Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Lessons from America

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d8352 (Published 04 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:d8352
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}yahoo.co.uk

Medicine constantly advances. My room is full of electronic gadgets: pulse oximeters, thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, and glucose meters. All were purchased on the pretext of being better, faster and more accurate, than the old ways. But they constantly report error messages; the batteries are always flat; or you run out of the wildly expensive testing strips. Besides, the readouts rarely seem to match the clinical picture. As ever, ultimately you have to go with your clinical instincts.

This year’s great “advance” is the new health bill, which embraces the private sector. …

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