BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7291.938 (Published 14 April 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:938

John Travolta, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Sharon Stone have all played a string of characters whose on-screen charisma depends on smoking. US tobacco researchers single them out as the most likely stars out of a group of 43 to encourage smoking among school children (Tobacco Control 2001;10:16-22). Children who nominated any of them as a favourite star were more at risk of becoming smokers than others who chose the image of non-smoking idols such as Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, or Sandra Bullock.

Medical graduates in Australasia can train to be ophthalmologists in about four years. Medical graduates in the United Kingdom usually take about eight years—why? Are they overtrained? An ophthalmologist from Britain's flagship eye hospital stops short of admitting it, but suggests that if specialty leaders want Britain to fall in line with the rest of the world, basic surgical training could be the first victim (British Journal of Ophthalmology 2001;85:383-4). Most trainees spend three years as a senior house officer in unrelated surgical specialties before their ophthalmology training gets underway.

Another paper on trainees in the United Kingdom, this time in cardiothoracic surgery, looks at the effect of training on patients' outcome and hospital costs (Heart …

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