02 FYi

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EFFECTS, CAMPAIGN URGES DOCTORS are being urged to report side effects from over-the- counter medicines in a new social media campaign from the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The agency hopes to encourage more clinicians to use the online

Yellow Card Scheme as part of an EU-wide awareness week. MHRA say they rely on reports of suspected side effects to make

Welcome to your FYi

MOST doctors in training likely won’t remember working without access to a smartphone. These invaluable tools have brought enormous benefits for medical practitioners - but have you stopped to think about the potential risks? My article on page 10 offers practical advice on areas such as the use of WhatsApp chat groups, photographing wounds and the storage of sensitive patient data. Trainees are responsible for

two-thirds of all hospital prescribing, but the quality of education in this area has been criticised as “variable” by the Royal College of Physicians. Our article on page 4 highlights practical new guidance to help reduce errors. Research looking at how and

why professional wrongdoing occurs amongst doctors highlighted the importance of a healthy work environment. On page 6, Dr Greg Dollman reflects


on how doctors under investigation are not simply “bad apples”. It’s been 60 years since the landmark Bolam case established a legal precedent for medical negligence. Jim Killgore looks back on this historic ruling on page 7. You can learn how to impress and engage with your audience in Dr Allan Gaw’s article on page 5 which counts down the top 10 tips for presentations. And on page 8, find out how a career in public health offers the chance to positively influence the health of large numbers of patients. On page 12, expedition medic and aviation fanatic Dr Matt Wilkes talks about a passion for adventure that has taken him around the world. And on page 14 our case study focuses on an allegation of delayed diagnosis of a hip fracture.

• Dr Naeem Nazem Editor

sure medicines are safe but, like all systems, it has suffered from “under-reporting”. While medicines are generally safe and effective, MHRA say side

effects can happen, even with over-the-counter medicines. They are using the campaign to highlight how important it is that risks associated with all medicines are understood and communicated to health professionals and patients. Potential side effects can range from specific complaints, such as a headache or sore stomach, to more general issues including flu-like symptoms or just ‘feeling a bit off’ and reporting these can help regulators monitor medicines on the market and take action as appropriate.

Find out more at ACTION NEEDED ON

JUNIOR DOCTOR FATIGUE MORE than one fifth of junior doctors in Scotland said their working patterns left them feeling short of sleep at work on a daily or weekly basis. The General Medical Council’s annual National Training Survey also

shows just one third of juniors feel they always get enough sleep. Chair of BMA Scotland’s Junior Doctors Committee Dr Adam Collins

called for more action to reduce fatigue. He said: “Fatigue can pose significant risks both to patients and to

doctors themselves and it is essential that we do more to address this issue. Relatively simple changes would make a significant impact, improving both safety and the working lives of junior doctors. “Scheduling shift patterns in a way that gives junior doctors a

46-hour recovery period when they are adjusting from night shifts to day shifts, ensuring there are rest facilities for doctors who are unsafe to drive, and access to hot food around the clock would make a big difference to junior doctors’ working lives.”


Dr Naeem Nazem MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCP LLB (Hons)



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FYi is published by The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland, Registered in Scotland No 5093 at Mackintosh House, 120 Blythswood Street, Glasgow G2 4EA. The MDDUS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MDDUS are discretionary as set out in the Articles of Association. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors in FYi are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland.

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