Monthly Archives: November 2015

6 Comments

Ryhana Dawood
Western University
Class of 2016

“I have stage 4 lung cancer. I’m dying and this is where I will spend my last days.”

I listened as a vulnerable, palliative, homeless man told our team about his life in a homeless shelter in Toronto. I watched him and thought of my great aunt who passed away from cancer, surrounded by her loved ones, housed, safe and comfortable. I was left feeling ashamed - how could we allow people to pass in such circumstances? ...continue reading

Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK

 

Throwing surgical instruments across a theatre, idiosyncratic single handed practice, refusing to see patients in clinic without notes. I didn’t think physicians could get away with this sort of practice anymore. While these were hypothetical examples explored in a recent seminar discussing doctors’ disruptive and unprofessional behaviour, the audience clearly recognised that it still happens. Dr Kevin Stewart, Clinical Director of the Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit at the Royal College of Physicians in London and a geriatrician in Winchester, England, facilitated discussions on how to manage doctors who display difficult behaviour. His approach was to focus more on patients than doctors and to recognise how such behaviour affects patient safety. ...continue reading

1 Comment

Dr. Rene Leiva is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Family Medicine of the University of Ottawa. Part of his work includes in-patient Palliative Care and Care of the Elderly at Bruyere Continuing Care in Ottawa, ON

 

I read with interest the CMAJ Editor in Chief’s latest about protecting the right of physicians to conscientiously object to being party to physician hastened death. Principled medicine has dealt with suffering since Hippocratic tenets were first formulated about 2400 years ago. It is only in the last fifty years that causing death has been construed as ‘medical treatment’ for suffering, which I firmly believe to be erroneous. I’m disturbed to see that while Quebec is leading the country on euthanasia only a fraction of its population has access to palliative care. Palliative Care has been around for close to forty years, but Quebec's new law on ‘medical aid in dying’ expects to make that option available to 100 per cent of Quebecers in a matter of months. ...continue reading

1 Comment

Bahar Orang
McMaster University
Class of 2018

The human heart, fickle and fierce, is not unlike the pig heart; both are bound in delicate embroidery, both are a home with four main rooms. And so, in medical school, the cardiology unit begins with a dissection of ‘porcine pluck.’ The organ lays in a cold metal tray, with thin silver tools on either side – everything ready for our busy consumption. We wear sensible plastic outfits, and handle the porcine pluck beneath the bright white light of the anatomy lab. We are given a set of specific instructions – for cutting and peering and stripping and searing – but I struggle to focus on the task at gloved hand, and instead I wonder other things about Pig’s darling, dismembered heart. ...continue reading

Some 800,000 migrants from Africa and the Middle East have made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe this year. Many suffer from untreated injuries and medical conditions, and more than 3,000 have died or gone missing at sea.

In this podcast, CMAJ News reporter Lauren Vogel interviews , an Alberta physician who experienced the crisis first-hand volunteering on a Médecins Sans Frontières search-and-rescue ship.

...continue reading

Medical Students, (Dalhousie University), Jackie Vanek (University of Ottawa), (Queen’s University) and (University of Manitoba), are the team responsible for

 

 

TEN. This is the percentage of Canadians who are .

NINETY-ONE. This is the   in favour of a Universal Pharmacare strategy for Canada.

SEVEN BILLION. This is the amount of Canadian dollars that on prescription drug expenditures every year.

The statistics speak for themselves. The evidence, published in countless editorials and reports across the country, is difficult to deny.

On average, on prescription drug coverage. Of these nations, Canada has the fastest rising drug costs. These costs are often shouldered by our patients due to the low proportion of public funding for pharmaceutical products. Our current system is fragmented and inefficient, leading to profound inequities with regards to who gets to fill their medication prescriptions and thus, who gets to access our health care system. ...continue reading

provides project management consultant services to the Canadian organization (N2). She also works as a patient consultant for other organizations.

 

Have you ever wondered what clinical trials are? How they work? What the potential benefits and risks are? If a clinical trial is an option for you or someone you know we hope that a new website called () will answer a number of these questions for you, and help you make an informed decision about clinical trials. The website also includes some questions to ask if you’re interested in becoming a participant as well as what to expect, and a large glossary of terms.

ItStartsWithMe.ca was created by the (N2), a Canadian organization that represents organizations that carry out clinical research ...continue reading

1 Comment

Interview with , medical and cosmetic dermatologist in Vancouver, and assistant professor and director of CME in the Department of Dermatology and Skin Science at the University of British Columbia.

Acne can adversely affect quality of life and may lead to emotional distress and permanent scarring. This was developed to facilitate efficient diagnosis and effective treatment of acne vulgaris in the Canadian population. With early diagnosis, treatment of active lesions and prevention of adverse sequelae, the health of many Canadians with acne may be improved.

...continue reading

is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK

 

Sport, the focus of so many dreams, hopes and ambitions is a part of life where we were encouraged to believe that ability, dedication and commitment would triumph over all adversity. Who hasn’t imagined a winning performance, making that critical score or crossing the finish line to the applause of the crowd: Daydreams of the young and not so young.

We could dismiss the occasional cheat, vilify the greed of a professional team, criticise the incompetence of a governing body but the systematic, structured and organised doping, bribery and cover up associated with recent scandals in athletics is staggering. First it was the Kenyans who betrayed our beliefs. Their distance runners, world leaders and role models, whose easy loping style, lightness of foot, and incredible pace suggested an awesome natural ability, winning almost all the major city marathons. Allegations of doping, while persuasive, . Until the recent story of doping by Russian athletes, that is. This evolving story is much more dramatic than what we've come to expect as the norm; doping in Russian athletics is widespread, structured and systematic. Every day reveals another layer. And doctors were complicit. ...continue reading

is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK

 

We expect Nobel Prize winners to be high profile researchers of almost celebrity status, pioneering cutting edge science that changes the world at a stroke. And, then I heard that one of this year’s winners was William C Campbell, a fellow Irish man. I didn’t recognise the name, was unfamiliar with his work, and knew nothing of his background. But, as the media story broke, I learned more about him. He came from , a small village in County Donegal, far from the bright lights and, like many Irish doctors, undertook his graduate work in the US. His research was in worms - not the type of glamorous cutting edge clinical science that features in glossy magazines but, from the messy world of vials and dishes and parasitic roundworms kept in the freezer.

“You must be kidding!” was his reaction, .

But, his findings did change the world. ...continue reading