Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World


The future of aesthetic surgery

Plastic surgery, aesthetic surgery, cosmetic surgery: the field has many different names. Yet despite its high profile today, many people even within the medical field have a limited understanding of it and the drastic changes it’s undergoing. From noninvasive procedures to patient education, aesthetic surgeons face a variety of new challenges. We sat down with Foad Nahai, editor of Aesthetic Surgery Journal‎, to learn more about developments in the field.

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The Gerontologist

Sexual decision-making for older adults with dementia

Who decides with whom we are allowed to have sex? Generally, consenting adults are considered to have the ability to make decisions regarding sexual activity and are allowed to pursue a sexual relationship with whomever they choose, assuming appropriate criteria for consent are met.

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Hypertension: more fatal than essential

Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is a common condition worldwide, and is known to be one of the most important risk factors for strokes, and heart attacks. It is considered to affect almost a third of all adults over the age of 18.

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Journal of Public Health

Health inequalities: what is to be done?

The research literature on health inequalities (health differences between different social groups) is growing almost every day. Within this burgeoning literature, it is generally agreed that the UK’s health inequalities (like those in many other advanced, capitalist economies) are substantial.

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Is phantom limb pain all in one’s head?

Phantom limb pain is thought to result from changes in brain organisation. Recent evidence challenges this view, leaving this mysterious phenomenon unsolved. Picture yourself waking up in the hospital. Your body is hurting, but you can’t remember what happened. The doctor tells you that you had a severe accident causing you to lose your left arm.

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Oxford Medicine Online

Common infectious diseases contracted by travellers worldwide [infographic]

This summer intrepid travelers everywhere are strapping on backpacks, dousing themselves in mosquito spray, and getting their inoculations — ready to embark on journeys that will take them into contact with some of the most virulent viruses and nastiest bacteria on the planet. Even those of us who aren’t going off the beaten track may end up in close quarters with microbes we’d rather not befriend. Explore some of the most common infectious diseases around the globe and how to identify them in this infographic.

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Cancer science and the new frontier

What is the future of cancer research? In recent years, new developments in this rapidly changing field have delivered fundamental insights into cancer biology. Patient options have not only increased but improved, with thousands of individuals benefiting from these often life-saving discoveries, many of which have been documented by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, an internationally acclaimed source for original cancer-related research, up-to-date news, and information.

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Military radiology and the Boer War

The centenary of the Great War has led to a renewed interest in military matters, and throughout history, war has often been the setting for medical innovation with major advances in the treatment of burns, trauma, and sepsis emanating from medical experience in the battlefield. X-rays, which were discovered in 1895 by Roentgen, soon found a role in military conflict. The first use of X-rays in a military setting was during the Italo-Abyssinian war in 1896.

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Water and conflict

The four-year drought in California, which is causing severe water shortages and related problems, is receiving increasingly more attention. It is affecting everyone, causing people to adjust their lifestyles and causing small business owners and entire industries to rethink their use–and misuse–of water.

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Florence Nightingale’s syphilis that wasn’t

Nursing lore has long maintained that the mysterious illness that sent Florence Nightingale to bed for 30 years after her return from the Crimea was syphilis. At least that’s what many nursing students were told in the 1960s, when my wife was working on her BSN. Syphilis, however, would be difficult to reconcile with the fact that Nightingale was likely celibate her entire life and had not a single sign or symptom typical of that venereal infection.

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Age-friendly community initiatives: coming to a neighborhood near you?

The saying that “It takes a village” is well known when recognizing the role of communities in promoting children’s health and human development. At the same time, there is a growing worldwide movement drawing attention to how much communities matter for people of other ages—especially adults confronting the challenges of later life. Efforts to make communities better places for older adults (and potentially for people of all ages) reflect a growing field of research, policy, and practice called “age-friendly community initiatives” (AFCIs).

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Are you ready to travel?

There’s more to international travel than booking a flight, finding a place to stay, and figuring out transportation. When traveling internationally, it is important to pay attention to the different vaccinations and immunizations that are required or suggested. Keeping yourself and your travel companions safe should be a top priority when preparing to go on a trip to another country. Are you ready to get on that plane?

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The AA talking cure

80 years ago, in the summer of 1935, Bill Wilson, a stockbroker from NYC, and Dr. Bob Smith, a surgeon from Akron Ohio, both formerly hopeless alcoholics, shared their “experience, strength, and hope” with each other in Dr. Bob’s living room, and Alcoholic’s Anonymous was born. Today, 2 million people in 170 countries continue to do exactly what Bill W. and Dr. Bob did. Formerly hopeless drunks sit in church basements and in clubhouses, and share their stories with each other, not with ministers, addiction experts or psychiatrists, but with fellow alcoholics.

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Medicare and end-of-life medical care

Medicare recently announced that it will pay for end-of-life counseling as a legitimate medical service. This announcement provoked little controversy. Several groups, including the National Right to Life Committee, expressed concern that such counseling could coerce elderly individuals to terminate medical treatment they want. However, Medicare’s statement was largely treated as uncontroversial—indeed, almost routine in nature.

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Toilet paradigms and the sanitation crisis in India

Sanitation has evinced considerable interest from policy-makers, lawmakers, researchers and even politicians in recent years. Its transformation from a social taboo into a topic of general conversation is evident from the fact that one of the central themes of a recent mainstream Bollywood production (Piku, 2015) was the inability of the protagonist’s father to relieve himself.

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Medicare and Medicaid myths: setting the 50-year record straight

Over the past half-century, Medicare and Medicaid have constituted the bedrock of American healthcare, together providing insurance coverage for more than 100 million people. Yet these programs remain controversial: clashes endure between opponents who criticize costly, “big government” programs and supporters who see such programs as essential to the nation’s commitment to protect the vulnerable.

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