Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Collaboration for a cure: harnessing the power of patient data

I am a classic example of a fitness fanatic who uses a wearable device to count my steps, measure my heart rate, and track my sleep pattern. Every day, I am armed with data gathered about my physical activity, alerting me as to whether I’ve been slacking in the gym or eating too many bags of crisps. There is no doubt that now, more than ever, we live in a world where ‘big data’ is ubiquitous in influencing our daily decisions.

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Brain tumour awareness: The end counts too

Here in the United Kingdom, we have the worst survival rates for brain cancer in Europe, with just 14% of patients surviving for ten or more years. Whilst prognosis for most other types of cancer has improved, brain tumour survival rates have remained stagnant, with no game-changing new drugs being developed in the last fifty years. As brain tumours progress, the aggressive nature of the disease becomes apparent.

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Misconceptions of vaccines

Vaccines help to provide immunity against diseases. Sadly, there are a number of misconceptions surrounding vaccines, leading to some areas of the community opting not to vaccinate. This has a negative impact as decreasing immunisation rates can lead to an increase in diseases that can be prevented by vaccines, as was seen with the whooping cough in California.

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Shaping the legacy of Dame Cicely Saunders [excerpt]

She arrived in 1938, at age twenty-one, for the Michaelmas term. In that year, there were 850 women studying at the University, making up a record 18.5% of the student body. Cicely elected to read Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (P.P.E.). This programme of study had been established at Oxford in the 1920s as an alternative to ‘Greats’ or Classics. It was generally known as ‘Modern Greats’.

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How did the plague impact health regulation?

What do we think of when we hear the word “plague”? Red crosses on boarded-up doors? Deserted medieval villages? Or maybe the horror film-esque cloak and mask of a plague doctor? Unsurprisingly, the history of plague and its impact on health regulation is more complex and far-reaching than many assume. This extract from the Textbook of Global Health looks at the medical and environmental legacy of pandemics.

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The changing face of women in medicine

As a current fourth year medical student in the United Kingdom, I am in a year in which the number of females supersedes the number of males. This trend certainly isn’t unique to my own medical school, with a General Medical Council (GMC) report stating that women now make up 55% of all undergraduate medical students. This current trend is a change, as in the past medicine has always been a male-dominated profession.

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Acknowledging identity, privilege, and oppression in music therapy

As clinical music therapy professionals who are goal- and solution-oriented, how much time do we spend considering our client’s experience outside the therapy room? How might taking the time to learn about a client’s multifaceted identity affect the therapeutic relationship? Furthermore, how do our own personal identities, beliefs, and experiences affect our relationships with clients? In answering these questions, we begin to scratch the surface of making our practice more intersectional.

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World Kidney Day 2018: include, value, empower

This year on the 8th March, World Kidney Day coincided with International Women’s Day. With chronic kidney disease affecting 195 million women worldwide, the chosen theme ‘Kidneys & Women’s Health: Include, Value, Empower’ only feels apt. Despite playing a vital role in the body maintaining homeostasis, kidney health is often overlooked by many of us, and if neglected could lead to serious health implications for both men and women.

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Which famous woman from STM are you?

Throughout our history, women have made varied and important contributions to the fields of science, technology, and medicine. Their pioneering work, often fought against overwhelming social prejudice, still affects our lives to this day. Women’s History Month is the ideal time to celebrate the achievements of female scientists and medics from past to present—and perhaps discover some new inspiration.

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Creating a natural health system

Public health has seen multiple revolutions over history: from the recognition of the connection between water, sanitation, and health, to breakthroughs in medicine and genetics. We are currently in the midst of a new revolution in public health where humans are recognised as social beings connected to their community and their environment.

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Romance and reality: clinical science in liver transplant for alcoholism

Many view organ transplantation as one of the miracles of modern medicine: preserving a person’s life by providing a new liver, heart, lung, kidney, or other organ where the original vital organ has failed. One sees the transplant surgeon as the proverbial knight in shining armor riding a white horse and impaling the demons of death and disease on the end of his sharp-pointed lance.

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Celebrating women in STM [timeline]

Throughout the month of March, Oxford University Press will be celebrating women in STM (science, technology, and medicine) with the objective of highlighting the outstanding contributions that women have made to these fields. Historically many of the contributions made by women have gone unsung or undervalued, and these fields have been male-dominated and inaccessible for women to enter.

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Dr. Victor Sidel: a leader for health, peace, and social justice

Victor (Vic) Sidel, M.D., who died in late January, was a national and international champion for health, peace, and social justice. Among his numerous activities, he co-edited with me six books on war, terrorism, and social injustice that were published by Oxford University Press. Vic left an extensive legacy in the residents and students whom he trained, in the organizations that he strengthened, in the scholarly books and papers that he edited and wrote, and in the policies and programs that he promoted for a healthier, more peaceful, and more equitable world.

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Excessive gambling and gaming recognised as addictive disorders

There is no doubt that excessive gambling can cause a huge mental, personal, and financial toll for the gambler and the members of their family. The nature of excessive gambling and whether it constitutes a disorder has been the subject of much research, debate, and controversy in recent years.

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In memoriam: Jimmie C. Holland, MD

Jimmie C. Holland, MD, internationally recognized as the founder of the field of Psycho-oncology, died suddenly on 24 December 2017 at the age of 89. Dr. Holland, who was affectionately known by her first name, “Jimmie,” had a profound global influence on the fields of Psycho-oncology, Psychosomatic Medicine, and Oncology.

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200 years of Parkinson’s disease

The 200th anniversary of James Parkinson’s seminal Essay on the Shaking Palsy gives cause for commemoration and reflection. Parkinson’s astute observation and careful description of only six patients led to one of the earliest and most complete clinical descriptions of Parkinson’s disease. With the concept of a syndrome still not fully realised, Parkinson was among the first writers to unify a set of seemingly unrelated symptoms into one diagnosis.

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