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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…

Neel Sharma: Personality traits—a neglected area of research in medical education

13 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

My first admission whilst writing this correspondence is that I am no expert in the field of psychology. I undertook training in psychiatry during my junior years but this only gave me a brief snapshot into people’s mindset.

In medical education I note an ever increasing rise in innovation. From the introduction of the OSCE, we now see newer assessments coming to the forefront in the UK. We witness changes in teaching delivery through technology and learning enhancement and through interprofessional and teamwork related means. more…

Mohammed Bahgat et al: Is the friends and family test a true feedback tool of NHS services?

12 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

The NHS friends and family test (FFT) was launched in April 2013 to support the fundamental principle that people who use NHS services should have the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience. [1] The results are submitted to NHS England monthly. When combined with supplementary follow-up questions, the FFT provides a mechanism to highlight both good and poor patient experience. more…

Marika Davies: Doctors and death row—should doctors ever take part in executions?

11 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

marika_daviesThe US Supreme court has put three executions in Oklahoma on hold while it considers a legal challenge to the state’s use of midazolam in its lethal injection protocol. This is likely to reignite the debate about the involvement of doctors in capital punishment, a practice that is prohibited by the American Medical Association, but permitted and often even required by state law. more…

Pallavi Bradshaw: Are medics increasingly at risk of being criminalised?

10 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

pallavi_bradshawHowever clichéd it may sound, like most medics I wanted to be a doctor to help people. While we strive to do the best for our patients, there will be times when things go wrong. Mistakes happen—no one is infallible. We would all like to think that in the aftermath of an error, we would be the ones to log it officially, invite scrutiny, and be willing to reflect and learn. This is certainly how the General Medical Council (GMC) would like us to behave and how I would advise my members to react. But how realistic is such behaviour in the current environment in which doctors work? more…

Karl Swedberg and Inger Ekman on person centred care in Europe

10 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

The health systems of the European Union make up a central part of Europe’s social protection. They contribute to social cohesion and social justice as well as to sustainable development. Important values that should underpin all European healthcare have been agreed upon. The overarching values of universality, access to good quality care, equity, and solidarity have been widely accepted to guide the work of the different EU institutions. However, based on present cost development and structural changes in health systems, these values are being challenged. more…

Penny Pereira: What does it really take to improve patient safety?

6 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

HF: Staff & Board PortraitsHow confident are you that the risk management processes in your organisation enable you to predict and manage all the risks your patients are likely to face? If you have doubts, you’re probably not alone, as the findings from our Safer Clinical Systems programme suggest.

Looking back at my time on the board of a hospital, risk management was generally based on records of past incidents rather than a proactive assessment of risks that could occur in the future. Approaches ranged from a dashboard tallying up data on mortality and individual causes of harm, to overwhelming 100-line tables detailing incidents, risks, and action plans. more…

Paul Roblin on Dobson et al’s Lancet Tamiflu re-analysis: an independent review group. Really?

5 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

On 30 January 2015 the Lancet published a re-analysis of oseltamivir effects in symptomatic influenza like illness “Oseltamivir treatment for influenza in adults: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.” This was authored by Joanna Dobson, Richard J Whitley, Stuart Pocock, and Arnold S Monto.

The Lancet supplemented this re-analysis with an article by Heath Kelly and Benjamin Cowling, entitled “Influenza: the rational use of oseltamivir.” The Kelly and Cowling article claims that the re-analysis was done by an independent research group. I am concerned that not all the relevant links of the authors of the Dobson Lancet paper have been declared in the competing interests section. more…

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