How to mend a broken heart…

photo credit: Mrs Magic via photopin cc “Doctoring her seemed to her as absurd as putting together the pieces of a broken vase. Her heart was broken. Why would they try to cure her with pills and powders?”   So, it is Valentine’s day – and what better than a bit of medical education about broken hearts.  As it […]

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Help! – I need somebody…

One of the best school mottos I have encountered is that which introduces the General Knowledge Quiz of King William’s College on the Isle of Man.  The motto is:  Scire ubi aliquid invenire possis, ea demum maxima pars eruditionis est.  It  essentially translates as, ‘ to know where you can find anything is, after all, […]

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Medicine – a team sport

  Medicine could once be practised in isolation – indeed, young doctors often found themselves working alone – a situation evocatively described by Bulgakov in his ‘Country Doctor’s Notebook.’  Nowadays, it is almost impossible to work in isolation, and team working is the norm.  Atul Gawande wrote about the different approaches of Cowboys and Pit […]

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Exercise in older adults – time for a New Year’s Resolution?

Exercise is good for you – but then we sort of know that already – The Earl of Derby had it right back in 1873 pointing out that ‘Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.’   Take a look at this brilliant […]

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Is that a smartphone in your pocket?

Smartphones are almost ubiquitous on the wards nowadays.  In a departmental meeting the other day a question popped up about the commonest reason for admission to hospital acute medical services. Out came my smartphone, and after a search, and a tweet – almost instantly (and quickly enough to furnish an answer by the end of […]

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Proper preparation and planning…

There is a basic assumption that medical schools prepare medical students to become doctors. One might expect that medical schools prepare medical students to broadly similar standards, and that by extension, their students would be broadly prepared for practice when they emerge blinking onto the wards each August. In a fascinating paper, Goldacre, Lambert and […]

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Burnout – its not just the hours.

  Burnout is a condition which is all too common amongst junior doctors. The accepted research definition is: ’emotional exhaustion and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment associated with prolonged occupations stress.’ This is probably a familiar state of mind to many junior doctors out there, and many senior doctors – either from their current […]

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