Iris Gorfinkel is a General Practitioner and Founder & Principal Investigator of PrimeHealth Clinical Research in Toronto, Ontario
I’d been attending this particular patient’s medical needs as her GP for the past five years. Enid dressed impeccably, was a young 85 years of age and had the amenities that most elders dream about. She had her health, financial security, education and a strong intellect. What she was missing was companionship.
“If only I had someone to travel with,” she lamented.
Hardly 24 hours later, I was asked to see Fred who had been my patient for 7 years. He was a robust 87 year old, financially secure, well educated, and possessed a marvelous sense of humor. He had remained active despite having lost his partner to lung cancer the year before.
“I miss having someone when I travel,” he told me.
The opening ceremony of the 2015 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress began with a bang on Saturday October 24th, but by the end of the keynote address from Dr. Chris Simpson, past President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), some may have thought the opening ceremony ended with a whimper. The moderator used the term "depressing" to characterize Dr. Simpson's talk on "Seniors Care: The Paramount Health Care Issue of our Time."
All Dr. Simpson did was to point out some clear realities about the Canadian health care system to the attendees. For the first time in Canada history, there are more seniors than children. Despite the billions of dollars thrown at it, our health care system is ranked 11 out of 12 similar nations, just ahead of the United States. ...continue reading →
CMAJ deputy editors Dr. Matthew Stanbrook and Dr. Kirsten Patrick discuss an editorial written by Dr. Stanbrook. Too often, at election time, Canadians ignore pressing health care concerns and let economic fears dominate how we vote. This needs to change. A plan for strong federal leadership in health should be front and centre in this year’s election.
Also, a research article by McAlister et. al., published in CMAJ, looks at level of physician experience and its effect on important patient outcomes that proxy for quality of care. Physician groups were stratified according to years since graduation. Dr. Matthew Stanbrook, deputy editor, provides an editor's summary of the article and its findings.
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Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK
Is being sedentary the new smoking? Many have posed this question and there are some parallels between how our knowledge evolved about smoking and how it is evolving regarding sitting too much. While the hazards of physical inactivity are now well known, however, there hasn’t yet been the enormous culture change that we have seen in our attitudes towards smoking. When smoking cessation was primarily a medical issue there were modest reductions in smoking rates but it was only with societal change, political will and legislation that we see major impact. There is increasing awareness of the influence of social, cultural and environmental factors in encouraging physical activity but we have yet to see the same ...continue reading →
Amy Gajaria is a third year resident in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto
Last week was the first snowfall of the season in Toronto. Usually, the first sight of fluffy white flakes collecting on city streets would have me dreaming of strapping on my cross-country skis. This, year, however, the first snow left me huddled inside, frightened of slipping on ice.
Towards the end of September I badly damaged my ankle when attending a charity event. In a few moments I went from an active 30-something to someone unable to stand independently. After the paramedics got me to the nearest hospital, the first thing that popped out of my mouth was not “pain medication STAT” (that was the second thing), but instead “I’m a doctor. I hate being a patient.”
I later told myself that this was because I wanted to speed up communication and avoid unnecessary explanations. ...continue reading →