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Can revision resources be adapted for primary learning?

Written by Seema Biswas, Sananda Haldar and Natasha Wiggins. Posted in Experiences

lecture-theatre-miniFew of us would attempt to prepare for an exam without practising past papers or leafing through revision resources. For some of us, relishing the smallest book we can find that gives us all the information we need as concisely as possible while time is at a premium, revision resources as primary learning resources are quite appealing.

They are concise, clearly relevant - since many are based on past exams, and we hope, factually correct and up-to-date. In this article we look at the evolution of revision materials and ponder the questions "should we be using these routinely for primary learning? Can they be adapted for learning from first principles? "

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The role of orthopaedic surgeons in world health

Written by John Williams. Posted in Experiences

orthopaedicsWorld health has traditionally been the remit of epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists. The global morbidity and mortality rates associated with infections such as HIV1 and malaria2 are undisputedly high, and the organisations and strategies to combat them reflect this1,2,3. Yet the burden of orthopaedic diseases is comparable to that of communicable diseases4, although there is a marked scarcity of similarly comprehensive international efforts to reduce their impact.

The World Health Organisation quantifies burden of disease using disability adjusted life years5. Worldwide, injury accounts for 12% of all DALYs lost – a striking figure when compared to those for tuberculosis (2.5%), HIV (6%) and cancer (6%)6. There were an estimated 9 million osteoporotic fractures globally in the year 2000, projected to increase by 310% and 240% in men and women respectively by 20507.

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The Killer Net - pro-suicide websites

Written by Michelle Connolly. Posted in Experiences

escape-buttonPeople searching the web for suicide help are more likely to find sites encouraging them rather than offering support, says a study published in the BMJ. Many professionals are now supporting calls for sites like these to be banned in the UK. Michelle Connolly looks at the rise of pro-suicide websites, the people who use them and arguments for their existence.

Type in some simple suicide-related search terms into four popular search engines and the results will show sites like 'Alt Suicide Holiday', 'Satan Service' and 'suicidemethods.net'. Even academic discussion groups are occasionally 'hijacked' as a forum for pro-sucicide discussion. 'Alt Suicide Holiday' was initially established as a newsgroup in the late 1980s to discuss why suicides increase during holiday periods but has since evolved into a pro-suicide site.

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Making it crystal clear - The myth of methamphetamine

Written by Ashley McKimm. Posted in Experiences

methamphetamineIn 2006 the UN issued a global warning for a drug that threatened both the developed and developing world. A drug they said would push health resources to their limits. They called it the "biggest drug crisis worldwide".

Two years later methamphetamine is virtually absent from the UK and global use is falling. Ashley McKimm investigates if the fear over methamphetamine was just a myth or if the drug remains a threat to UK healthcare.

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Medical Emergencies at 30,000ft

Written by Ben Chandler. Posted in Experiences

emergencies-in-flightSettling in for a flight is never the same once you've taken the Hippocratic Oath. In the back of your mind is always the fear of hearing the dreaded message asking if there is a doctor on board.

But how likely is it that you'll need to perform an in-flight trachestomy with only a coat hanger? And what assistance can you expect at 30,000ft? JuniorDr's Ben Chandler finds out.

Cramped in a cabin with up to 850 other anxious passengers isn't the best place to practice medicine. Add in the effects of engine noise, cabin pressure and a limited supply of unfamiliar equipment and it can become your worst nightmare.

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