• Date: 12 September 2011


WHAT CRISIS? Time was when a young professional person could expect reality to “bed-in” slowly – job, marriage, house, kids, cellulite, hair loss – before hitting the inevitable mid-life crisis. Sadly now you can jump right in straight out of training. Introducing the “quarterlife crisis” which afflicts twenty and thirtysomethings and is defined as a sense of feeling “locked in” to a job or relationship. “It’s an illusory sense of being trapped,” says Dr Oliver Robinson, a University of Greenwich researcher who recently published research on the phenomenon. “You can leave but feel you can’t…” Not necessarily a bad thing apparently, according to Robinson and his colleagues who surveyed 50 people aged between 25 and 35. “A minority of participants described getting caught in a loop, but the majority reflected on a difficult time which was a catalyst for important positive change." Just as well – it can take years to save up for a convertible Lamborghini and/or cosmetic surgery.

VINTAGE SURGERY Nose jobs in the 19th century were brutal, according to a new book by surgeon John Stevenson. Scissors, quills, pins and needles were used to correct misshapen noses - and there’s no mention of anaesthesia. Patients seeking cosmetic help include a baron who lost the tip of his nose in a duelling accident. Chris Albury, of Dominic Winter Auctions which is selling the tome, said: "It shows that celebrities today are not the first in this country to go under the surgeon's knife to improve the look of their noses."

UNDER YOUR SKIN A hand-held gadget designed to help patients understand the healing process projects X-ray images of bone structure, muscle tissue, tendons and nerves onto their skin. The AnatOnMe consists of a projector, camera and laser pointer and can display stock images of six injury types. The doctor can use the camera to take images and video of the patient and document their progress as well as checking they are doing therapy exercises correctly. Researchers on the Redmond campus in Washington hope the device will help doctors encourage patients to stick to courses of prescription drugs and physiotherapy.

EXTREME MEASURES A GP recently had to call in the police to warn a patient that he had a life-threatening condition. Michael Spence, 64, from Essex hadn’t left a contact number with the doctor but tests sent to the hospital showed he was at risk of a fatal stroke due to a suspected blood clot in his neck. Two officers duly chapped on his door and told him to phone the hospital immediately. They only left once he’d arranged to go to A&E for treatment. Mr Spence told the Daily Mail: “I’m sure I wouldn’t be here now if it hadn’t been for the GP, the wonderful team on Benfleet Ward and the policewomen.” Diary assumes dialling 999 to contact patients would not normally be the recommended approach.

OH THE IRONY Straight from the file marked “misguided good intentions” comes this fundraising campaign by a fast food restaurant. A KFC franchise in Utah is asking customers to support the fight against diabetes by purchasing an 800-calorie Mega Jug of sugary soft drinks, according to website theweek.com. For every $2.99 half-gallon drink it sells, the restaurant is promising to give $1 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The move has met with some criticism from anti-obesity activists but a JDRF spokesman pointed out that type 1 diabetes is not caused by diet or obesity. A fair point, but as any doctor knows, regularly downing a drink containing 56 spoonfuls of sugar may well set customers on the road to type 2 diabetes.

PRESCRIPTION PUFFING Doctors in Iceland could be thrust onto the frontline of the country’s anti-smoking campaign under a proposed new initiative. The parliament in Reykjavik is considering a proposal to ban the sale of cigarettes and make them a prescription-only product. Under the plan, cigs would be distributed by pharmacies only to people with a valid medical certificate. Only around 15 per cent of Icelanders smoke regularly, giving it the lowest smoking rates in Europe. But the plans are not expected to be accepted into law. Spare a thought for any poor doctor expected to stand between a smoker and their cigarette.

18,000 MILE COMMUTE One lucky experienced GP will have the chance to truly get away from it all as the new chief medical officer on the Falkland Islands. A recent job advert invited GPs with “a sense of adventure” to consider hopping on an 18-hour flight and moving to the south Atlantic territory. All local medics are based in the 28-bed GP-led King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. The new CMO will be expected to undertake varied duties, from general practice care to police surgeon duties and even advising the government on “all health matters”.

HANDY HINTS Apparently the key to spotting future top doctors lies in the length of their second and fourth fingers. Italian researchers found medical students with a lower finger length ratio (known as 2D:4D) in their right hands were more likely to be successful. Italian university researchers used callipers to measure the fingers of 48 male medical students and found those who passed their medical school admissions test had a significantly lower 2D:4D ratio than those who failed.


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