I usually read Dr. Donahoe’s medical column in the paper in the mornings and am frequently struck by the number of submissions that run something like this: "My doctor has informed me that I have pyogranulomatous myxosarcoma. Could you explain to me what that is, what my prognosis is, and what the treatments are" (I actually just made up that condition, but you get the point.) I am left with the mental image of a doctor popping his head into the room where a patient is anxiously awaiting a diagnosis, announcing the name of the problem in incomprehensible medicalese, and then popping his head back out and disappearing. I can’t imagine how desperate one would have to be to have to turn to a newspaper columnist for an explanation of one’s medical condition rather than get that information from the doctor who made the diagnosis. I generally hope that the question has just been rephrased to be more succinct in order provide more space for the discussion of the problem, but sometimes I wonder.