Ageing, Ageism, And Being Comfortable In Your Own Old Skin

The physical, psychological and social changes over time are the properties of ageing. It’s inevitable, and both young and old need to deal with it. So far, we are unable to prevent it. Even if you follow Woody Allen’s advice that ” you can live to be a hundred if you give up all things […]

Clinical Excellence…Wait, There’s More!

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK aims to “improve outcomes for people using the NHS and other public health and social care services”. NICE uses evidence-based data in their guidelines. They also study “performance metrics” to publish standards and desirable outcomes. These methods are highly desirable in macromanagement of […]

A Friend Who Would Understand Me

Anton Chekhov was 38 years old when he wrote “A Case History”. He was already an experienced doctor and evocative writer, and some of his best short stories, including this one, effortlessly combined elements of both medicine and human nature. The dismal grey factory town in “A Case History”,  to which a doctor is summoned, […]

Real Time Twitter In Medicine: USA, Australia, UK

The immediacy and power of Twitter are amazing. Not just for revolutions, natural disasters, major crimes, assistance in need. Not just to help the little guy when he gets done by incompetent bureaucracy. But in medicine. At every level. Here I was this morning, eating breakfast near the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland, as […]

DANGER! GERMS! EVERYWHERE!

Social media is agog with warnings about germs. Nothing new. Movies from Nosferatu (1922) to Contagion (2011) prey on human loathing and disgust of microbes. OK, there are important nasty strains, pandemic flu, resistant Staph, but here we are talking about a surge in paranoia about everyday exposure to germs. Witness the fetish for using […]

The Case For Reductionist Medicine..or..Let’s Not Jumble The Message

Reductionist Medicine is based on a piecemeal scientific dissection of disease to determine the cause of symptoms and the treatment. Lots of people don’t like this approach. Why? humans are complex organisms complex organisms are not simple if you only look for simple causes then you ignore the whole person if you ignore the whole […]

Band-Aid: A Temporary Solution – Or Is It?

It’s the commonest metaphor I hear at work: “Doctor, I am sick of band-aid solutions. I want to know the cause of (here insert symptom/disease) and I want to fix it” Let’s start out with the most famous and useful band-aid in all of medicine. Insulin. Just read the description in Medical News Today: “(In 1922) […]