Healthcare Matters

"Mustn't grumble …"

Over the last 20 years I have been called upon to cover Christmas Eve several times and no matter where I've worked, demand has never actually been that great...

16 Dec 2014

Entrepreneurs' top tips for dealing with stress

Autumn gives way to winter and the medical press headlines are full of bad news; early retirements up, applications for GP training down and the latest, QOF achievements have fallen too. Most clinicians are struggling in various ways. We should remember however that we do not have a monopoly on stress. The private sector knows a thing or two about this area and a few of their methods may just be useful for you ...

03 Nov 2014

Still struggling in, no matter what?

Presenteeism is when people go to work even though they should be at home. The term was coined by psychologist Cary Cooper. Sometimes they may be ill, potentially contagious and not functioning at 100 percent, but they still feel like they should be at work.

30 Sep 2014

Psst - I'm not who they think I am …

As this year's crop of newly qualified medical graduates settle into their first jobs, feelings of inadequacy are not uncommon. Although not mentioned on ICD 10, there is a condition known to psychologists that may explain what they are feeling. Impostor syndrome is the fear and self-doubt that causes people to question their abilities - even in the face of success - and to constantly search for external validation.

28 Aug 2014

Getting nasty with NICE

This month's release from a newly updated National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) website included the much debated Lipid modification clinical guideline. The draft of this guidance prompted a letter whose signatories included Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians, and Clare Gerada.

01 Aug 2014

Fairy tales Retold: The Little Dutch Boy

Hans was apparently the name of the plucky young man who plugged the hole in the dyke wall with his thumb, thereby saving his town from flooding. Sometimes NHS clinicians may feel like Hans, trying to prevent 'imminent doom' with 'heroic' deeds.

03 Jul 2014

Memories, light the corners of my mind

Memory is complex and what we know has largely been gleaned from studying memory-deficit problems such as dementia and amnesia with newer technology such as functional MRI. We do know that in addition to ageing, emotion and stress can also influence our encoding and retrieval of memories. As the song says, "Can it be that it was all so simple then, or has time re-written every line?"

02 Jun 2014