The Case for Assisted Drug Injection

Mike never thought he’d inject heroin into his own son’s vein. Now based in Toronto, Mike has used heroin and various other opioids off and on for over a decade. He’s been to jail, he’s been homeless, and he has lost friends to overdoses. A few years ago, Mike found his teenage son sitting on his kitchen floor in his underwear, with two needles in one arm. There was blood running down his arms and his legs, and he was bawling from the head-exploding, gut-wrenching pain of withdrawal. Mike inject

How medical school debt shapes the health workforce

What would it mean for doctors and patients if medical students didn’t have to pay tuition? Philanthropists Dr. P. Roy and Diana Vagelos think debt-free education would allow more students to enter high-need areas, including primary care, research and pediatrics. That’s their motivation for providing $250 million to the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York, $150 million of which will fund scholarships. About 20% of medical students, those with the highest financial needs, won’t

The climate change evangelist with God on her side

To change the hearts and minds of climate sceptics, atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe mixes hard science and the Bible to get her message across KATHARINE HAYHOE is used to straddling worlds, having spent five years as a missionary kid in Colombia. Today, she is one of the world’s top climate scientists and communicators, who also happens to be an evangelical Christian and a pastor’s wife. The co-director of Texas Tech University’s Climate Science Center and CEO of consulting firm ATMOS R

WOMEN IN MEDICINE - PART 3: Why are women still earning less than men in medicine?

Medicine has a major gender wage gap, and recent data suggest practice styles, specialty choices and discrimination all factor into the discrepancy. Women currently make up 41% of practising physicians in Canada, but only a small minority of top-billing doctors. In 2016, the Ontario government released data that showed 506 doctors billed the province more than $1 million in the previous year; only 8% were women....

Health On Wheels

The 19 towers of St. James Town jut out in stark contrast to the Cabbagetown and Rosedale houses surrounding them. Seemingly haphazardly placed, with patches of grass and walkways between them, the buildings were designed to attract young professionals eager to live and work downtown. Today, the city block contained by Sherbourne, Parliament, Bloor, and Wellesley streets is the most densely populated in Canada

5 healthcare myths that can drive you to unneeded treatments

The ability of medicine to detect, heal and prevent ill health is undoubtedly among the crowning achievements of humanity. And those with access to state-of-the-art medicine are lucky indeed. In some respects, though, our faith in the increasingly sophisticated healthcare systems can blind us to a potential downside. Unnecessary tests and occasionally overzealous healthcare systems in the West have created a crisis of overdiagnosis, according to H. Gilbert Welch, a professor of Medicine at the

How medicine got too good for its own good

IN THE 1970s, H. Gilbert Welch drove an ambulance as a college job in Boulder, Colorado, often blaring out Elton John’s Someone Saved My Life Tonight. Wanting to save lives led him to study medicine, but he came to realise that saving lives wasn’t as clear cut as he thought. Sometimes, he found, it can be better to do nothing. Welch became a physician and academic researcher, and he has spent the last 25 years warning of the dangers of overzealous medicine. He worries that doctors are detecting

Should medical errors ever be considered criminal offences?

Canadian doctors continue to follow the developments in the case of Dr. Hadiza Bawa-Garba, a junior doctor in the United Kingdom found guilty of manslaughter after a young boy under her care died because of medical error and systemic shortcomings. In late March, she was given a chance to appeal a ruling by the General Medical Council that saw her stripped of her medical licence. Medical residents in Canada are especially troubled that evidence used against Bawa-Garba included her honest reflecti

WOMEN IN MEDICINE - PART TWO: Rise of women in medicine not matched by leadership roles

hen Dr. Lesley Barron was in medical school, she was told it would only be a matter of time before women occupied top leadership positions in medicine. There was reason for optimism. In 1995, a year before Barron graduated, more women than men entered medical school in Canada for the first time. Today, 63% of Canadian medical students are women. But a proportionate rise of female leaders in the profession has yet to be seen.

WOMEN IN MEDICINE - PART ONE: Medicine changing as women make up more of physician workforce

Dr. Sarah Newbery moved to Marathon, Ontario, to work in a group of family doctors in 1996. The group included three women and four men. Until then, there had never been a full-time female doctor in the community. Newbery has since seen the same shift occur in surrounding communities. A decade ago, there was a “frontier mentality” culture in northern medicine — it was a man’s world. Today, says Newbery, in many of the communities around her, more than half of the doctors are women.

The doctor who took on big pharma to stem the US opioid epidemic

ANDREW KOLODNY first noticed something was amiss in 2004, when his job as a medical director at New York City’s health department was to reduce drug overdose deaths. An expert in addiction treatment, he opened an evening and weekend clinic with the expectation that his patients would come from New York’s rougher neighbourhoods, where overdose deaths had been concentrated for decades. But many of those who turned up came from wealthy areas like Long Island and Westchester. About a third were eld
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