50% of what you are taught is wrong…

There is a phrase in medical education which often gets aired at the welcoming lecture to medical school: “50% of what we teach you over the next five years will be wrong, or inaccurate. Sadly, we don’t know which 50%” Quite why those welcoming students to a rigorous, physically and mentally demanding degree course would […]

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Is there any such thing as “IRL” ?

Social media is all pervasive – it is nigh on impossible to see an advertisement nowadays without a hastag, facebook, pinterest or twitter handle attached.  Social media has been credited with sparking revolutions, riots and bringing down criminals, and is even used by the Pope to spread his message to the world. Perhaps it isn’t […]

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It’s all the little things.

This week I have been privileged to be at “the Forum” or to give it it’s full title, the 19th International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare. The Forum is an impressive event – there were over 3000 delegates from 78 countries, and over the week the virtual presence of the event was significant. […]

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Is it all in your head? – not quite…

  A paper in the current issue of the Postgraduate Medical Journal tackles a relatively modern concern: chronic postsurgical pain. With the advent of modern anaesthetics, and advances in surgical technique, the potential for surgical intervention to tackle disease exploded.  Indeed, there is now a whole industry based on surgically changing the way people look, […]

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Can do, or should do?

Modern medicine is advancing at an eye-watering pace, and treatments are being utilised for ever-widening patient groups, who might not have been offered similar therapies even a few short years ago.  In this context, it is increasingly important to know that these remarkably effective, expensive, and life-changing treatments are aligned with the wishes of our […]

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Proper preparation and planning… part 2

I have blogged previously about the readiness of medical students to take on the role of a doctor when they exit medical school. The previous paper I looked at highlighted that a significant proportion of medical students felt unprepared for the jobs they were ostensibly trained for, and that this proportion was variable across the […]

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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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