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Aristotle and general practice: What do good doctors do?

Aristotle had it right when he asserted in his 'Metaphysics' that 'Those who wish to succeed must ask the right preliminary question'. More than 2000 years later, doctors would do well to listen to his advice. Before adopting each and every new advance that claims to be good for our patients, we should ask what we are hoping to achieve by following such recommendations. We ought to consider whether the answer we come up with tallies with what I would propose might, in Aristotle's eyes, be a good preliminary question to ask ourselves: 'What do good doctors do?'

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Delphi and the current path of Western culture

I have just come back from the centre of the world. Not the centre of the earth of course. No, in ancient times the centre of the world was reckoned to be Delphi. This claim was evidence based. If we do not articulate our values and construct a world where freedom, tolerance, fairness and human dignity win the day then the west has no moral high ground from which to lecture the rest of the world. The west has rested on its smug moral superiority for far too long.

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Life on the other side… my patient journey

Being a patient has certainly made me think a lot. About everything. From the constant waiting, to the unanswered questions, the consultation process, the umpteen tests that get ordered as a snowball effect (turns out once you start seeing doctors, we like to find things and do even more tests), and more waiting.

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BJGP Long Read

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BJGP Long Read: People or Procedures?

Recent advances in genetic mapping herald some dramatically positive developments in hi tech healthcare. Yet this is paralleled by unprecedented ailing demoralisation and alienation within the service that will deliver these. How do we explain this discrepancy? What can we expect?

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The British Journal of General Practice and BJGP Open are bringing research to clinical practice. This is where we add the debate and opinion to help ensure everyone benefits from that research.

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