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On ‘Sound Medicine’: A look back at memorable field pieces from the past two years


“Sound Medicine” covers controversial ethics topics, breakthrough research studies and the day-to-day application of recent advancements in medicine. It’s also available via podcast and Stitcher Radio for mobile phones and iPads and posts updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Which part of the hospital environment draws the most criticism? You might think that hospital food is the biggest complaint for hospital patients. But hospital noise gets more criticism. “Sound Medicine” reporter Sandy Roob visited Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis to examine the problem of noisy hospitals. Roob meets with facility administrators and industrial researchers experimenting with ways to reduce hospital noise.

What should you know about concussion care? One of our own reporters, bioethicist Eric Metcalf, experienced a close call with his 6-year-old son, Milo, who fell and suffered a concussion while playing kickball on the playground. Metcalf learned a lot from the experience, including how often concussions occur in young children. And, after talking to concussion experts, Metcalf learned key facts about recognizing and treating concussions.

Does new drug signify cystic fibrosis breakthrough? A drug approved by the FDA in January treats the underlying cause of a rare form of cystic fibrosis, a debilitating genetic disease that patients typically succumb to by their early 30s. This revolutionary breakthrough could not have been possible without a venture philanthropy partnership between a nonprofit foundation and a for-profit pharmaceutical company.  Independent producer Katrina Roi reports on this significant advancement.

What is the secret behind the ALIVE program’s success? The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health ALIVE program, or AIDS Linked to the Intravenous Experience, is celebrating 25 years of research into HIV and injection drug use. A large part of the program’s success can be attributed to a single person known as Bert. Scott Goldberg chronicles Bert’s amazing journey from a heroin user to valued employee of the ALIVE program who is responsible for tracking down study participants who have missed visits.

What do nets mean for malaria-stricken African nations? This segment features the extraordinary story of Elise Johnson and her efforts to eradicate malaria from Africa. Johnson, a former Indianapolis high school student, established a project to raise money for bed nets to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne malaria.

Is running without gravity a possibility in your future? The anti-gravity treadmill is a new device that allows patients who may be recovering from a leg, hip or back injury to walk and run without gravity and their body weight getting in the way. And they don’t have to step into a pool or go into outer space for this benefit. Eric Metcalf takes a closer look.

“Sound Medicine,” co-produced by the IU School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM) and underwritten in part by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, is aired on the following Indiana public radio stations: WBSB (Anderson, 89.5 FM), WFIU (Bloomington, 103.7 FM; Columbus, 100.7 FM; Kokomo, 106.1 FM; Terre Haute, 95.1 FM), WNDY (Crawfordsville, 91.3 FM), WVPE (Elkhart/South Bend, 88.1 FM), WNIN (Evansville, 88.3 FM), WBOI (Fort Wayne, 89.1 FM), WFCI (Franklin, 89.5 FM), WBSH (Hagerstown/New Castle, 91.1 FM), WFYI (Indianapolis), WBSW (Marion, 90.9 FM), WBST (Muncie, 92.1 FM), WBSJ (Portland, 91.7 FM), WLPR (Lake County, 89.1 FM) and WBAA (West Lafayette, 101.3 FM).

 “Sound Medicine” is also broadcast on these public radio stations across the country: WLRH (Huntsville, Ala.), KSKA (Anchorage, Alaska), KTNA (Talkeetna, Alaska), KUHB (Pribilof Islands, Alaska), KUAF (Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark.), KIDE (Hoopa Valley, Calif.), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colo.), KEDM (Monroe, La.), WCMU (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), WCNY and WRVO-1 (Syracuse, N.Y.), KMHA (Four Bears, N.D.), WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio), KPOV (Bend, Ore.) and KEOS (College Station, Texas).