Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Fire prevention: the lessons we can learn

The United States spends more on health than any other economically comparable country, yet sees a consistently mediocre return on this investment. This could be because the United States invests overwhelmingly in medicine and curative care, at the expense of the social, economic, and environmental determinants of health—factors like quality education and housing, the safety of our air and water, and the nutritional content of our food.

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The frailty industry: too much too soon?

Fashions come and go, in clothing, news, and even movie genres. Medicine, including geriatric medicine, is no exception. When I was a trainee, falls and syncope was the “next big thing,” pursued with huge enthusiasm by a few who became the many. But when does a well-meaning medical fashion become a potentially destructive fad? Frailty, quite rightly, has developed from something geriatricians and allied professionals always did to become a buzz word even neurosurgeons bandy about.

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More than just sanctuary, migrants need social citizenship

In 1975, the English author John Berger wrote about the political implications of immigration, at a time when one in seven workers in the factories of Germany and Britain was a male migrant – what Berger called the ‘seventh man’. Today, every seventh person in the world is a migrant. Migrants are likely to settle in cities.

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Bracing for the worst flu season on record

This year, 2017, is braced to historically be the worst flu season ever recorded, according to the Nation Health Service (NHS). Doctors and hospitals may struggle to cope with the increase in demand, following the spike of influenza cases from Australia and New Zealand, who have recently come out of their winter season.

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The story behind the image

A clinical placement abroad is a unique and eye-opening experience for any young medic. Away from the organised bustle of the hospital wards and state-of-the art lab equipment, they must learn to overcome cultural, linguistic, and environmental barriers in order to deliver exceptional care to those in need. In June, our 2017 Clinical Placement Competition came to a close.

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Integrative Environmental Medicine

How ‘green’ are you at work? [quiz]

With sea level rising and ice caps rapidly melting, the danger signs of global warming are evident, increasing the need to be environmentally friendly. However, much of this focus is on being environmentally friendly at home. Many of us spend a large proportion of our time at work, making it just as crucial to be ‘green’ at work, as we are at home.

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Seven reasons to get your memory evaluated

A question that I am often asked by family members, friends, and even by other physicians and nurses that I work with, is “Should I get my memory evaluated?” Partly, the question is asked because they have noticed memory problems, and are struggling to sort out whether theses lapses are an inevitable part of normal aging versus the start of something more ominous, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

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A Q&A with oncologist Pamela Goodwin

Like many oncologists, Dr. Pamela Goodwin first developed an interest in oncology following seeing a family member affected by cancer. Today, she leads JNCI Cancer Spectrum as Editor-in-Chief, publishing cancer research in an array of topics. Recently, we interviewed Dr. Goodwin, who shared her thoughts about the journal, the field of oncology, and her visions for the future.

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Healthcare during Harvey

As an emergency room doctor, I was boots on the ground! I work at several companies and have several different hospitals I go to, Houston and Beaumont. Just after the storm hit Beaumont, record floods swamped the area. And I drove in to work. Through two feet of water. But after arrival, I manned my post and an extraordinary thing happened. Most of us in my neighborhood are pilots with small planes and it’s a great life.

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How a failed suicide affects the brain

The numerous factors that induce someone to think about suicide, the “ideators,” are often different from those who actually attempt suicide, the “attempters.” For example, the traditional risk factors for suicide, such as depression, hopelessness, many psychiatric disorders, and impulsivity, strongly predict suicide ideation but weakly predict suicide attempts among ideators.

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Discussing family medicine: Q&A with Jeffrey Scherrer

Family medicine plays a large role in day-to-day healthcare. To further our knowledge of the primary care landscape, we’re thrilled to welcome Jeffrey Scherrer, PhD, as the new Editor-in-Chief of Family Practice, a journal that takes an international approach of the problems and preoccupations in the field. Jeffrey sat down with us recently to discuss his vision for the journal’s future and his work in research and mentorship.

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Can narcolepsy research help solve one of the greatest medical mysteries of the 20th century?

In late 1916, while the world was entrenched in the Great War, two physicians on opposing sides of the conflict started to encounter patients who presented with bizarre neurological signs. Most notably, the patients experienced profound lethargy, and would sleep for abnormally long periods of time. One of the physicians, Constantin von Economo, was at the Psychiatric-Neurological Clinic at the University of Vienna.

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How long should children fast for clear fluids before general anaesthesia?

Anyone who has had a general anaesthetic will be well aware of the need to fast beforehand. ‘Nil by mouth’ (NBM) or ‘NPO’ (nil per os, os being the Latin for mouth) instructions are part of everyday life on pre-operative wards. This withholding of food and liquids before a general anaesthetic is necessary is because of the risk of the full stomach emptying all or parts of its contents into the patient’s lungs.

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Top tips for a healthy heart

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common cause of death in the UK, and is also a major killer worldwide. CHD is caused by fatty deposits building up in a person’s coronary arteries and can lead to symptoms including heart attacks, angina and heart failure. The chances are that you’re already aware of many of the key contributing lifestyle factors which cause people to develop CHD

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Organ Donation Week: A reading list

In light of Organ Donation Week (4-11th September 2017), we have drawn together a collection of articles around the same theme. Our reading list includes articles and chapters which inform, showcase, and discuss the latest research, key issues, and cases of interest in organ donation. The collection offers a sample of the breadth of content available on this topic

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What hearing voices reveals about hallucination and speech perception

Hearing things that other people do not – in other words, an auditory hallucination – is something that approximately 5-15% of the population experience at some point in their lives. For people with a psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia, the experience of auditory hallucinations can often be bewildering and upsetting. However, for some people unusual sensory experiences can be an important and meaningful part of their lives.

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