Pat Wingert

Student-Loan Secrets

As millions of high-school seniors ripped open college-acceptance letters last week, a brewing student-loan scandal was dragging in a growing number of schools, for-profit loan companies and government officials.In recent years, while college tuitions have soared and federal funding of student grants and loans have languished, the nation's for-profit student-loan industry has exploded into an $85 billion enterprise.

Step By Step

Forget 2006. It's so last year. Now that 2007 is upon us, we're determined to do a better job of staying healthy. But this year, we're going to try a new approach.

Nora Volkow

Only the weak become addicted. If that's what you think, Dr. Nora Volkow is determined to change your mind. The director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA, part of the National Institutes of Health) and one of the country's leading addiction researchers, Volkow says brain science is proving that we all have the potential to become addicted to something: drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex, gambling, even food.

Drop Those Pounds!

There comes a moment, some time in your 40s, when you climb on the scale and have an epiphany: What you used to refer to as your "high" weight (when only your "fat" jeans fit) has become your average weight.

A Blow-Up Over 'Bioidenticals'

We have to admire Suzanne Somers's persistence. She doesn't give up—even when virtually the entire medical community is lined up against her. Three years ago, Somers wrote a best-selling book called "The Sexy Years" in which she promoted so-called bioidentical hormones as a more natural alternative to hormones produced by drug companies for menopausal women.

Top of Her Class

As with so many other things she did, Emily Perez sang in the gospel choir at West Point with a bubbly enthusiasm that energized the people around her. A soprano from her first year at the military academy, Perez was given the additional role of tambourine shaker on the spirited numbers.

Her Body: Bed Behavior

Let's say you've been married 20 years. You go to bed at midnight and wake up at 7. That's seven hours a night, seven nights a week for 20 years—or a grand total of 50,960 hours in bed with your spouse.

Well Women

You know you should eat right, watch your weight and get adequate exercise. But just as important are regular visits to the doctor and tests to monitor your health and to screen for various diseases.

English Spoken Here

A pristine lake in the Minnesota woods may seem an unlikely setting for classes in calligraphy, martial arts and Chinese cooking. But for the more than 350 youngsters studying Chinese this summer at Concordia Language Villages, it's a unique opportunity to delve into a new culture.

Aging Smartly

With the oldest baby boomers turning 60 this year, it's no surprise that publishers are eagerly churning out books promising secrets to living longer. Most boil down to a few truisms: eat right, exercise regularly, keep your mind active and participate in social activities.

'I Thought He Would Kill Me'

When they were arrested in 2002 for the Washington, D.C., sniper attacks, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo insisted that they were father and son. The two men had such a strong bond that Malvo, 17, even told investigators that he—not his sharp-shooter father figure—was responsible for most of the shootings that left 10 dead and three wounded.

Mixed Signals

Does estrogen therapy add to breast cancer risk or not?When the results of the Women's Health Initiative study on estrogen-only therapy were released in 2004, we were told that postmenopausal women with hysterectomies who took these drugs did not have more breast cancer.

Rethinking 'Abnormal'

Ovarian cancer is a rare cancer, and that's about the only good thing you can say about it.An astounding 80 percent of the time, the disease is not diagnosed until it is at an advanced stage.

Labor Pains

It's the part of pregnancy women least like to think about: delivering the baby. But in the last 15 years, a quiet revolution has been taking place. More women have decided that they'd rather not experience quite so much pain when they give birth.  In the late 1980s, national surveys indicated that only about 20 percent of pregnant women got an epidural—a spinally-administered anesthetic that blocks pain in the lower half of the body—while in labor.

On Call in Hell

He left a desk job for the front lines of Fallujah--and a horror show few doctors ever see. How Richard Jadick earned his Bronze Star.

More Questions Than Answers

Until recently, many doctors who specialize in women's health would have agreed on three things: estrogen protects women against heart disease, low-fat diets make you healthier, and taking calcium supplements prevents fractures.