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George Gillett: The NHS and immigration

1 Sep, 15 | by BMJ

george_gillettLast February, the UK Home Office announced changes to immigration rules that would mean non-EU nurses would not have their visa applications prioritised. The decision not to add nursing to the list of “shortage occupations” reflects the government’s belief that nursing posts can be filled without international recruitment, but has received criticism from the Royal College of Nursing and a number of NHS managers. Clinical directors went as far as branding the move a “complete disaster,” while NHS Employers wrote to the Home Office to protest their decision earlier this month. more…

Liz Wager: GPP3—thoughts on becoming a guideline grandmother

26 Aug, 15 | by BMJ


The third version of the Good Publication Practice guidelines (GPP3) were published last week which makes me a guideline grandmother. Like any grandparent I am excited and proud of my “offspring,” slightly nervous about how the world will treat it, but hopeful that it will grow up to do something useful. And, like a grandmother, I can’t resist telling you some family history. more…

Daniel S Goldberg: COI bingo

24 Aug, 15 | by BMJ

goldberg_danielI am fortunate to possess content expertise on ethics and conflicts-of-interest (“COI”) in medicine and science, and I teach it in a variety of health professional settings. After reading the latest news story on a commercial industry’s partnership with academic scientists, I grew tired enough of seeing the same (to my mind) poor rationalizations for the permissibility of such an arrangement to create this handy COI bingo chart. more…

Neel Sharma and Chaoyan Dong: Coalition in medical education

21 Aug, 15 | by BMJ

Trudie Roberts and Ronald Harden authored a commentary earlier this year which focused on enhancing existing collaborations to solve the challenges in medical education. We wanted to share our insights.

There is certainly need for improvement as alluded to in Roberts’s and Harden’s article and whilst significant steps have already taken place in this regard, more can be done. Without pushing the boundaries currently in place there is no chance to better what we already know or do. Currently medical schools in the UK have different exiting exams for their students. And whilst they are expected to follow the GMC’s Tomorrow’s Doctors dictum, how can we truly quantify this when disparity exists? The Medical Schools Council Assessment Alliance MSC AA is an example of a coalition, particularly in regard to their unifying situational judgement and prescribing safety assessments. Yet we are still not on the same page as several of the Royal Colleges, where all trainees are expected to sit the same standardized exam depending on the specialty they choose. The GMC is keen to introduce a national licensing exam and we feel that this could certainly aid in ensuring uniform exiting standards, similar to the USMLE in the United States. However are exams by themselves the be all and end all? There is currently some discussion regarding entrustable professional activities (EPAs), which are being sold as a grade up from current competency based tasks. With EPAs candidates are only deemed to be entrusted to perform a particular task without supervision if they have demonstrated that they are able to do it over a repeated and prolonged duration. The AAMC currently ensures exiting students should be deemed capable of performing a set of core EPAs prior to residency helping to ensure patient safety during the transition. more…

Amy Price: BMJ and the Twitter Footprint

20 Aug, 15 | by BMJ

amy_priceRecently on Twitter I saw a beautiful network graph with my name in it showcasing the reach of a doctor on Twitter. It was amazing to see the reach of just a few small words. I asked the scientist, Wasim Ahmed if he would consider creating a network graph for the key word “BMJ.” These maps lead to the NodeXL web site where you can explore them for further analytics such as top URLs, keywords, and hashtags (#). [1] more…

Peter Brukner: The challenges for team doctors in professional sport

17 Aug, 15 | by BMJ

peter_brucknerA recent incident in the English Premier League has highlighted the conflict of interest for doctors in professional sporting teams.

In the final few minutes of a match between Chelsea and Swansea on Saturday 8 August, the first round of the 2015-16 season, with the scores level at two all and the Chelsea team reduced to ten men due to a sending off, a Chelsea player was tackled forcefully and fell to the ground apparently injured. As is customary in these situations the Chelsea medical staff, consisting of a sports doctor and a physiotherapist, went to the sideline to await further developments. more…

Arthy Santhakumar: Accelerating health equity through equitable access to health information

6 Aug, 15 | by BMJ

arthy-santhakumarAs we await consensus on the new sustainable development goals (SDGs), we are reminded of what united the international community in the years approaching the millennium—the need to reduce inequality globally. Universal health coverage (UHC) – as put forward by the World Health Organization—was identified as “the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer, and considered to be the unifying vision for the health goal in the SDGs.”

Anant Bhan: Gender gap in medical education leadership in India

31 Jul, 15 | by BMJ

anant_bhanThere is a rising welcome trend of women joining medical colleges in India, with female students being comparable in number or even outnumbering male students in many colleges. This trend is much more prominent in neighbouring Pakistan, with estimates that 80-85% of current medical students are women.

Women in medicine in India now follow a long tradition—Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi was the first south Asian woman graduate in allopathic medicine in 1886, receiving an MD from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, USA. Kadambini Ganguly was the first female South Asian physician trained in allopathic medicine to graduate in south Asia—she graduated from Bengal Medical College in 1886 (the same year as Joshi graduated). The Lady Hardinge Medical College, which solely takes women for their undergraduate medical course (MBBS) was established in 1916 and is currently celebrating its centenary year. There are other medical colleges solely training women undergraduate medical students—such as the Dr VRK Women’s Medical College, Aziznagar, and the BPS Government Medical College for Women, Sonepat.


David McCoy: Divestment is no grand gesture

30 Jul, 15 | by BMJ

david_mccoy According to Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome Trust, the Guardian’s “Keep in the Ground” campaign to promote divestment from fossil fuel companies is merely a “grand gesture” that can be made only once.

At one level, he is right. The financial impact of the Wellcome Trust selling off its shares in fossil fuel companies would be negligible. But as a social and political gesture, the impact would be huge. The Wellcome Trust a prestigious and highly respected scientific and charitable organisation. It works to improve health and serve humanity. Its voice carries weight and through divestment, it would be sending a strong signal to governments and the general public that continued investment in fossil fuel companies is simply not compatible with the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Artaza Gilani: Pointing fingers: The blame game

30 Jul, 15 | by BMJ Group

Doctors are not infallible; they are human and make mistakes. Occasionally, they know of their mistakes; sometimes, others are aware, while they remain oblivious and other times still, nobody knows that a mistake has occurred. With so many things happening without a clinician’s knowledge, it is not a question of “if”, but “when”, they will find themselves having made a mistake and when they are hit with the realisation of it having occurred, their hearts usually sink. more…

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