Recent 'tongue in cheek' research which has been reported in a Washington Post blog recently has caused a lot of questions to be raised concerning inattention blindness, which could cause concern unless you understand the underlying psychology.
Here's a CT scan:
During psychology lectures at Med School, you may have encountered the basketball bouncing students in front of a bank of elevators where you were asked to count the number of passes the basketball made from the player wearing the white T shirt, while a gorilla ran between the students. (Even if you did watch it before, you can re-watch the video on the Washington Post blog).
The recent study asked radiologists to identify and count how many nodules are present in the lungs on a regular CT thorax. If you look at the image you may see a gorilla waving his arms about. As a radiologist, I see the anatomy in the background, the chambers of the heart and mediastinum, but nothing there out of the ordinary.
As radiologists, we are looking for pathology, but also report pathological findings that are unexpected. The clinical history of a patient is very important for us in interpretation of imaging examinations, as we need to answer the question you are asking, but have to be careful we do not miss anything else of serious import. As we do not see any other pathology, we would not expect to find a gorilla in the chest, so our brains can pass over distracting findings.
The other psychological issue is the satisfaction of search, where we can see the expected pathology, but may miss the other cancer if we do not carefully and systematically look through the images.
So the main thing to learn from this is that your training should always keep you alert, not just to expected happening, but to not discount the unexpected, then many lives will be saved as a result of your attention to detail.
Previously I blogged about the 'stigma' and discrimination often faced by those confronting mental illness - even by colleagues. It was incredibly apt, therefore, that just a week later, the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) published their "Parity" report.
The report entitled Whole Person Care: from rhetoric to reality calls for an equality in physical vs mental health. As with many of my colleagues, I saw the word "Whole Person Care" and was instantly guilty of a pre-formed stereotype. I don't like the term whole person care nor holistic medicine. I hear these terms and my thoughts instantly switch to bright colours, 60s attire and I start humming "this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius". More so, this topic becomes riddled with questionable pseuodoscience and tentative nods to evidence-less forms of complimentary medicine. I think such terms are perhaps self destructive and instantly mark out mental health as odd. Ambiguous terms such as this make the whole topic even more off putting.
Holistic rants aside, this report is an exceptionally important read (or at least glance) for all future doctors. There is an unquestionable inequality in mental and physical health in this country. It seems that if we can't 'see' something, it's not quantifiable and therefore loses a position of importance. It leads us to have 'pathological priorities', putting the physical before the mental. Despite this, both influence one another and deserve equal importance.
Some of the key points of the report are:
A call for equal funding of Mental and Physical Health Services
A call to reduce discrimination and stigmas associated with Mental Health
A call for equal care and treatment of Mental health/Physical Health
A call for management and leaders (such as commissioning boards)to acknowledge the equality of mental/physical health
Perhaps the most important for myself as I read through this was a call for equal access to Mental Health treatments under NICE clinical guidelines. Currently, patients have the right to receive only mental health treatments which have undergone NICE technology appraisals - not those offered by clinical guidelines. For example, NICE Clinical Guidelines state talk therapies are more effective than instant antidepressants for treatment of mild depression.
The report is a huge step toward equality in mental and physical health. Perhaps we should all just take a moment to address the importance of both.
You can read the full report and a summary on the RCPsych website here:
Objectives To determine the effects of lipid based nutritional supplements with either whey or soy protein in patients with HIV during the first three months of antiretroviral treatment (ART) and to explore effects of timing by comparing supplementation at the start of ART and after three months delay.
During our antibiotics teaching at medical school we were told that a recent survey of junior doctors had revealed that a significant proportion didn't realise that augmentin, tazocin, and carbopenems were penicillins and as such should not be given to those with known allergies. I devised a "mind-map" summarising the main antibiotics in use using information from the BNF and my own lecture notes. For me, seeing the information laid out in this manner, pinned above my desk as I work, helps me remember the major classes, their relationships with one another, and their major side-effects.
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All blood cells develop from haemocytoblasts The process is called haematopoiesis (sometimes just haemopoiesis) Haemocytoblasts are also known as pluripotential stem cells. These cells can replicate themselves as well as differentiate into other cells, thus providing the constant supply of blood cells. The turnover of cells is very quick: