New year, new opportunities

This time of the year is a good chance for people to reflect on the preceding 12 months and consider their plans, expectations and goals for the next.  Most refer to these goals as “new years’ resolutions”. There have recently been a few memes and Facebook posts about how this is generally short-lived (the cut-out…

Minimalist Medicine & Diagnosing Normality

Our intern gave a really good summary at a clinical meeting this week about an article entitled “Diagnostic Inflation” by Dr. Laura Bastra, PhD and Dr. Allen Frances, MD (1).  He gave his talk the title, “When normal is not normal anymore”.  He raised concerns about how the American Psychiatric Association’s new Diagnostic and Statistical…

Graceful Ageing – A Fantasy?

If you had to choose between either your mind or your body deteriorating with age, what would it be?  Sometimes I feel like all of our efforts in medicine to prevent premature death from cardiovascular disease and cancer can work against us – if it isn’t our body that deteriorates, it seems that it will…

Good Grief – Is it possible?

One of my more difficult, draining and yet rewarding consultations in general practice has been one centered around grief and loss.  I saw a new patient who had moved to the area with her husband just over 12 months ago when they had both just retired in their early 60s – soon after, he was…