Queen Elizabeth on YouTube!

queen_youtube.jpg  When Queen Elizabeth bestowed an honorary knighthood on Bill Gates a couple of years ago, she admitted that she had never used a computer. Well, today the oldest reigning British monarch uses e-mail, and, upon urging by her grandaughters, she has this week launched a channel on YouTube, The Royal Channel, the Official YouTube Channel for the British Monarchy.

You can watch her first televised Christmas message, delivered fifty years ago today, in which she considered how the new technology of television might bring her closer to her subjects. And today she delivers her first Christmas message on both television and YouTube. (I can’t link directly to these videos because this ability has been disabled.) There are many videos of historical interest and if you are interested in British history you will find these fascinating.

Read more about the Queen on YouTube in this Globe and Mail December 23 story.

More interesting Christmas sites …

The Toys of Our Childhood:
Here is a wonderful site from the Archives of Ontario. From the site:
Last Christmas the Archives of Ontario remembered an Eatons Christmas and we asked members of the public to send us their memories of how Eatons, with its Toyland, catalogue and Santa Claus parade impacted on their lives. We had many delightful responses and posted a sampling of them on our memories page.
You can browse photos of toys and Christmas letters from children from the late 1800s to the 1970s. Very nostalgic!
And finally, here is Christmas at War: Experiences from the First and Second World Wars, from the Imperial War Museum (UK). From the site:
The stories told here, using material from the Museum’s collections, show the need to mark Christmas as a special day, even when the conditions of wartime do their best to prevent this.  Anne Taylor-Vaisey

Creating a Collaborative Intervention to Address Disparities in Depression: CME, Quality Improvement, and the Community

jcehp_new.gif  The latest issue (v. 27, Issue S1) of the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions is a special supplement addressing disparities in diagnosing and treating depression.  The lead editor and member of the Initiative for Decreasing Disparities in Depression (I3D)* steering committee is Donald E. Moore, Jr, PhD, Director, Division of Continuing Medical Education and Professor of Medical Education and Administration, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN.
(See also Decreasing Disparities in the Treatment of Depression: Best Practices)

Contents of this issue [available by subscription]; PubMed records:
Collaboration to improve depression care for ethnic and racial minorities [editorial]; Creating a collaborative intervention to address disparities in depression: CME, quality improvement, and the community; Addressing disparities in diagnosing and treating depression: A promising role for continuing medical education; Current practices in depression care; Perspectives on disparities in depression care; Disparities in depression care in managed care settings; How quality improvement interventions can address disparities in depression; A conceptual model of CME to address disparities in depression care; A conceptual model for using action inquiry technologies to address disparities in depression; Improving depression care for ethnic and racial minorities: A concept for an intervention that integrates CME planning with improvement strategies

From the editorial:
While it is generally understood that education alone may not help physicians improve professional performance, the collaboration of continuing education and quality improvement initiatives offers a promise of success. The likelihood of success appears to increase when complemented by carefully implemented participatory research involving communities of ethnic and racial minorities. The constructs for collaboration are described on the pages of this JCEHP supplement. It is our collective sense that the contents of this issue add important information to what is known about continuing medical education and the care of patients diagnosed with depression.

* Developed by the Praxis Partnership, a co-operative consortium of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Vanderbilt University, and Indicia Medical Education, LLC designed to resolve the significant gap between the mental health care services that ethnic and racial minority groups are receiving and those they could be receiving.  Funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Plain English Campaign

crystal.gif  “fighting for crystal clear communication since 1979”

Anyone who appreciates plain English will enjoy this site:
“Plain English Campaign officially began in 1979, after founder Chrissie Maher OBE publicly shredded hundreds of official documents in Parliament Square, London. Entirely independent, the campaign funds itself through its commercial services, which include editing and training. We have worked with thousands of organisations ranging from UK Government departments to World Bowls, helping them make sure their public information is as clear as possible.”

Awards presented annually:
Golden Bull (for the worst examples of written tripe)
Foot in Mouth (for baffling quotes by public figures)
Inside Write (internal government documents)
Media Awards (radio, television and newspapers)
Plain English (open category)
Plain English Web Award (websites)

Here are some examples:

Foot in Mouth 2007 Winner:
“This award, which we first gave in 1993, is for a baffling comment by a public figure. The 2007 winner of this award is the former England football manager, Steve McClaren, for the following comment he made to Radio 5 Live”:
“He (Wayne Rooney) is inexperienced, but he’s experienced in terms of what he’s been through.”

