Category Archives: Doctors

Homeopathy is quackery plain and simple, whatever the royal family says | Catherine Bennett

Why do some GPs persist in prescribing watered-down, inactive substances?

Anyone who doubts the power of homeopathy may want, its practitioners point out, to account for an extraordinary longitudinal study involving multiple generations of one exceptionally long-lived British family of homeopathy enthusiasts.

Even allowing for other life-extending factors, such as footmen, normalised indolence and a morning pint or so of gin and Dubonnet, the propensity of so many Windsor-Mountbattens to survive into their 90s and, in the late Queen Mother’s case, much longer, is so striking that homeopaths are understandably eager to accept responsibility. They “live long and healthy lives,” says a member of the School of Homeopathy, presumably attributing to chance the marginally less inspirational example of noted homeopathy enthusiast, George VI (1895–1952). With every comment on their prodigious health, the Queen, aged 91, and her husband, 96, become a yet more valuable promotional asset to advocates of Hahnemann’s potentisation. The same, admittedly, applies to passionate advocates of never running your own bath. Either way, the royal family’s importance in promulgating homeopathy, by way of physical evidence, as well as through their official patronage, perhaps justifies what might otherwise appear intrusive inspection of their respective physical states.

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Source: gad

Can health workers stop thousands of women being killed in Guatemala?

The country has the world’s third highest rate of femicide. Meet the health professionals taking a stand against domestic abuse

Manuela Garcia can still vividly remember the last time she saw her daughter, Maria, alive. Everything seemed normal; Maria was happy and in good health. Little did Garcia know that 24 hours later, she would find her daughter lying dead on the bedroom floor, her body covered by a rug.

“It’s so painful,” says Garcia, choking back tears. “Two years on, and I haven’t forgotten. It’s one thing if your child dies in an accident, but at home? That’s what hurts the most. I’ll never be able to forget.”

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Source: gad

Fifth of prescribed antibiotics are unnecessary, study finds

Family doctors accused of ‘substantial inappropriate antibiotic prescribing’

GPs are fuelling the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance by wrongly giving antibiotics to one in five patients who has a cough or sore throat, a government-funded study has found.

Family doctors are displaying “substantial inappropriate antibiotic prescribing” when dealing with patients who have an infection, according to research published by Public Health England (PHE), the government’s public health advisers.

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Source: gad

I want my patients to take control of their healthcare choices | Ranjana Srivastava

We must improve hospital transparency and prompt the riskiest hospitals to lift their game

“You are the cancer doctor? Promise you won’t scare me,” my patient says, clutching my hand. My heart melts. As we slowly navigate the short distance to my office, I worry about his unstable gait.

“I am not here to scare you,” I say gently, “but I hope to help.”

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Source: gad

Accents don’t hurt patients, attitudes do | Ranjana Srivastava

In my entire medical career, I’ve never heard of a patient who died because the doctor had an accent

Walking up some stairs to my office, I spot a flyer stuck in a busy thoroughfare area. By the time I absorb its contents I have to retrace my steps to take a more careful look. Then, the onslaught of work removes all possibility of being distracted by a piece of advertising. The interpreters are overbooked today and my cancer clinic is burgeoning with people who can’t wait.

The first patient is from Punjab, an elderly woman accompanied by her husband. “What language do you feel comfortable with, English or Hindi?”

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Source: gad

I was a doctor prone to fainting. This is how I got over it

Like 12% of medical students, the graphic sights of the operating theatre caused me to faint. But slowly, after many queasy incidents, I learned how to cope

Medicine is great, but it involves pain, pus and blood. For some, seeing those things is a problem. When I started medical school, I was worried. Before applying, I had spent a night in the local casualty department as work experience. I watched a junior doctor try to prise a splinter from a young woman’s hand. It was hurting her, and she kept yelping. The doctor got irritated and said the anaesthetic “should be working by now”. He kept digging into her hand with a scalpel tip; she started to cry. I felt lightheaded, my skin went cold, I moved my legs to keep the blood flowing, but seconds later I fainted.

Related: ‘I fainted quite a bit’: what I learned from my nursing placement

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Source: gad

The NHS turns 70 this year, and it’s Britain’s greatest medical innovation | Bruce Keogh

Our health service stands alongside other brilliant inventions, such as penicillin, IVF and artificial hips. We must make sure it is fit for the decades to come

The NHS will celebrate its 70th birthday in 2018, after a difficult decade since the global financial crisis culminating in one of the most testing years in our history. The terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, along with the Grenfell Tower tragedy, saw all emergency services, including NHS staff, respond with skill and bravery.

Related: The NHS staff who rallied to my son’s aid show there is hope, even in bleak times | Jonathan Freedland

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Source: gad