Over the last decade or so, patients have been encouraged to think ahead, and make clear their wishes and plans for a time when illness may render them unable to makes decisions about their care for themselves. This process we know as Advance Care Planning (ACP). Intuitively, as a hospice physician trained in Palliative Medicine, ACP seems to me like a good thing to do, with those patients who are willing to do it.
Whether you are approaching retirement, or are a few years or decades away from thinking about leaving the workforce, it is likely that you will be affected by the changing nature of retirement. Maybe it’s not your own retirement that is on the forefront of your mind, but your spouse or partner’s. Perhaps your parent or another family member is trying to navigate the complexities of their pension, all the while trying to decide whether and how to retire.
In November last year, after much debate over cost, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approved two new drugs for treatment of breast cancer for use on the NHS. Although first approval happened some time ago, this decision to make palbociclib and ribociclib available on the NHS, gives thousands more people access.
Palliative care is now a cemented service offered by health care services globally, and in the United Kingdom the hospice care sector provides support to 200,000 people each year. The care given to the terminally ill, as well as their family and friends is vital in supporting individuals through what is, for most, the most challenging time of their lives. This care ranges from clinical medical practice to spiritual support, and aims to put individuals in as much comfort as is possible.
Images of a Loa Loa worm crawling across a woman’s eye, a man’s leg swollen, unrecognizability from filariasis, a child comatose from malaria: these are the images often used to start a lecture on global health. The people suffering from these exotic maladies are undoubtedly of people of color who hail from communities and countries impoverished by a succession of geopolitical forces in direct opposition to human rights.
Defined as “the branch of medicine which deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health”, the field of epidemiology is a widely-encompassing field. Issues under this branch range from incarceration and health to environmental issues to gun violence. In recent years, global outbreaks have also brought epidemiology to the forefront with the reemergence of infectious diseases such as Ebola and Zika.
Retail thinking is spreading quickly in health care. It promises greater convenience and speed for delivering basic health care services — but it isn’t what patients really want. Retail thinking views patients as consumers: faceless targets for buying services and products that aren’t always health-related. It’s the thinking behind technology-assisted health care services, like ZocDoc, Amwell, and One Medical, which quickly triage symptoms or serve up medical advice.
With his right arm extended – pausing for just a moment – Senator John McCain flashed a thumbs-down and jarred the Senate floor. Audible gasps and commotion followed. At 1:29 am on 28 July, Senator McCain had just supplied the decisive “Nay” vote to derail the fourth and final bill voted on that night. With that, a seven-year pursuit to undo the Affordable Care Act had collapsed.
At the time of writing, many Australians are preoccupied with the recent result of the same-sex marriage survey (with 61.6% voting in favour of marriage equality). The survey’s result is indicative of a shift in the thinking about ‘rights’ in general, but also about ‘equality’ and what it means in practice. Unsurprisingly also, and as evidenced throughout the public and social media, all those who advocate for more open and inclusive society are pleased by what looks like a public surge for a social change.
When drafts of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) for the 44 “footprints” of the NHS in England began to surface last year, a phrase caught my eye: “Championing the NHS Right Care approach to others within commissioner and provider organizations and building a consensus within the teams of those organizations”. This was the first bullet point for clinical leadership, from the 30 June 2016 version of the Cheshire and Merseyside STP.
Virtual Reality. Augmented Reality. Gamified Learning. Blended Learning. Mobile Learning. The list of technologies that promise to revolutionise medical education (or education in general) could go on, creating an exciting yet daunting task for the course leaders and educators who have to evaluate them.
Policy makers, organization, and governments have worked side-by-side with people living with AIDS as part of a global social movement for three decades. The success of the movement for HIV treatment access not only garnered billions of dollars of new money for HIV treatment, but also served to shift the public health paradigm from prevention-only to the provision long-term treatment.
There is a physician workforce crisis in primary care, both in the United States and United Kingdom. In the UK, half or more general practice physician training positions have been difficult to fill in certain parts of the country. In the US, the American Association of Medical Colleges estimates that by 2025 there will be a shortfall of between 15,000 and 35,000 primary care physicians nationally.
Microbes are everywhere. On door knobs, in your mouth, covering the New York City Subway, and festering on the kitchen sponge. The world is teeming with microbes—bustling communities of invisible organisms, including bacteria and fungi. Scientists are hard at work cataloging the microbial communities of people, buildings, and entire ecosystems. Many discoveries have shed light on how culture and behavior shape these communities.
In all clinical practices, students must learn to make meaning of clinical information such as, “What does it mean that the client said this or did that? What is the client’s body saying when it does or does not do this?” For music therapy students, there is the additional consideration of music, namely “What does it mean when the client plays music like this? What does it mean when the client hears this music like that?”
Although tuberculosis (TB) has plagued mankind for over 20,000 years and was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the early 1990s, political attention and funding for TB has remained low. This looks set to change for the first time. On 17 November 2017, 75 national ministers agreed to take urgent action to end TB by 2030.