2007 second place winner:
George Bush, who said of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: “All I can tell you is, when the governor calls, I answer his phone.”

Foot in Mouth 2006 winner:
Naomi Campbell for “I love England, especially the food. There’s nothing I like more than a lovely bowl of pasta.”

Foot in Mouth 2002 winner:
Actor Richard Gere who said: “I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe and somebody said I was a snake, I’d think ‘No, actually I am a giraffe.”

Gobbledygook of the week:
“Each week, we choose a piece of gobbledygook from the mountains we receive. Most, if not all, of the examples will be prime candidates for a Golden Bull award at the end of the year.”

Example, from 5 November – 9 November:
“We are currently experiencing an issue which is impacting the appearance of availability for some seller offerings.” [- from Amazon.co.uk] 

On the positive side, awards are given for the plainest Web site of the year.  Here is the 2007 winner, a support site for people affected by eating disorders.

Christmas Offerings from the Medical Journal of Australia

chriscomp.jpg  For many years, the editors of the Medical Journal of Australia have held a Christmas Competition, and published the winning entries in the December issue. 

See also: Holiday Review from the CMAJ; BMJ Christmas issues  (I wonder why the Canadians are reluctant to use the word Christmas.)

This is from the December 2007 issue of eMJA: [read the whole article]

It is the editors’ unenviable task to make a final decision on the fate of each submitted manuscript and, as much as we enjoy the Christmas Competition, every year we find ourselves in the equally unenviable position of having to choose the winners. In order to share the burden, the entire AMPCo staff is invited to participate in a secret ballot. In the category of “Story”, this year the prize goes to David Isaacs, Stephen Isaacs and Dominic Fitzgerald for their “From the diary of a novice physician”. In the “Snapshot” category, the winners are Anthony Brown and Andrew Bryant for their eerie portrait of a well known cinematic villain emerging from the diverticulum in “The colonoscope strikes back: a diverticular Darth Vader”. Suitable hampers of Christmas cheer are on their way to these worthy winners.

Christmas Offerings

Christmas Offerings from previous years:
2006200520042003200220012000; 19991998

Holiday Review from the CMAJ


December 4, 2008 update: the 2008 CMAJ Holiday Reading section is now available!

For years we have all enjoyed the BMJ Christmas issues.  The CMAJ publishes a similar December issue, and today the 2007 Holiday Review section appeared online.  This year’s review consists of several categories: Research of a holiday kind; Unsubstantiated opinion; and Auscultations. I especially enjoyed Julie Curwin’s The Goo Tolerance Index.   And check out Table 1 (Interpretation of physicians’ behaviours related to cellular telephone use at medical conferences and localization of frontal lobe dysfunction) of this article.  In addition, I volunteer to be a member of Group 1 in any future CHUMP trials.
See also 2006 Holiday Review2005 Holiday Review

Research of a holiday kind

Unsubstantiated opinion


There is also a book review section entitled Holiday reading.

Professionalism in medicine: Results of a national survey of physicians

This study was just published in the December 4, 2007 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine [subscription required]:

Campbell EG, Regan S, Gruen RL, Ferris TG, Rao SR, Cleary PD, Campbell EG, Regan S, Gruen RL, Ferris TG, Rao SR, Cleary PD, Blumenthal D. Professionalism in medicine: Results of a national survey of physicians. Ann Intern Med 2007; 147(11):795-802.

Background: The prospect of improving care through increasing professionalism has been gaining momentum among physician organizations. Although there have been efforts to define and promote professionalism, few data are available on physician attitudes toward and conformance with professional norms.
Objective: To ascertain the extent to which practicing physicians agree with and act consistently with norms of professionalism.
Design: National survey using a stratified random sample.
Setting: Medical care in the United States.
Participants: 3504 practicing physicians in internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, surgery, anesthesiology, and cardiology.

Conclusion: Physicians agreed with standards of professional behavior promulgated by professional societies. Reported behavior, however, did not always conform to those norms.
Read the rest of the abstract here.   Read the MedPage Today article.

Accompanying editorial:  Sox HC. Medical professionalism and the parable of the craft guilds
Excerpt: Professionalism has deep roots in Western society. In his book, Death of the Guilds, E.A. Krause makes a compelling case that the medieval European craft guilds are the antecedents of today’s professions. The craft guilds have not survived. As a commentary on the article by Campbell and colleagues in this issue, I will argue that, like the guilds, the medical profession exists in a 3-way relationship with government and business.

The above study appears in the Academia and Clinic section of the Annals. View all articles in this section.

More posts on professionalism: