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Words matter

Many common terms and phrases are rooted in racist or sexist language The troubling video of George Floyd’s death under a policeman’s knee in Minneapolis has had a huge impact. Firstly there were prolonged street protests and then the Black Lives Matter campaign took off on social media. Corporate America came on board with companies…

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The Covid-19 language explosion

From ‘covidiot’ to ‘coronacoaster’, the pandemic has thrown up almost a dictionary’s worth of new words As readers are aware, one of my nerdy interests is in language and especially quirks of language. Show me a neologism and I’m away! Covid-19 has led to an explosion of new words and phrases, both in English and…

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An evidence-base for e-consultations

More research is required before telemedicine becomes mainstream practice First of all, a confession: Bless me, for I have sinned. ‘What is Houston going to admit to’, you are wondering. Hopefully a scandal of tabloid proportions? Or maybe, after years of personal probity, the true nature of the man is about to be revealed? Well,…

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A call for intellectual humility

Dr Danielle Ofri’s new book does not necessarily play to her undoubted writing skills When Dr Danielle Ofri opened her talk at the dotMD 2018 conference, she did so with the story from one of her books about a French woman with Stage 3 lung cancer. The patient, doctor and wider team were in the…

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The long, tough road ahead

An exit strategy from social distancing restrictions is necessary and the Government needs to outline how this will be achieved And so our strange lives continue unchecked. Working remotely, not sleeping very well, and the continued absence of non-Covid patients are our daily lot. We really need a clearly laid-out exit strategy from lockdown at…

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A callous concept for Covid-19 control

The promotion of herd immunity is ageist and borders on euthanasia The coronavirus pandemic keeps throwing up unusual reactions. The most politically extreme have, of course, emerged from the US and the UK. One or two are clearly ageist and even border on the promotion of euthanasia. A press briefing by the UK Chief Scientific…

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The new reality of medical decision-making

Over the coming weeks and months, doctors will face some very difficult ethical decisions, especially involving triage and the rationing of resources “All changed, changed utterly, a terrible beauty is born” WB Yeats “The whole world is in a terrible state of chassis” Sean O’Casey Coronavirus has forced a rapid pace of change on the…

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The great AI myth

AI will not replace doctors and should be considered as just another clinical tool to help achieve more accurate diagnoses Have you noticed the increased frequency with which AI appears in your social media feeds and even journal content pages? The concept of AI was developed in the 1950s and has been defined as “the…

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‘Leaveism’ — the new curse of the workplace

We are close to accepting a tech-enabled, 24-7 working culture from which it is increasingly difficult to switch off Readers will be familiar with ‘presenteeism’, and may even have experienced it in a workplace. It’s where employees spend many more hours at the workplace than necessary — usually to impress a boss or as part…

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The joy of four

With reported gains in productivity and happier staff, could the health service ever introduce a four-day working week? orking a four-day week while being paid for five days seems nothing less than a utopian dream for doctors. In fact, the reverse usually applies: Doctors who work a four-day week more often than not end up…

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