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David Payne

David Payne: How to be an academic social media star

10 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

deputy chair of MJA on stage (1)Melissa Terras is the most downloaded academic in her faculty at UCL, and attributes her success to social media.

Eight years ago Terras (pictured below), director of UCL’s Centre for Digital Humanities, was supervising a PhD student’s research into the history of blogging. She started her own blog in response to this, but it was the advent of Twitter and a return to work from maternity leave that convinced her of social media’s potential to raise her profile as an academic. more…

The BMJ Today: Salty sputum and self dialysis for Swedes

19 Feb, 15 | by BMJ Group


What are the long term effects of multidisciplinary biopsychosocial rehabilitation for patients with chronic low back pain?


F1.large (24)Chicago born Frances Glessner Lee (pictured), the “mother of CSI” and dollhouse-style dioramas, features in “Forensics: the anatomy of crime” exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, London.

The 2015 version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (due out later this year) may no longer warn people to limit their consumption of dietary cholesterol. more…

The BMJ Today: Rabies, stroke, and screening

16 Jan, 15 | by BMJ Group

rabies_virus_particlesRabies is a neglected tropical disease that predominantly affects the most vulnerable humans—children living in the most disadvantaged areas of the poorest countries.

Many countries have successfully reduced the impact of the disease by tackling the gap between public and animal health through a concerted “one health” approach. more…

The BMJ Today: Polling day

13 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

deputy chair of MJA on stage (1)Tuesday is the day we change our weekly UK poll, which enables us to promote the new topic in the weekly print issue (Tuesday is also press day). Our current one asks if doctors should encourage patients to record consultations, linked to a head to head article published last week. At the time of writing, two thirds of the 278 votes cast say no. more…

The BMJ Today: My mum and Richard Smith

12 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

deputy chair of MJA on stage (1)Yesterday my mum, who died of cancer in February 2007, would have been 91. I’m not an expert on death and so do not know whether hers was “good” or not, but I’ll never forget the last six months of her life, when we knew she was dying and had to make the most of having her around. more…

David Payne: Digital dilemmas—a day in my life at The BMJ

12 Dec, 14 | by BMJ Group

deputy chair of MJA on stage (1)Wednesday December 10.

8.30am: I’m on the bus into work and checking Twitter when I see an exchange between @garyschwitzer and @bengoldacre about some embargoed papers we press released last night, (including Ben’s editorial and a linked research paper about the association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases), not showing on

I apologise to @garyschwitzer and explain why I think they aren’t working. more…

The BMJ Today: Male circumcision and medical suicides

8 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

thebmj-MSF-Xmas-Banner-300x250The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that doctors start telling uncircumcised sexually active teenage boys they can reduce their risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted disease if they have the surgery. The draft proposal also applies to adult heterosexual men and for expectant parents as they decide about newborn circumcision.

The BMJ’s US correspondent Mike McCarthy reminds us that the CDC tempers its proposed guidance by noting that the decision to undergo circumcision is “made in the context of not only health considerations, but also other social, cultural, ethical, and religious factors.” more…

The BMJ Today: What’s in a name?

4 Nov, 14 | by BMJ

deputy chair of MJA on stage (1)Next time you sneak a peek at an author’s affiliations, ask yourself if they mattered to you. Do you pay more attention to a study from Harvard University in the United States or one from the University of Abuja in Nigeria?

Matthew Harris asks this question in a personal view, arguing that omitting the provenance of research in published reports might reduce bias when readers assess their use.

He describes one controversial experiment, when published scientific articles were resubmitted with fictitious names and institutions to the prestigious journals that had published them 18 months earlier. more…

The BMJ Today: Managers need to get ‘aht the flippin’ way

3 Nov, 14 | by BMJ Group

deputy chair of MJA on stage (1)Many thanks to consultant psychiatrist Geoff Searle for providing the headline for today’s BMJ Today, shamelessly stolen from his weekend rapid response to the essay about “flipping healthcare,” published last week by US authors Maureen Bisognano and Dan Schummers.

Flipping, the authors argue, is the key to providing better care and lowering costs, shifting the power from hospital to community, from individual providers to care teams, and lowering costs in the process.

In times of challenge, they conclude, leaders often resort to asking their organisations to work harder, put in longer hours, or cut budgets, adding: “We owe more to our patients and communities.” more…

Readers’ editor: Inserts in the print issue

30 Sep, 14 | by BMJ Group

deputy chair of MJA on stage (1)If you shake the current print issue of The BMJ, a cluster of inserts fall to the ground, among them a wine club promotion, an online menswear retailer, and a charity appeal from the Refugee Council.

Sometimes readers do challenge the accuracy of information in these inserts, or question our decision to accept money from organisations whose views they do not agree with.

Last year, for example, a reader complained about an insert from the organisation Campaign for Dignity in Dying, which wants to legalise assisted dying in the UK, subject to certain safeguards. more…

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