Author: Jonny Coates

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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This milk tastes sour: cows’ milk allergy and industry-sponsored disease creep

Jonny Coates is one of the First5 GPs that’s not in Australia.  He works in Newcastle upon Tyne. Hospitals are awash with Pharma freebies. CCU is littered with the logo of the latest statin, the psychiatrist’s pen bears the name of the latest modified-release SNRI, and the chest clinic post-it notes are adorned with inhaler brands. The paediatric ward is slightly different though. Just as the rest of the hospital is branded by Big Pharma, the paeds ward is branded by ‘Big Formula’. The logos on the pens and lanyards of the paediatricians, and the adverts filling their journals,...

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