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1.  The Virtual Surgeon: ACL Reconstruction 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;319(7222):1442.
PMCID: PMC1117169  PMID: 10574888
9.  Alliteration in medicine: a puzzling profusion of p's 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;319(7225):1605-1608.
Problem
Puzzling, progressive profusion of alliterative “p's” in published papers.
Purpose
To depict this particular “p” predominance with pinpoint precision.
Plan
Periodic, painstaking perusal of periodicals by a professor of paediatrics.
Proposal
The “p” plethora is positively perplexing and potentially perturbing.
Alliteration is a literary device consisting of repetition of the same starting sound in several words in a sentence.1 Consider, for example, Shakespeare's playful parody of alliteration in Peter Quince's prologue in A Midsummer Night's Dream:
“Whereat with blade, with bloody blameful blade, He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast.”
Alliteration has appeared frequently in the medical literature—for example: “Respiratory syncytial virus—from chimps with colds to conundrums and cures;”2 “The choreas: of faints, fevers, and families;”3 “Coronary artery stents—gauging, gorging, and gouging;”4 “Moschcowitz, multimers, and metalloprotease;”5 “Alagille syndrome: a nutritional niche for Notch;”6 “Theodor Billroth: success with sutures and strings.”7
Perusing the medical literature with alliteration in mind, I have become perplexed by a peculiar propensity for the letter “p” to be placed in prominent positions. Consider for a moment the alliterative content of the BMJ, a prestigious periodical also published in Pakistani, Polish, and Portuguese. Perhaps the prime example is a piece entitled “A potpourri of parasites in poetry and proverb,”8 but the journal has presented articles addressing such topics as paracetamol poisoning,9 practitioners' pressure to prescribe,10 physicians' partnerships with patients,11 partnerships for prevention in public playgrounds,12 and pregnancy outcomes which have been persistently poor.13 Other topics have included patients' priorities,14 the political process of puzzling out private versus public priorities,15 and the ponderous problem of whether the priorities in apportioning resources should be primarily pragmatic or principally principled.16
In pursuing this plethora of “p” further, it becomes apparent that this predominance extends past paper titles to many other aspects of medicine. The purpose of this paper is to point this puzzling phenomenon of “p” profusion to the attention of practising physicians.
PMCID: PMC28305  PMID: 10600957
10.  Shaken, not stirred: bioanalytical study of the antioxidant activities of martinis 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;319(7225):1600-1602.
Background
Moderate consumption of alcoholic drinks seems to reduce the risks of developing cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cataracts, perhaps through antioxidant actions of their alcohol, flavonoid, or polyphenol contents. “Shaken, not stirred” routinely identifies the way the famous secret agent James Bond requires his martinis.
Objectives
As Mr Bond is not afflicted by cataracts or cardiovascular disease, an investigation was conducted to determine whether the mode of preparing martinis has an influence on their antioxidant capacity.
Design
Stirred and shaken martinis were assayed for their ability to quench luminescence by a luminescent procedure in which hydrogen peroxide reacts with luminol bound to albumin. Student's t test was used for statistical analysis.
Results
Shaken martinis were more effective in deactivating hydrogen peroxide than the stirred variety, and both were more effective than gin or vermouth alone (0.072% of peroxide control for shaken martini, 0.157% for stirred v 58.3% for gin and 1.90% for vermouth). The reason for this is not clear, but it may well not involve the facile oxidation of reactive martini components: control martinis through which either oxygen or nitrogen was bubbled did not differ in their ability to deactivate hydrogen peroxide (0.061% v 0.057%) and did not differ from the shaken martini. Moreover, preliminary experiments indicate that martinis are less well endowed with polyphenols than Sauvignon white wine or Scotch whisky (0.056 mmol/l (catechin equivalents) shaken, 0.060 mmol/l stirred v 0.592 mmol/l wine, 0.575 mmol/l whisky).
Conclusions
007's profound state of health may be due, at least in part, to compliant bartenders.
PMCID: PMC28303  PMID: 10600955
11.  Magnetic resonance imaging of male and female genitals during coitus and female sexual arousal 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;319(7225):1596-1600.
Objective
To find out whether taking images of the male and female genitals during coitus is feasible and to find out whether former and current ideas about the anatomy during sexual intercourse and during female sexual arousal are based on assumptions or on facts.
Design
Observational study.
Setting
University hospital in the Netherlands.
Methods
Magnetic resonance imaging was used to study the female sexual response and the male and female genitals during coitus. Thirteen experiments were performed with eight couples and three single women.
Results
The images obtained showed that during intercourse in the “missionary position” the penis has the shape of a boomerang and 1/3 of its length consists of the root of the penis. During female sexual arousal without intercourse the uterus was raised and the anterior vaginal wall lengthened. The size of the uterus did not increase during sexual arousal.
Conclusion
Taking magnetic resonance images of the male and female genitals during coitus is feasible and contributes to understanding of anatomy.
PMCID: PMC28302  PMID: 10600954
12.  Photographic memory, money, and liposuction: survey of medical students' wish lists 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;319(7225):1593-1595.
Objectives
To examine whether medical students made fewer altruistic wishes and more money oriented wishes in later years of the medical course than students in earlier years.
Design
Anonymous questionnaire survey.
Setting
Auckland University School of Medicine.
Participants
520 medical students from 6 years of the course responded to the questionnaire item “If you had three wishes what would you wish for?”
Main outcome measures
Proportion of wishes in various categories.
Results
The three most popular categories of wishes were happiness (34% of students), money (32%), and altruistic wishes (31%). Rates of altruistic wishes (odds ratio=1.05, 95% confidence interval 0.94 to 1.18; P=0.36) and wishes for money (odds ratio=0.96, 0.86 to 1.08; P=0.52) did not vary over the years of the course. Female medical students were more likely than males to make altruistic wishes (36% v 26%; χ2=5.68, P=0.02), intimacy wishes (25% v 18%; χ2=3.74, P=0.05), and happiness wishes (42% v 26%; χ2=18.82, P=0.0001). Men were more likely than women to make sexual wishes (5% v 0.8%; χ2=7.34, P=0.01).
Conclusions
We found no evidence that students were less altruistic and more money oriented in the later years of the medical course.
PMCID: PMC28301  PMID: 10600951
14.  HMO sues charity over domain name 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;319(7225):1592.
PMCID: PMC1174653
20.  Cover note 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;319(7225):1654.
PMCID: PMC1127106
22.  Walcheren 1809: a medical catastrophe 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;319(7225):1642-1645.
PMCID: PMC1127097  PMID: 10600979
23.  Conflict in Bosnia 1992-3 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;319(7225):1639-1642.
PMCID: PMC1127096  PMID: 10600978

Results 1-25 (3533)