Rafael Pelayo, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, on the benefits of teen sleep.

San Francisco Examiner, Aug. 12

“When a child is diagnosed, parents ask: Why is this in our genes? Now we have an answer.”

Atul Butte, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, about his study showing that the same genes causing certain diseases today may have protected us from more deadly ailments in the past.

Mercury News, Aug. 18

“A couple of generations ago, the house call was the way physicians would find out about the real lives of people and make an impact in their lives. Today it’s social media.”

Alan Greene, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, on the power of Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools.

American Medical News, Sept. 6


Bariatric surgery let rabbi take control

Rabbi Nat Ezray’s decades-long struggle with weight began early. He joined Weight Watchers in the fifth grade. Over the next 30 years, he lost and gained weight several times over, each time putting on a bit more, until his 5-foot-6-inch frame carried 280 pounds. Read Story »

Field science

In conjunction with Newton’s laws of motion—most notably the one about force equaling mass times acceleration—the San Francisco 49ers are helping physicians and scientists at Stanford University Medical Center learn more about the biomechanics of football injuries. Read Story »

Gardens planned for healing, relaxation and respite

Where there is now a large parking lot, a concrete sidewalk and chain-link fences, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital plans to introduce a showcase landscape with a parklike setting where patients, visitors and staff can relax and play, rest and renew. Read Story »

A new paradigm of pain

Chronic pain plagued writer Melanie Thernstrom for years, motivating her to seek out the true nature of her problem. Her investigation resulted in a new book, The Pain Chronicles, in which she rigorously examines the evolving notions of pain throughout human history. Stanford Medicine News caught up with her during her recent book tour. Read Story »

H.E.A.L. helps children make the move back to school

When Dawn Billman speaks of the leukemia that ravaged her 3-year-old daughter, she praises the medical care that saved her child’s life. A decade later, the cancer in remission, she credits an innovative program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital with fully integrating her daughter into a future she might not otherwise have had. Read Story »

Mobile devices added to medical school curriculum

Stanford’s School of Medicine provided all 91 of this year’s incoming medical students with iPads under a pilot program to integrate mobile technology into academics. More »

Hospital noted for information technology

Stanford Hospital & Clinics was named one of 2010’s Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems by Hospitals and Health Networks. More »



Find out more about the events taking place at Stanford. More »


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