• Worth Your Time: "Breaking the Slump"

    Watching Tiger Woods, perhaps the most mentally tough athlete of all time, dominate the PGA Tour, you can forget how insidiously difficult golf actually is. It's such a lonely game, especially when played in front of huge galleries and millions of TV viewers. It isolates athletes like no other sport, setting them out there on the grass, all alone, with just their clubs, the ball, their talent and their twitchy, tortured minds.In his new book, "Breaking the Slump," NBC sports reporter Jimmy Roberts takes us inside those minds, and it's as hideous and fascinating a tour of anguished psyches as you will find outside of a medical library. In other words, a must-read. Roberts interviews 17 pros, including Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, about their "darkest moments in golf." He writes with wit and insight about "slump shame … a particularly pathetic form of self-loathing," and Norman's historic collapse at the 1996 Masters, when he blew a six-stroke lead in the final round and finished...
  • More Information, Please

    When Dr. Delos "Toby" Cosgrove started his career as a cardiothoracic surgeon in the 1970s, he found that the doctor-patient relationship was essentially a one-way street. "The doctor was the repository of information," says Cosgrove, now the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic. "The patients came to you, you told them what they should do and they generally did it." By the time Cosgrove was ready to hang up his scalpel—he stopped operating last December—the basic equation had changed dramatically. Most of Cosgrove's patients in recent years have been sophisticated consumers of medical services who did their own research and arrived in his office armed with detailed information about their conditions, their treatment options and even Cosgrove himself. Cosgrove realized just how much things had changed when one patient complimented him on his choice of living-room furniture. "I was speechless," says Cosgrove, whose home had won an architectural award. The patient had come upon an article...
  • Al Unser Jr.: "I Am an Alcoholic."

    On the eve of the Indy 500, two-time winner Al Unser Jr. speaks candidly about his battles with alcohol. And what it's like to see that checkered flag.
  • Hey, Doc, Minimize It

    Heart surgeons are offering patients new operations that dramatically reduce wear and tear on the body
  • And the Beat Goes On

    More than 20 percent of the coronary bypass operations in the country are done 'off pump,' with the heart pounding in the chest like the living thing it is.
  • A Little Bit Louder, Please

    More than 28 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, a number that could reach 78 million by 2030. The latest science, new treatments--and how to protect yourself.
  • A Conversation With a Basketball Legend

    Renowned UCLA coach John Wooden, who led the Bruins to 10 NCAA championships, died Friday night at 99. In 2005, NEWSWEEK spoke with Wooden about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and whether the dunk should be banned. Read the interview.
  • Altered States

    Hypnosis can help with problems from anxiety to pain. How it works, and what it does in the brain.

    At 27, Beth, an Indiana housewife, came down with chronic diarrhea that plagued her for the next three years. "I knew where every bathroom in town was," she says with a laugh. But it was no joke. "I didn't really want to go out at night because it's just not fun." Doctor after doctor told her it was stress-related. She tried diet changes and medicines, but nothing helped. Then she went to see Dr. Marc Oster, a Chicago-area psychologist. After 12 sessions of hypnosis with Oster, during which Beth explored the traumatic events that preceded her illness (including her husband's agonizing two-week stay in a burn unit), the problem disappeared. Two years later Beth (who asked that her last name not be used) tried hypnosis during the birth of her second child. Three years after that she went back again, this time to deal with her fear of flying. Could there be more hypnosis in her future? "If the need ever arises, you bet," says Beth, now 38.Despite widely held misconceptions about...

    The squeak of basketball shoes on hardwood, the chirp of whistles, the thump thump thump of the ball. The familiar sounds echoed through the gym on Chicago's Near North Side as a bunch of high-school kids zipped and soared through their best moves. Many of the players were friends--they'd been sharing courts for years--but this was no mere game. It was serious business, with millions of dollars at stake. It was a practice session for the EA Sports Roundball Classic, a national all-star game featuring 21 of the best high-school players in the country. Looking on this past March as the teenagers demonstrated their skills were dozens of NBA scouts and executives, including Hall of Famer Larry Bird, president of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers, and Billy Knight, general manager of the Atlanta Hawks. The pros were trying to decide whether they should select any of the untested kids in the 2004 NBA draft, which takes place this week. "This is part of our process now," says...
  • Why Don't We Call Them Quirky?

