Monthly Archives: March 2016

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Mei WenMei Wen
University of Toronto
Class of 2019

I wish I could say what I learned in class prepared me for this conversation, but unfortunately, it did not.

Moments after completing an online module at home titled “Health and Homelessness” for the Community, Population & Public Health course as part of the pre-clerkship curriculum at the University of Toronto, I stumbled across who I thought was a homeless child - a small, skinny figure in a hoodie, with a Tim Hortons cup placed in front.

...continue reading

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

 

You step off the podium into an abyss. And, that’s if you have been a success. For everyone who competes at top level, medallist or not, the transition is dramatic. If your sporting career has come to a sudden end due to injury, poor performance, or you are unexpectedly dropped from the team, there can be an overwhelming sense of failure or unfulfilled ambition. No one sees what happens when you leave the stage. Adjusting to the real world can create huge challenges for former athletes and often, the greater the success, the more difficult to readjustment.

, a four-time Olympic rower and former World Champion, founded an organisation called '' to help athletes deal with retirement. ...continue reading

C Marinangeli is the Director of Nutrition, Science and Regulatory Affairs at Pulse Canada

M Abdullah

Mohammad Abdullah is a Research Associate at for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals at the University of Manitoba

carlbergJared Carlberg is the Associate Dean in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Science at the University of Manitoba

Peter Jones is the Director and a Professor at for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals at the University of Manitoba

 

Each year the United Nations declares an “” of observance that highlights and bolsters awareness around a specific theme or concept. The “International Year” is promoted across the globe to encourage a mindfulness of global challenges and, ideally, meaningful change. In previous years, multiple paradigms were promoted - for example, 2014 was declared the “International Year of Family Farming,” “International Year of Crystallography” and “International Year Small Island Developing States”, while, 2015 was declared the “International Year of Soils” and “International Year of Light-based Technologies.” Intriguingly, the year 2016 International is comprised of a single theme, the “.” ...continue reading

TH - PHSPTrevor Hancock is a professor and senior scholar at the University of Victoria’s

 

Most of my life’s work has been in the field of population health promotion – working to improve the health of the population. Thirty years ago the World Health Organisation launched the modern version of health promotion at a landmark conference in Ottawa. I was there as a participant and the author of one of the theme papers (on creating healthy environments).

The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion defined health promotion as “the process of enabling people to increase control over, and improve their health”. Three key points stand out here. First, this is a process; as such, there really is no end point, no point at which we say ‘OK, we’ve done that, let’s move on’. No matter how healthy the population is, it can always be healthier.

Moreover, since the mechanisms involved were defined in terms of developing public policies that are good for health, creating physical and social environments that are supportive of health, strengthening community action for health, developing personal skills for health, and re-orienting health care systems to focus more on health, the process is clearly socio-political ...continue reading

Laura SchepLaura Schep
Dalhousie University
Class of 2017

“I don’t want these anymore,” I say, avoiding my doctor’s gaze as I reach into my purse and retrieve the pill bottle, half empty. Or half full, depending on how you look at it. I place it on her desk. She looks from the bottle to me, her expression curious, no doubt wondering where to go from here. She expected to do my Pap test today, perhaps give me a flu shot, but did not anticipate this: a discussion about my antidepressants.

She asks me to explain. She asks whether the meds have helped with my mood. “Oh yes, ...continue reading

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DenisSir Denis Pereira Gray, OBE, is a consultant at St Leonard’s Research Practice, Exeter, and Emeritus Professor at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom

 

A few weeks ago a blog by Domhnall MacAuley picked up on that I had written in the British Journal of General Practice, entitled “Academic general practice: a viewpoint on achievements and challenges.” The article was written to ask some big questions and to stimulate debate about academic general practice and Domhnall's blog followed it up interestingly and extended the issues.

I am still optimistic about academic general practice. General practice is the key branch of the medical profession and there are still many aspects of it to be discovered. Yes of course “big data” are a new resource and need new techniques, but a place remains for clinical research in general practice and in single research active general practices too. However, the relationships and the support for research in clinical settings need clarification and funding. The prime role of single practice research is to study new clinical developments, to scope their potential, and pave the way for bigger definitive studies.   Single practices do have the numbers for statistical significance if they choose their subject ...continue reading

DMacA_3 is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK

 

The newspaper story about our research focused on the proportion of older people without sufficient leg strength to stand up unaided from sitting in a chair. At the time, it irritated me. We had just completed a major country wide health and activity survey with superb data on fitness at all ages....and they picked this one component. It was a huge piece of work. Our team had interviewed 1800 adults up to the age of 70 years old, measured VO2max together with ECGs on a treadmill, undertaken various strength tests in a mobile exercise laboratory that we transported to 14 different hospital sites, and taken fasting blood tests in peoples’ homes. My main interest in sport and exercise medicine was in promoting physical activity and - at the time - I thought I was a bit of an exercise guru. It wasn’t the headline I had hoped for and, furthermore, I was teased for weeks by friends and relatives. Everyone wanted to show me how they could all stand up unaided from sitting in their armchairs!

But, with a bit of hindsight, I can now say that perhaps the journalists were right. ...continue reading

Rhea D'CostaRhea D'Costa
McMaster University
Class of 2016

The following short poem was inspired by the mounting frustration that senior medical students feel around the most wonderful time of the year – CaRMS applications season! If only there were evidence-based treatment guidelines for writer’s block… ...continue reading