‘Toxic masculinity’: the problem with men

Worldwide, men’s attitude towards their own health is often one of denial – partly because the act of admitting to a health problem is perceived by some men as degrading to their self-image as an ‘invulnerable male’.
Cultural expectations and peer pressure can compound the problem …

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Unsatisfactory cancer survival statistics in the UK

Sadly, Britain sits at the bottom of a major league table for cancer survival among high-income countries. A recent study, published in Lancet Oncology, demonstrates that while survival rates are improving for patients across the UK, this country performs the worst for the most lethal …

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Testicular torsion: the latest HSIB investigation

The Health Service Investigation Branch (HSIB) published a report last week on the sad case of a young student who had to have his testicle removed after numerous delays in diagnosing him with testicular torsion.
The HSIB is modelled on the Air Investigation Branch, which …

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Deaths from listeria and streptococcus: a wake-up call for public health

As medical students in Newcastle upon Tyne in the late 1960s and early 1970s, we were in fear and awe of a senior surgeon who had seen military service in the Second World War. His teaching on ward rounds was clear and precise: using a …

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How can the NHS resolve its current staff crisis?

The latest NHS statistics are worrying. Last month, a record high of accident and emergency (A&E) patients had to wait for more than four hours to be seen, according to recent statistics from NHS England. 
Alarmingly, the figures show that 275 526 A&E patients were seen …

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Apologising after a medical or surgical mishap

No doctor goes into work in the morning intending to harm a patient; however, medical errors do and always will occur, occasionally with devastating consequences.
Statutory duties of candour now require clinicians to provide a factual explanation and apologise after a notifiable incident. Following the well-publicised …

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Complex PTSD: my own experience of treatment

In 2008, I joined the Royal Marines with the intention to fulfil a 22-year career. Unfortunately, after 11 years of service I was medically discharged after being diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
During my career in the armed forces I conducted four tours of …

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Recreational drug use: not a victimless crime

The problems of knife crime, often associated with drug gangs, have been highlighted by a blog in this journal prompted by a conference at the Royal Society of Medicine.
According to recent media reports, there is an increasing group of people who use drugs intermittently and …

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Suicide in doctors

Doctors have a higher rate of suicide than the general population.1,2 For male doctors, it is a little higher than an aged matched cohort, but for female doctors it is between two and five times the rate in the general population, meaning that doctors are …

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Is the NHS institutionally racist?

The explanation for the disproportionate number of black and minority ethnic (BAME) doctors being referred to the General Medical Council (GMC) for fitness to practise concerns may be the result of poor induction, inadequate support, and unhelpful feedback, according to a recent GMC report.
Between 2012 …

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