Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World


Junior doctor contracts: should they be challenged?

On Saturday 17th October, 16,000 people marched to protest against the new junior doctor contracts in London for the second time. The feeling at the protest was one of overwhelming solidarity, as people marched with placards of varying degrees of humour. Purposely misspelled placards reading “junior doctors make mistaks” were a popular choice, while many groups gathered under large banners identifying their hospital, offering 30% off.

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Tracheal Intubation Guidelines

We are used to lines that guide – from those that keep our words straight on the page to those that direct planes down runways or trains along tracks. Moving from lines that guide our direction to guidelines that direct our behaviour, particularly in clinical medicine, is a very exciting time.

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Can flour fortification programs reduce anemia?

Two studies published this year yield conflicting results on whether fortifying flour with essential vitamins and minerals improves anemia prevalence. One study published in the British Journal of Nutrition (BJN) showed that each year of flour fortification was associated with a 2.4% decrease in anemia prevalence among non-pregnant women.

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Battin Ethics of Suicide Cover

‘Death with Dignity': is it suicide?

But what’s the right term, really? After all, much of the political disagreement and legal wrangling over this issue is rooted in this fundamental conceptual question, is “physician-assisted suicide” really suicide? Let’s see if we can figure it out.

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Charles West and Florence Nightingale: Children’s healthcare in context

At the dawn of the children’s hospital movement in Europe and the West (best epitomised and exemplified by the opening of London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children (GOSH) on 14 February 1852), the plight of sick children was precarious at all levels of society. After a long campaign by Dr Charles West, Great Ormond Street hospital was the first establishment to provide in-patient beds specifically for children in England.

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Elective Neck Dissection in Early Oral Cancer: Debate Resolved

A debate over whether to remove lymph nodes from the neck during surgical treatment of early oral cancer has gone on for decades. Now findings from a randomized control trial reported last June at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) annual meeting, in Chicago may finally put that controversy to rest.

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A European victory for the pharmaceutical industry

Following a preliminary reference made in the context of Seattle Genetics Inc. v Österreichisches Patentamt, the Court of Justice of the European Union has put an end to the uncertainty faced by both the innovative and the generic pharmaceutical industries regarding the duration of the effective patent protection afforded to medicinal products.

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Music Therapy Perspectives

How to cope when the words don’t come

Imagine someone close to you disappears. She no longer shows up on the day on which she always visited. She does not call or write. No one says where she has gone or if she is coming back. To make matters worse, you cannot ask about her. You experience feelings of sadness, anger, disappointment, and grief, to name a few. The only way you have to express yourself is through your behavior.

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Why global health matters

It is every human being’s right to enjoy a state of complete mental, physical, and social well being on this planet. However, health is also a right that is unequally distributed throughout the world due to lack of access to proper healthcare facilities and professionals, lack of sanitation, feeble vaccination delivery systems, and treatment-oriented healthcare systems rather than preventative systems.

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Q & A with Martin R. Turner and Matthew C. Kiernan: Neurology’s past, present, and future

To mark this month’s release of Martin R. Turner and Matthew C. Kiernan’s Landmark Papers in Neurology, we spoke with the two editors, to discuss their thoughts on neurology – past and present. We asked about the origins of neurology, the understanding of neurological diseases, milestones in the field, why historical context is so important – and their predictions for the future…

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Ethics at the chocolate factory

Two women are being trained for work on a factory assembly line. As products arrive on a conveyor belt, their task is to wrap each product and place it back on the belt. Their supervisor warns them that failing to wrap even one product is a firing offense, but once they get started, the work seems easy.

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Building momentum for women in science

I recently attended an event at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine “Celebrating 200+ Women Professors”. The celebration of these women and their careers inspired me, especially as a “young” woman and an assistant professor. It was also humbling to hear about their successes in spite of the many challenges they faced solely due to their sex.

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Better medical research for longer, healthier lives

When I started my career as a medical statistician in September 1972, medical research was very different from now. In that month, the Lancet and the British Medical Journal published 61 research reports which used individual participant data, excluding case reports and animal studies. The median sample size was 36 people. In July 2010, I had another look.

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Why you must stop for coffee and donuts this morning

Sometimes, what your brain wants is not always good for your body. Donuts are a good example. It’s early morning and you’re driving to work after a nice breakfast of black coffee and two eggs, easy-over, with bacon. Yet, you’re still hungry and having difficulty paying attention to the traffic. Why? Your brain is not cooperating because it is not satisfied with that breakfast because it lacked one critical ingredient that your brain urgently needs: sugar.

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World Anaesthesia Day: Key events in the history of anaesthesia

Today (Friday 16 October) is World Anaesthesia Day. To mark this occasion, we have selected ten of the most interesting events in the history of anaesthesia. From the discovery of diethyl ether by Paracelsus in 1525, to James Young Simpson’s first use of chloroform in 1847, and the creation of the first specialist anaesthetic society in 1992 – anaesthesia is a medical discipline with a fascinating past.

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Soda Politics

The soda industry exposed [infographic]

Although soda companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are recognized around the world – the history, politics, and nutrition of these corporations are not as known. In her latest book, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning), Marion Nestle exposes the truth behind this multi-billion dollar industry. Check out these hard hitting facts and see how much you actually know about the soda industry.

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