“Communication skills” and the problem with fake patients

Is an obsession with communication side-lining our ability to care?

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The quiet doctor

Are medical schools doing enough to support their introverted students, and can a quiet doctor excel in medicine?

An update: junior doctor contract dispute

This briefing article was originally published in Student BMJ, a magazine produced by the British Medical Journal for medical students. It was co-written with the editor of Student BMJ, Matthew Billingsley. An online version can be found here. — The outcome of the junior doctor contract negotiations could have a major impact on current medical students’ pay and…

Interview: Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health Select Committee

This article was originally published in Student BMJ magazine. An online version can be found on their website here. — Sarah Wollaston is a GP who wanted to make a difference. After graduating from King’s College London in 1986, she spent 23 years working in clinical medicine, first in paediatrics and then in general practice….

Assisted dying bill to prompt debate on right to die

This briefing article was originally published in Student BMJ, a magazine produced by the British Medical Journal for medical students. An online version can be found here. Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their own lives? A bill on the right to allow terminally ill patients to end their own life under specific circumstances…

What determines sexual orientation?

Earlier this year, a project backed by the Wellcome Trust set out to find “the most important question about life that science needs to answer”. After much consultation with scientists and the public, the panel selected the question: “is sexuality genetic?” Indeed, the puzzle of what causes homosexuality is one which scientists are used to…

GCSE results day reveals the sinister side of social media

This article was originally published on the New Statesman website, and can be found here. — I vividly remember my GCSE results day. The school was late to open and, as I waited anxiously, my phone buzzed with text messages, Facebook posts and tweets from friends, curious to find out what grades I’d been awarded….

NHS drugs, Aristotle and health economics: the problem of quantifying life

This article was originally published in the New Statesman, and can be found here. On Friday it was announced that abiraterone, a new prostate cancer drug, will not be made routinely available to NHS patients before receiving chemotherapy. The decision has been criticised by patient groups and scientists alike – a statement from the Institute of…

Ebola panic reveals the balancing act between patient freedom and social safety

This article was originally published in New Statesman, and can be found here. News of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has received worldwide press attention. The epidemic has caused more deaths than any other recorded Ebola outbreak, and has claimed 672 lives since February. Governments have good reason to be concerned; the Ebola virus has a mortality rate…

The Science Delusion: has science become dogmatic?

This article was originally published in the Oxford Student newspaper. Scientist and author Rupert Sheldrake spoke to George Gillett after addressing an audience at the Oxford Union Rupert Sheldrake’s latest book, The Science Delusion, explores what Sheldrake describes as “the ten dogmas of modern science”. The claim seems radical at first – Sheldrake is questioning mainstream science beliefs…