Reviews Minerva


BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 26 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1314

A two year follow up of 447 Finnish hospital doctors and their senior nurse controls has found that the doctors took about one third of the amount of sick leave taken by their controls. But there were no differences in health outcomes, self rated health status, and the prevalence of chronic illness between the two groups (Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2001;58:361-6). Poor teamwork seems to contribute more to doctors' absenteeism than overwork or low job control.

Giving birth to twins is hard enough, without also trying to run a state with more than six million residents, but this is exactly what the acting governor of Massachusetts was doing last week. Confined to a hospital bed while experiencing regular contractions, she answered calls, signed letters, and met with aides. A spokesman said of the overly dutiful governor that “she would not describe this as the optimal situation” but “if she can continue her job, she will” (New York Times 11 May).

Jet lag may prove more harmful than just making us feel groggy. Researchers from Bristol University used structural magnetic resonance imaging to show that airline workers with several years' experience of disrupted circadian rhythms have smaller temporal lobes than those who have notched up similar flight times on domestic routes (Nature Neuroscience 2001;4:567-8). …

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