Sunday, 28 February 2010

Cricket 2

England are on tour at the moment in Bangladesh. I am unable to feel as excited about this tour as I did about the South African one. England should not loose this, and because I feel like this I am just expecting a whitewash and that anything less would be a disapointment

Thursday, 25 February 2010

The day the Immigrants left

I am a big fan of evan davies, I think he's an absolutely brilliant presenter. I therefore watched his latest program, "The Day the Immigrants Left." It was quite well done and it reaffirmed my view that if people want to live in the UK, then thats brilliant.

This annoyed me though

"I won't do a job that I don't find very interesting," said 26-year-old Lewis, who has been unemployed for five years and was supposed to go to a potato factory. "I do feel a little bit pressurised to get a job, but it's not to the point that I can just take any job that comes."

Am I being harsh at getting annoyed at this guy?

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


There is no evidence that rubbing oil on your head will cure cancer, therefore it is not paid for on the NHS. Similarly there is no evidence that Homeopathy works, therefore it should not be paid for on the NHS, unfortunately it is.

Homeopathy has been proven not to work, if it did a whole new force would have been discovered, not just in medicine but in physics. The person who discovered this force would have won a Noebel prize. Unfortunately it has been proven not to work. End of story

Whats more relevant and interesting is discussing whether or not doctors should be able to prescibe a placebo. There is some cognitive dissonace on the topic within the medical professions. One one hand we are against it (we would be deceiving patients, they would not be fully informed) but there again somedoctors are quite happy with there patients trying out alternative medicines and not telling them about the placebo effect.

Friday, 19 February 2010

A nice letter from the BMA

Can you tell me what the GMC and the BMA do, is a typical question asked as medical interviews. The person being interviewed then says something like "The GMC is the regulatory body whereas the BMA acts as the doctors trade union." The interviewer can then be nice and move on to another stabdard question or be mean and ask something like "What else do they do" or "Why have they been in the News recently?"

One thing that could be talked about is the BMA attempting to campaign against the use of the private sector in the NHS. I have a letter in from of me from the BMA, they are against it.

One function of the NHS is to train the next generation. The BMA have kindly pointed out how reforms may affect me here.

Another point the BMA have considered for me is the training fo medical students. This is expensive and therefore not really of any significance to private companies. Having medical students running around in a private hospital is bad, why would they want us there to watch hip operations and cataracts. We are bad news for them.

Monday, 15 February 2010

A-levels and University

When doing my Physics A-level our teacher would often go into more depth and detail on a particular topic then was necessary. When he did this I would switch off, I had a copy of the syllabus so that I knew what (and only) I needed to learn. This meant that I was able to get the required grades but that I was a poorer physicist (and therefore scientist).

This was the same with the other subjects, although as Biology was more my thing I read several Biology-related books.

This is in complete contrast to University, where you are expected to read around the subject to get higher marks (or to pass the exam in the first place). When revising inflammation and other pathology lectures for instance, you would not only go over the lecture slides, but find a pathology textbooks (Robbins, Underwood, Stevens and Lowe) and make notes based on what they had to say.

One of the problems with the current A-level system is that doing extra reading will not get you extra marks on the exam - sticking to the revision guide will. What we need are A-levels that encourage learning for the fun of it. One of my favourite books is "A Devil's Chaplain" by Richard Dawkins. In one chapter he talks about a headmaster called Sanderson, at a school called Oundle.

This was a guy who would leave the school laboratories unlocked so that the students could go and run there own experiments whenever they wanted to. I doubt that this would be allowed ever again.

Although setting an exam with open ended questions in the sciences would be easy to do, thus allowing students who have taken a genuine interest in a subject to excel and show how much they know and love what there studying

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


I have an exam tommorow, thankfully its in the early afternoon, so I can spend the morning cramming as opposed to tonight. So the post I thinking of writing on, such as voting reforms, election night, shane warne trying to stir things up again will have to wait.

One thing I want to say and I'll probably expand on this in the future, is that at sixth form I thought I knew how I studied best - Not only was I wrong but I am forced to accept that A-levels (as I did them) simply did not prepare me for studying at University

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Rod of Asclepius; An interesting Idea

My last couples of posts have been either rants, or I've been trying to make a point (to varying degrees of success). So this posting is here just to be different. It is merely a repeat of something one of our lecterers told us.

The medina worm is a well documented human parasite that has no drugs to cure it or vccination to prvent it. The only treatment is to wrap the live worm around a stick (once it emerges from the body) and eventually get it out. This method was used 1500 odd years BC.

According to the lecturer this was an alternative theory as to the origicin of the Rod of Asclepius, the rod represents the treatment used for this parasite. Although its unliley, as in most representations it is obvious that it is a snake wrapped round the rod and not a worm.

When the worm emerges it causes a burning sensation, which some people have claimed could refer to the "fiery serpent," mentioned in the Bible, that were sent to plague the Israelites.

A horrible disease, that affects many people, such as in Sudan. Apparently though its supposed to be the next disease to be eradicated (after smallpox).

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Why I dislike Tom Cruise

Whilst watching TV with my housemates I saw Tom Cruise, this made me angry. As a result I started to rant to the bemusement of my housemates. I present a more polished version here

I dislike him because he is a scientologist, an evil organisation that dares to use the word science in its title to give itself some credibility. Anyway the main reason I dislike it is because of its attitudes towards psychiatry. I dont know why this speciality appeals to me, maybe because I am annoyed that the stigma towards mental health is still around.

Tom Cruise (with no science background or education) believes that he know how to cure depression, hence his attacks on brooke Shields for using Paxil. Apparently chemical imbalances in the brain are a myth (they do exist or anti-depressants/anti-epipleptic drugs would not have got through the clinical trial stage)

Why has'nt he been challenged more about this? Every time he goes on TV he should grilled about this issue.

How come Psychiatry is seen as something different to other medical specialities? If I become a cardiologist or infective disease consultant I will not have to worry about cults going around telling everyone that my speciality is a Nazi Science.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Whats it like to be Old?

Spoke to a lovely lady on the train a few day ago on the train back home. She saw my notes and books and asked if I was a medical student. I replied yes and we started to talk. She was a retired social worker and during our discussion she asked "If I ever thought about getting older."

I told her its not something I've really thought about in any great detail, its something I've accepted but I'm quite happy in the knowledge that my best years are still ahead of me

Anyway the discussion turned to the fact that we have an ageing population, bring a whole host of problems. A big one is money. Money means that our elderly are going to spend there last few years stuck in privately run care homes. The majority of the staff who work there will be on minimum wage. Are you going to get the best carers who are happy with there pay for £5.72 an hour? Are you going to get low staff turnover?Especially when people realise that liddle will pay them more?

Why is it acceptable to argue that bankers should be highly paid to get the best people for the job? Using this arguments carers should be paid a whole lot more. Expanding this argument shouldn't carers also get plenty more holidays and bonuses to?

What does it say about us as a society when we ship off our elderly to a care home where success is measured by profit margins and not by the levels of care provided?