Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World


Overcoming the “angel” perception of nursing

Most of us have vaguely positive sentiments about nurses, but at the same time, nursing is plagued by feminine stereotypes that continue to undermine the profession. These double-edged views are never more striking than in efforts to honor nurses, which often rely on emotional “angel” images rather than recognition of nurses’ health skills or tangible contributions to patient outcomes.

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Hearing, but not understanding

Imagine that your hearing sensitivity for pure tones is exquisite: not affected by the kind of damage that occurs through frequent exposure to loud music or other noises. Now imagine that, despite this, you have great problems in understanding speech, even in a quiet environment. This is what occurs if you have a temporal processing disorder

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Immune profiling of tumors may better stage early cancers

When immune cells infiltrate tumors in large numbers, patients do better. Now researchers aim to harness this immune response to predict outcomes. The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) in Milwaukee is coordinating an international effort to validate Immunoscore, an assay that quantifies this immune response.

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African health leaders claiming the future

Health leaders in sub Saharan African countries face some of the most demanding challenges anywhere in the world. Disease, poverty, the legacy of colonialism and, all too often, conflict, corruption and political instability, combine to make improving health extraordinarily difficult. Looking back we can see many great African health leaders who have played their part as the following few examples show.

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Can schizophrenia really be treated by “talk therapy” alone?

A recent study published by psychologist Anthony Morrison and colleagues in the British medical journal, The Lancet, is stirring up a long-standing debate about the treatment of schizophrenia. The article describes a randomized controlled trial with people diagnosed with schizophrenia who refused to take psychiatric medications called “antipsychotics.” The researchers tested whether these patients could be treated with a form of talk therapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in lieu of medications.

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Elisabeth Bing and an American revolution in birth

On May 15, Elisabeth Bing died at the age of 100. It is no exaggeration to say that during her long life she perhaps did more than any other individual to humanize childbirth practices in the United States. Obituaries and tributes to her rightly celebrate her role as a founding mother of the Lamaze movement in America and a lifelong advocate for improvement in maternity care.

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Oxford Medicine Online

Palliative care around the world

With a failing NHS and an ageing population in Britain, palliative care is a topic currently at the forefront of healthcare debate. Whether to abandon treatment in favour of palliation, is a challenging decision with profound implications for end-of-life care.

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50 shades of touch

Disgusting or delighting, exciting or boring, sensual or expected, no matter what you think about it, 50 Shades of Grey is certainly not a movie that passes by without leaving a mark on your skin. Based on E.L. James’ novel (honestly, somehow even more breathtaking than the movie), it tells the story of the complicated relationship between the dominant multi-millionaire Christian Grey, and the newly graduated, inexperienced, and shy, Ana Steele.

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Wenk Blog

What 4,000 years of hallucinations have taught us about our brain

Over the past forty years, many of my students have shared their personal experiences with hallucinogenic drugs. They are typically more fascinated, than frightened, by the experience. About sixty years ago the scientist C.H.W. Horne commented that “It is remarkable that one characteristic which seems to separate man from the allegedly lower animals is a recurring desire to escape from reality.”

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Why do we eat?

At first pass, the answer is obvious—to obtain energy to support our everyday activities and ultimately, to promote our survival. However, many of our modern day food choices suggest another answer, one that actually stands to threaten our health and functioning.

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Oxford Medicine Online

World Blood Donor Day 2015: blood types [infographic]

World Blood Donor Day 2015 is celebrated on 14 June each year. This Sunday, the theme is “Thank you for saving my life,” a chance for everyone who has benefited from a blood donation to thank the donors that selflessly donated to the cause. The demand for blood is always high as the shelf life of donated blood is only 42 days.

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Environmental Epigenetics cover

A Q&A with the Editor of Environmental Epigenetics

Environmental Epigenetics is a new, international, peer-reviewed, fully open access journal, which publishes research in any area of science and medicine related to the field of epigenetics, with particular interest on environmental relevance. With the first issue scheduled to launch this summer, we found this to be the perfect time to speak with Dr. Michael K. Skinner, Editor-in-Chief to discuss the launch of the journal into an exciting and rapidly developing field.

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Facing the challenges of palliative care: evolution

The last two decades have witnessed truly remarkable growth in the field of palliative care. Such growth is challenging, and brings both uncertainties and optimism about the future. In this three-part blog, we’ll take a look at some of the complex issues of continuity, development and evolution in palliative medicine.

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Human Reproduction

Preconception stress and infertility: a Q&A with Dr. Courtney D. Lynch

Does preconception stress increase the risk of infertility? Dr Courtney D. Lynch will be presenting the results from a couple-based prospective cohort study, the LIFE study, at this year’s Human Reproduction Keynote Lecture in Lisbon. We meet Dr Lynch to learn more about how she came to specialise in reproductive medicine and the findings of her research.

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Residency training and lifestyle

For many generations, doctors seemingly had little choice. Work came first. Doctors were expected to live and breathe medicine, spend long hours at the office or hospital, and, when necessary, neglect their families for the sake of their patients.

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Five ways nature can improve our health

How does nature benefit our health? Many of us intuitively know that we simply feel better after ‘stepping out for some fresh air.’ Now over 30 years of research has begun to reveal exactly what health benefits we get from nature. Here are five reasons why we need to make space and time for nature in our lives.

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