Author Archives: CMAJ

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Dan Small is a medical anthropologist and lecturer at the University of British Columbia.

 

Since 2018, British Columbia has been pursuing legal action against pharmaceutical companies for their involvement in the opioid crisis. Within the wider context of North America, there have been over 2600 such lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies including Purdue, Johnston and Johnson, Teva Pharmaceutical and Endo International. The Purdue pharmaceutical company, the maker of OxyContin, has recently filed for bankruptcy in response to the lawsuits. I believe a suitable strategy for examining the wider variables that have contributed to the opioid crisis: a Royal Commission. This is needed in order to widen public scrutiny beyond the role of pharmaceutical companies to include investigation of the overarching causes of Canada’s overdose epidemic.

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Maureen Topps is the Executive Director and CEO of the Medical Council of Canada.

 

Nothing matters more in my role than helping Canadian and international medical graduates succeed as they prepare to practice medicine in Canada. But what does success look like and how do we measure it?

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Marika Warren is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioethics, Dalhousie University.

 

In early July The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia dismissed a complaint against Dr. Ellen Wiebe made by the Louis Brier Home and Hospital, an Orthodox Jewish long term care facility. Dr. Wiebe had provided medical assistance in dying (MAiD) to a patient who resided in Louis Brier who had requested it. She thereby contravened the Home's policy. Cases such as these are increasingly likely as the policies of institutions exercising conscientious objection conflict with both patients’ interests in accessing MAiD (and other services) and providers’ interests in practicing with integrity. One way to resolve such conflicts would be to recognize a claim to conscientious provision of health care services that parallels the claims of individuals and organizations to conscientious objection. ...continue reading

CMAJ’s Holiday Reading is back! CMAJ Blogs will host the popular Holiday Reading series online in December 2019.

We’re seeking witty, offbeat, whimsical stories grounded in medicine. Have ideas? Email blogs@cmaj.ca 

Need inspiration? Check out some popular stories from previous years:

Pooh has an addiction issue: holiday reading

Limitations

Diving into the ice bucket challenge

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Neil Chanchlani is a CMAJ Associate Editor and clinical research fellow at the University of Exeter, UK. He recently attended the 8th EBMLive conference in Oxford, England.

 

All healthcare practitioners are encouraged to make decisions that are based on strong evidence. But often we don’t – sometimes because the evidence is poor and conflicting, other times because we are ignorant and unaware and, rarely, because we aren’t comfortable with updating our practice. So we need to keep Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) on the frontline and not on the (academic) shelves  - we need to remind clinicians, researchers, and patients that decisions should be based on the best possible data. ...continue reading

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Eleftherios Diamandis is Professor and Head, Division of Clinical Biochemistry, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

 

In the 1970s, my mentor and Professor at the University of Athens, Greece, Dr. Themistokles Hadjiioannou, asked me periodically to go to the library and check his citation record. I remember grabbing from library shelves printed volumes of the “Science Citation Index”, which were as heavy as 5 kg each, going through the pages and then recording manually as to who cited his work. This task required many days of intellectual and physical work ...continue reading

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Arundhati Dhara is an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University in the Department of Family Medicine

Saroo Sharda is an Anesthesiologist in Oakville and an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University

 

There are few data available on the racial make-up of Canadian female physicians. What data exist suggests that South Asian and East Asian groups are over-represented relative to their proportion of the general population and Black and Indigenous people remain underrepresented.

There is also evidence that non-white physicians experience discrimination from colleagues and patients ranging from daily microaggressions to more overt acts. While organizational anti-discrimination policies often exist, we are generally ill-prepared to deal with incidents when they occur and in their immediate aftermath. The clinicians experiencing bias are often left to act, and must weigh power dynamics against speaking up. The damaging effects of physician discrimination based on race or gender are clear, and yet we know little about the ways in which gender and race intersect to further marginalize women physicians of colour. ...continue reading

Puneet Seth is a practicing family physician in Toronto, part-time Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and Chief Medical Officer of InputHealth Systems

 

As someone whose life is deeply entrenched in health care technology, both as a physician tinkering with a variety of digital health tools in my own practice and as an entrepreneur helping to build these tools, I've become acutely aware of the growing trend among health professionals in viewing "virtual care" as some kind of magical endpoint that will solve all of the woes of health care. ...continue reading

Anser Daud is a medical student at the University of Toronto. He enjoys writing about health advocacy and human rights issues.

 

“We’re dealing with a situation that’s not far from here, this is serious,” said Toronto Raptors sportscaster Matt Devlin as he interrupted the proceedings of the championship ceremony at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square on June 17. Those present—perhaps 2 million people by some estimates—began to wonder if their worst fears were beginning to materialize. Videos on social media show ...continue reading

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Caitlin Dunne is a Co-Director at the Pacific Centre for Reproductive Medicine (PCRM) in Vancouver and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia.

 

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics has linked fertility treatment with a risk of childhood cancer. The researchers linked data on babies from an American fertility database with birth and cancer registry data from 14 states. Their study spanned an eight-year time period, including 275 686 children conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and 2 266 847 children who were conceived naturally. The focus was on young children, up to four and a half years old. ...continue reading