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On ‘Sound Medicine’: African childbirth mortality, brain surgery, and early puberty in boys


“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.

How is Doctors Without Borders reducing African childbirth mortality? Longtime Indianapolis OB/GYN Betty Raney, M.D.,  speaks with Anne Ryder about her six- month Doctors Without Borders project in Sierra Leone, Africa. While in Sierra Leone, Dr. Raney helped develop an ambulance referral system and provided emergency obstetric services to mothers in need. The mortality rate for mothers giving birth is Sierra Leone is unusually high, and the project Raney worked on helped reduce mortality rates by 74 percent.

Multiple brain surgeries may increase odds of survival: Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, M.D., Johns Hopkins professor of neurosurgery and oncology and director of the Pituitary Tumor Center, discusses a study that indicates patients with glioblastomas, the most aggressive and deadly form of brain tumor, may benefit from having more than one surgery to remove tumors. Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa and a team of researchers studied the records of 578 patients who had glioblastomas and had been operated on one to four times. Their results showed that those who had more surgeries typically survived longer.

Is medication noncompliance costing you? Hayden Bosworth, Ph.D., discusses why people who rely on medication to maintain their health may have a problem with medication adherence. Studies have shown that patients who need to take medications for diabetes only take them about 66 percent of the time. Bosworth discusses new gadgets like the smart pill and uBox that help and encourage people to adhere to their medication regimes. Bosworth is the associate director for the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care at Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and a research professor at Duke University Medical Center.

Are boys entering puberty earlier than ever? Marcia Herman-Giddens, P.A., Dr.P.H., adjunct professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, discusses a study that suggests boys are entering puberty earlier than they have ever before. Historically, doctors have thought that puberty began around age 11 1/2. Dr. Herman-Giddens is the lead author on the new study that shows puberty could begin anywhere from six months to two years earlier.

“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: 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).