    Like the conscientious pediatricians they are, Perri Klass and Eileen Costello keep up with the ever-evolving vocabulary of childhood dysfunction. They know all about autistic spectrum disorder, sensory integration dysfunction, pervasive developmental disorder, Asperger's syndrome and more. They've waded through the medical literature and analyzed the studies. They know the clinical nuances that distinguish the diagnoses. They've seen hundreds of kids, counseled and comforted hundreds of worried parents. And Klass and Costello know how scary it can be when those medical labels are applied to a young child for the first time. "The terminology has real value," says Klass, "but it is also terrifying." So the two Boston pediatricians chose a simpler term to lessen the terror for families. Their solution: just say "quirky."That's the word Klass and Costello settled on as another way to describe and think about the hundreds of thousands of kids who are "outside the common patterns," as...
  • A New Age For Aarp

    William Novelli had a hell of a week. Last Monday at the White House, President George W. Bush personally thanked him and AARP, the huge organization of seniors Novelli heads, for endorsing a Republican bill to add prescription-drug coverage to Medicare. On Tuesday, at a New Hampshire debate sponsored by AARP, top Democratic presidential candidates ripped the organization's leadership for its support of the legislation, which they say will undermine Medicare and threaten the health of millions of seniors. On Wednesday, as hundreds of AARP members called and e-mailed to complain about the organization's stance, a busload of angry seniors showed up outside AARP's swanky Washington, D.C., headquarters to burn their membership cards. While the flames flickered in the damp November chill, Novelli, an intense 62-year-old, sat in his 10th-floor office and calmly responded to the charge, voiced by critics, that AARP is under the influence of the health-insurance and drug industries, which...
  • Health: Breast Cancer's 'New Era'

    Breast cancer patients deserve good news, and they got a nice helping of it last week when a large, international clinical trial was halted early because the drug being tested was found to dramatically reduce the risk of relapse. The findings for the drug, letrozole, manufactured by Novartis and sold under the brand name Femara, electrified researchers and prompted them to abort the double-blind study of 5,187 postmenopausal women with early-stage disease and offer the treatment to the 2,594 patients who had been receiving a placebo. "This is the beginning of a new era in breast-cancer therapy," says Dr. Paul Goss, of Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, who directed the project.Stopping such a big and important study is exceptional, but so were the results: letrozole reduced the risk of recurrence among older women by 43 percent. (Most of the 211,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year are postmenopausal.) Goss and his colleagues in the United States...
  • Fast Chat: 'You Don't Get That Excitement Anymore

    Jack Nicklaus, who had a total hip replacement four years ago, is the spokesman for a new promotional campaign by Stryker Corp., the company that made his hip. He talked with NEWSWEEK's David Noonan and George Hackett about two topics of life-and-death importance: health and golf.How's that high-tech, ceramic hip of yours feeling?It's fine. If the rest of my body felt like my hip I'd be out training for the Olympics. Before I got it I really couldn't play golf because I couldn't walk. I couldn't go shopping with my wife because I had to sit down every 30 yards.It seems like a lot of middle-aged people just ignore their aches and pains.The whole point of it is, if you catch it early enough and get yourself on a postural-exercise program you can prevent your hip from degenerating further.What do you think about what the new golf balls are doing to the game?It's absolutely ridiculous. I'm 63 years old, I don't have near the club-head speed I had in my prime and I hit it the same...
  • High On Testosterone

    Things weren't going well for Tristan Logan last winter, physically or mentally. The 55-year-old, an avid weight lifter with a black belt in tae kwon do, was tired and weak. The amount of iron he was able to pump during workouts was decreasing, after steadily increasing for years. Worse, the antidepressants he takes seemed to stop working, and his mood darkened. "I was going down the tubes," recalls Logan, of Nashua, N.H. Then, during a physical, his doctor checked Logan's testosterone level and discovered it was low. Logan was referred to a specialist, and after a workup that included tests for prostate cancer (results negative), he began receiving testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT). "I was going into a pretty bad depression right when I started the therapy," says Logan. "And man, I'll tell you, three days after I had that first shot it kicked me out of my depression like a mule." Seven months later, Logan continues to receive a testosterone shot every two weeks and, though no...
  • 'Allowed To Be Odd'

    Christopher John Francis Boone, the 15-year-old narrator of the new novel "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," knows lots of stuff, including the capitals of all the countries in the world and every prime number up to 7,057. What he doesn't know, as the story begins, is who killed Wellington, his neighbor's poodle, with a garden fork (the book is set in England). Christopher's determination to solve this morbid little mystery is what drives the action of Mark Haddon's masterly first novel. But what makes the book so involving and unforgettable isn't the deft plot, it's Christopher's voice--the flat, funny, deeply moving sound of a human being who simply doesn't know what love, or any other emotion, is."People think they're not computers because they have feelings and computers don't have feelings," says Christopher. "But feelings are just having a picture on the screen in your head of what is going to happen tomorrow or next year, or what might have happened instead...
  • You Want Statins With That?

    You Know You Should Exercise, But You Also Know That Little Pill Will Let You Eat Rich Food And Still Keep Your Cholesterol Down. Now Scientists Think It Might Even Fight Alzheimer's
  • You Want Statins With That?

    It's Summertime And The Eating Is Easy. As You Throw More Red Meat On The Grill, You Know That Little Pill Will Keep Your Cholesterol Down. But Could It Also Stop Alzheimer's?
  • Men's Health: A Healthy Heart

    Cardiovascular Disease Is Still The No. 1 Killer Of American Men. New Screening Tests May Help Millions Avoid The Emergency Room