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Nicholas Christakis

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Following Monday's bombing, Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital called in extra trauma teams, adding 60 doctors, nurses, and other staff, more than doubling the medical personnel in the emergency department. Over the coming hours, the team treated 31 patients.

Widespread trauma

‘There are physical shockwaves that emanate from the bomb, and there are psychological shockwaves as well’

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Researchers are able to identify physician influencers, “network leaders,” simply by seeing which doctors are most “central” to a network, most connected by patient-sharing to other general practitioners, surgeons, and medical specialists. If “network leaders” can be found, then new medical information can be more easily disseminated among doctors, according to research led by Nicholas Christakis (pictured), a professor in the sociology department in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and of medical sociology at Harvard Medical School.

Doctor knots

Researchers describe connections among physicians, explore possible effects

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