In his year and a half with SI, writer-reporter Richard Demak has quickly become the magazine's preeminent medical and science authority. Dr. Demo, as he's known around the halls, has written stories on Marfan syndrome (Feb. 17, 1986) and the apparent suicide attempt of runner Kathy Ormsby (June 16, 1986). He also has made vital contributions to a host of other articles, including our coverage of the death of basketball player Len Bias (June 30, 1986).
His article on stress fractures in this issue (page 60) is just one more example of his wide-ranging scientific interest and meticulous attention to detail. In the course of reporting the story, Demak interviewed more than 30 people and took 55 pages of notes. Says senior editor Sandy Padwe of Demak, "He simply exemplifies the word thorough."
Demak, 24, who grew up in the Detroit suburb of Oak Park, has always had an avid interest in sports. He started gathering baseball players' autographs at age six and soon had those of Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Al Kaline in his collection. Little League baseball, high school tennis and numerous informal but hotly contested neighborhood athletic events, like the annual touch football Turkey Bowl, all attested to the young Demak's affliction with the sporting bug.
A National Merit Scholar, Demak was accepted in 1980 for Michigan's prestigious six-year combined undergraduate-medical school program. He eventually decided not to go for the medical degree, concluding his education with a B.S. in biomedical sciences. "I got tired of looking at clouds and seeing a cross section of the duodenum," says Demak. But he never tired of sports; in the old days he used to doodle during med-school classes by conjuring up imaginary lineup cards and rosters. Following graduation, Demak landed a job at DISCOVER, Time Inc.'s science magazine, and moved to SI two years later.
Demak is something of an expert on stress, or at least the avoidance of it. Life holds few greater pleasures, as far as he is concerned, than lounging around his Manhattan apartment in an outfit selected from his voluminous wardrobe of sweatshirts and sweatpants, and watching a favorite TV program. Demak videotapes an estimated 20 hours of television per week. After all, what would he do if he missed that 10 a.m. The Odd Couple rerun?
As for exercise, when he was asked recently whether he is a runner, Demak was heard to remark, "Why run when you can take a cab?"
Whether he's tracking down a lead, avoiding a run or just lounging around, we're glad that Demak brought his brand of stress management to SI.