Kidney Punch

Medical professionals act up

John Pickering Nov 13, 2013

Actors are helping Christchurch medical students practise the skills necessary to relate to patients. Dr Lynette Murdoch organises the General Practice component for 4th year medical students at the University of Otago, Christchurch.  She says the General Practice Department has long employed professional actors to play the role of simulated patients. “The consultations our students … Continue reading → … Read More

Legionnaires’ disease more common than once thought

John Pickering Nov 11, 2013

Infectious diseases expert Professor David Murdoch is passionate about his work in better understanding legionnaires’ disease and its causes. “If I ever have the opportunity in my career to help eradicate a disease it would likely be legionnaires’ disease. It’s the most common cause of pneumonia for much of the year in Christchurch and it … Continue reading → … Read More

More women injured in quakes

John Pickering Nov 06, 2013

A Christchurch researcher is trying to understand why so many more women than men were injured in the Canterbury earthquakes. Professor Mike Ardagh is Chair of the RHISE (Researching the Health Implications of Seismic Events) group. Professor Ardagh leads a team investigating the health system response to the quakes. His team found the health system … Continue reading → … Read More

A letter for all District Health Board Candidates

John Pickering Sep 30, 2013

Dear District Health Board Candidates Soon I and thousands like me will cast our votes to choose our District Health Boards.  Given the huge budgets of DHBs and the huge potential to influence health outcomes I want more information from you than a couple of paragraphs I received with the voting packs.  Below are two … Continue reading → … Read More

11

Teach creationism; undermine theology

John Pickering Sep 24, 2013

My fellow science blogger Alison Campbell recently wrote a blog post entitled “teach creationism, undermine science”  in which she highlighted some of the concerns shared by many scientists.  As a Christian and as a scientist I believe the issue is far worse than the undermining of science.  Because so many teaching creationism are so well … Continue reading → … Read More

10

What the HRC should have done

John Pickering Sep 18, 2013

The system is broke.  It is no better than a lottery.  The Health Research Council tacitly acknowledged this last year when they introduced a lottery to their grant funding round.  The lottery was for three grants of $150,000 each.  These “Explorer Grants” are available again this year.  The process went thus: HRC announced the grant … Continue reading → … Read More

6

A new entity is born: CDaR

John Pickering Aug 29, 2013

Have you ever been told the blood test is positive and the disease in question is shocking – Cancer, an STD (but you don’t sleep around!), MS?  Have you every wondered why it is that some drugs get withdrawn years after, and millions of prescriptions after, they were first approved?  Surely, you’ve read a headline … Continue reading → … Read More

4

Papanui Campus closes!

John Pickering Aug 27, 2013

917 days; 131 weeks; 2.5 years.  However you look at it, it’s a long time to be temporary.  Today the Papanui Campus of the University of Otago Christchurch, a.k.a the Versatile workshop in my front yard, closed.  The sole permanent occupant (moi) became the last of the academics to return to the “main building” of … Continue reading » … Read More