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Fiona Godlee

Fiona Godlee: Why we’ve joined 10:10

3 Sep, 09 | by BMJ

Fiona Godlee
I’ve just signed up, on behalf of the BMJ Group, to a commitment to cut our carbon footprint by 10% by the end of 2010. For more information on the 10:10 campaign, go to more…

Fiona Godlee on research in the developing world – for whom and by whom?

20 Nov, 08 | by BMJ Group

Fiona Godlee Most of the delegates have managed to make it to Mali, despite a threatened strike by Air France’s pilots. In the end, by various routes, there are over 1000 of us from 75 countries. Our aim is to focus on efforts to strengthen the ability of developing countries to do research for health, but airlines are on all our minds.


Fiona Godlee: Why pharma should not be allowed to fill the gap in patient information

29 Sep, 08 | by BMJ Group

Fiona Godlee There was one thing we were all agreed on – proposers and opposers alike – at the Great Oxford Debate last week: there’s a big gap in the quality and quantity of information for patients. Where we disagreed – and starkly – was whether the drug industry should be allowed to fill that gap.

Yes said Thomas Lonngren, Scott Gotlieb and Mary Baker. No said I, Des Spence, and Phil Hammond. Proposing the motion – “It’s madness that pharma can’t speak to patients” – Thomas Lonngren, head of the European Medicines Agency, talked of irrational and erroneous prescribing which could only be tackled by providing better patient information from the people who know these drugs best. more…

Fiona Godlee: Where are all the women?

11 Jun, 08 | by Fiona Godlee

Fiona Godlee It’s only since taking on this job that I’ve noticed how few women speak at medical conferences. It seems to me that half the time I’m the only woman on the programme and the other half I’m in the audience listening to an all male line up. I don’t believe in tokenism and anyway, given all the talk of the feminisation of medicine, it shouldn’t be necessary. more…

Fiona Godlee: Learning safety from other industries

27 May, 08 | by BMJ Group

At an international patient safety meeting I attended earlier this month (part of a series, see, I found myself remembering words from Atul Gawande’s book Complications (if you haven’t read it, I recommend it.) Gawande writes: “We have come to view medicine as both more perfect than it is and less extraordinary than it can be.”

Allan Goldman, a consultant paediatrician at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, had gathered an extraordinary cast of speakers to help us get a grip on medicine’s imperfections. Listen to a podcast interview with him to find out more. Simon Yates was there – the man who cut the rope from which his fellow climber Joe Simpson was hanging over an ice cliff with a broken leg. Roberto Canessa was there – one of the Argentinean rugby players who survived a plane crash in the Andes by, among other things, eating the bodies of their dead companions. more…

Fiona Godlee: Recent advances in clinical medicine, public health, and health policy. Royal College of Physicians and London School of Economics. Athens 20-22 September

4 Oct, 07 | by Fiona Godlee

Back in Athens. Much cooler than a month ago and the fires on the Peleponese are out. This meeting, arranged by Ian Gilmore and George Kitas of the Royal College of Physicians and Elias Mossialos, director of LSE Health, has an ambitious inter-professional scope but a smallish group of delegates, more than half from the UK. more…

Fiona Godlee: International Congress of Pediatrics, Athens

3 Sep, 07 | by Fiona Godlee

To Athens for the 25th International Congress of Pediatrics. Very hot indeed – over 40 degrees. Smoke from the fires raging on the hills of the Peloponnese was clearly visible from the plane as we landed. A pall of ash hung over the south east of the city. All television news channels were fixed on images of the flames encroaching on houses and people fleeing on foot. A woman and her four children had been burned alive in their car as they tried to escape.

This tragedy, unfolding against claims of government incompetence, gave local edge to the conference theme – global child health. With only eight years until 2015, speakers at the plenary sessions veered from the impossibility of reaching the millennium development goals to optimism at how much is being achieved. more…

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