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To hear Susan Choi tell it, the "immersion workshop" she plans for Duluth on Feb. 28 is all about doing good for the community. "It's simple," Choi said in a telephone conversation from her home base in Berlin, Germany. "I just want people's voices to be heard." But in Pat McKone's view, the real purpose behind the event is nefarious: a marketing push by Big Tobacco.
Dawn Drotar was about 7, growing up in the tiny town of Stockholm, Sask., when she had a memorable chat with her dad. "We were sitting down talking, and he was telling me how impressed he was with female physicians, and how much he respected female physicians," recalled Dr. Drotar, now 47 and a hospitalist at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center. "I think that got inside my head from that time," she said recently. "I wanted to make my dad proud."
They didn't bring it up, but the female physicians interviewed for these stories were well aware of a study published in December about the success of women vs. male doctors. The study found that elderly hospitalized patients treated by female doctors are less likely to die within 30 days of admission than if they're treated by male doctors, according to a summary from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, whose researchers led the project.
Immigrations and medicine First-generation immigrants fill a greater share of key medical positions in the United States than they do in the population as a whole. That's the finding of a study from the George Mason University Institute for Immigration Research.
Matthew Sanford was 25 minutes into his presentation when he invited those in his audience to take off their shoes. "And if you have real courage, take off your socks," he said. The 51-year-old Duluth native, a pioneer in adaptive yoga who has been paralyzed from the chest down since an automobile accident when he was 13, was speaking to well over a hundred people at lunchtime on Thursday in the University of Minnesota Duluth's Kirby Ballroom.
Friends of Jeff Sorvik wanted to help his family in the wake of his death in a house fire on Saturday. His family had other ideas. "It was set up as a relief fund for the family to help with their immediate needs, as well as longer-term needs," said Ryan Underwood, a pastor at Duluth's Anchor Point Community Church, which Sorvik founded and served as senior pastor for seven years. "The family is asking people to give to a couple of other designated funds."
Brooks Maxwell likes to laugh as much as any other 12-year-old boy. "Sometimes I laugh really hard with all my friends, when something really funny happens," he said. But it was a little weird, Brooks acknowledged, to be one of two kids in a room full of adults laughing hysterically when nothing funny happened.
Snowed in (to the hospital) This might fall in the category of: They needed a study for that? According to a study published online last week in the American Journal of Epidemiology, bad winter weather can lead to more hospital visits. The study, led by Jennifer F. Bobb of the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, looked at admissions to the four largest hospitals in Boston during the winters of 2010-15. The researchers learned that the danger occurs not so much on the day of a big snowfall but on the days following it.
The flu bug is pushing its way into area hospitals. "We are seeing it," said Dr. Harmony Tyner, an infectious-disease specialist at St. Luke's hospital. "We're seeing what the rest of the state is seeing. We've dedicated part of a floor, our seventh floor, to influenza-like illnesses." Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet also has been seeing more people with influenza recently, said Shelly Demers, director of staff education and infection prevention. Some of them have been hospitalized, she said.
Rob Caskey sat close to his mother, Sandra Troy, who was lying on a bed in a room at St. Luke's hospital. The husky, mustached North Carolinian looked at her with the tenderness one might expect of a man spending time with his mom when she'd been going through health difficulties. But there was a difference: Until this week, Caskey, 48, hadn't seen his mom for 30 years. Until recently, he had no idea she was living in Duluth; no idea, in fact, that she was alive.