The Dorsal View

Shape-shifting parasites that move with the times

The recent controversies surrounding vaping provide an unwelcome confusion around smoking cessation efforts. Most physicians whose opinion I have asked on the usefulness of vaping take the sensible attitude of ‘anything is better than smoking tobacco’. This, I believe, emphasises the practical approach of the modern doctor who is interested in risk reduction. However, those…

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Dinosaurs eating homework

Dinosaurs eating homework — reeling in the years on smoking cessation As I browsed through the usual press releases that trickle through my inbox — ‘Company X expanding market to China’; ‘Drug X discontinued’; Minister Harris says ‘everything will be grand’’; etc — one in particular caught my eye, as I was convinced it was…

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The case of the psychiatrist who wasn’t

An unqualified disaster — the case of the psychiatrist who wasn’t A case was reported in UK news recently that may serve as a warning about the usefulness of box-ticking exercises as a means of assessing the quality of a process or a professional healthcare provider. In a hugely embarrassing episode for the NHS, and…

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White coats and little white lies

White coats and little white lies — having patience with your patients I’ve always believed that the effective physician also needs to be part-detective. Part Joseph Lister, part Hercule Poirot. But even the most newly-qualified doctor may be able to spot when a patient is being economical with the truth, or even telling you big…

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To not sleep, perchance to misread your patients

A round-up of medical news and oddities from left field To not sleep, perchance to misread your patients We’re all well aware of the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation on performance, mood, general overall health and a range of other functional parameters. The dogs on the street also know that a significant, if not predominant,…

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Home truths on ‘medicine’s dirty secret’

A round-up of medical news and oddities from left field Home truths on ‘medicine’s dirty secret’ In a recent Dorsal View focused on the wisdom of Dr Paddy Barrett and his endeavours to improve the wellbeing of physicians under pressure, I touched on the disturbing rates of suicide among the medical profession. Doctors are far…

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