This month’s cover story is about a topic that has gotten a lot of attention in the mainstream media — fracking. Associate editor Derek Bagley hones in on this topic in his article, “Deep Impact,” as fracking applies to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The hundreds of chemicals used in this process are possible endocrine-disrupting chemicals, but linking fracking with the adverse health effects of nearby residents has still proven to be somewhat elusive. Endocrinology editor-in-chief Andrea Gore, PhD, says that while some may argue that the chemicals used in fracking are diluted, “endocrinologists are aware that even very low dose exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals can have effects in the bodies of exposed individuals.” However, all the researchers quoted in the article agree that future studies are needed to conclusively prove whether or not fracking is harmful to the people, animals, plant life, and water in close proximity to these drilling sites.
Glenda Fauntleroy explores a topic that has many endocrinologists and primary care physicians who treat diabetic patients very concerned: the use of alternative medicines. In “A La Carte: Dietary Supplements and Diabetes,” she reports that research shows that most patients who take these supplements neglect to report them to their physicians, which could result in troubling outcomes, especially if the patients are getting their complementary and alternative medicines from less-than-reliable sources. Brent A. Bauer, MD, director of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., says that it is imperative for physicians to ask their patients about these substances. “Much better for us to be directly involved in helping make sure they have solid information so they can make an evidence-based and informed decision” about whether or not to use these alternative medicines.
If you have an MBA or other business degree in addition to your MD or PhD, you possibly have a competitive advantage over your colleagues, according to “Mixing Business and Medicine” by Melissa Mapes. Aside from information from the book Private Practice: What You Don’t Learn as a Resident by Society member Elliott G. Levy, MD, the article also has a number of business resources specifically for physicians. Moving from the office to the lab, we are debuting a new type of Laboratory Notes article this month, featuring a Q&A with a researcher. This month, Endocrine News interviews Sarat Chandarlapaty, MD, PhD, about his work with genetic mutations and breast cancer, and what impact it could have on the field of endocrinology.
I hope the more than 8,500 of you who attended ENDO 2015 in sunny San Diego have recovered, and for those of you who weren’t able to make it, we will be running a “highlights” article next month. Feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark A. Newman,
Editor, Endocrine News