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Tiago Villanueva

The BMJ Today: The NHS in the aftermath of the UK’s general election

11 May, 15 | by BMJ

louise_irvine2

GP Louise Irvine of the National Health Action Party.

• Gareth Iacobucci reports that the National Health Action Party secured just over 20 000 votes across 12 constituencies in the UK general election. In three constituencies, it achieved fourth place finishes. The National Health Action Party was formed by doctors and health campaigners in 2012 in protest against government policies for the NHS.

BMJ editors Sally Carter and Emma Parish blog about the play “Who Cares?” by Michael Wynne, a verbatim play that discloses interviews with NHS staff. Even though the play succeeded in giving a voice to those who are less likely to be heard, it didn’t offer many solutions to improve the NHS. more…

The BMJ Today: Thinking about common and not so common conditions

8 Apr, 15 | by BMJ

pityriasis• Pityriasis versicolor is a superficial fungal infection of the skin that is commonly seen in general practice. The latest practice pointer looks at its diagnosis, differential diagnosis, management, and prevention.

One particular aspect about its management is that first line treatment comprises shampoo containing either ketoconazole, selenium sulphide, or zinc pyrithione.

• Iron deficiency anaemia is another common condition seen in primary care. A news article reports that the influential United States Preventive Services Task Force considers there is not enough evidence to gauge the balance of benefits and harms of screening for iron deficiency anaemia in pregnant women and children aged between 6 months and 24 months. more…

Tiago Villanueva: Returning to medical school 10 years later

26 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

tiago_villanuevaA few weeks ago, I returned to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Lisbon—the medical school from where I graduated ten years ago. The reason was to participate at the AIMS meeting, an international conference for medical students as both a member of the jury of the oral presentations and as a speaker.  more…

The BMJ Today: Start your week by fine tuning your clinical research skills

9 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

tiago_villanuevaMost doctors are dedicated clinicians who have worked extremely hard to earn the privilege of practising the art of medicine and caring for their fellow human beings. But there are, unfortunately, always some doctors who don’t live up to the oath they took when they finished medical school. Yet I always feel a mix of uneasiness and sadness when I see a news story in The BMJ about a doctor facing legal or disciplinary action.

It takes a lot of time, hard work, and commitment to build strong patient-doctor relationships, as well as a solid professional reputation as a doctor, but it is far too easy to put everything that has been hard earned on the line or even see it all go down the drain. more…

The BMJ Today: How much do you know about mind altering drugs?

29 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

tiago_villanuevaMartin Mckee, a prominent public health academic and a prolific writer for The BMJ, is featured this week in the always entertaining BMJ Confidential. As professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, his work has had worldwide impact. He is constantly travelling around the world because of his work, and admits that he has always had an interest in foreign countries since he was a child. After doing the Interrail when he was 15 and visiting Greece and the Balkans, he never stopped travelling. more…

The BMJ Today: Getting to grips with research and research papers

8 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

tiago_villanuevaThe BMJ Today blogs this week are all written by research editors, who handle original research manuscripts from submission up to eventual acceptance (even though that only applies to a very small percentage of submitted papers). Many of our authors are practising doctors, as well as highly experienced researchers in top medical research centres who are often world leaders in their specialties. more…

The BMJ Today: Looking for general practitioner (GP) authors

4 Dec, 14 | by BMJ Group

tiago_villanuevaIn a recent BMJ Today, I explained that The BMJ maintains an educational section called Endgames aimed at junior doctors preparing for their postgraduate examinations.

What I didn’t say was that most case reports and picture quizzes published so far are aimed particularly at hospital doctors rather than primary care doctors (GP’s/family physicians). more…

The BMJ Today: How can doctors learn about research?

17 Nov, 14 | by BMJ

tiago_villanuevaIn my previous role at The BMJ, I had the chance to work on Endgames, whose educational content is aimed at helping junior doctors in the UK and around the world prepare for their postgraduate examinations. Apart from case reports and picture quizzes, Endgames also include a series of weekly quizzes called “Statistical question,” which cover concepts of statistics, clinical epidemiology, and research, and are written by London based statistician and professor of statistics Philip Sedgwick.

Primary care research has always lagged behind research carried out in hospitals for many reasons, but many countries—such as the UK, the Netherlands, Canada, or Australia, just to mention a few—now have world class research units and teams, and some of the resulting work ends up published in The BMJ. more…

The BMJ Today: The joys and snags of being a GP

27 Oct, 14 | by BMJ

tiago_villanuevaAs a GP who didn’t train in the UK and who has never worked in the country as a GP, I follow the situation of general practice in the UK with great interest, but from a certain distance that characterises an outsider such as myself. I am well aware that general practice in the UK is going through difficult times, with a recruitment crisis, many GPs facing increasing workloads and on the verge of burnout, and some even leaving the country behind to work further afield.

The recruitment of GPs has always been a problem all around the world, for many different reasons. Despite everything, GPs in the UK remain among the best paid GPs in the world, which means we must look way beyond pay as an argument to attract more GPs to the trade. more…

The BMJ Today: The complexity of medical jargon

22 Sep, 14 | by BMJ

tiago_villanuevaUp to this day, I’m still often asked by friends when I am going to become a specialist, considering I am “just” a GP. It remains difficult for lay people to understand and acknowledge that GPs master a trade of their own, just like hospital specialists, and are not just doctors who didn’t pursue any specialist training beyond their primary medical qualification. In fact, general practice is considered a specialty in most (but not all) European countries.

But I worry when I read testimonials such as a recent blog written by Samir Dawlatly, a UK based GP, who argues that the term “general practitioner” is vague in itself. He calls for GPs to be renamed “general medical practitioners”—to reflect the fact that GPs usually provide general medical services. more…

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