June 2007 Letters to the Editor

Comments from readers on the last issue of <em>Minnesota Monthly</em>

Tough to Swallow

As the executive director of a locally based suicide-prevention agency, I was very disturbed by “Bitter Pill” (May) and the wholly inappropriate photograph that accompanied it. The article [which described Kim Witczak’s efforts to raise awareness of possible side effects from a medication her husband took for anxiety and insomnia] did not discuss the benefits of antidepressants for millions of people worldwide. It failed to mention whether psychotherapy or monitoring coincided with Woody’s treatment—something that works more than 90 percent of the time when combined with medication. The article also failed to say whether Woody was fully assessed by a psychologist or psychiatrist, rather than an internist. You would not want to be a family member, friend, or coworker of someone who did not take an antidepressant, and then took his or her life. Last year, more than 500 Minnesotans lost their battle with depression, bipolar disorder, and other brain diseases through suicide. You should be trying to help prevent suicides rather than raising unfounded concerns.


Some of the Best

Regarding “Best Doctors for Women 2007” (May): It would be nice to know what the “threshold established by our staff” is. I trust you know, deep in your journalistic hearts, that your poll is meaningless in identifying the best doctors, as it has no scientific basis whatsoever and relies wholly on anecdotal and subjective judgments. The next 500 or 1,000 doctors would undoubtedly be indistinguishable in their talents from those listed. Maybe “some of the best” would be a more accurate title for your article.

Maple Grove


I smiled ironically as I read your May issue. Having always prided myself on being a unique and unconventional woman who never marched to another’s drummer, I found that I’ve become one of the crowd. My long-time career as rights and reproductions director for the Philadelphia Museum of Art corresponds with the great job that Heather Scanlan (“Special Delivery”) has at the Walker, a job most people don’t even know exists. Then I turned the page and beheld “Maternal Extinct” by Mary Jo Pehl. As a childless aunt with seven nieces and nephews, 23 great-nieces and great-nephews, and even two great-great nieces, Mother’s Day evokes just those kind of sad smiles from my prolific siblings and their children. Then, I recognized in the high-school photos of celebrities our governor, Tim Pawlenty, who graduated from South St. Paul just a few years after I did. I hadn’t even finished reading this issue and you’d done it: You’d outed me as a typical middle-aged, divorced, professional Minnesota woman who should probably go to one of those featured doctors someday soon. Who decided that you get to know us all so well and write about it?

South St. Paul


In “Best Doctors for Women” (May), the name of Dermatology Consultants’ Laurie Arnesen was spelled incorrectly. The phone number for her partner Malinee Saxena should be 651-209-1600. Also, Bruce F. Campbell of the Center for Reproductive Medicine was incorrectly listed in the Endocrinology section. He should have been listed under Infertility/Reproductive Endocrinology.


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