No, it wasn't something men said, but the Cambridge (Mass.) Health Alliance has opened a headache clinic just for women.
Located on the campus of the system's Somerville (Mass.) Hospital, the Women's Headache Center is believed to be the first in the U.S., and cost $25,000 for outfitting and equipment. The clinic is complete with a green tea machine, ergonomic seating, soft lighting and blue walls.
Carolyn Bernstein, a neurologist and director of the center, says headache patients need more than drug treatment. She says the center will soon include a yoga instructor and energy healer, although yoga and energy healing aren't reimbursable.
So far, business has been good. The center, which is open five hours a day, five days a week, has treated about 400 women since opening in March, and getting an appointment isn't easy. "There are no empty slots," Bernstein says.
Part of the reason for the demand is migraines affect 29.5 million Americans, and women are three times more likely than men to suffer from them, according of the National Headache Foundation. About 60% of women's migraines are menstrual migraines, the foundation says.
While treating headache patients, Bernstein saw how common they were in women and learned many don't realize that migraines could be linked to menstrual cycles. She even found women are reluctant to talk about headaches because it's not something that's going to show up on any tests.
"A headache is something you can't prove," Bernstein says. "It's something women keep inside."
Bernstein says she will treat male headache sufferers, but "they'll have to go to our regular clinic."
Thanks to Tom Cruise, the California Assembly has passed legislation prohibiting the sale of ultrasound machines to noncertified providers.
The bill was introduced after the actor with increasingly strange tendencies told Barbara Walters in October 2005 that he bought an ultrasound machine to take his own sonograms of Katie Holmes, who was carrying their unborn child.
The American College of Radiology believes the bill misses the big picture. The college would also like the restriction to include businesses that promote the sale of sonogram keepsake videos or fetal photos.
Although the college wasn't happy with Cruise's endorsement, it's happy his comments are drawing some legislative action. "In some perverse way, this may serve some public good," says James Borgstede, chairman of the college's board of chancellors.
Still, some people don't think that one man's actions should lead to legislation. California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore voted against the bill because residents buying ultrasound machines, which cost $15,000 to $200,000, isn't a common problem.
"I tend to think we have too many laws and regulations," DeVore says. "We need not overreact every time something like this surfaces."
DeVore also feels that the keepsake studios are OK and if the machines were harmful the manufacturers would be facing litigation. "Until there is evidence that there is a tangible health risk, I don't think we should be banning these sort of things," he says.
Ultrasound machines use sound waves to produce images, and that's quite different from the radiation used in X-rays, DeVore says. However, the concern is the sound waves create vibrations and then heat, and this could lead to tissue damage after prolonged use.
Borgstede adds there is no conclusive evidence of harm because the ultrasounds are usually performed for medical purposes by practitioners who restrict the fetuses' exposure. Still, an operator of a keepsake studio might crank up the ultrasound machine to get a clearer image, and this could cause harm to the baby, he says.
In August 2005, the Food and Drug Administration spoke out against the keepsake studios and in a statement said "exposing the fetus to ultrasound with no anticipation of medical benefit is not justified."
Holmes delivered baby girl Suri, who appears to be fine, but it's unclear how much exposure the baby had. It's also unclear if Cruise made good on his promise to donate the machine to a hospital. Last week, his publicist's office said it had "no comment" on the matter.
It's hard to know how to react to a name change involving Memorial Hermann Healthcare System's pediatric hospital. According to the hospital's chief executive, Steven Allen, the new name, coming as the facility enters its third decade, reflects the hospital's philosophy of "putting children first." Who could argue? After all, there it is in black and white: Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital is now Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital. But we assume children have always come first, as the hospital only treats children.
As for Allen, he will continue to put children first, just not those at Memorial Hermann. A few days after the unveiling of the new name and logo, Allen announced he had taken a new post as CEO of Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
"Frist, Do No Harm" -- The headline on a news release from Washington-based consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, which was taking liberty with the name of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a physician, in a plea for lawmakers to reject legislation that would have imposed strict limits on noneconomic damages in medical-liability lawsuits. The bill failed to make it to the floor for a vote.