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Child Well-being

4 May, 16 | by Bob Phillips

Acorn_PNG743We, the child health community, are proud to focus on ‘well-being’ much more than numerical things, like fractional shortening, GFR or HbA1c*.

In a recent discussion, it was identified that there has been a sociological academic discussion on looking at how interventions in childhood are more about well-becoming rather than well-being.

Which intrigued me … more…

What you should have done 5 years ago

30 Apr, 16 | by Ian Wacogne

Picture1You read the trailer, you discussed it with your pals over coffee, animated a snapchat story about it .. and now’s episode 1, AKA: “Regrets”

Frankly, and we need to be honest with you, if you’re a month or two from applying for a senior post, and if this is the first time you’ve thought about this, then you’ve left it too late.   If you’re reading this four or five years ahead of application, that’s about right.   Here’s the sort of things you should have been doing years ahead of applying for a consultant post.


>n: Card sorting

26 Apr, 16 | by Bob Phillips

030414_2232_Breathdeepb1.jpgSometimes in interview work there will be a desire to find out about how and why people make decisions. This can be done in lots of ways – for example, using discrete choice experiments, scenarios/vignettes, multiple choice questions, or card sorting exercises. more…

Trailer: Getting your Consultant Job

19 Apr, 16 | by Ian Wacogne

Picture1You may be aware that for ages superheros lived in comics, or graphic novels, with faint nostalgic hints at TV shows from long ago. They emerged into film, then series of films, and then spilled into flooding the TV market with 13-episode long story arcs and much brooding.

Following this media sensation, and after the blazing success of the cinema-esque ‘Tops Tips for New Consultants”, and the marginally less successful sequel “Top Part-time Tips for New Consultants” the studio feel that now is the time to launch a full series of blogs about the transition between senior trainee and early career consultant.

So here’s the trailer … starring Ian Wacogne, Vin Diwakar, and Helen Jenkinson …


Of Vets and Paediatricians

15 Apr, 16 | by Ian Wacogne

giphyI’ve heard it said, by those ignorant the joys of working in paediatrics, that our chosen speciality is “a bit like veterinary medicine”. Presumably this is a dig at both parties – at paediatricians because our patients couldn’t possible give us a history, could they? And also at vets because, well, their patients really can’t give a history either.   more…

Subgroups and multiple analysis. Truth or herrings?

14 Apr, 16 | by Bob Phillips

river_herring_2We recently published, in the F&N edition, a paper reporting an RCT looking at inhaled steroid in wee premature babies to see if the treatment reduced the incidence of death and chronic lung disease.

Did we do a good job?

The trial was prospectively registered, before enrolling patients, randomised and stated it was more…

“I don’t want that needle!” (AKA Do fewer things)

8 Apr, 16 | by Bob Phillips

We (doctory, paediatric types) tend to pride ourselves on minimising distress to children and young people wherever possible. A couple of social media interactions over the last few days have made me re-question that – this one

and the follow-up



Dethrone the “Landmark Trial”

6 Apr, 16 | by Bob Phillips

Geo_Position-512There is a long honoured tradition in a number of specialities, and sub-specialities, of knowing The Landmark Trials. The studies that demonstrated that something works or that some method is better than another.

But Landmark Trials are bunkum.


More than numbers: Grounded theory

1 Apr, 16 | by Bob Phillips

microarray-e12954082868331-300x300New research in a qualitative area can be tricky – how do you know what you should be looking at or how you understand the way people are thinking?

One method would be “grounded theory”.

The technique here is to take a whole bunch of information – unclear on what it might be all about – and look to see what ideas emerge (themes). You then take these ideas and drive forward into the data – or new data – and confirm or deny these ideas. You ground your emerging theoretical understanding in the data you collect

  • Archi

Being a (part time) Consultant

30 Mar, 16 | by Bob Phillips

Dr Phillips, part-timer and fraudInspired by the wisdom of @ian_wac in the previous post, I wracked my brain to think of five top tips that I would give (if ever asked) on “How to be a Consultant”.


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