Obesity, disease and the social determinants of health

Submitted by Carlyn Zwarenstein on July 4, 2013 - 14:32

With the American Medical Association’s recent decision to reclassify obesity as a disease (it was previously "a condition"), the Canadian Medical Association may well begin considering a similar stance beginning at their August meeting and continuing into the fall. In practice, doctors in Canada may already treat obesity as a disease; however, a formal decision to label it as such would have policy implications.

Overstating the case

Submitted by Carlyn Zwarenstein on June 21, 2013 - 11:23

Andre Picard has a great piece in today's Globe and Mail. It's summed up pretty well in the headline, "Take news of cancer 'breakthrough' with a big grain of salt". He looks at the coverage of the recent research from renowned cancer researchers Tak Mak and Dennis Slamon that was described breathlessly--both in the press release from Princess Margaret Hospital and in subsequent media reports--as a "breakthrough" drug.

Media release: Herpes zoster as a marker of underlying malignancy

Submitted by Carlyn Zwarenstein on June 18, 2013 - 06:51

Open Medicine

A peer-reviewed, independent, open-access journal.


Herpes zoster as a marker of underlying malignancy

Today, Open Medicine <http://www.openmedicine.ca/> published a study assessing whether a diagnosis of herpes zoster is a risk factor for subsequent malignancy.

Media release: Probiotics vs. C.difficile and diarrhea—a systematic review

Submitted by Carlyn Zwarenstein on June 4, 2013 - 10:41

Open Medicine

A peer-reviewed, independent, open-access journal.


Probiotics for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile infection among hospitalized patients: systematic review and meta-analysis

Good night Dr. Morgentaler

Submitted by Carlyn Zwarenstein on May 29, 2013 - 14:09

Henry Morgentaler died this morning, at home, at 90.

How to Fix Canada's Health Care System

Submitted by Carlyn Zwarenstein on May 24, 2013 - 22:04

Therese Stukel and David Henry, two lead authors on this week's OM paper, argue on the Huffington Post blog that Canada's health care system requires urgent reform, particularly in the area of chronic care delivery (as it's currently designed for acute, episodic care even as chronic disease accounts for an ever-greater share of health care spending). And they cite their research into the viability of using virtual multi-specialty networks as a model for delivering more coordinated care.

Making an impact: the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

Submitted by Carlyn Zwarenstein on May 23, 2013 - 22:29

Open Medicine has just signed onto a brand-new, worldwide declaration called the San Francisco Declaration On Research Assessment, or DORA for short. The declaration represents a response to a widespread concern among science and other researchers about the journal impact factors that are used, in its words, "as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist's contribution, or in hiring, promotion or funding decisions".

Improving chronic disease management

Submitted by Carlyn Zwarenstein on May 16, 2013 - 12:05

Providing better care for patients with chronic disease requires well-connected networks, each consisting of a primary care provider, specialists, and hospitals. Ideally, the combination of good care and good communication between a family doctor and specialists will reduce re-hospitalizations and improve patients’ well-being, while reducing the costs to an overburdened health care system facing ever more chronically ill patients with long-term, complex care needs.

Media release: Multispecialty physician networks in Ontario

Submitted by Carlyn Zwarenstein on May 15, 2013 - 13:20

The authors of the present study assessed the extent to which informal, existing multispecialty physician networks in Ontario could be identified. The idea was to use available health administrative data to exploit natural linkages among patients, physicians, and hospitals based on existing patient flow—that is, on where patients naturally go when they require health care.

The Canadian Medical Association: From Profit to Equity

Submitted by Danyaal Raza on August 20, 2012 - 19:13

The recent annual meeting of the Canadian Medical Association was remarkable for a number of reasons. Most notably, for its explicit focus on health equity and the social determinants of health. Though the link between health and factors like education, housing and income has been well-established for some time, never before has the medical association so openly acknowledged it - and they've done so with great gusto. What is equally remarkable is how far and how quickly the organization shifted from a 'pro-profit to 'pro-people’ agenda.