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Health & Medicine Archives | OUPblog

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Clinical placement in Nepal: an interview with Ruth Jones

In May last year, Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine, in partnership with Projects Abroad, offered one lucky medical student the chance to practice their clinical skills abroad in an international placement. The winner was Ruth Jones from the University of Nottingham, who impressed the judging panel with her sincerity, dedication, and willingness to become the best doctor she can be.

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Preparing for the next Ebola

As Ebola recedes from the headlines, amid long awaited declines in incidence in West Africa, a long overdue commitment to developing vaccines and adequate health care infrastructure is underway. The importance of these approaches should not to be minimized.

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Excellence in residency education

A middle-aged man was recently admitted to a Midwest hospital for “refractory congestive heart failure.” He had been followed in the hospital’s out-patient clinic for two years with that diagnosis. Yet, he continued to retain fluid and gain weight, despite optimal treatment for congestive heart failure.

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The Oxford Comment – Episode 20 – Living with the Stars

Everything is connected. Animals and asteroids, bodies and stardust, heart valves and supernovas—all of these rise from the same origin to form the expanse of the universe, the fiber of our being. So say our guests of this month’s Oxford Comment, Karel Shrijver, an astronomer who studies the magnetic fields of stars, and Iris Schrijver, a physician and pathologist. We sat down for a captivating discussion with the co-authors of Living with the Stars: How the Human Body is Connected to the Life Cycles of the Earth, the Planets, and the Stars.

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The IOM’s effort to dislodge chronic fatigue syndrome

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently released their report regarding a new name (i.e., systemic exertion intolerance disease) and case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In brief, the IOM proposed that at least four symptoms needed to be present to be included in this new case definition […]

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Let’s finally kick the habit: governance of addictions in Europe

More than a century ago, on 23 January 1912, the first international convention on drug control was signed in The Hague. A century later, despite efforts made at all levels and vast quantities of evidence, our societies still struggle to deal effectively with addictive substances and behaviours. Reaching a global consensus has proved harder than kicking the worst drug-taking habit.

Nonetheless, the meeting of the Global Commission on Drug Policy held on 9 September 2014 in New York might be a turning point.

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The sombre statistics of an entirely preventable disease

Sore throats are an inevitable part of childhood, no matter where in the world one lives. However for those children living in poor, under-resourced and marginalised societies of the world, this could mean a childhood either cut short by crippling heart failure or the need for open-heart surgery.

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The important role of palatable food in eating disorders

When we hear the term “eating disorder,” we often think of the woman at our gym who looks unhealthily thin or maybe a friend who meticulously monitors each calorie he or she consumes. Though anorexia nervosa (marked by low weight and a strong fear of weight gain) is a serious and harmful mental illness with one of the highest mortality rates of any psychiatric illness, the reality is that the most common eating disorders are bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, both of which involve (and in fact, require for their diagnosis) binge eating.

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Why are some residency programs better than others?

Considerable variation in quality exists among residency programs in the United States, even among those in the same specialty, such as surgery, pediatrics, or internal medicine. Some are nationally and internationally renowned, others are known regionally, and still others are known only locally.

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How disease names can stigmatize

On 10 February 2015, the long awaited report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) was released regarding a new name — Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease — and case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Because I was quoted regarding this report in a New York Times article, in part due to having worked on these issues for many years, hundreds of patients contacted me over the next few days.

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February is Heart Month

February is Heart Month in both the United States and the United Kingdom. It is a time to raise awareness of heart and circulatory diseases. Heart Month highlights all forms of heart disease, from certain life-threatening heart conditions that individuals are born with, to heart attacks and heart failure in later life.

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Antibody cancer therapy: a new age?

In 1998 the biotech company Genentech launched Herceptin for the treatment of certain types of breast cancer. Herceptin was an example of a ‘therapeutic antibody’ and was the first of its type for cancer treatment. Antibodies are proteins in our immune system that can target abnormal cells (or bacteria, toxins, viruses, etc.) in the body, and on arriving at the target can set in motion a whole set of biological events that in principle can remove or degrade to a non-dangerous state the abnormal cells.

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Ethical issues in developing scales for biomedical research

When we think of ethical issues in bio-medical research (if we think of them at all), what usually comes to mind are either egregious breaches, such as the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study, in which treatment was kept from rural black men in order to investigate the natural history of this treatable disease, or questions such as whether it is proper to use prisoners as subjects in early drug testing trials.

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Fluorescent proteins and medicine

Fluorescent proteins are changing the world. Page through any modern scientific journal and it’s impossible to miss the vibrant images of fluorescent proteins. Bright, colorful photographs not only liven-up scholarly journals, but they also serve as invaluable tools to track HIV, to design chickens that are resistant to bird flu and to confirm the existence of cancerous stem cells.

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Public health in 2014: a year in review

With the Ebola virus outbreak, great debate surrounding electronic cigarettes, and other public health topics in the media headlines, 2014 was a very eventful year for public health. The year also brought many great research articles, blogs, and publications addressing these and other important issues.

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