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The BMJ Today: How much do you know about mind altering drugs?

29 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

tiago_villanuevaMartin Mckee, a prominent public health academic and a prolific writer for The BMJ, is featured this week in the always entertaining BMJ Confidential. As professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, his work has had worldwide impact. He is constantly travelling around the world because of his work, and admits that he has always had an interest in foreign countries since he was a child. After doing the Interrail when he was 15 and visiting Greece and the Balkans, he never stopped travelling. more…

Chris Naylor: Is mental health finally becoming a political priority?

29 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

Last week saw announcements on mental health from both the government and the opposition. With the Liberal Democrats pledging to put mental health on the front page of their election manifesto, and Andy Burnham, Shadow Secretary of State for Health, making mental health a core part of his concept of “whole person care,” are we starting to see mental health becoming a higher profile political issue? more…

Rosalind McCollum: Reflections on Ebola from my time in Sierra Leone

28 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

Rosalind McCollumIt was a rare privilege to return to Sierra Leone for a couple of months on a break from my PhD studies, where I joined former colleagues at Concern Worldwide in training health workers, volunteers, support staff, and community members on infection prevention and control at peripheral health units as part of the response to Ebola. Concern Worldwide has worked in Sierra Leone since the civil war in 1996, initially providing humanitarian assistance before transitioning to development work. more…

Rebecca Stout: To apply or not to apply? Why some junior doctors are taking years out instead of going straight into training

28 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

rebecca_stoutA recent news article in The BMJ told us that the figures from the UK Foundation Programme Office show that the number of foundation year 2 (FY2) doctors applying straight into a training post has fallen again: “in August 2014 (it) was 59%—down from 64% in 2013, 67% in 2012, and 71% in 2011.” As a foundation year 2 doctor who decided this year not to apply for training I am going examine why I think this is becoming an ever more popular choice. more…

The BMJ Today: We may need more GPs, but where will they come from?

28 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

abi_rimmerIntegrating health and social care is Labour’s main objective for the NHS, Gareth Iacobbuci reports in The BMJ today.

Labour has also reiterated its plan to train and hire more doctors, nurses, care workers, and midwives, paid for by £2.5bn raised through cracking down on tax avoidance, the “mansion tax,” and a levy on tobacco firms. more…

Ohad Oren and Michal Oren on the “Cordon Sanitaire Hospital:” A vision being fulfilled

27 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

Credit: Herbert Bishko

Credit: Herbert Bishko

michal_oren3

Seven years ago, we outlined our vision of a humanitarian hospital. As Israelis who had witnessed the suffering of the citizens of Gaza, we felt compelled to develop a model that would improve their overwhelming deficiencies in medical care. We envisioned a medical facility that would be dedicated to the care of wounded Palestinians at times of war. According to our model, deployable medical teams of all nationalities, would provide high quality emergency care in the framework of this hospital. We described our vision in a blog and published it in The BMJ. The responses were instantaneous. A pulmonologist, a surgeon, and a paediatrician were among the many who shared their enthusiasm and motivated us to “cross dividing lines and serve humanity.” One sensed a “glimmer of hope” in a relentlessly bloody conflict. Another believed that our dream was possible if “enough people take up the call.” One even wrote that our blog should be “circulated to Israeli and Palestinian leaders and to many more.” more…

Richard Smith: Loneliness—the “disease” that medicine has promoted but cannot help

27 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

richard_smith_2014According to the Canadian psychologist Ami Rokach who has long studied it, “acute loneliness is a terrorising pain, an agonising and frightening experience that leaves a person vulnerable, shaken, and often wounded.” In our world of anomie and divorce and where medicine has extended life beyond usefulness, loneliness is one of the main causes of suffering, and it’s a cause where medicine has nothing to offer. more…

The BMJ Today: Learning new lessons from the young

27 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

Emma-ParishIn a week when the first successful organ donation from a newborn was carried out in the UK, The BMJ seems to also be learning new lessons from the youngest in our society.

The latest State Of The Art (SOTA) review by Eugene Chang discusses the increase in preterm birth rates worldwide (11.1% of all deliveries in 2010), the consequences of early delivery, and the role of neuroprotection. Chang looks at the current evidence for management, including the use of maternal steroids for those at high risk of preterm delivery, and the controversies around the safety of magnesium sulfate. The related infographic succinctly illustrates the neurodevelopmental consequences of preterm delivery. more…

Ferelith Gaze: Clarity and stability for the NHS in a time of political uncertainty

26 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

Ferelith_gazeWe are all prey to systemic amnesia, and in the final 100 days before the 2015 general election, we need to be mindful of the particular vulnerability of the NHS to political soul searching. After all, the NHS has, as the Institute for Government notes, been reorganised 20 times in 41 years.

Clearly, change is not new to the NHS, even while its foundations have remained strong. Throughout its extraordinary history the NHS has adapted to patient needs and medical advances, evolved and innovated. It is internationally renowned for its “world-leading … commitment to health and healthcare as a human right,” and ranks first among comparable countries for quality, access, and efficiency. more…

The BMJ Today: Managing multimorbidity in a monomorbid world

26 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

navjoyt_ladherThe good news is that life expectancy is increasing around the world and we are all living longer. The less good news is that as we get older, we are acquiring a growing number of chronic diseases.

Multimorbidity—defined as the presence of two or more conditions in an individual—is increasingly common. It presents a number of challenges for patients and healthcare professionals, particularly as our systems and research are so focused on single conditions. more…

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