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conferences and talks

Evidence Live—Dangerous ideas for the future of evidence based healthcare

13 Apr, 15 | by BMJ

evidence_2015Evidence Live 2015 is underway.

Once again there is an international line up of speakers to stimulate thought debate and action. We would like you to consider throughout the conference dangerous ideas for the future of evidence based healthcare. Closing the gap between evidence and clinical practice remains a weighty issue to solve. To improve on the current status quo we need new, radical, and innovative ideas. These important ideas would ensure practitioners are equipped with the totality of evidence and the right tools to fully inform patients about the benefits and harms of effective, or in many cases, ineffective interventions. We are calling these ideas dangerous not because they are likely to cause problems, but because they can often be true and therefore might provide solutions and shorten the gap of translating medical research into clinical practicemore…

Birte Twisselmann: From Harry Potter to Hippocrates—the medicinal garden at the RCP

10 Apr, 15 | by BMJ

BirteLast year we published the obituary of Arthur Hollman, cardiologist, medical historian, and plantsman, who looked after the garden of the Royal College of Physicians in Regent’s Park in London. In 1978 he implemented a new garden scheme, linking its plants and trees with medicinal uses and British doctors. The college offers regular guided tours round its garden, and, with my interest piqued by Hollman’s life story, I decided to go along on 1 April 2015.

The violets and cyclamens were in bloom, although most of the vegetation was still a bit hesitant in the cold weather. The garden includes about 1000 plants with “medicinal” uses and some 200 that are named after doctors. One of the first things our guide, garden fellow Professor Michael de Swiet, told us about was the rather fantastical sounding “doctrine of signatures,” which states that herbs that resemble various parts of the body can be used by herbalists to treat ailments of those parts of the body. Examples include lungwort and eyebright; the walnut resembles a human brain, the tomato with its four chambers a human heart, and the kidney bean, a kidney, and so on. more…

Ian Franklin: Doctors, manslaughter, and avoidable harm

6 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

ian_franklinThe sudden surge in prosecutions of doctors in the criminal courts when patients die is alarming. There is a growing body of opinion that the charge of gross negligence manslaughter is being used inappropriately to prosecute doctors who, in their daily lives, work in an inherently high risk environment.

It is generally accepted that deaths and complications are best discussed in a transparent, no-blame environment, such as M&M (mortality and morbidity) meetings. This allows lessons to be learned and future care to be improved in much the same way that pilots analyse aviation incidents. more…

Alison Cameron: NIHR INVOLVE—changing landscapes

8 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

alison_cameronpicI have been attending a great many healthcare conferences of late—to the extent that they have rather merged into one.

A common thread running through all of them has been the claims of varying degrees of co-production and patient centredness. As a long term patient, who has spent many a year occupying the “patient corner” (near the door) at various events, I am always keen to see how this plays out in reality. more…

Corinna Hawkes: ICN2—a starting point for preventing malnutrition in all its forms?

28 Nov, 14 | by BMJ

Corinna HawkesIt was pouring with rain when I arrived on a delayed flight to Rome for the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), which was organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). But I was glad to have arrived at last. ICN2 had been a long time coming. Postponed for two years—it was originally scheduled for 2012, 20 years after the first ICN in 1992—preparations had been fraught and fractious. more…

Tackling a pandemic: Is Ebola the definitive lesson?

14 Nov, 14 | by BMJ

SAMSUNG CSCUntil recently, Ebola was rarely heard of in the developed world, but during the last few months, we are receiving such a high volume of daily information on Ebola virus disease (EVD) that this blog would have been different if written a few weeks earlier or later. It is worth noting that all The BMJ articles referring to the EVD outbreak have been made free of access.

Aser García Rada_BMJAs we have seen both in Spain and the United States—the first two countries dealing with EVD out of Africa—we share current ignorance in this field with most Western healthcare workers, politicians, journalists, and even scientific advisers. more…

Paul Wicks: Patients at the heart of quality of life research

7 Nov, 14 | by BMJ

paul_wicks“It seems to me,” said Parkinson’s patient and activist Jon Stamford, “that ‘quality of life’ is when you tell me what’s missing in my life. That seems to me to be rather odd.” This polite but piercing insight was shared on stage in 2012 at the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) in Budapest. Traditionally an academic and scientifically focused group, ISOQOL’s members specialize in the development and use of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) in academic studies, observational research, and clinical trials. more…

Wilm Quentin: NCDs and the private sector—part of the problem or part of the solution?

21 Oct, 14 | by BMJ

Wilm_QuentinOne of the last sessions of the European Health Forum Gastein aimed to find answers to the question of how to engage the private sector in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Gauden Galea, director of the Division of NCDs and Life-Course at the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe, and organiser and moderator of the session, asked: “What are the first steps that we can take to activate the private sector in collaboration for NCD prevention and control?” more…

Anita Jain: Overdiagnosis—when is it too much care?

21 Oct, 14 | by BMJ

“Come over for a discussion on overdiagnosis and contribute your ideas to tackle it,” was the invitation. A diverse mix of doctors, nurses, researchers, public health practitioners, and students from countries across the world got together for our workshop at the 22nd Cochrane Colloquium in Hyderabad.

Overdiagnosis, like many medical conditions, lacks clear parameters. How much is too much, really? more…

Kate Adlington: Should the UK move towards greater regulation of doctor-industry relations?

20 Oct, 14 | by BMJ

kate_adlington_picInternational interest in the interaction between physicians and industry has been mounting since the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA) was passed in the United States in 2012. The first data made available as a consequence of this act were published last week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The BMJ published their own rapid analysis of this information, which covers all payments made by US drug and device makers to US doctors in the last five months of 2013. more…

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