9/11 Helpers: Some medical associations offered free services after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon:

  • The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery offered free corrective skin surgery for rescue workers and victims with abrasions, embedded glass, cuts, and scars, and provided a toll-free phone number and a Web page for referrals to local board-certified skin surgeons.

  • The College of American Pathologists offered expert speakers and a specially prepared list of questions and answers concerning forensic procedures, body identification, and related subjects.

  • The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Alliance, an umbrella organization for medical societies dealing with trauma-related stress, anxiety disorders, and women's health care, offered free educational booklets, videos, and other materials for physicians and patients dealing with stress after the disasters.


¿Habla usted español?

The University of Arizona College of Medicine held an eight-day workshop to teach medical Spanish to physicians. Taking place from October 27 to November 3 in La Paz, a seaside town in Mexico's Baja California, the course was designed to teach health care professionals how to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking patients. The workshops included medical dialogues, role-playing, cross-cultural discussions, and daily practice and study with workbooks and tapes. By the end of the workshop, physicians were expected to be better able to obtain medical histories, ask about symptoms, prescribe, and otherwise interact effectively with Spanish-speaking patients. The course was accredited for 43 hours of Category 1 CME by UACM; credit was also available to family physicians, emergency physicians, osteopaths, nurse practitioners, and nurses. The course was run in conjunction with UACM's Rural Health Office, a division of the university's Department of Family and Community Medicine, and classes were taught by instructors from Rios Associates, a private firm.

Colleagues, Not Foes: Cancer Docs Meet Complementary Medicine Practitioners

Among the conferences not canceled in the wake of the September 11 disasters was the Fourth Annual Comprehensive Cancer Care Conference, held October 19 to 21 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va. Sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the conference was expected to draw more than 1,400 cancer physicians, nurses, alternative therapy practitioners, policymakers, and patients. Widely praised in the popular press and by leading oncology researchers, the meeting's intent was to put alternative/complementary medical practitioners in the room with distinguished oncologists to evaluate potentially promising therapies. The conference's four tracks include one each on patients, practice, research, and healing. The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, a 14-year-old nonprofit organization, was the conference organizer.

The cancer care conference received funding from the American Cancer Society, Goldman Philanthropic Partnerships, the Kanbar Fund for Innovative Cancer Research, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.


Push the Push-ups

A new study led by Russell Glasgow, MD, and colleagues at the American Medical Center Cancer Research Center in Denver finds that only 28 percent of a sample of 1,800 adults report being advised by their doctors to get regular exercise. Researchers also found that only four in 10 patients who were advised to exercise received any kind of help in developing an exercise plan or got any follow-up support or counseling.

“Physical activity needs to join weight, blood pressure, and … smoking as a vital sign” wrote the researchers in their summary of the study.

The research was supervised by Ross C. Brownson, PhD, of the Prevention Research Center at St. Louis University in Missouri. For more information, the AMC Cancer Research Center can be reached at (303) 233-6501; the Prevention Research Center can be reached at (314) 977-8121.

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