Controversy grows over definition of diabetes in pregnancy

A fierce debate is underway about where to draw the line between normal and abnormal when it comes to the condition called “gestational diabetes”. Medical groups have recently made changes that dramatically expand the number of women classified as having this condition – but some fear a fresh case of over-medicalisation which will see many healthy women unncessarily labelled as sick. Read more in Ray’s latest column, available free here in the Medical Journal of Australia

Preventing Overdiagnosis

The problem of “overdiagnosis” is increasingly being seen as a significant threat to human health. In Ray’s latest article published in the British Medical Journal, he and co-authors lay out the nature of the problem, describe some examples, explore causes and flag possible solutions. You can read the full text here

An international conference called Preventing Overdiagnosis will take place on September 10-12, 2013, at Dartmouth College in the United States. To go to the conference website, click here

Time for Sunshine in Medicine’s dark corners

In Ray’s latest monthly column for the Medical Journal of Australia he argues its time for full disclosure of all financial relationships between our health professionals and drug and device makers. Evert speaking fee, every trip away and every free lunch.

Rather than tinkering with codes of ethics, a new law like the United State’s  Sunshine Act is whats needed. Here you can read the full text of the column

Is Your Mum on Drugs?

After rescuing her elderly mother from a case of over-drugging, Johanna Trimble decided enough was enough, and she’s since become an influential patient advocate in Canada where she lives.

“I really wanted to do something about the epidemic of overmedication of our elders” says Johanna Trimble, in Ray’s latest column for the British Medical Journal.

You can read Johanna’s compelling story here

The seductive, dangerous magic of numbers

In Ray’s latest feature article for the British Medical Journal he explores medicine’s obsession with relying on “proxy” measures of health – things like cholesterol or bone mineral density numbers.

As the article explains, “…the grand assumption that helping a person’s numbers will automatically improve their health, is a delusion as dangerous as it is seductive.”

Yale University Professor Harlan Krumholz says we’re all being far too “cavalier” in our reliance on numbers, and evidence-based medicine architect Professor Gordon Guyatt calls for a new approach that focuses on improving people’s health, not their numbers.

You can read the BMJ feature for free here