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NIH Record  
Vol. LIX, No. 20
  October 5, 2007
 Features
NIH Invests in Innovation, New
Investigators
NIH Expands CTSA Consortium
NIH Intramural Sequencing Center Marks 10th Anniversary
Minority Scholars Present at Scientific Meeting
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Rest for the Weary?
Shorter Work Shifts Suggested for Physicians
  Dr. Christopher Landrigan suggests physicians work fewer consecutive hours to improve patient safety.
  Dr. Christopher Landrigan suggests physicians work fewer consecutive hours to improve patient safety.

On call in the intensive care unit, Dr. Christopher Landrigan, a second-year resident at Children's Hospital Boston, was getting a rare couple of hours of shut-eye in a nearby break room. Suddenly he was shaken awake by another intern. ICU had been calling Landrigan. "They need you now!" his colleague told him. A 9-year-old with asthma needed to be intubated right away. As fellows and others looked on in amazement, Landrigan jumped up groggily, ran across the hall and-instead of tending to his patient-began to brush his teeth!

The incident-not the first time he'd had no recollection of an emergency call nor of the medical orders he later gave-would be recounted afterwards humorously by friends. But it bothered Landrigan. It was, he said, a moment of epiphany. "What am I doing?" he remembered thinking to himself. "Is this really a rational way to be providing care? Am I the only one like this?"
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What We Know vs. What Makes Sense
Kramer Spotlights Lung Cancer
  Dr. Barry Kramer accepts plaque in memory of his mentor,
  Dr. Barry Kramer accepts plaque in memory of his mentor, Dr. Daniel Ihde.

Dr. Barry Kramer thinks the promise of lung cancer screening has not yet been realized, and that large-scale randomized trials of screening are crucial to closing the gap.

"In the field of cancer screening," he recently told a Grand Rounds audience in Lipsett Amphitheater, "it's important to sort out what is known versus what makes sense"-to apply science, not intuition.
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