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The article on physician stress (Emory Medicine, Winter 2018, “Spin Doctor: The hazards of taking care of others at the expense of yourself”) should become reading material for pre-med undergraduates that are considering entering the medical profession. I served for three years on the medical school admissions committee at the University of Missouri and the stories in this article are salient to the key question we were asking all candidates: “What do you think would be some challenges that you might face as a medical doctor?” This article has so many examples of challenges, but also good advice. Indeed, the Faculty Staff Assistance Program seems a very important service.

-Stefan Sarafianos, Emory professor of pediatrics

My husband, Ed Francell, had an aneurism that was treated in Emory’s neurology surgical department. Last year, I had a large subdural hematoma drained by an Emory surgeon. Both of our lives have been saved by Emory teams. I was so grateful that you published the article “Caring for the Poor” (Emory Medicine, Winter 2017). I am 88 years old and have worked for 40 years caring for this population and their families. I was a founding member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and served on its national board for eight years. I was a founding member of NAMI Georgia, the state organization, and I founded NAMI Northside in my living room in Dunwoody, Ga. I have known many nurses at Grady as I was a founder of the Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses Group of Atlanta. My practice led me to present workshops all over the country to clinicians and families. It has been my sorrow to see the neglect of people with severe mental illnesses by the government of Georgia and other states. We need a miracle, and articles like yours, to change hearts of stone.

-Claire Griffin Francell Roswell, Ga.

Having just discovered that I am a descendant of Pierre Chastain, French refugee who fled to Virginia in the 1700s, I read with interest the article on the prevalence of Alzheimer’s in the family. I would appreciate any information you could provide on how to contact the Chastain group involved in the Emory study. I was born at Emory Hospital in the 1940s and lived in Georgia most of my life. I have a sibling who died of Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia and wonder if this is included in the study.

-Elizabeth Ralph, Richmond, Va.

Editor’s Note: Anyone believing themselves to be a descendant of Pierre Chastain who would like to be considered for inclusion in the Emory Alzheimer’s research study can contact Melissa Armendariz, clinical research coordinator, at or 404-727-3304.

Experts weigh in

“Having an acute illness like the flu on top of a chronic cardiovascular problem can be a bit of a perfect storm. We discuss a flu vaccine with every single one of our patients who has heart disease, not just to prevent the flu but as a means of preventing a heart problem."—cardiologist Laurence Sperling, director of Emory’s Center for Heart Disease Prevention, to CNN.

"It is important for communities to consider how to enable bystanders to safely assist victims with life-threatening bleeding, in much the same way we enable them to assist cardiac arrest victims needing CPR.”—emergency physician Alexander Isakov, head of Emory’s office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, to MEDPAGE Today about the increase in mass shootings.

"We do know it's probably not a great idea to let little kids get repetitive head injuries."—neurologist Chad Hales, Emory assistant professor of medicine, to CNN about the potential of long-term injury for youth tackle-football players.

We like to hear from you. Send us your comments, questions, suggestions, and castigations. Address correspondence to Emory Medicine magazine, 1762 Clifton Road, Suite 1000, Atlanta, GA 30322; call 404-727-0161; or email

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