It was 6:40 in the morning and nearly all of the doctors attending the medical conference had assembled for the first session of the day. But there were no tables and chairs in sight, no lectern, no run-throughs of PowerPoint presentations. All I could make out in the early morning darkness were the unmoving forms of my colleagues, cross-legged on cushions and raised platforms, eyes closed and hands resting with palms upward in their laps. They were learning to meditate as part of a mindful communication training conference, held last week at the Chapin Mill Retreat Center in western New York, and sponsored by the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Researchers measured the physiological stress responses of 153 mothers (about half low-income, half middle- to upper-income) and found that those facing ongoing stress, such as depression or poverty, were either more harsh and hostile or more insensitive and neglectful toward their toddlers. The study, published online in the journal Development and Psychopathology, shows chronic stress disrupts the body’s natural stress response, which is to react and then recover, says lead author Melissa Sturge-Apple, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Rochester in New York. (Also Reported in: Globe and Mail, Live Science, 13WHAM-TV, Chicago Sun-Times, MSN, UPI )
At the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York state, nearly all of the kids who come in with concussions are brought in by their parents. Such visits have been increasing, and many parents seem to have become aware of the danger of concussions by reports on television, said Dr. Jeffrey Bazarian, an emergency physician there. “I think the TV specials on this have them spooked,” he said. Parents may also be motivated by recently passed state laws in New York and elsewhere that require student athletes with concussion symptoms to be cleared by a medical professional before being allowed to participate in sports, Bazarian said. (Also Reported in: Newsday, Albany Times Union, Minnesota Star Tribune, Washington Examiner, ABC News, New York Times, CBC, NPR, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post)
College counselors and admissions directors crowded a hotel conference room on Thursday afternoon, many sitting on the floor for want of enough chairs, as William Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions at Harvard, joined in a discussion on “The Ideal High School Graduate.” Jonathan Burdick, dean of admissions at the University of Rochester, stepped up to call the discussion a “100-pound topic in a five-pound sack,” but went on to tackle it all the same. He said that inquisitive students characterized his ideal, those who might “step up beyond the received wisdom of Lady Gaga and actually think about what she says.”