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BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 07 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:a3158

Chewing gum has been suggested as a safe way to stimulate gut motility and reduce postoperative ileus after colon resection. The mechanisms proposed to account for this phenomenon focus on the act of chewing, which releases saliva and pancreatic juices, but ingredients of the gum itself might also contribute. Sugar free gum contains hexitols, and the ingestion of sorbitol and other hexitols in chewing gum are known to cause gas, bloating, and abdominal cramps in a dose-dependent manner (Medical Hypotheses 2009;72:39-40, doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2008.06.044).

A comparison of three methods of shortlisting medical graduates into postgraduate training in general practice concludes that all three—a clinical problem solving test, a structured application form, and a “situational judgment” test—were valid, when compared with scores achieved in work related simulations at a final selection stage. The situational judgment test was the most effective independent predictor of performance in the final assessment, and worked best in combination with the problem solving test—both these tests are machine marked. Long term …

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