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Climate change is a health emergency

It’s nearly 30 years since Eric Chivian and three other Harvard faculty members won the Nobel peace prize for their work as founders of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. At its height IPPNW had a membership of 250 000 doctors from 80 countries. Its leaders spoke directly to the world’s leaders and to the public, helping them to understand the terrible things that happen to people’s bodies and lives when nuclear bombs explode. As Chivian says in a BMJ essay this week, the aim was to help people grasp what a nuclear war would really be like, so that politicians and the public would do everything in their power to prevent such a war from happening (doi:10.1136/bmj.g2407).  
bmj.com
over 5 years ago
Www.bmj
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Tug of war for antiviral drugs data

Julia Belluz hears from both sides in the lengthy battle between the drug giants and researchers that led to the release of full clinical trial data on neuraminidase inhibitors. Does the release of these files herald a more transparent era?  
bmj.com
over 5 years ago
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Curricular and Extracurricular Activities of Medical Student... : Academic Medicine

War, as a major human disaster, affects many aspects of life, including medical education. This repo  
journals.lww.com
over 5 years ago
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‘For every problem there is a solution: neat, plausible and wrong’. H. L. Mencken

The medical achievements of the post-war years rank as one of the supreme epochs of human endeavour, yet despite this, the future of medicine is uncertain.  
jameslefanu.com
over 5 years ago
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Donald Trump has repeated throughout his presidential campaign that he opposed the Iraq war before the March 19, 2003 invasion. But there’s no evidence of that. Here’s a timeline of statements Trump made in 2002 and 2003 about the war.  
FactCheck.org
over 5 years ago
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Troops face 'growing mental health cost' of Afghan war - BBC News

There has been a "significant increase" in the number of Afghanistan veterans seeking mental health treatment, charity Combat Stress says.  
BBC News
over 5 years ago
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Former Afghan war soldier: 'Flashbacks of bullets overhead' - BBC News

Jake Wood, a former Lance Sergeant in the Territorial Army who served in Afghanistan and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, explained the flashbacks that he has experienced apart of his condition.  
BBC News
over 5 years ago
Watermelon 011
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While waging the 'war' against cancer, we have lost sight of the broader view of health | Ranjana Srivastava

Ranjana Srivastava: The emphasis on a disease rather than the whole patient is misplaced – and hapless patients discover that their concerns are relegated to the bottom of the healthcare hierarchy  
the Guardian
almost 5 years ago
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Amputation pain 'still a challenge' for medics - BBC News

In the century since World War One, doctors still haven't worked out how to treat the pain commonly felt after a limb is removed.  
BBC News
almost 5 years ago
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201

Wikipedia - help or hindrance?

