Only Children…and Their Parents: Only children have been villified for more than a century as inevitably selfish, spoiled and lonely. Yet research finds that children without siblings are psychologically quite similar to those with brothers and/or sisters. Today the proportion of only children is increasing. Experts refute the myths about only children and discuss how parents can help children navigate life with no siblings.
The Sense of Touch: The sense of touch is often taken lightly, yet it conveys more emotion than any other sense because it literally has a separate emotional wiring system. A neuroscientist explains the sense of touch, how it works, the power it has over everyday decisions, and what can happen when it’s not working as it should.
Synopsis: Loneliness affects far more than our mental health. Studies are now showing that loneliness and social isolation also have profound effects on our physical health, and increase the risk of death substantially. Experts discuss.
Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Dr. Richard Schwartz, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and co-author, The Lonely American: Drifting Apart In The 21st Century; Dr. Tim Smith, Professor of Psychiatry, Brigham Young University
Synopsis: Seven hundred children under age 15 drown in the US each year, most within sight of a parent or other adult. Experts discuss one major reason: drowning doesn’t look like most people picture it, and so are unaware the child is in trouble.
Host: Nancy Benson. Guests: Dr. Francesco Pia, water safety educator; Mario Vittone, Retired Marine Safety Specialist, US Coast Guard
Synopsis: The cultural bias against obesity is often justified on health grounds. But recent studies show that people classified in the “overweight” BMI category actually have less mortality than normal weight people. Experts discuss how culture drives our obsession with weight and what science really has to say about it.
Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Harriet Brown, Associate Professor of Magazine Journalism, Newhouse School of Public Communication, Syracuse University and author, Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession With Weight and What We Can Do About It; Dr. Carl Lavie, Medical Director of Preventive Cardiology, John Ochsner Heart & Vascular Institute, New Orleans and author, The Obesity Paradox: When Thinner Means Sicker and Heavier Means Healthier
Synopsis: Many diseases have a genetic trigger, but a noted researcher concludes that alteration of the diet can override that programming. He discusses how disease doesn’t have to be preordained.
Host: Nancy Benson. Guest: Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, Asst. Clinical Prof. of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical Center and author, The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny With Diet and Lifestyle
Synopsis: Lung cancer is the world’s #1 cancer killer, but its association with smoking has created a stigma that often stuns patients who never smoked and results in much less research money for lung cancer than for other less lethal diseases. Still, new treatments provide hope. Experts discuss these issues.
Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Dr. Andrea McKee, Chairman, radiation oncology, Leahy Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington, MA; Dr. Heather Wakelee, Associate Professor of Medicine, Stanford Univ. and Stanford Cancer Institute; Dr. Joan Schiller, Deputy Director, Simmons Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, and President, Free to Breathe advocacy organization
Synopsis: Teenage drivers are the most dangerous on the road. Graduated driver’s license programs have improved their record, but a new study finds teen drivers are often distracted before crashes. Brain biology plays a role. Experts discuss distracted driving and ways to get teens to pay attention on the road.
Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Peter Kissinger, President & CEO, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety; Dr. Kelly Browning, Executive Director, Impact Teen Drivers; Dr. Robert Foss, Director, Center for the Study of Young Drivers, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Dr. David Hurwitz, Assistant Professor of Transportation Engineering, Oregon State University
Synopsis: Doctors too often use language that’s indeceipherable to normal people. Efforts are underway at medical schools to teach doctors to speak in plain language. An expert at one such school and a participant in these classes discuss.
Host: Nancy Benson. Guests: Dr. Evonne Kaplan-Liss, Assoc. Prof. of Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook Univ.; Ashwin Mahotra, medical student, Stony Brook Univ.; Dr. Zack Berger, Asst. Prof. of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Univ. and author, Talking to Your Doctor: A Patient’s Guide to Communication in the Exam Room
Synopsis: Since the dawn of medicine, doctors have believed that, once injured, the brain could not heal. Now they’ve learned that the brain can heal, and are beginning to tap ways to make it heal better and faster. Experts explain.
Host: Nancy Benson. Guests: Dr. Norman Doidge, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and author, The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries From the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity; Dr. Edward Taub, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Alabama, Birmingham and Director, UAB Taub Training Clinic