Month: June 2016

‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’ – reflections on working with Syrian refugees

Nikesh Parekh is a GP trainee, a research fellow in ageing and part-time public health medical associate in London. Colin Tourle is a semi-retired GP in Hailsham. There are 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, of which the vast majority are hidden away in camps near the Syrian border. These are some of the most impoverished victims of the war in Syria, who lack the financial resource to travel further afield for safety. With the support of Iasis medical charity (www.iasis.org.uk), we were privileged to travel to three refugee camps within a mile of the Syrian border in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley to...

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Next GP Journal Club is Sunday 3rd July at 8pm: migraine and CV disease in women

The next GP Journal Club will be discussing the BMJ paper: Migraine and risk of cardiovascular disease in women: prospective cohort study by Kurth et al.  You can download it here. Migraine occurs in 15% of the UK adult population and is three times more common in women. This large cohort study from the US suggests that female migraine sufferers are at increased risk of experiencing cardiovascular events. What will this mean for those of us in primary care who have responsibility for managing cardiovascular risk? Should we be advising all female migraine sufferers to take a statin, for instance? Please...

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Shared medical appointments: better by the dozen

A great deal of medicine is education.  The title ‘doctor’ is derived from the Latin word for teacher. Before getting that title, I spent three years working as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher: first in Spain, and then with VSO in Eritrea. I’m no expert educationalist; but I learnt enough to see that a 1:1 interaction is often not the best way to impart complex information. In general practice, I see patients exclusively on a 1:1 basis, in short 10 minute bursts. I have to explain and discuss difficult concepts, and am often left frustrated...

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The Affordable Care Act and USA Healthcare: Reaping the Whirlwind

Professor John Frey III is now retired from the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health but is still an active teacher, research collaborator, journal editor and ‘faculty whisperer’ about career transitions at all stages of professional life (a free service but you have to buy lunch). He lives most of the year in Santa Fe New Mexico but also part time Madison Wisconsin. United States presidential elections are ridiculously expensive, far too drawn out, and provide an enormous amount of money for the media consultants to try to convince voters – or more likely scare...

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Casting down the pseudo-religion of clinical examination

The glass bounced off my back and smashed into the drinks gantry shattering a whisky bottle. All I remember is the glass, the blood and that terrible screaming. Glass fights are dangerous, especially as barman, and for $1.80 an hour I often wondered if it was worth it. But it had its compensations for it was the best practical module on communication skills I ever had and I have used my experiences everyday of my medical career. Teaching undergraduates for the last 10 years I have enjoyed regaling them with my ‘pub communication’ stories. I am convinced of the...

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