Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Minerva


BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 25 August 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:462

Of the 1425 outbreaks of gut related food poisoning reported to the Public Health Laboratory Service in England and Wales between 1992 and 1999, 10% were related to fish and shellfish. The worst culprits were poorly stored tuna (scombrotoxic fish poisoning), oysters (viral pathogens), and prawns (salmonellas and viral pathogens). The report says that stringent control is needed from before capture or harvest until the point of consumption to combat these pathogens (Communicable Disease and Public Health 2001;4:117-23).

A debate in this month's Western Journal of Medicine (2001;175:76-7) highlights some of the difficulties arising when doctors are given presents. One proponent argues that if gifts are given out of beneficence or appreciation they should be accepted with good grace. The “anti” brigade says that gifts can debase the trust between doctor and patient and devalue the true value of the care that doctors give.

Memories of medical school finals still cause chills to run down Minerva's spine. Having someone watch her interact with the patients might have made it even more terrifying. In one London medical school final examination, 75 candidates had two examiners marking their long case history: one marked observation, the other marked presentation. They tended to give different …

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