Author: Adam Staten

General Practice: The Game of Inches

Anybody who was a fan of movies, sports, or Al Pacino in 1999 is probably familiar with Pacino’s famous ‘game of inches’ speech. Pacino was playing the part of coach to a struggling American Football team and it was with this speech that he inspired his team before they ran out for a make or break match. Many consider it to be a paradigm for motivational speaking. In it he describes American football as being a game that is won or lost by inches. The inches are the fine margins found everywhere on the pitch that determine the outcome...

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Book Review: The State of Medicine by Margaret McCartney

The State of Medicine is an eloquent, passionate, comprehensive, and, in many ways, dispiriting overview of the repeated damage inflicted on the NHS at the whim of successive governments. The frustration of the author, a GP from Glasgow, pours from every page, every paragraph and every sentence, as she contrasts the efforts of doctors to practice evidence based, safe, humane and cost-effective medicine, in a system that is routinely upended and overhauled according to manifesto sound bite, political opinion and, occasionally, outright self-interest. Whilst the general themes of this book will surprise few who work in the NHS, the...

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Medicine in an Age of Empires

I recently attended a talk at the hospital post-graduate centre where the speaker introduced herself as the hospital’s new ‘heart failure consultant’ rather than the new cardiologist. This set me thinking, as many things do, about the strange nature of secondary care medicine. Single organ specialisation is now a thing of the past, apparently our hospital based colleagues are best employed dealing with single problems of single organs. Many of the same thoughts occurred to me when I listened to a lipid specialist describe the difficult and technical differentiation of familial hypercholesterolaemia from poly-genic hypercholesterolaemia in patients with a...

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Time for the old guard to join the social media fray?

The news is everywhere. I don’t mean this in the way that I might if I were a dewy-eyed aspiring journalist, seeing fascination and potential scoops in everything around me. I mean that news coverage seems to be literally everywhere; on the TV, on the radio, on the computer, on the phone in my pocket, on a big screen in Waterloo train station. It’s inescapable. And when it comes to health news, or more particularly doctor news, it never seems to be good news. Headlines such as: “1 in 4 cancer cases missed: GPs send away alarming number of...

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You’re the Doctor

When a patient says ‘you’re the doctor’ it can mean several things. Sometimes it means ‘I trust you and the advice you’ve given me’, sometimes it means ‘I don’t like what you’re saying but I don’t feel like I’m in a position to argue’, and sometimes it means ‘just get on with it and do what you’ve got to do’. Whatever it means when a patient says this, it always feels like a kick in the teeth to me. Since my first day at medical school, the day on which I underwent my Balint lobotomy, I’ve been told to...

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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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