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Vol. LXVII, No. 2
January 16, 2015

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NCCIH Straus Lecture Set, Jan. 26

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health will hold the sixth annual Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary Health Therapies on Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. Speakers Dr. Jerome Groopman, Dina and Raphael Recanati chair of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of experimental medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Dr. Pamela Hartzband, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and attending physician in the division of endocrinology at Beth Israel, will present “When Experts Disagree: The Art of Medical Decision-Making.”

The husband-and-wife team will present a new way to make the best medical decisions. They reveal that each of us has a “medical mind,” a highly individual approach to weighing the risks and benefits of treatment. To reveal our unique medical minds, they will present probing questions. Are you a minimalist or a maximalist, a believer or a doubter, do you look for natural healing or the latest technology?

Groopman and Hartzband explain how pitfalls in thinking and the way statistics are presented in pharmaceutical advertisements, the news media and even scientific reports can mislead all of us. The talk will demonstrate the contrast between the role of population guidelines with the care of the individual and explain the complexities of end-of-life care—all factors that contribute to a person’s “medical mind.”

Groopman’s research interests include studying how viruses cause immune deficiency and cancer, the role of endocannabinoids in hematopoiesis, mechanisms of liver injury due to hepatitis C and the effects of novel cell cycle inhibitors against mantle cell lymphoma. He has been integral in developing many AIDS-related therapies. Hartzband’s clinical interests include thyroid disorders, adrenal and pituitary disorders, osteoporosis and calcium disorders. Together, they co-authored the book How Doctors Think and write a monthly column for the American College of Physicians’ publication ACP Internist.

The lecture series was established in honor of Straus, founding director of NCCAM (predecessor of NCCIH) and an internationally recognized clinician-scientist. Under his leadership, research on complementary health therapies grew threefold.

All are invited to attend the lecture. It will also be videocast at

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