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Editors at large

Rebecca Coombes: Beware the medicalisation of female genital cutting

23 May, 16 | by BMJ

rebecca_coombesI met two remarkable women this week. Actually, I met many such females at the vast Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen—obstetricians, lawyers, midwives, and former presidents (including a possible future one when Hillary Clinton made a live appearance on the big screen).

In a cast of thousands, activists Filzah Sumartono, from Singapore, and Mariya Taher, from India, made an impact with their plain speaking about female genital cutting (FGC). Sumartono confronted the growing problem of medicalisation of FGC. Indonesia and Malaysia have called for a standardisation of the procedure, essentially legitimising the practice. more…

Trish Groves and David Moher: How to get published

20 May, 16 | by BMJ


In the run up to Evidence Live 2016, we are running a series of blogs by the conference speakers discussing what they will be talking about at the conference.

The highlight of last year’s excellent Evidence Live was, for me (Trish Groves), a short, private conversation. Two doctors from Pakistan (a husband and wife) sought me out to say they had taken part in my Evidence Live workshop two years earlier, on how to publish research. They went on to complete their research and, for the first time, to successfully publish two papers. “BMJ helped us broaden our vision, and changed our lives” they said.

Similar stories, and a growing realisation that we all need to tackle the huge challenge of waste in research, inspired BMJ to develop Research to Publication. This is a comprehensive eLearning programme for early career researchers. more…

Georg Röggla: Health and migration

17 May, 16 | by BMJ

georg_rogglaI attended a remarkable reception with a focus on health and migration at the UK embassy in Vienna last week.

The ambassador Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque shared her personal experiences of when the wave of refugees reached the eastern Austrian border in 2015. She had seen completely exhausted and traumatised children and a pregnant woman whose waters had broken hours ago. more…

The BMJ research editors: Why The BMJ rejected a “weekend effect” paper

16 May, 16 | by BMJ

Recently, perceived shortcomings of The BMJ peer review system have been extensively discussed on Twitter and elsewhere because we rejected a research paper by Rachel Meacock and colleagues examining the “weekend effect.” The paper was ultimately published in The Journal of Health Services Research and Policy. An author of the paper took the unusual step of publicly identifying Professor Nicholas Freemantle as one of The BMJ peer reviewers and implied that he had inappropriately declared no conflict of interest related to the paper under review. Professor Freemantle’s identity was known to her because of The BMJ’s open peer review process. more…

WIRED Health 2016

4 May, 16 | by BMJ Group

Technology magHealthazine Wired held its annual health conference in London on 29 April, with 21 speakers presenting “the future of the healthcare and medical industries.” Thomas Macaulay was there for The BMJ, and presents his pick of the day’s sessions: more…

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…

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