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Showing posts from 2006

Imperial College Applied Ethics Course

More than ever before, clinicians are confronted with complex ethical issues in their medical practice. These include disagreements between patients, relatives, and healthcare staff over treatment decisions, difficulties in obtaining informed consent, and issues of medical error, truth-telling and patient confidentiality. Recognising the growing importance of ethical awareness in medicine, the recent Ethics in Practice report of the Royal College of Physicians (2005) concluded that key medical personnel should be suitably trained in clinical ethics. Increasingly, formal examinations in medicine assess applicants on aspects of clinical ethics.The new Applied Clinical Ethics (ACE) course is aimed at practising clinicians and members of CECs, focusing entirely on clinical ethics and practical decision-making. Several of the speakers are both clinicians and ethicists. The convenient arrangement of modules, each falling on a Saturday at monthly intervals, will enable practising clinic…

Visit to Malaysia

I've just returned from a visit to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia after being invited to act as an external examiner for the Master of Family Medicine programme run by the UKM (National University of Malaysia), UM (University of Malaya) and USM (Science University of Malaysia). Although the core of medical practice is similar across the world, there are striking differences in the organisation and delivery of health services between the UK and Malaysia. As well as examining, I was also able to give several lectures during my stay in Malaysia.

Diabetes is better managed in the UK than the USA

Patients in England with diabetes are better managed than their counterparts in the United States of America due to access to universal healthcare available in the United Kingdom, according to new research.

Writing in the September issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, researchers from England and the USA compared diabetes management in the two countries.

“Our evidence shows that universal healthcare when treating a common disease like diabetes, works,” said Professor Arch Mainous from the Medical University of South Carolina. “In both countries, diabetes sufferers are effectively managed as outpatients and our research shows that when patients have access to free healthcare, they have better clinical outcomes.

See the full text of the article or the press release for more details.

NEJM Series on Medical Education

This week's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine contains the first article in a series on medical education. Medical education in both the USA and UK is undergping major reform, driven by societal changes that have encouraged greater patient autonomy and patient choice, and by changes in medical practice and the provision of medical services that are changing the traditional 'hospital bedside' mode of teaching to more community-based models of teaching.

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

The Public Library of Science has launched a new open access journal, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. This will be the first open access journal devoted to neglected tropical diseases, such as elephantiasis, river blindness, leprosy, hookworm, schistosomiasis, and African sleeping sickness. Funding for the new journal has come from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is playing an increasingly important role in research on these diseases. Neglected tropical diseases affect hundreds of millions of people in developing countries and cause a huge amount of ill-health. The new journal should raise the profile of research on such diseases and provide a valuable resource for doctors, health professionals and all others working to improve the lives of people suffering from such diseases.

Medical journals enter the world of podcasting

Medical journals have begun to enter the world of podcasting. Four of the largest general medical journals (the BMJ, Lancet, JAMA, and NEJM) have begun to publish podcasts on their websites. It’s an interesting development and will allow the busy doctor to keep up to date with key developments in medicine. I listen to the podcasts while travelling to and from work and find they fill this time, whilst also educating me about the articles published in these four journals. Patients and the public may also find the podcasts useful. They add to the large volume of information on health and medicine available on the Internet.