Christmas at the BMJ
A man walks into a doctor’s office. He has a cucumber up his nose, a carrot in his left ear and a banana in his right ear.
“What’s the matter with me?” he asks the doctor. The doctor replies, “You’re not eating properly.”
How many doctor, doctor jokes do you know? loads? this just goes to prove that doctors must have a great deal of “patients” and a really good sense of humour to be constantly ribbed over their profession. Over the Christmas and New Year period they get a chance to show this in the British Medical Journal. However we aren’t talking doctor, doctor jokes (unless of course someone wants to analyse the effect that doctor, doctor jokes have on the moral of the profession), but light-hearted fare and satire that has to stand up to the same rigorous peer reviews and comments as any submitted research paper – as they say “we do not publish spoofs, hoaxes, or fabricated studies”.
Previous years have seen such papers as:
Were James Bond’s drinks shaken because of alcohol induced tremor? http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f7255
Sword swallowing and its side effects http://www.bmj.com/content/333/7582/1285?ijkey=aac50b70f673e90cf3f91495a4257bc8ccbed8e3&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha
Dispelling the nice or naughty myth: retrospective observational study of Santa Claus http://www.bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i6355
and one of my favourites: The survival time of chocolates on hospital wards: covert observational study http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f7198 (median survival time of 51 minutes – Roses chocolates just edge it out over Quality Street for speed of consumption. The authors conclude “Given the short half life of a box of chocolates, to ensure that all healthcare staff get benefits from consistent chocolate consumption it is the authors’ opinion that the frequency of chocolates delivered to wards needs to be increased and a concerted lobbying response instigated against recent manufacturers’ trends in shrinking the size of chocolate boxes.”)
This year articles include:
Things that go BONG in the night! http://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5615
Wine glass size in England from 1700 to 2017: a measure of our time http://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5623
And the great tongue in cheek article by Dr. Catherine Bell:
Does Peppa Pig encourage inappropriate use of primary care resources? http://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5397
In it she poses the question: “Dr Brown Bear, a single handed GP with whom the Pig family is registered, appears to provide his patients with an excellent service—prompt and direct telephone access, continuity of care, extended hours, and a low threshold for home visits. But could this depiction of general practice be contributing to unrealistic expectations of primary care?” She presents three “case studies”(episodes) and considers the potential impact Dr Brown Bear’s actions could have on patient behaviour.
One of these case studies is the episode Pedro’s Cough, where Dr. Bell concludes that “Dr Brown Bear displays signs of “burnout.” His disregard for confidentiality, parental consent, record keeping, and his self prescribing indicate that the burden of demand from his patient population is affecting his health. He is no longer able to offer the level of service his patients have come to expect.”
She states that: “Dr Brown Bear was approached for his perspective on the cases discussed; however, he is unable to comment pending the outcome of a fitness to practise investigation.”
I would definitely recommend reading the full article, then check out the Peppa Pig episode: Pedro’s Cough, to lift your day.