Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

National Family Caregivers (NFC) Month: a reading list

National Family Caregivers (NFC) Month is celebrated each November, in honor and recognition of the roughly 40 million Americans providing care to an adult family member or loved one. In 1997 President William J. Clinton signed the first NFC Month Presidential Proclamation, articulating that “Selflessly offering their energy and love to those in need, family caregivers have earned our heartfelt gratitude and profound respect.”

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The history of Acupuncture [timeline]

With its roots stretching back to over 6,000 years BCE, Acupuncture is one of the world’s oldest medical practices. This practice of inserting fine needles into specific areas of the body to ‘stimulate sensory nerves under the skin and in the muscles of the body’ is used widely on a global scale to alleviate pain caused by a variety of conditions.

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Herpes and human evolution: a suitable topic for dinner?

Politics and religion are always topics best avoided at dinner and it’s perhaps not too much of a stretch to add STIs to that list. But it was over dinner at King’s College, Cambridge that my colleagues Charlotte Houldcroft, Krishna Kumar, and I first started to talk about the fascinating relationship humans have with Herpes.

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Pain medicine and addiction: A reading list

On the 10 August 2017, President Donald Trump declared a ‘national emergency’ in the United States – the cause: the country’s escalating opioid epidemic. This drug crisis has rapidly become one of the worst in American history, with data showing that in 2016 up to 65,000 people died from drug overdoses. Officials state that for citizens under 50 they are the leading cause of death, and opioid-specific overdoses make up two-thirds of all those recorded.

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Can microbiology tell us exactly what killed the Aztecs?

The arrival of the Spanish conquistadors to Mexico in the 1620s marked the beginning of the end for the indigenous people. With an estimated population of between 15 and 30 million at this point, this dropped dramatically to only two million by 1700: the result of battles, famine, drought, and perhaps most significantly, infectious diseases. The following Q&A investigates how microbiology contributed to the ruin of the once-flourishing Mesoamerican culture.

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Marketing-driven government (Part 2)

When marketing is used in government, its impact is often limited because it is dogged by a short-term, fragmented approach influenced by political time cycles. Government marketing is often characterised by an overemphasis on broadcast communications, including digital platforms, to the exclusion of a more citizen-centric approach focused on listening, relationship building, and social networking.

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Marketing-driven government (Part 1)

Marketing is an approach to social programme design and delivery that should underpin how governments and not-for-profit agencies develop and select policy, shape how services are delivered, and build sustained partnerships with citizens and other stakeholder organisations. However, marketing is a very often misunderstood and misapplied within Government

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Are we losing a generation of younger doctors?

We live in challenging times for physicians, who are required to do things that are wearing them out and making them feel bad about their jobs. Surveys showing large percentages of doctors burned out, dissatisfied with their work or regretting their career choice point to something deeply psychological that is happening to many doctors—something that should make all of us very concerned.

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Invest in food security; end hunger

World Food Day is celebrated on 16th October each year, commemorating the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Various events take place around the world, promoting worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger, and the need to ensure food security and nutrition for everyone. Some of the statistics provided by the FAO are staggering:

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Understanding physician-assisted death [excerpt]

When it comes to end-of-life treatment, patients currently have a few different options available to them. One option, refusal of treatment, is when a decisionally capable patient is put in the driver’s seat with respect to medical treatment under the doctrine of informed consent. Another option is pain management, where palliative medicine is administered to entirely eliminate, or reduce pain to a level that the patient finds tolerable.

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How does circadian rhythm affect our lives?

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to American biologists Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young for their discoveries of the molecular mechanisms that control circadian rhythm in organisms. Their work began in the 1980s with the study of fruit flies, from which they were able to identify the […]

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World Mental Health Day 2017: History of the treatment of mental illness

The tenth of October marks World Mental Health Day. Organized by the World Health Organization, the day works toward “raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.” Mental health has been a concern for thousands of years, but different cultures have treated mental illnesses very differently throughout time.

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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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