CMJ | 12 Mar 2014 | Perspectives

In 1979, Nobel laureate Francis Crick published a paper discussing progress in neuroscience. Describing the subject as “profoundly mysterious”, he speculated on new methods of investigating the brain, including the ability to inactivate one type of neuron whilst leaving the others “more or less unaltered” [1]. Crick is not alone; for years the mammalian brain has dumbfounded researchers [1,2]. In the human, a hundred billion neuronal parts and myriad connections lead to an interconnected system of a level of unparalleled complexity [3].

CMJ | 10 Jul 2012 | Perspectives

Improving recruitment numbers into psychiatry in the UK is recognised as an important issue in the field. One recent way of tackling the problem has been to set up Psychiatry societies for undergraduates within medical schools. Very little has been published about this ever-growing phenomenon. This article provides personal perspectives from undergraduate and postgraduate levels, taking into account ideas trialled in areas of the UK.

CMJ | 15 Aug 2011 | Perspectives

Ryan Breslin discusses what the third sector can teach us about the management of chronic diseases

CMJ | 25 Feb 2011 | Perspectives

Imagine being reluctant to go anywhere for fear of embarrassment at what your body might do. But your family needs food, so you put on a brave face and go to the shop down the road. You’ve been walking around the supermarket for ten minutes, enjoying browsing the special offers, when it begins: the feeling of warm dampness between your legs, gradually spreading downwards. You glance at the wet patch steadily growing across the front of your jeans. It’s happened again: another outing is ruined. You take off your jacket and tie it round your waist in an attempt to hide what’s going on.

CMJ | 19 Feb 2011 | Perspectives

Dr Geoff Woods, a clinical geneticist splitting his time between the clinic at Addenbrookes and the laboratory in CIMR, answers our questions and talks about what being a clinical geneticist means, the future of the speciality, personalized genomics and his own current research work.

CMJ | 16 Feb 2011 | Perspectives

Starting Clinical School at a university like Cambridge, where the insides of a hospital are often unfamiliar to medical undergraduates, is a daunting and exciting process. A few months in, I am beginning to wonder if seeing pain and suffering on a daily basis has changed me more than I had imagined it would. Am I beginning to see someone I barely know as an obese smoker rather than a mother or sister? An alcoholic rather than a man in terrible pain? In short, am I becoming more cynical?

CMJ | 15 Jan 2011 | Perspectives

We’ve all been there, all looked at the timetable and seen those two dreaded words filling our Friday afternoon and felt our hearts sink as we resign ourselves to a stultifying 3 hour diatribe on numbers needed to treat and the role of a public health doctor.

CMJ | 29 Sep 2010 | Perspectives

The study of rare diseases is incredibly common in scientific research. Scientists justify this by claiming that understanding these rare conditions can provide insight into common disorders.

However, since funding is limited and must be prioritized, is this really the case? Or are researchers simply stating this on grant applications to obtain funding in order to satisfy their own intellectual interests? In short, what are the arguments for and against the study of rare diseases?

CMJ | 29 Sep 2010 | Perspectives

"General surgeons are not what they used to be many years ago."

This is a phrase I have heard multiple times emanating from nostalgic retired surgeons leading anatomy demonstrations in Cambridge University, always followed by stories of the heroic diversity of operations they performed and how time has changed this; and, albeit anecdotal, it is a perfect illustration of how general surgery has changed over the course of a few generations.

CMJ | 29 Sep 2010 | Perspectives

Imagine a naked 50 year old man. Trust me here.

Do you feel repulsed or curious?
Offended or appreciative?
Embarrassed or inspired?