Views & Reviews Personal View

Where are the clinicians when you need them?

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 14 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1845
  1. Emma Halls, chief executive
  1. 1Prostate Cancer Research Foundation, London
  1. ehalls{at}

    Having spent the past 12 months working with patient groups and clinicians on a project to identify treatment uncertainties in prostate cancer, I have been amazed at the way people and organisations working in the same field don’t speak to each other. Have we become so competitive that we can’t see that working together is good, if not essential?

    My frustration is growing, and the BMJ seems a good place to ask doctors: “Why the lack of communication?” Where is your culture of collaboration in my field of prostate cancer? Do you feel you have your own show, and all the answers?

    We’re currently fighting our way towards an exciting collaboration between patients and clinicians designed to agree priorities in treatment research. There is so much we don’t understand about prostate cancer and no agreement as to the most important research. Our partners are the James Lind Alliance (an organisation established to help identify and confront the uncertainties about the effects of treatment), several other prostate cancer charities, the main patient support groups, and the Prostate Cancer Charter for Action. Progress is now being made, but …

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