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Guest bloggers

Neel Sharma: Those who can teach, those who can’t don’t

16 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

Recently I was left dumbfounded by a senior colleague who stated that the sign of a good medical educator is one who can do two things well: publish and deliver conference presentations. I questioned him on the aspect of teaching. Surely this is relevant in the field of medical education— a field designed to enhance the teaching and learning avenues of those in training and beyond. His response was curt: Those who can do, those who can’t teach. Of course, it goes without saying we don’t exactly see eye to eye. more…

Julia Pakpoor: Three artists with multiple sclerosis respond to “Good Out Of Bad”

12 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

goob_1I spent a recent evening at an art exhibition in the trendy Shoreditch area of East London, where three young artists were presenting their work. All three artists have the chronic disease multiple sclerosis (MS). They had been given a brief of “Good out of bad,” and been asked to respond.  more…

Karen Horridge: Disability matters

11 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

karen_horridgeOur global community has made great strides with issues of race and gender, but has a way to go before disabled people of all ages are warmly welcomed, respected, and fully included as equals in all aspects of our societies, including as equal recipients of high quality healthcare. Do we all, as doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, really understand the perspectives of disabled people and their families? Do we recognise the challenges and barriers that they face as they go about their daily lives and access services? Do we offer the same quality of healthcare with the same outcome opportunities as for those who are not disabled? Do we take the time to listen to disabled people and their families, to really hear what matters most to them?


Kallur Suresh: Prevention and self-management—two pillars for a paradigm shift in thinking about our health

11 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

Generation Q 12 June 2012We all know that the health service is struggling. GPs are seeing escalating workloads, waiting times are getting longer, emergency care is on its knees with ambulances queueing in front of Accident and Emergency departments, discharges from hospital are delayed leading to longer stays, and community services are unable to cope with the demands placed on them.

The equation is simple. There is a huge gulf between resources and demand—and it is going to get wider. There are a number of factors arrayed against better performance by the health service. Rising demand and patient expectations, increasing life expectancy, increasing numbers of frail older people, higher rates of detection of long term conditions for which there is no “cure,” and rising healthcare costs. more…

Kim Wolff: New drug driving legislation in the UK

9 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

kim_wolffOn Monday 2 March, the new drug driving legislation came into force in the UK taking on board many of the recommendations from the expert panel report commissioned by the Department for Transport published in March 2013 [1]. The new legislation specifies 16 controlled drugs and, in each case, the limit in blood for the purposes of the strict liability offence, detailed in section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988). The focus on “psychoactive” drugs has meant that excluded from the legislation are the drugs in Schedule 4 Part 2 (anabolic steroids) and over-the-counter medications (codeine based products). The legislation deals broadly with two groups of controlled drug: those which are illegal as shown in Table 1 and those which are available as prescription-only medicines (see Table 2). more…

Stephen Cannon: How can cosmetic surgery be made safer for the public?

3 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

Council PortraitIn January, the Royal College of Surgeons published a consultation on proposals to improve standards in cosmetic surgery. It is open until Friday 6 March 2015.

Although the vast majority of cosmetic surgery is carried out in the private sector, we hope that doctors from across the different medical specialities, who work in the NHS and private sector, will respond and give us their views on how best to protect patients. We would value feedback from all medical professionals—not just surgeons—to help shape the final recommendations that we move forward with. more…

Emma Rourke: Could you give up chocolate for a month?

2 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

ERourkeThis March, the British Heart Foundation is asking people to “give chocolate the finger” and embark on a strict no-chocolate “dechox” regime.

There can be no denying that it is a worthy cause, with cardiovascular disease accounting for almost a third of deaths worldwide, and representing one of the most significant healthcare challenges faced by our generation (World Health Organization. Cardiovascular diseases: fact sheet No 317. WHO, 2007). Furthermore, as the prevalence of obesity and the metabolic syndrome increase, we can expect a corresponding rise in diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. These facts set the scene for the latest in the recent onslaught of charity campaigns promoting self-deprivation in a bid to encourage donations. more…

Neel Sharma: Medical education—which teaching methods work?

2 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

Medical education is a confusing field at times. Whilst I value its role in cementing training, there seems to be an often all too common course of contrast among educators as to what is classified as valuable academic research into teaching methods. more…

Emma Rourke on why we need to GULP

25 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

ERourkeLast week, Food Active, based in Liverpool and funded by the North West Directors of Public Health, launched a campaign encouraging people to Give Up Loving Pop—or GULP. To gulp something implies urgency and hunger, and it’s certainly true that UK consumers possess an insatiable desire for the fizzy stuff, each putting away an average of 103 litres of carbonated drink per year. more…

Kallur Suresh on the portrayal of young onset Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice

23 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

Generation Q 12 June 2012Imagine you’re a world renowned professor of linguistics at New York’s Columbia University. You’ve written game changing books on how children develop their language proficiency in early life and are regularly invited to give scholarly lectures in academic institutions worldwide. You’re at the peak of your academic career, but start to notice that you struggle to find crucial words during your lectures and get lost while jogging on the familiar campus. It’s a very scary experience, one that you don’t necessarily want to acknowledge to yourself or share with others. more…

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