Author Archives: Braden O'Neill
Evidence Live 2015 for students – Join us in Oxford in April!
The first time I heard about ‘Evidence-Based Medicine’ was at 8:03 am on a cold November morning in my first year of medical school. The professor who ran our EBM course sighed as he discussed the course objectives: understand sensitivity … Continue reading
Medical journals are like magazines. Here’s why they don’t need to be.
Professional medical journals are full of advertisements for treatments. A typical issue of a journal- such as the British Medical Journal (BMJ) or the Lancet, two of the world’s most prestigious, based right here in the United Kingdom- consists of … Continue reading
ObamaCare and the limits of technology
It is well known that population health in the United States remains poor in comparison with high-income countries, and that improvements in health outcomes have not kept pace with those in similar nations. The recently implemented Affordable Care Act (ACA), … Continue reading
Music decreases kids’ pain during IV starts? Not so fast…
For those of us who don’t practice pediatrics day in and day out (and, I would imagine, for a fair number who do as well), having to do an IV start on a sick kid is a tough task. It’s … Continue reading
Patient stories on the internet: ‘people power’ or ‘pester power’?
Social media, including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, have democratized the production of health information, making it possible for anyone with an internet connection and a computer to post their own health stories online. Much of this information comes in the … Continue reading
Homeopathic “vaccines” and Health Canada: Just say no
Vaccines have widely been considered the greatest advance in healthcare in the 20th century. Polio, mumps, measles: these are just three examples of serious conditions that harmed and killed thousands before the advent of safe, effective vaccines to prevent them. … Continue reading
Exercise improves brain function? Maybe…
One of my colleagues brought to my attention a recent article on the New York Times Well blog. The article reports results of a study in which castrated rats are randomized to do some running on a treadmill, or to … Continue reading
Stockpiling in the dark? Tamiflu and the Public Health Agency of Canada
The Government of Canada reported last week that they are working with pharmaceutical manufacturer Roche to release the neuraminidase inhibitor Tamiflu (oseltamivir) from Canadian stockpiles to ensure availability of the drug for a particularly severe flu season in Canada this year. This … Continue reading
Mammography- more harm than good?
Since its development, mammography has been considered one of the most impressive advances in cancer screening. It is thought of as an essential tool in reducing morbidity and mortality from this highly prevalent disease. Every woman who has undergone mammography … Continue reading
Autism and vaccination again? Really?
Most readers will be all too familiar with Dr Andrew Wakefield’s absurd, now fully retracted and discredited (the same goes for his medical license, thankfully) 1998 study suggesting a link between autism and vaccination. Dr Wakefield’s science was shoddy, and his … Continue reading