Health and holiday housekeeping

I’m taking a couple of weeks off the blog to hide from the heat, the lack of which I usually complain about. In the meantime, two thought-provoking treats: an excellent article on cancer screening – It is not wrong to say no – from Dr Iona Heath, who is the new president of the Royal College of General Practitioners. I understand it is a mainly ceremonial role, but hope that her philosophy of what medicine can, can’t and shouldn’t do is heard in Whitehall and beyond. And another of my heroines, Hazel Thornton, writes passionately about medical statistics and the disservices they can be put to: Statistical illiteracy is damaging our health. Doctors and patients need to understand numbers if meaningful dialogues are to occur

Joe Stirt , my favourite blogging anaesthetist, has put up a nice post about the effects of proprofol, the anasthetic drug: Diprivan (Propofol) and Michael Jackson and has also alerted me to an article in the Wall Street Journal about virtual doctoring: The doctor will text you now. Emailing could be a very time-efficient way to deal with quick-ish queries from patients you know pretty well, but is it the future for more consultations? We don’t know it’s any better than phone calls or if it’s unsafe – can we discriminate what can wait in an email queue or what needs to be dealt with urgently (medics get this wrong, too.) 

Otherwise, I am going to try and get to Bristol before too long: having heard great things about the Banksy exhibition at Bristol Museum. And if you haven’t yet signed up to Keep the Libel Laws out of Science, please consider doing so.

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