Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 04 December 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1510

Readers with technology fatigue will welcome a celebration of the humble physical examination in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (1999;161:1117-8). An internist from Montreal writes that physical examination will endure simply because it is a cheap, convenient, efficient, and reliable way of getting information about disease processes. Also, human touch is more reassuring than penetrating beams. New technologies and physical examination should go forward together, he concludes.

Readers without technology fatigue might be interested in a virtual reality prostate simulator for training urologists in transurethral resection (Journal of Urology 1999;162:1633-5). Using a dummy resectoscope, trainees can chip away at the virtual prostate, widen the virtual lumen, and spill virtual blood. The team at University College London that developed the simulator is keen to point out, presumably for legal reasons, that trainees should also be taught on real people.

Italy, Sweden, Great Britain, Norway, and the Netherlands have national guidelines on the management of gastro-oesophageal reflux in primary care (European Journal of General Practice 1999;5:88-95); all but one were developed by specialists. A review of all the guidelines concludes that they agree on most things except which drugs to use first. They also share the …

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