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NIH Record  
Vol. LX, No. 22
  October 31, 2008
Grantee, Alumnus O’Malley Wins National Medal of Science
Grantees Win Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Brady Receives Presidential Honor for Scientific Achievement
Four From NIH Named to IOM
NIAID Wins CFC Director’s Golf Challenge
ORWH Seminar Looks at a Sensitive Issue
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Change Is Coming
Grand Rounds Spotlights Patient-Doc Communication
  Dr. Elizabeth Rider argues for better patient-doc talk.
  Dr. Elizabeth Rider argues for better patient-doc talk.

A guy walks into the doctor’s office. “Listen, doc,” he says. “I got this terrible pain.” That’s the setup for an old gag with a million punchlines. But when a physician has only 15 minutes per patient visit, time spent listening may seem like a luxury, if not impossible. And that’s no joke.

A change is coming, says Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Elizabeth Rider, who recently traveled to NIH for Clinical Fellows’ Grand Rounds. In “Difficult Conversations: Evidence-Based Methods for Improving Outcomes,” she made the case for enhancing communication skills in medical encounters.

“Why do we care?” she asked the audience in Lipsett Amphitheater. “It’s not cell receptor communications. It’s interpersonal.”

NICHD Scientists Discover Mouse Disorder, Search for Human Analog
  Dr. Tracey Rouault
  Dr. Tracey Rouault

Traditionally, researchers have developed animal models in hopes of gaining insight into human disorders. Dr. Tracey Rouault has reversed this approach. She has developed a strain of mice with a fatal disorder of iron metabolism. She is now searching for people with the human version of the mouse disorder.

“We know which gene is affected,” Rouault said. “We have a treatment that would likely be beneficial. Now we need to find out if anyone has it.”