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Helen Morant: How should doctors look at patients?

17 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

helen_morantWhen health professionals talk about patient engagement, we express ideas of listening to patients’ voices, understanding their priorities, and changing our treatment models and priorities to focus on theirs. We should treat (in both senses of the word) patients more like people and less like objects we control. We should stop dehumanising patients.

I was challenged to think about how we do just that as I listened to this podcast—it’s worth a listen all the way through. more…

Emma Spencelayh: To FT or not to FT—that is the question. Or is it?

16 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

Emma Spencelayh_2As part of the Health Foundation’s work on analysing the controversial decision to prohibit the proposed merger of Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we’ve been grappling with what the role of foundation trusts really is in an ever changing system. more…

The BMJ Today: “Your husband can donate his tools” and other Christmas highlights

16 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

rich_hurleyWhat do you do if you have to treat a very sick child in intensive care whose parents do not speak English—and there are no human translators available? What do you do when presented with any seemingly insoluble situation in this day and age? Naturally, your first port of call is Google.

But can you be sure when using Google Translate that you’re not inadvertently giving parents the wrong message. For example, what if you said, “Your child’s state is not life stopping” rather than the opposite “Your child’s condition is life threatening,” which is actually what you meant. more…

Pritpal S Tamber: Creating health—the emerging principles

16 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

pritpal_tamber_2014The Creating Health Collaborative was formed to understand why, despite their potential, broader definitions of health remain only a fringe of health innovation. In today’s post, I am sharing their first report (opens a PDF) and have reproduced below an edited version of what the Collaborative thought were the emerging principles for creating health.

We are struggling to meet the growing demand for care and yet it will only grow. At the heart of this struggle is our inability to define health as more than just the absence of disease. Broader definitions of health may enable us to create health and so offset the growing demand for care. more…

Anne Gulland: Is it okay to cry in front of patients?

15 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

Anne_GullandThis was a question I put to members of doc2doc, The BMJ’s community site. The idea was sparked by an obituary (yet to be published) of a respiratory physician who told a junior colleague not to be embarrassed to display a “red eye” to patients from time to time. As I considered this doctor’s words I came across an article in The BMJ by James Munro, the founder of Patient Opinion, who wrote that a mother told him she was comforted by the tears shed by doctors and nurses after the death of her daughter. more…

Global Health Film initiative: I Am Breathing

15 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

global_health_filmMobile phone company: “Hello sir, I hear you are wanting to disconnect. Can we ask why sir?”

Neil: “Because I’m dying.”

Phone company: “Would it make a difference if we threw in an extra three months for free?”

Neil: “If you can do that sunshine, then you are a better bloke than all of my doctors put together.”

Neil has motor neurone disease (MND). Within a year Neil, who is 33 years old, is diagnosed and dies of this rare but devastating disease. He fearlessly lets us into the intimate, last days of his life with his beloved wife and young son Oscar in the film I Am Breathingscreened by the Global Health Film initiative at the Royal Society of Medicine last month. more…

Siyi Yu: China is speeding up the opening of the medical service market

15 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

siyi_yuRecently, a notification was released by China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission and business supervision department announcing that the establishment of wholly foreign owned hospitals is allowed in seven provinces and municipalities, namely Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Fujian, Guangdong, and Hainan. The approval rights are decentralized to the provincial level. This bold move is a notable landmark in the opening of the medical service market. more…

Richard Lehman’s journal review—15 December 2014

15 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

richard_lehmanNEJM 11 December 2014 Vol 371
OL The clones! The clones! There is something of Edgar Allen Poe about this study, which describes how “clonal hematopoiesis with somatic mutations is readily detected by means of DNA sequencing, is increasingly common as people age, and is associated with increased risks of hematologic cancer and death.” “Heh, heh,” whispers Vincent Price, “come and look at my clones. No, wait, they are YOUR clones! They lie in wait for you, death lies in wait. Your death. Farewell, my friend. The blessings of old age are necessarily mixed with fear.” But although the NEJM kindly makes this paper freely available to all, together with an editorial about Clone Wars, we are not about to see a new epidemic of haematological malignancies in older patients: we will just understand them better and probably devise new poorly predictive tests to worry people more. A second study spells out the same message. more…

The BMJ Today: Idiotic men and socialism

15 Dec, 14 | by BMJ

debsNo, that isn’t the latest political outpouring from Russell Brand—it’s the theme of two recently published papers in The BMJ.

Authors in Australia wanted to find out if the meme “armchair socialist” held any weight. You know the type—those people who tweet with fervour from their sofas during Question Time, but seem to be fully reclined when the revolution comes. They attempted to test the validity of the concept of left wing “armchair socialists,” and whether they sit more and move less than their right wing and centrist counterparts. more…

David Payne: Digital dilemmas—a day in my life at The BMJ

12 Dec, 14 | by BMJ Group

deputy chair of MJA on stage (1)Wednesday December 10.

8.30am: I’m on the bus into work and checking Twitter when I see an exchange between @garyschwitzer and @bengoldacre about some embargoed papers we press released last night, (including Ben’s editorial and a linked research paper about the association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases), not showing on

I apologise to @garyschwitzer and explain why I think they aren’t working. more…

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