Doctors treat patients and dispense health advice, but how good are they at following their own guidance? When it comes to avoiding excessive sun exposure, they're as stubborn as their patients, according to a survey by Brown researchers whose results were published in the July/August American Journal of Public Health. Although doctors are more likely than their patients to use sunscreen, they are less likely to protect themselves from the sun by seeking shelter in the shade or donning a long-sleeved shirt. "If we want to get doctors to counsel patients about sun protection, we probably have to learn what doctors think about it," says lead author Christopher Sciamanna, an assistant professor of community health. "I suspect that they must not think it's a serious problem, because if they did they would be outperforming their patients."
If a Brown-led research team has its way, bioterrorism alarms could one day join smoke detectors as fixtures in American homes. Professor of Engineering and Physics Arto Nurmikko said in a June news release that his team plans to build a small, lightweight alarm that will use an ultraviolet beam to detect airborne biological agents such as anthrax. The device could be used by troops deployed in the field or in homes and other buildings. The research is being funded by an $8.4 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
When athletes are injured, what does it take to heal them quickly and teach them how to stay injury-free? According to Clinical Associate Professor of Orthopedics John Parziale '79, it takes a lot: doctors, physical therapists, and professional sports instructors. That's the team Parziale has used to treat more than 145 injured golfers between 1994 and 1997, 98 percent of which were able to play golf again, according to Parziale's July 2002 American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation article. "Three heads," says Parziale, a seven-handicap golfer, "are better than one."