Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community

Summer 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:


John Morton, MD, created a Facebook group to help his bariatric surgery patients share insights and discuss concerns.

Medical center connects with tweets, blogs and posts

From the Library of Congress’ recent acquisition of all public tweets to the election of President Obama, social media—sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter—have transformed elections, media consumption and even how doctors and hospitals communicate with patients. While the use of social media has advanced at a less frenetic pace in medicine, an increasing number of medical centers, including Stanford, are leveraging these tools to educate patients or connect them to support groups. Read Story »

Did you know?

The human brain is 80 percent water.


Sound Bites

“I strongly doubt that chocolate either induces depression or interferes with recovery from depression. This would long ago have become obvious given the ubiquitous use of the substance over the last 500 years.”

Lorrin Koran, MD, professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, on new research showing that people battling depression tend to eat more chocolate than nondepressed people.

HealthDay, April 26

“It’s the lowest rate ever observed in a children’s hospital. It begs the question: How many lives could be rescued on a national level?.”

Christopher Longhurst, MD, medical director of clinical informatics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, on research showing that a significant decrease in hospital-wide mortality rates can be associated with use of a computerized physician order-entry system.

Reuters, May 3

“In some ways, it’s good we don’t remember our dreams very well. You’d constantly be saying, ‘Did that happen, or was it a dream?”

William Dement, MD, PhD, the Lowell W. and Josephine Q. Berry Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, on how the continuity of real-life experiences helps you to distinguish between waking life and the dream world., May 5

“Lots of people are frustrated because they went on the same diet that their friend went on, and their friend lost more weight than they did. Hopefully this study will explain part of that.”

Christopher Gardner, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, on a Stanford study suggesting that a genetic test can tell which diet is best suited for individual weight loss.



Back to the bedside

“What do you notice about this patient?” Abraham Verghese, MD, asked the four students as he nudged them closer to the bed. The patient, a 44-year-old woman, smoothed her blondish hair and adjusted her hospital gown to cover herself. Well, her sclera (the whites of her eyes) look a bit yellow, one volunteered. Verghese, a professor of medicine, nodded. Read Story »

The transformation of the traditional operating room

As minimally invasive surgical procedures increasingly involve smaller incisions, shorter recovery times and less blood loss, hospitals are being dramatically redesigned to support new techniques and technologies. Read Story »

Plugging in to the Electronic Health Record

It’s no secret that health institutions seriously lag behind other sectors of the American economy in using technology for everyday transactions. Through the economic stimulus package, the Obama administration has allocated $19.2 billion to improve health information technology. Read Story »

Cystic fibrosis program grows up

In her sophomore year at Stanford, Molly Pam had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to board a research vessel for a month long trip in the Sea of Cortez. Taking Holistic Biology, an interdisciplinary course on the history, biology and literature of Monterey, Calif., and Baja, Mexico, would be cool, she thought. Read Story »

'An Evening in Wonderland’ for hospital schoolchildren

The girls wore high heels and cocktail dresses. The boys wore dress shirts that came untucked as the night wore on. When Justin Bieber’s “Eenie Meenie” began to play over the sound system, a girl put her hand over her mouth, squealed and started dancing with friends. Read Story »

Genome analyzed for disease risk

For the first time, researchers have used a healthy person’s complete genome sequence to predict his risk for dozens of diseases and how he will respond to common medications. More »


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



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