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University

High school's Faustian bargain: academic success can lead to lonliness

11/23/2010

Girl reading Many youth make it through high school with a shelf full of trophies and awards. There’s not much that would make the average parent more proud of their child than to see their names listed on the honor roll at school or to be valedictorian.

For some youth - especially some minorities - being a shiny success in academics leads to many lonely days.

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University

Education doesn't start with teachers

11/22/2010

Classroom_Urumqi_No_1_high_School It seems every week now, local school districts and state and federal governments are announcing cuts on educational budgets with the ultimate impact on our children and their greatest resource; their minds.

Some people think they have better ideas.  Bill Gates, founder and former chairman of Microsoft Corporation, has been one of the most outspoken critics on educational reform in the wake of budget cuts. In the wake of stimulus money running out in school district, Gates has urged school budget officials to compensate based on teacher excellence; not on seniority or education. And, more importantly, to reward teachers based on their ability to control classrooms, educate troubled children, and include families in the process of educating their youngsters.

This agenda for schools assumes, however, that teachers can control the most significant variables impacting a child’s performance in school.  Is this really the case? 

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Alumni Messenger

Saybrook Alumni and Student Publishing Opportunity in Telepathy, Alternate States of Consciousness, and Dreaming

11/19/2010
Stan Krippner is co-coordinating a special issue for the Neuroquantology Journal on the topic,Telepathy, Alternate States of Consciousness, and Dreaming. The journal founder and editor, Sultan Tarlaci, MD, is requesting 7 or 8 high-quality, publishable contributions for the June 2011 issue of the journal and thought that alumni Saybrook alumni and students might be interested. Your submission...

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Alumni Messenger

Alumnus H.D. Kirkpatrick, PhD '78 Releases New Book

11/19/2010
Alumnus H.D. Kirkpatrick, PhD '78 Releases New Book Alienation of Affection May 2010 From Amazon: This psychological mystery goes to the heart of alienation.... Available at Amazon.com

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Alumni Messenger

Alumna Rivka Bertisch-Meir, PhD '05 Awarded Fellowship Status in the Eastern Psychological Association

11/19/2010
Alumna Rivka Bertisch-Meir, PhD '05 Awarded Fellowship Status in the EPA, Eastern Psychological Association Rivka Bertisch Meir, PhD '05, MPH, LMHC www.DoctorRivka.com

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Alumni Messenger

Save the Date, Sunday, January 16, 2011: Saybrook Alumni Gathering, Alumni - Student Mixer, Dinner, and Keynote Speech

11/19/2010
Save the Date, Sunday, January 16, 2011: Saybrook Alumni Gathering, Alumni - Student Mixer, Dinner, and Keynote Speech 4:00 - 5:00 PM Alumni Gathering 5:00 - 6:00 PM Alumni - Student Mixer and Regional Meeting 6:00 - 7:00 PM Dinner with Fellow Alumni and Students 7:30 PM Keynote Speech by Chip Conley Saybrook Honorary Doctorate Recipient and author of Peak, Inside Change, and other best...

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University

The search for meaning is NOT a mental illness!

11/19/2010

Something is wrong in the world of psychiatry. DSM 4

It’s not just that the new edition of the medical profession’s Bible, the DSM 5, was originally due to be released in 2012, but has now been delayed to 2013. 

It’s that the whole reason a new DSM is deemed necessary is that we’ve made recent advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, and brain imagining.  You CAN’T have a diagnostic manual that doesn’t represent brain imaging! 

The trouble with this rational is:  there is not a single biological test that will be included in the diagnostic criteria sets of the DSM-V. So we need a manual about mental illness that includes our knowledge of biology and neuroscience, but we’re not actually going to include these things in the final result.

It seems the methodology of the psychiatric Bible is not as seamless as its proponents would like us to believe.

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University

Do parents know that antibiotics for kids sometimes do more harm than good?

11/18/2010

The last thing parents want to see is their child in pain – and the pain and discomfort of an ear infection is a time of sadness, sleeplessness nights and worry for everyone.  But it is possible to make a bad thing worse. 

Most of the time, the parents’ immediate response is to see a physician who will then make the make their own “immediate” decision for treatment – usually antibiotics.  For many years the first line of treatment for ear infections in children has been a full regimen of pills for 7-14 days. Children usually get better, but at what cost?  

A recent research study published in the November 17th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) explores the cost/benefit of using this traditional treatment method, and what the researchers found reinforced previous studies on antibiotic use for treating ear infections:  don’t do it.

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University

Your energy drink is not a revolution

11/17/2010

569px-TNT_LIquid_Dynamite Red Bull…Energy Star…Starbucks Shots…o yes and in a bind--don’t forget Five Hour Energy. Welcome to American Society. Do more, with less and do it better! It seems plausible that in the near future, some pharmaceutical company or corporation will find a way to give caffeine by IV ... FDA approved, of course!

There’s one hitch:  recently the food gurus in the Food and Drug Administration are clipping the wings of energy drinks that combine alcohol and caffeine.  This is none too soon.

While promoted for their beneficial aspects, many such energy drinks are said to cause severe health concerns, including sudden death (yikes!), unexpected illness, and conditions that mirror heart attacks. Medical officials have spoken out about the dangerous effects of the drink saying that the caffeine masks the effects of the alcohol, keeping the consumer from adequately gauging their blood alcohol level while providing increased energy to continue alcohol consumption. Additionally, no studies have yet adequately measured what amounts of these drinks should be considered safe or dangerous.

The New York Times suggests that after a year of study the FDA is likely to decide the fate of such energy/alcohol drinks in the coming week, perhaps as early as Wednesday. If the FDA finds the drinks are dangerous, expect a challenge.  The most popular alcoholic energy drink, Four Loko, has reported sales of over $144 million each year. 

Is this really all about energy and focused attention, or is it about mood enhancement? 

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University

Guided imaging comes out of the wilderness

11/16/2010

Alaska_locator Complementary medicine has taken some big steps in America’s biggest state. 

A program of guided imagery for those who have undergone cancer treatments will be utilized at Alaska Regional Hospital – and the State of Alaska’s insurance carrier, Wells Fargo Alaska Care, will pay for state employees and retirees to go through it. 

The Commissioner of Administration for Alaska, Annette Kreitzer, has also asked Lyn Freeman, the Saybrook alumna who created and runs the guided imagery program, to develop similar mind-body based programs for state employees and retirees with hypertension, diabetes, and stress. 

Much to Freeman’s surprise it’s being most embraced by oncologists, who have reputations as the most by-the-book, no nonsense doctors there are.

“I’d been expecting resistance,” says Freeman. “But in fact most oncologists I talked to said ‘it’s about time.’”

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