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Michael L Millenson: Girls, queers, and patients

18 Aug, 16 | by BMJ Group

Millenson Formal PhotoIt’s not surprising that the word “patient” makes some activists uncomfortable. The Latin root patiens (“he who suffers”) suggests passivity, particularly when paired with doctore (“he who teaches”). ­Small wonder, then, that physicians have traditionally viewed patient-centeredness as their providing “caring custody” while acting as “rational agents” on patients’ behalf. (1) more…

John Davies: Looking after athletes in Rio

17 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

Rio_Olympic_Games

A few days ago I was in nominal charge of the second field of play team which is situated after the finishing line of the track. The finishing line is fixed as it has all the photo and electronic equipment on it, and starts are arranged variously according to the event’s length. I say I was in nominal charge, because I asked my Brazilian GP colleague to hold the leader’s radio, as my Portuguese would be inadequate if I needed to use it. We had all our kit and went through a rehearsal of using the spinal board, basket stretcher, and trolley for a collapsed person. We also went through the emergency bags we carry, the airway kit, folding splints, bandages and so on. I am reassured that my colleagues and I can work together through the international language of medicine.  more…

Peter Thomson: Would revoking the European Working Time Directive improve surgical training?

17 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

shift_workThe President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England suggested recently that leaving the EU will allow surgeons to undergo thousands of hours of extra training. Following the Brexit result, we are faced with the potential revoking of the European Working Time Directive (EWTD). The anti-EWTD-ers may now see their dreams come true, and this argument evokes significant similarities between the anti-EWTD debate and the mendacious EU referendum campaign. more…

Tony Woolfson: How can we fill vacant consultant posts?

17 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

tony_woolfsonA Public Accounts Committee report suggested that the large number of unfilled consultant posts was due to bad workforce planning. Hardly surprising really. Obviously true, but not really the point. If we are to engage with and solve the problem, we need to look at what lies beneath.

Having been involved with doctors’ careers since the mid-1980s, I have become increasingly concerned that changes in funding and management would make NHS medicine a less and less desirable option. Sadly, many of my fears seem to have been justified and now we have low morale, vacant posts, and doctors leaving in alarming numbers. more…

Ara Darzi: Workload fears over online patient records

16 Aug, 16 | by BMJ Group

AA Lord Darzi-9991364 Head ShotEngland was the first country in the world to enable patients to book GP appointments, order prescriptions, and access their medical records online 

Since April 2016, all practices have been required to give patients online access to a summary of their medical history, including information on drugs they are taking, the illnesses, allergies, immunisations, and test results.

By March 2018, the aim is to give patients full access to their GP and hospital record. For the first time patients will be on an equal footing with their doctors. more…

Narinder Kapur: Name badges and job titles to keep Kate Granger’s legacy alive

16 Aug, 16 | by BMJ Group

0The campaign by the late Kate Granger helped to raise the profile of staff introducing themselves to patients by saying their name. Words used in healthcare matter. Communication lapses are one of the major sources of error in patient safety. Confusing drug labels can be fatal. Yet we often fail at the simplest level of using names and titles correctly. more…

John Davies: Treating patients at the Rio Olympics

15 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

After several days when I could tourist around the Games and Rio, while the Olympic stadium was converted from a football to a track and field venue, I was back with the medical team this weekend, keeping a close eye on the high jump part of the women’s Heptathlon. Team GB had two competitors, Jessica Ennis-Hill, the Olympic champion in 2012, and her challenger, Katerina Johnson-Thompson, so there was real strength in depth in this event.

But what has been happening in the medical centre? We too have strength in depth as my colleagues include a paediatrician and a GP, as well as the expected sports-related specialities. They are very necessary, as I have seen many families travelling to events with small children, even babes-in-arms, and the conditions that we have been consulted on are those a GP must often see. more…

Miriam Fine-Goulden: How we talk about women leaders

15 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

miriam_fine_gouldenIt feels like there has never been a better time to be a woman in leadership: we have a female prime minister following a two-woman contest; a female Scottish first minister; the first woman in US history to be nominated for president by any major party; women heading up the most influential economy in Europe and the IMF, and Rome has elected its first female mayor in almost 3,000 years.

Yet women are consistently typecast and caricatured, judged by how closely we live up to ideals and expectations of achievement in family life, appearance, and femininity. Until we are able to feel that these factors have as much impact on our careers as they do on those of our male counterparts, we will not have genuine parity, no matter how many leadership positions we occupy. more…

Niall Dickson: Planned changes to the UK medical register

12 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

niall_dicksonA study commissioned by the General Medical Council (GMC) last year found that the current UK register provides limited information compared with those in other countries.

This is not surprising. The first UK register, introduced in 1859, was a hardback tome for patients to check whether practitioners in medicine and surgery had the qualifications and competence to treat them. more…

Thomas Oliver: Rare sarcomas—improving awareness among junior doctors

12 Aug, 16 | by BMJ

Thomas OliverThe National Sarcoma Awareness Project was launched in 2013 by a team from the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust (funded by the Bone Cancer Research Trust) to raise sarcoma’s profile among medical students and junior doctors. Four years in, it has caught the imaginations of over a thousand participants—a new generation of potential sarcoma clinicians and researchers, which now includes me since I participated in the funded fellowship last year.

I recently discussed my involvement in the project, believing that any drive to improve sarcoma patient care must address the relative ignorance we, as a profession, have about sarcoma.

This is, perhaps, of no great surprise. more…

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