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...