It’s quick, it’s easy and we’ve all done it. Don’t blush, whether it’s at our leisure or behind the consultant’s back we can confess to having used the world’s sixth most popular website. You might have seen it, sitting pride of place on the podium of practically any Google result page. Of course, it’s the tell tale sign of one of Web 2.0’s speediest and most successful offspring, Wikipedia. Now for fear of patronizing a generation who have sucked on the teat of this resource since its fledgling years, the formalities will remain delightfully short. Wikipedia is the free, multilingual, online encyclopedia, which harnesses the collective intelligence of the world’s internet users to produce a collaboratively written and openly modifiable body of knowledge. The technology it runs on is a highly flexible web application called wiki. It is open-source software; hence the explosion of wiki sites all united under the banner of combined authorship. Anyone with internet access can edit the content and do so with relative anonymity. It would be unthinkable that a source, which does not prioritize the fidelity of its content, could possibly play a role in medical education. How ironic it seems that medical students can waste hours pondering which textbook to swear their allegiance for the forthcoming rotation, yet not spare a second thought typing their next medical query into Wikipedia. Evidently it has carved itself a niche and not just among medical students, but healthcare professionals as well. According to a small qualitative study published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics, 70% of their sample, which comprised of graduates from London medical schools currently at FY2 and ST1 level, used Wikipedia in a given week for ‘clinical purposes’. These ranged from general background reading to double checking a differential and looking up medications. We are so ensnared by the allure of instantaneous enlightenment; it’s somewhat comparable to relieving an itch. "Just Google it..." is common parlance. We need that quick fix. When the consultant asks about his or her favourite eponymous syndrome or you’re a little short on ammunition before a tutorial, the breadth and ease-of-use offered by a service accessible from our phones is a clandestine escape. The concept of Wikipedia, the idea that its articles are in a way living bodies because of the continual editing process, is its strength. Conversely textbooks are to a degree outmoded by the time they reach their publication date. While I commend the contributors of Wikipedia for at least trying to bolster their pages with references to high impact journals, it does not soften the fact that the authorship is unverifiable. Visitors, lay people, registered members under some less than flattering pseudonyms such as Epicgenius and Mean as custard, don’t impart the sense of credibility students (or for that matter patients)expect from an encyclopedia. Since the prestige of direct authorship if off the cards, it does beg the question of what is their motivation and I’m afraid ‘the pursuit of knowledge and improving humanity’s lot' is the quaint response. There is a distinct lack of transparency. It has become a playground where a contributor can impress his/her particular theory regarding a controversial subject unchallenged. Considering there is no direct ownership of the article, who then has the authority to curate the multiple theories on offer and portray a balanced view? Does an edit war ensue? It is not unheard of for drug representatives to tailor articles detailing their product and erase the less pleasant side-effects. Obviously Wikipedia is not unguarded, defences are in place and there is such a thing as quality control. Recent changes will come under the scrutiny of more established editors, pages that are particularly prone to vandalism are vetted and there are a special breed of editors called administrators, who uphold a custodial post, blocking and banishing rebellious editors. A study featured in the First Monday journal put Wikipedia to the test by deliberately slipping minor errors into the entries of past philosophers. Within 48 hours half of these errors had been addressed. Evidently, the service has the potential to improve over time; provided there is a pool of committed and qualified editors. Wikiproject Medicine is such a group of trusted editors composed primarily of doctors, medical students, nurses, clinical scientists and patients. Since 2004, its two hundred or so participants have graded an excess of 25,000 health-related articles according to quality parameters not dissimilar to peer review. However, the vast majority of articles are in a state of intermediate quality, somewhere between a stub and featured article. Having some degree of professional input towards a service as far reaching as Wikipedia will no doubt have an impact on global health, particularly in developing countries where internet access is considered a luxury. March this year saw the medical pages of the English Wikipedia reach a lofty 249,386,264 hits. Its ubiquity is enviable; it maintains a commanding lead over competing medical websites. The accessibility of this information has catapulted Wikipedia far beyond its scope as a humble encyclopedia and into a medical resource. Patients arrive to clinics armed with the printouts. As future doctors we will have to be just that one step ahead, to recognise the limitations of a source that does not put a premium on provenance but is nevertheless the current public health tool of choice. Illustrator Edward Wong This blog post is a reproduction of an article published in the Medical Student Newspaper, November 2013 issue.  
James Wong
over 5 years ago
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Rosuvastatin: winner in the statin wars, patients’ health notwithstanding

More is spent in the US on rosuvastatin than any other statin. Yet the evidence of its health benefits has always been weak and there is growing evidence of harmful side effects. Sidney Wolfe explains why he thinks the drug should have been withdrawn and why it should not be used  
feeds.bmj.com
over 4 years ago
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How to integrate concern for health in efforts to prevent terrorism

A new article traces the ways that the war on terror is incorporating medicine into warfare, threatening the health of local populations, increasing global health disparities, and causing...  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 4 years ago
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Potential new tool for cervical cancer detection and diagnosis

Cervical cancer is, in many ways, a shining example of how successful the war on cancer can be. Thanks largely to the advent of Pap smear screening, U.S.  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 4 years ago
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Life-saving treatments learned from war being missed

Trauma is responsible for more global deaths annually than HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined.  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 4 years ago
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NTU Singapore develops new weapon in war against flu pandemics and pneumonia

Patent-pending antibody allows easier tracking of treatment...  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 4 years ago
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Study reveals sexual appeal of war heroes

Women are more attracted to war heroes than regular soldiers or men who display heroic traits in other fields, such as in sports or natural disaster work, according to new research from the...  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 4 years ago
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Mental health soon after war-zone concussions predicts disability

Evaluating military personnel with blast-related mild traumatic brain injuries, researchers have found that early symptoms of post-traumatic stress, such as anxiety, emotional numbness...  
medicalnewstoday.com
over 4 years ago
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Médecins Sans Frontières: the organisation at the heart of the Ebola outbreak

Médecins Sans Frontières helps anyone from victims of a war to injured terrorists. Martin Fletcher joins the volunteers in Freetown, where they are treating Ebola victims  
telegraph.co.uk
over 4 years ago
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Pomegranate-date cocktail a day keeps the doctor away

Pomegranates and dates are delicious, increasingly trendy, and healthy to boot. As it turns out, when consumed together they are a winning combination in the war against heart disease. The researchers conclude that people at high risk for cardiovascular diseases, as well as healthy individuals, could benefit from consuming the combination of half a glass of pomegranate juice (4 ounces), together with 3 dates. Ideally, the pits should be ground up into a paste and eaten as well, but even without the pits, the combination is better than either fruit alone.  
sciencedaily.com
over 4 years ago
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Little heroes of the war on cancer

Sophie Ryan-Palmer, 12, Fabian Bates, nine, and Chloe Balloqui (pictured), three, all patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital, took part in the television documentary filmed over two years.  
dailymail.co.uk
over 4 years ago