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Editors at large

Anne Gulland: Who wants to live forever?

21 Apr, 16 | by BMJ

Anne_GullandWould you like to live to be 10,000? Or how about a more reasonable sounding 120?

These were questions posed at an event organised by Intelligence Squared under the heading: the future of health, when death becomes optional.

João Pedro de Magalhães, a senior lecturer at the University of Liverpool, offered some intriguing insights into the study of ageing. more…

Georg Röggla: Choosing wisely in Germany

12 Apr, 16 | by BMJ

georg_rogglaI attended the annual convention of the German Society of Internal Medicine DGIM (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Innere Medizin) in Mannheim this week. The main focus of this congress is transferring knowledge from bench to bedside and a large proportion of participants are primarily clinicians.

I was interested to see that a BMJ topic was one of the main goals of this year’s convention. more…

Medicine and literature: the 2016 Wellcome Book prize

15 Mar, 16 | by BMJ

wellcome_2016booksThe role of medicine in our lives, and in literature, is the key theme explored by the books shortlisted for this year’s Wellcome Book Prize, according to Joan Bakewell who chaired the awards judging panel.

Introducing the shortlist, Bakewell said the role of medicine in our lives was a “dynamic and growing genre of literature and [that] it responds to the increasing eagerness of the public to learn more about how our bodies and our minds work.” more…

Gareth Iacobucci: FOI reprieve is welcome but expect the pushback to continue

3 Mar, 16 | by BMJ

gareth_iacobucci2This week, privacy campaigners breathed a sigh of relief after a review commissioned by the UK government decided not to change the law to introduce greater restrictions on the release of public data under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

The independent commission was set up to establish whether the Act currently allowed ministers sufficient “safe space” to consider policy development, and whether the law should be changed to add new restrictions including charging people to access routine public information. more…

Tony Delamothe: In search of joinedupedness

26 Feb, 16 | by BMJ

tony_dThe stated aim of the recent King’s Fund conference, “Integrating care throughout the patient’s surgical journey” was to align the objectives of the NHS five year forward view and the Royal College of Anaesthetists’s Perioperative Medicine Programme.

For me, the message was that trying to see things from the patient’s point of view gave the best chance of success. That’s because the individual patient experiences healthcare as a single journey, even though it’s doled out in disconnected lumps, by a bewildering array of people. more…

BMJ Open: Five years old and growing

23 Feb, 16 | by BMJ

Five years ago today, BMJ Open appeared on the scene. Conceived as a general medical journal to provide authors a fast, transparent route to publication, BMJ Open could have developed in many different ways. Happily it has developed into a journal we’re proud of, and despite its broad scope, it has grown into a journal with a strong identity. Publishing 230 articles in our first year, our growth has been steady and consistent, and we have increased our global presence every year. In 2015 we published over 1,500 articles from 70 countries. We have carved out a niche in qualitative research and the publication of study protocols and articles less likely to be accepted in traditional medical journals. more…

Tony Delamothe: Dreaming at TED

22 Feb, 16 | by BMJ

tony_dEach year’s TED conference has a theme, and this year’s, in Vancouver, was Dream. The acronym TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, but the annual program of talks long ago slipped these moorings.

Before the main conference began there were two sessions devoted to presentations by TED Fellows, a hand picked cadre of rising stars. Usually, they’re presenting some sort of gizmo, and while there was no shortage of these this year, the shadow of sexual violence and racism fell across the proceedings. Jessica Ladd presented Callisto, which allows college sexual assault victims to produce a time stamped record of the incident and electronically report it—or report it if someone else accuses the same assailant. Amanda Nguyen has pioneered a Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights in the US, with a central plank the statutory preservation of evidence obtained at examination. more…

Peter Doshi: Roche to publicly post trial protocols—just kidding

21 Jan, 16 | by BMJ

“Thirdly, we will post the protocol of our trials as they are started and the results of trials once they are completed on two websites which are available to the public, clinicaltrials.gov and roche-trials.com.”

So states Roche in describing one element of its 2013 policy on clinical trial data sharing.

Such a policy would place the Swiss pharmaceutical company ahead of its peers, even GlaxoSmithKline, generally seen as the pharma leader in trial transparency.

The only problem is that does not appear to be true. more…

BMJ in the news: round-up of 2015

7 Jan, 16 | by BMJ

newspapers1From the Ebola crisis to the weekend effect on hospital death rates, The BMJ publishes articles that receive extensive media coverage from top global news outlets. Here we present some of The BMJ’s biggest stories in 2015. more…

Will Stahl-Timmins: Almost impossible cancer spaghetti

9 Dec, 15 | by BMJ

will_Stahl-TimminsNICE guidelines, produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, are detailed, and sometimes lengthy documents. They are an attempt to summarise all available evidence on a health topic, supplemented by expert opinion where evidence is not available.

The BMJ has recently been publishing quite a few summaries of these NICE guidelines, aiming to provide doctors with more accessible, easy to use resources. I’ve been making a few infographics too – mostly static ones that people can tear out and stick on their consulting room wall, or print from the website. more…

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